Electrolytes: Why Optimal Horse Health Hangs in the Balance, not the Quantity

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Recent research suggests a cure for equine anhidrosis, tying-up, and more based on findings that such negative effects on horse health result when electrolytes don’t always perform as they’re supposed to.

Proper electrolyte balance keeps horses hydrated.

Electrolytes are involved in every physiological process in the horse’s body including hydration, blood pH and maintaining normal muscle function. The typical equine diet of hay and grain usually provides all the electrolytes a horse needs, but good health depends on how those electrolytes are balanced.

Researchers are now focusing more attention on electrolyte activity, rather than just level. When comparing healthy horses to unhealthy ones, they’ve found that simply providing electrolytes does not guarantee they’ll work properly. Abnormalities in electrolyte activity have been linked to tying-up and equine anhidrosis.

In Veterinary Dermatology(1), researchers from Glasgow Caledonian University and Michigan State University published findings that anhidrotic horses secrete chloride ions differently than normal healthy horses do. Defective electrolyte transport mechanisms in the gland are likely responsible.

Research at the University of Minnesota(2) suggests that an abnormality in intracellular calcium regulation causes recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis, more commonly known as “tying-up.” Dietary calcium has been shown to have no effect on the amount of calcium in muscle tissue. Tying-up therefore cannot be controlled by simply feeding electrolytes to alter the calcium level.

Research is ongoing. Our understanding of electrolyte balance has evolved to include not just the level or quantity of electrolytes, but their proper activity as well. To that end, a viable solution to restore optimal electrolyte balance is now available.

That solution is a patented, non-invasive dermal patch which serves as a natural electrolyte-balancing system. Developed by Therapina Ltd in the United Kingdom, the SmartCell Signal(TM) system restores normal cell metabolism by stimulating communication directly between cells in the horse’s body. The patch is marketed under the trade name, “Equiwinner.”

These electrolyte-balancing patches are safe, effective and easy to use. The simple 10-day treatment costs less than continuously trying to treat or manage symptoms. One single treatment can be effective for up to one full year when used as directed. The patches contain only naturally balanced electrolytes and nothing goes into the body of the horse.

Since electrolytes are involved in every physiological process in the horse’s body, restoring optimal electrolyte balance with Equiwinner clears a number of conditions, including bleeding EIPH, tying-up, non-sweating and headshaking. Improving the horse’s overall health improves its performance, too.

Equiwinner patches are distributed in the United States and Canada by Signal-Health LLC and are available from the company’s website at http://www.signal-health.com or by phoning toll-free:
1-877-378-4946.

1. A preliminary study of the short circuit current (Isc) responses of sweat gland cells from normal and anhidrotic horses to purinergic and adrenergic agonists. Wilson, Darius C.S., et al, Veterinary Dermatology, June 2007
2. http://www.cvm.umn.edu/umec/lab/RER_new/home.html

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Barbara Socha
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