Posted: 6th September 2021 | Back to news feed

The immune system is the key to a healthy horse and should not be overlooked. For many horses, the demands of training, performance, travel, weather, staying away and parasites raise the stress level and put the immune system under pressure. The Immune system can also be compromised by age and lack of good nutrition.

Understanding your horse’s immune system and what it needs will help you support its optimal
function; and keeping your horse performing at their best.

The horse’s immune system consists of a network of white blood cells, antibodies, and other
substances that fight off infections and reject foreign proteins. The stronger that white blood
cells become, the quicker they can perform their duties and maintain your horse’s full health.

Other key parts of the equine immune system include the spleen, lymph nodes and liver.

There are two branches to the immune system; Nonspecific (innate) immunity is present at birth. It is so named because its components treat all foreign substances in much the same way.

Specific (adaptive) immunity is acquired and improves with time. As the immune system encounters different antigens, it learns the best way to attack each type, and it begins to develop a memory for that antigen. Specific immunity is so named because it tailors its attack to a specific antigen previously encountered.

Nutrition helps provide your horse’s immune system with the tools it needs for optimal performance. Mostly these nutrients are found in forage but when forage is not available adlib or the quality is poor, it is important to supplement the horses with the key nutrients for immune health.

Some of the important nutrients for a properly functioning immune system include amino acids such as methionine, arginine, and glutamine; trace minerals zinc, copper and selenium; water soluble vitamins (folate, B6, B12, vitamin C), fat soluble vitamins (A, D and E); and polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Incorporating immune stimulating supplements in the diet of equines can provide a much- needed
boost to their immune system, to restore natural energy levels, improve recovery and protect them from everyday stressors.

Ensuring a horse’s diet is balanced and meeting all requirements will help develop a strong
immune system. Correct nutrition can help reduce the risk or severity of infections, improve
immune responses to vaccines and eventually regulate inflammatory reactions and allergies.

Mud fever, sweet itch, equine sarcoid and many other diseases are signs of a weakened or
overactive immune system in a horse. Horses with metabolic diseases almost always have a weakened immune system.

Other symptoms of a week immune system can be

• Illnesses, re-occurring
• Infections, re-occurring
• Failure to thrive or gain weight
• Lack of energy or performance

Synovium® Prefit has been developed by our FEI vets to provide a natural boost to the immune
system, protecting your horse’s optimal health and natural energy levels. Providing balanced
essential vitamins and minerals for horses.

To be used in periods where extra attention is needed for good resistance and when there is a lack of micronutrients in the diet.


Synovium Horse Health, Leading FEI Team Vets 

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