Fortified calcium block for horses on pasture.
Bighead, calcium deficiency and osteoporosis are significant problems for horses on sub-tropical grasses - including buffel, panic, kikuyu and setaria.
Oxalates in these grasses bind calcium - making it unavailable to the horse and increasing the risk of a dietary calcium deficiency. Clinical signs of calcium deficiency, osteoporosis and nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism include intermittent lameness, stiffness, shortened stride, tendon and ligament weakness, dental problems, weight loss and fractures. Lime and other inorganic forms of calcium supplements are also bound by oxalates – only chelated calcium is safe from oxalates.
GUARANTEED ANALYSIS: Calcium 176g/kg, Manganese 4436mg/kg, Copper 1010mg/kg, Iodine 17mg/kg, Zinc 408mg/kg, Selenium 7.7mg/kg, Methionine 80g/kg, Salt (NaCl) 300g/kg
This product does NOT contain restricted animal material.
Bighead and osteoporosis occur in horses on pasture or stabled, and at any age.
It can happen on grain, bran and pasture diets — especially buffel, pangola, setaria, kikuyu, green panic and signal grass. These grasses contain oxalates that bind to the calcium in the grass, hard feed and supplements — making the diet calcium deficient and unbalancing the calcium:phosphorus ratio.
The importance of calcium
Calcium is essential for life itself (regulating heartbeat, nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting) and blood levels are tightly regulated by parathyroid hormone (PTH). PTH is released when diets are low in calcium — causing calcium to move out of the bones and into the blood, and leading to demineralisation of bones and osteoporosis. Mild cases are difficult to detect, manifesting as vague shifting lameness, shortened stride, soreness at ligament and tendon insertions, joint pain and swelling. In more severe forms, ligament and tendon injuries increase and there may be a watery nasal discharge, poor coat, difficulty chewing, dental pain and swelling of the jaws, maxilla, mandible and nasal bones.
Management and prevention
The dietary calcium deficiency must be corrected. Chelation protects calcium from oxalate attack, is over 95% absorbed into the blood stream and, in the presence of oxalates, is more bioavailable than inorganic forms (lime and dicalcium phosphate). Bone Formula Forte and Calsorb Forte contain chelated calcium PLUS essential bone trace minerals that are deficient in Australian soils, pastures, hays and grains.
The need to provide mineral supplements for horses is well recognised. The challenge is to provide minerals which are both highly absorbable and bioavailable. The solution is mineral chelation.
Introducing chelated calcium from Dr Jennifer Stewart
In many grasses, calcium is bound to oxalates. Calcium-oxalate is insoluble in the gut and the calcium is unavailable. Other minerals are also bound to oxalates but are soluble in the gut – releasing the oxalates, which then bind to calcium in hard feed and supplements – making them unavailable. The calcium in the grass, hard feed and supplements cannot be absorbed and pass out in the manure.
To address the problems of calcium-deficient feeds and diets, Bone Formula Forte and Calsorb Forte are formulated with organic chelated calcium which is protected from oxalate binding.