Liz and Hugh Somerville BVSc Cert AVP (ESO) MRCVS Advanced Practitioner in Equine Surgery – Orthopaedics give their thoughts on supplements, the good ones, the bad ones and making sure your horse is safe.
As a horse owner you want to do the absolute best for your horse. ‘Good’ supplements are well-known to offer support and can be hugely beneficial to your horse.
But knowing where to start can be so confusing. The supplement market is a multi-million pound industry and can be an absolute minefield to work your way through. To make matters worse there are lots of products out there making some fairly outrageous claims, some of which are completely illegal, and then you add in some Facebook groups (of which of course everyone has an opinion), leaving you even more confused.
It was for this reason 5 years ago that we decided to invest in our own range of supplements. We wanted to build a range of products that targeted some of the most common issues we see with our patients but most importantly we wanted to build a range of product that we would choose to feed to our own horses.
We didn’t want a vast range that ended up confusing people so initially chose a few select products. Over time we have added a couple more products to the range but have chosen to turn down more products than we have added.
Given that our team strongly believe in evidence based medicine it was really important to us to use products and ingredients that have evidence behind them so they would feel happy recommending them to their patients.
We also wanted them to be cost effective.
Once we had a list of products that we wanted to stock the priority was finding a supplier that could guarantee that what they said was on the label was actually in the tub – this is not always the case with non-regulated supplements.
We are really proud that all Loch Leven Equine products are guaranteed from the inside out. The ingredients are checked for quality and tested for contaminants on arrival at the plant. The production facilities have tight quality controls throughout and the finished product is tested for batch composition. Again this is a process that doesn’t always happen with mainstream products.
Each of the individual ingredients within the products are fully traceable and batch controlled. The ingredients are fully declared so that you can make an informed decision about the best product for your horse.
All products are FFPS TESTED which certifies that the product concerned has been tested in one of the world’s premium independent, internationally trusted drug surveillance laboratories against the presence of Naturally Occurring Prohibited Substances.
The final step for us was to trial the products ourselves. We knew that we had to be happy feeding them to our own horses if we were going to be able to sell them to our clients.
They often say the proof is in the pudding and Liz has continued to give our own horse Splash our Veterinary Gut Support and our Veterinary Health4Hooves simply because they work.
Our in-patients all receive our Gut Support as part of their daily feeds and any patients on low rations also get our Vitamin and Mineral supplement.
Many of our customers who have been using the supplements are repeat customers are they see the difference that they make. Plus you don’t need to be a client of the practice to purchase the supplements, they are available online and we ship them throughout the UK.
Next time you are trying to decide which supplement to use make sure that what the manufacturer claims is in the tub is actually in there, that there is scientific evidence behind the product, that its tested, quality controlled, traceable to source, and is the right product for your horse (and purse strings).
Our Supplement Range:
Veterinary Joint Maintenance – a concentrated form of Glucosamine HCL (99% pure). Ideal for horse owners seeking to maintain healthy joints in their horses
Veterinary Premium Joint Supplement – contains Boswellia Serrata, Condroitin Sulphate, Hyaluronic Acid, Glucosamine HCL and MSM. For performance horses, older horses needing some extra support and as a supplement for young growing horses
Veterinary Blood Tonic – a highly absorbable and extremely palatable iron and B-Complex enriched syrup
Veterinary Rehab & Build – Contains a high concentration of Amino Acids and the important antioxidant Vitamin E. Recommended for feeding to young horses in pre-training, those on low-sugar diets and those in rehabilitation
Veterinary Liver Tonic – An extremely powerful liver tonic which supplements concentrated B-Vitamins along with antioxidents such as Milk Thistle and Vitamin E to support liver function in horses
Veterinary Hepatic Support – A unique product developed in conjunction with some of the world’s top equine professors to aid optimal liver function
Veterinary Gastric Aid – supplying a unique formulation of prebiotics, amino acids, seaweed extract and specific minerals to assist in maintaining optimum gut health and function
Veterinary Gut Support – a concentrated probiotic and prebiotic which can be used post-surgery, for horses with loose droppings and to maintain optimum gut heath and function
Veterinary Equine Calmer – a unique blend, specially formulated to aid in the maintenance of normal nervous function in horses
Veterinary Health4Hooves – a unique formulation offering the essential ingredients for hoof growth and structure. We are so confident in our product we offer a guarantee or your money back (*T&Cs apply)
Vitamin & Mineral Supplement – A low sugar nutritional supplement formulated to promote and maintain optimum health for horses on a reduced diet and those on box rest