Introducing 5Strands® Affordable Testing’s
New Horse Test
While working with many dog and cat owners over the past year, a question frequently arose, “Do you offer testing for horses?” We recently decided, “Why not!” Based on the popularity and success of our testing for dogs and cats, we are happy to announce our new testing for horses. We use the same simple methodology of analyzing hair samples. All that’s needed is 10-15 strands of your horse’s mane, tail or body hair. Now you can find out if symptoms like skin problems, heated hoofs, colic, heaves, changes in behavior or performance, etc. are due to food or environmental intolerances.
After interviewing many horse owners and professionals in the horse industry, we have identified key items that are important to be analyzed for the effect on a horse’s health. Our comprehensive intolerance testing includes 60+ foods and 25+ environmental items, covering all the major proteins, most grains, fruits, vegetables, food additives, fabrics, pollen, grasses, trees and more! We also test for over 30 nutritional deficiencies and 8 metals/minerals.
Test results are provided in a comprehensive report that is emailed to the horse owner with 5-7 days. The retail price of the test is $189.
The majority of issues related to allergies in horses are caused by intolerance or sensitivity to something they commonly eat. Until 5Strands® introduced the Affordable Test for Horses, the only dependable method to test for a food intolerance or sensitivity in horses was to completely remove the suspected food item from the horse’s diet for at least 4-8 weeks. If the horse responded well and the symptoms diminished, the suspected food trigger was then fed to the horse again to see if clinical symptoms returned. This is an extremely challenging process for horse owners/trainers/managers. In addition, elimination diets are not practical for some horses, especially competition horses. These horses require a steady diet of rich feed to maintain their weight, strength and performance during training and competition.
Imagine the possibilities that 5 Strands® Affordable Testing offers for competition horses. For example, with the ability to develop a specific nutrition plan, which would be expected to reduce inflammation and improved performance, an owner could help maximize their horse’s potential. Could this result in more wins?!
If you’re a horse owner, trainer, or have a passion for horses, this test could be the answer to a happy and healthier horse! 5 Strands® Affordable Testing can help remove guesswork and allow for a horse’s diet, environment and lifestyle to be tailored to fit their immediate needs.
Aside from food intolerances/sensitivities, “true” allergic reactions that take place in the body’s immune system, are far less common. 5 Strands® Affordable Testing does not test for this type of allergy. Studies have shown that the most reliable testing method for these more serious allergies is the Intradermal allergy test (IDAT). The IDAT test involves injection of allergens into the horse’s skin after the horse has been sedated. After several hours, the skin is examined for any symptoms of reactions. The horse can not be on any medication for several weeks prior to this test to achieve accurate results. This type of allergy testing is time consuming and costly and usually requires a vet coming to the horse.
According to an article in Practical Horseman Magazine by Stephen White, board-certified veterinary dermatologist and professor in the Department of Medicine and Epidemiology at the University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, blood tests available for food allergies are extraordinarily inaccurate.