Is an Ounce of Prevention Worth a Pound of Cure?

When it comes to horse health care, this question is better translated as, “Does regular maintenance cost less than crisis management?”

It depends.

Sometimes regular maintenance with a holistic horse health care program costs less. Other times crisis management is more cost effective. In my veterinary experience, over the long haul the monetary costs are equal, but other factors are not. In the long term, keeping your horse on a holistic maintenance program is the smarter choice because your horse will be:

– consistently healthier with fewer days off for illness or injury
– less prone to chronic health conditions like laminitis or ulcers
– less likely to suffer from acute conditions like colic

How Much is Horse Health Maintenance Worth?
If your horse is healthy and happy on a regular maintenance program, it can be tempting to consider reducing special feed and supplements. Even I’m guilty of that from time to time. But I have learned that cutting back on my horses’ maintenance program is never a strong economic choice because inevitably the horses end up with health issues that are more costly to address later. I find that the same is true of my clients’ horses.

For instance, consider the costs of a basic maintenance program that includes XANGO mangosteen juice, plus blue-green algae, enzymes, acidophilus, and bifidus. This is a solid nutritional maintenance program for the majority of horses. Feeding one to three liquid ounces of this combination costs $2.50 to $7.00 per day, which adds up to a monthly cost of $75 to $210 per month (see the end of this article for the recipe).

While the cost for this maintenance program may seem high on a monthly basis, consider the cost of an overnight visit to the veterinary hospital for colic: $1,250 to $3,000 for everything from oral fluids and mineral oil to abdominal radiographs and blood work. How much is prevention worth in this case? Well, the least expensive overnight stay for colic is worth about six months of the most expensive version of the maintenance program described above.

Consider, too, that the cost of colic surgery (needed for 7% of all cases according to the Royal Veterinary College in the U.K.) can be between $5,000 and $15,000. Even the least expensive colic surgery can buy almost TWO YEAR’S worth of the maintenance program at $7/day.

You can begin to see the value of a solid nutritional maintenance program.

Horse Health Care any the Economy
In this lean economy many people struggle to decide which horse feeds and supplements are worth the cost, and which are not. There is no doubt in my mind that a horse health maintenance program like the one described in this article is much more cost-effective than dealing with a health crisis, regardless of the state of the economy. In addition, most horse lovers would pay almost any cost to keep their horses from suffering. In terms of quality-of-life for my horses, I would rather pay for health ahead of time rather than allow my horses to suffer from health issues later.

What about you? What horse health maintenance program works well and cost-effectively for you and your horses?

Recipe for Basic Horse Health Maintenance Program
Mix 1 bottle (750 ml) of XANGO mangosteen juice with 7 packets of bluegreen algae, probiotics and enzyemes (allow the capsules to melt or simply open the capsules). Store mixture in refrigerator and feed one to three ounces (one ounce is about 30 ml) daily in feed or directly into the horse’s mouth via syringe.

Mangosteen Juice
Algae Products

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