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30 km and different food can have a dramatic effect on a horse's health

Earlier this week our fine Peruvian mares started to show loss of hair and a strange pattern on their bodies. Diadama is more affected than Topacio. Here is how this looks like on the head

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and lower body

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The quality of these pictures is not very good. They were taken with the internal camera of a BlackBerry phone.

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But you can clearly see how the hair is missing. They both try to rub and scratch. Either on some object or - and I find that quite interesting - helping eachother.

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After they were transported to their new temporary home in Bajo del Rio, which is about 30 km from the place they used to live but with cooler nights, they got horse food instead of the grass they could feed on before. Either the change in microclimate or the horse food causes that allergy. We have now stopped giving them industrial horse food and provided Swazy hay. To stop the effects of the allergy they are given injections for five days. We are now at day 3 and the spread of the visual effect on their bodies has stopped. They liked the Swazy hay and are now staying mostly in the corral where that food and fresh water is provided to them.

Over the next few days we will erect our new portable horse stable right there in the corral. The idea is to provide them good shelter, food and water supply in a controlled environment. Animals are much more fragile to environment changes than humans.