Feeding the Sick or Injured Horse Dr. Stephen Duren, Ph.D. Hygain Feeds Feeding the sick or injured horse is not just a matter of providing feed and water – protein and energy requirements are elevated and need to be addressed. T he competition season is in full swing - the horse is fit and performing well. Then it happens, the horse takes a bad step and pulls up lame. The immediate concern is for the well-being of the horse, what is the nature of the injury, how severe is the injury and how much competition time will the horse miss? All logical questions, but another question to consider is how to feed this horse to speed up the recovery? LACK OF APPETITE Injuries come in many forms. Bone fractures, skeletal lameness, muscle injuries, tendon injures, ligament injuries and a host of others. The net result of these injuries is that the horse immediately stops training and is often transported to a facility where it is confined to a stable for rest. Sickness or disease, much like injuries, can also result in lost competition and training time and stable rest. The horse’s body responds to both injury and disease in a similar manner - the immediate visible response of the horse is a depressed appetite, which is usually the Continued result of pain from injury or fever from disease.