Survey of Equine Nutrition: Perceptions and Practices of Veterinarians in Georgia, USA

J.L. Roberts, J.-A. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Equine nutrition plays a critical role in equine health. The veterinarian is an expected major source of equine nutrition information, yet little evidence exists to evaluate this assumed role, particularly from the veterinarian's perspective. The aim of this study was to investigate the knowledge and confidence levels and practices and perceptions regarding equine nutrition by surveying equine clinicians in Georgia, USA. A sample representative of a cross-section of equine veterinarians participated in the survey: response rate was 20%. Veterinarians reported that although their level of equine nutrition knowledge had improved since graduation, their confidence levels varied when giving nutritional advice on a number of prevalent nutritional-related conditions. Their confidence level in giving nutritional advice on colic was the highest and on hyperkalemic periodic paralysis the lowest. The majority of veterinarians had not taken any recent equine nutrition continuing education, mainly owing to lack of courses available; however, the majority expressed an interest in taking future courses, particularly if offered online. Although the veterinary profession was considered to be an important source of equine nutrition information, almost one-quarter of veterinarians offered no equine nutrition counseling to their clients. More than two-thirds of veterinarians reported having no access to a referral equine nutrition service, but would be likely to use one if it were available. The results of this survey reveal equine nutrition perceptions and practices from an equine clinician perspective. Several areas of concern are highlighted, questioning the quality, responsibility, and provision of equine nutrition in Georgia, USA, and are suggestive of a far more wide-reaching problem, requiring further research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-459
JournalJournal of equine veterinary science
Volume33
Early online date17 Sep 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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