Perceptions of Veterinarians on the Use of Nutritional Supplements in the Horse Industry

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Oliver, Naomi Elizabeth
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Middle Tennessee State University
Previous studies indicated that horse owners refer to veterinarians for equine supplement information, yet veterinarian beliefs on use of supplements remain unknown. An online survey was administered via social media and veterinary groups to examine veterinarian perceptions on dietary supplements. This study hypothesized veterinarians do not perceive to be asked for supplement advice as often as horse owners report. 153 respondents were collected over 124 days. 91% of veterinarians agreed that supplements are safe to feed, and only 5% of veterinarians perceived their clients consulted them first for supplement information. 80% of veterinarians agree they should be a primary source of supplement information. Veterinarians with a mixed practice of equine and small animals reported more confidence in supplements to treat problems in horses than veterinarians seeing primarily equine patients (P = 0.039). These results suggest a disconnect between horse owners’ claims and veterinarian perceptions regarding sources of supplement information.