Heather Zorn, P.A.S
I am so fortunate to have met such wonderful, caring animal owners whose devotion to their animals is unwavering. These dedicated people give me inspiration each day to continue working and never give up.
I have been interested in nutrition as therapy for many, many years. One horse and one dog, in particular really helped me in my journey. I bought a horse years ago that when he wasn’t working six days a week, literally gained weight on the air alone.
Friends, acquaintances, barn owners, trainers and veterinarians all said the same thing: “Feed him less, work him harder.” I did both and nothing changed. I had really reached a point of frustration, with the different specialized feeds, pasture management and having little ability to control a diet while boarding at a large barn. It was about this time I delved into research, attended lectures, and really gained an education in real life. As it turns out, this horse was Insulin Resistant, but at the time, very little was known on the subject. For those of you who don’t know, Insulin Resistance (IR) is a metabolic anomaly, wherein the body overproduces insulin in response to glucose, and instead of glucose going to muscle growth, organ and tissue maintenance and repair, it gets stored as fat. Hence the overweight exterior of my undiagnosed horse. I had a lot of people tell me I was crazy when I pulled him off pasture and started feeding him grass hay and beet pulp. (In a hunter-jumper barn, you MUST feed grain, is a generalized rule. And for a thoroughbred that’s all fine and good, they have an intense metabolism and can handle it just fine! But for my non-thoroughbred, it wasn’t the case.)
The dog was a Great Dane mix that adopted me at a horse show I had traveled to for competition. They say one animal can change your life, and that is what this dog did for me. He sadly ended up being diagnosed with cancer of the spine when he was around 7 years old. Traditional methods including chemo and radiation were not viable options for a dog of this age and size, nor did surgery hold a better outcome. Instead, I opted holistic treatments, including acupuncture, injections and chiropractic therapy. With immense gratitude to the vet who extended his life for another year, full of fun and running and doing barn chores, I devoted much of my time to researching the subject. During my research, I found that so many dogs suffer from cancer, and the diagnosis rates continue to rise. I couldn’t help but question if the drastic increase of cancer rates were due to the conditions our domesticated dogs are raised, primarily the unnatural commercial, processed diets they eat.
I went back to school to obtain my masters in Equine Science and Nutrition, with an emphasis on nutrition (specifically canine and equine) and became certified to practice. I find myself with a majority of clients who have horses with Insulin Resistance and oftentimes Cushing’s. When they find me, they are usually at the breaking point, as their vets and friends tell them to euthanize. More often than not, they are referred to me at a much earlier point, but do not reach out to make the call until there is no hope left. And that’s where I come in! To offer hope, a solution, a lifetime change… The opportunity to provide quality of life to the companions who each make a difference in our lives.
My main goal is to educate how each one of us can and should do better for our animals that rely solely on us to survive. Large companies have fantastic marketing strategies and advertising that make you think they want what is best for your pet, but let me tell you, they don’t. They wouldn’t stay in business that way- financial gain is what is best for those companies. Marketing is convoluted and directed to make you think buying their product is the best for your animal. Feed labels can be confusing to read, and unless you have a good understanding of chemistry, oftentimes overwhelming to wade through. Since I don’t work for any large conglomeration and am not limited in what I can and can’t say about a product, or a competitor’s product, it assures that you get the best information available- unbiased education!
If you have a horse or a dog, or a kennel or barn, and want to learn more for the benefit of your animals, consider a nutritional consultation from Animal Nutrition Solutions. Animail Nutrition Solutions is a small company, and it is ME you will talk to, consult with, and it is ME who will answer your questions and address your concerns. You will not deal with a secretary or a computer automated answering system. It’s one-on-one personal interaction, with the benefit of your pet’s health as the ultimate, achievable goal!
Animal Nutrition Solutions keeps prices low in order to offer nutritional consultation services to anyone who is interested. I encourage you to read some of our references- ALL of our clients walk away educated and able to provide the best for their animals!