Podcast #054 – Entropy And Horses

The Equine Practice Inc, The Horse's Advocate

Entropy means the natural and required decrease in energy, moving organized things into disorganized things and slowly, over time, ending in complete chaos. It describes the Second Law of Thermodynamics (one of the only three laws that forces everything on earth to respond the way things do).

An example of entropy is when your farrier heats a horseshoe to red hot and leaves this hot shoe on the anvil. Eventually, the shoe will have the exact temperature of the surrounding air. But how does entropy affect our horses?

To live requires energy. Food moves through thousands of chemical reactions, becoming fuel and finally becoming stored energy in our “batteries.” Stored energy makes something happen within each of our cells. The result is the energy transformation into heat plus the action that uses the energy (ex, moving, breathing, heart beating, thinking, etc.). When this process stops, death occurs.

There is a middle point where there is still enough energy produced to live but not enough energy produced and stored to remain healthy. All diseases (ex, equine metabolic syndrome, Cushing’s disease, etc.) and breakdowns of connective tissue (ex, suspensory ligaments) come from a lack of abundant energy within the cells and the lack of materials to build tissue. I will show you how and why in this episode.

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