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Is Hoof Thrush Dangerous for Your Horse?

What is Hoof Thrush?horse hoof thrush

If you smell a foul odor while picking your horse’s feet, chances are he has contracted hoof thrush, a frog-eating, anaerobic bacterium. Thrush is a primary concern, whether your horse lives mainly at pasture or in a stable, especially in wet weather. In my natural hoofcare practice horse hoof thrush is the main cause of pain and lameness in horses.

Thrush problems for horses are essentially fostered by poor hygiene. It’s difficult to comprehend the seriousness of something that appears so subtle, but due to the horse’s hoof construction, it can be detrimental if not dealt with properly. Horse hoof thrush can cause excruciating pain and lameness.

Is hoof thrush dangerous?

The frog has two distinct layers–the external skin is called horn tissue and the corresponding vascular layer of tissue is called the sensitive corium. Beneath the inner sensitive layer lies a pad-like shock absorber that reduces concussion for the horse’s hoof and his entire limb, called the deep digital cushion. A properly functioning frog is absolutely necessary for the hoof to function. If the frog is infected with thrush, the horse shifts weight to the front of the foot, landing toe first instead of heel first. According to Dr. Robert M. Bowker VMD, PhD, toe first landing is the primary cause of navicular disease in horses. 

The signs of thrush will be noticeable at the deep crevices of the frog (sulci) when a black, puss-like discharge accompanied by a foul odor is present.

Thrush is likely to take over a hoof that is left in unsanitary conditions. A wet environment that primarily consists of urine and acidity from manure is a breeding ground for the anaerobic bacterium that are attracted to any necrotic (decayed) tissue that exists on the horse’s frog. Not stopping at that, the bacteria will form deep-seated pockets and literally drill into the frog, eating away at the remaining healthy tissue.

How to treat hoof thrush

One way to prevent thrush is by a thorough, daily hoof picking. It’s not necessarily true that horses at pasture won’t get thrush. They can, in certain seasonal situations. Horses left in muddy areas, particularly in the northeastern part of the U.S., may have to cope with wetter climates most months of the year, increasing the odds of contracting thrush. Horses that spend time in unsanitary conditions are also more susceptible to the bacteria.

If your horse already suffers from thrush you must take action immediately. Clean the infected area and apply No More Horse Thrush  daily until all infection is gone and the frog has completely grown back. Depending on the severity of the infection it could take several weeks for the frog to regenerate itself.  Don’t stop treatment until this has happened.

“I recently purchased a rescue horse with a raging case of Thrush. Over a period of 3 months I tried everything – assorted commercial treatments, “secret” home remedies – nothing seemed to work. Two weeks ago I started using No More Horse Thrush. At the end of the first week of use there was noticeable improvement. Now at the end of the second week of use my farrier tells me “we’ve turned the corner” on the stubborn problem. And the bonus is that it’s so easy to apply! Ok, maybe it’s not a miracle – but it’s close enough for me. This is a “must have” that should be in everybody’s equine med cabinet!”

 

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Why Is Your Cat Eating Grass?

By Jordan & Kyla Miller

Contributing Writers for Wake Up World

Have you ever noticed your cat eating grass, only to soon after throw it up? To us, it can be a very disturbing scene. After all, we don’t like to see our pets suffer. I was inspired to write this article because I witnessed this very occurrence this morning by one of my neighbors’ cats. Is there a reason for this habit? Are you constantly bringing your cat to the vet? Does your cat have a chronic illness? Can this be avoided?

Domestic animals, like humans, are subject to the damaging effects of cooked and processed foods, food additives, environmental pollution, over-vaccination and the stress of modern day living. All of these factors can affect digestive functioning and lead to a range of digestive disorders. Can what you feed your cat affect its overall health?

Advertising and claims of pet food manufacturers have contributed to the misinformation surrounding what is best for our pets. Commercial dried and canned pet food is convenient and claims to be ‘better’ than any other form of food. However, the result is that pets in today’s world suffer from the same digestive complaints and disorders as humans.

Just as with people, cats have a very intricate and complex network of body mechanics. A cat’s digestive system does not do well on processed foods, which are often too high in carbohydrates. It is limited to certain enzymes and cannot turn foods like grains or denatured meats into the amino acids necessary for optimal health. These pet foods are also heated to very high temperatures, which destroys almost all the nutrients in the food. Most grains and plant foods are not complete proteins and are deficient in amino acids such as the essential nutrient amino acid taurine. Furthermore, cats are carnivore animals. They have a short digestive tract which makes digesting plants difficult. In addition, they lack specific enzymes and certain metabolic processes which make digesting plant proteins very difficult. In fact, digestion problems are among the most common reasons for visits to the veterinarian. Some cat illness symptoms include: loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, sneezing, discharge in eyes, bad breath, breathing problems, unhealthy looking coat, receding gums, excessive meowing, diarrhea or constipation, depressionallergies, etc.

What can be done?

In the wild, cats instinctively thrive on raw, whole pray and very little plant food. They enjoy a varied diet including mice, birds, fish, reptiles, insects, and small mammals. In the wild, they will ingest small amounts of plant food since they generally eat omnivores, and what remains in their prey’s stomach will be consumed. Cat’s stomachs have a highly acidic environment, which is a very favorable environment for digesting protein. Therefore, raw, unprocessed, high-protein foods can be a great aid in dramatically helping to prevent cat illness symptoms.

A raw meat diet supplemented with small amounts of vegetable and essential fatty acids will closely match the food your cat would get in the wild. However, be careful not to feed your cat just any type of raw meat. Look for grass-fed animals, pasture raised or wild caught seafood – hormone, chemical, and drug free. Raw food for cats include chicken, beef, turkey, fish, sardines, eggs, rabbit, game meats, organ meats, and small bones. Cats do not require any grains or fruits in their diets. All vegetables should be broken down by either blending or finely chopping in order to aid in digestion. Onions, garlic, grapes, raisins, mushrooms, avocado, nightshades, and chocolate (or anything with caffeine) should be avoided. By doing an on-line search for “raw meat cat recipes”, you will quickly find easy preparation ideas.

The benefits of feeding your cat a raw food diet include: clean, strong, and white teeth, healthy pink gums, a reduction or even elimination of bad breath, better mental and physical health for your cat, better digestion of meals, a reduction in the odour of their stools, good bone and jaw structure, elimination of most health problems. Interestingly, cats have more of a chance coming into contact with Salmonella in dry commercial food than in raw meat. In addition, a healthy cat who encounters Salmonella will have no ill effect from it.

Cat eating grass 2

A Cats’ Instinct

As we’ve learned, a cat is not designed to properly digest plants. This brings us back to the question of why we see cats consuming large amounts of grass. Why is your cat eating grass? There are a few theories. As we know a cat’s tongue is designed to help remove any loose hair. This hair enters the stomach, but is unable to be digested. If given the opportunity, cats will instinctively consume grass in order to expel the hair that has gathered in their system, before it becomes unmanageable. In this regard, it is actually advisable that cats have access to grass. Another theory is that when a cat catches a mouse, it is impossible to separate fur and bones from the meat. Therefore the cat gulps down the entire mouse. Once the meat has been digested, the hair and bones remain in the cat’s stomach. Eating grass makes the cat vomit, and this brings the grass back up, now neatly wrapped around undigested mouse parts. This is probably safer for the cat than passing the bones through its intestines, which might get punctured or blocked. Finally, cats are being fed indigestible, processed, toxic food on a daily basis. It makes them feel sick and causes illness. They instinctively know to get rid of it in order to feel better and so they ingest grass until they’ve succeeded. These are all very good reasons to make sure that our lawns do not have weed killers or other pesticides which could be harmful.

Too Expensive?

Perhaps you feel that feeding your cat raw meats will be too expensive. If you do chose to continue feeding your cat commercial pet food, it very important to read the labels. If you don’t know what the ingredients are, it’s most likely not good for your cat. Avoid fillers and highly processed ingredients. Look for ingredients, such as whole chicory root, which is a prebiotic that has been proven to promote healthy digestion. When added to pet food, it serves as food for the beneficial bacteria that are present in a cat’s intestinal tract. The next time you receive your vet bill, think about this article and whether or not spending addition money on good quality raw meats is really that expensive in comparison.

Let us always remain aware of the choices we make for those we’ve chosen to care for and who depend on us.

Source:  Wake Up World

About the Authors

Jordan & Kyla are passionate about health; together, they have overcome many illnesses through dietary and lifestyle changes, and the art of practicing a positive mindset daily. Kyla is currently studying to become a Registered Holistic Nutritionist and Reiki Master, and Jordan is currently learning about traditional North American medicinal herbs, in hopes of becoming a Certified Herbalist. For more information, please visit the following sites; guidinginstincts.comFacebookTwitterGoogle+, or Pinterest

 

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Why Sea Salt for Horses?

Sea salt is Nature’s electrolyte.

Sea Salt for horses

It aids in digestion and stabilizes body functions and fluids. It is natural unrefined salt that contains over 80 essential minerals.

Without salt, life itself would not be possible. Salt is as important to life as oxygen and water. Horses utilize salt as an essential ingredient for life.  When it comes to horse health and nutrition, not all salt is created equal. Most salt that is available for horses has been refined (treated with chemicals to remove the minerals, evaporated under high compression and heat which disrupts the molecular structure of salt, and evened bleached in order to obtain the white color) or mined from salt mines that are pure white, like walking into a snowball. This white salt is void of natural balance of life giving minerals in their natural state as they have been processed out by man or leeched out by nature over time leaving only sodium and chloride. Unrefined sea salt contains much, much more.

Quantitative analysis of the elements in the blood has essentially the same profile as the quantitative analysis of elements found in sea water  (only major difference is the hemoglobin in the blood). This natural mineral balance is very important for optimum animal health. It gives the horse the “tools” it needs for growth, immune function, performance, etc.Sea minerals are in crystalloid form which is defined as “a crystallizable substance which, when dissolved in a liquid will diffuse readily through animal or vegetable cell membranes”.  Health care professionals are very familiar with this crystalloid state as this is the state of the minerals in hospital IVs.

  1. Salt’s primary action is cooling and a moderate amount is beneficial to the kidneys. The moistening property of salt is especially appropriate in the winter, when the body tends to dry out.
  2. Salt counteracts toxins in the body and can be used externally as well for skin eruptions.
  3. Salt directs the body’s energy inward and downward which is appropriate for fall and winter when the center of the body needs to stay warm.
  4. Salt strengthens digestion and can soften and remove abdominal swellings and intestinal obstructions. This softening property can also reduce hardened glands, muscles, and lymph nodes.
  5. The alkalizing quality of salt helps balance the acid nature of high protein and carbohydrate diets.
  6. Whole sea salt is slightly grey colored and contains many minerals. White salt and most commercially produced sea salt is highly refined and devoid of minerals.

Sea Salt for horses is a highly necessary supplement. It is also an essential nutrient for all horses. Ideally unrefined sea salt, which is naturally balanced with other minerals, should be offered free choice year round. Unrefined sea salt offers a better choice than the more popular but not balanced trace mineral blocks, which do provide salt but are essentially no better than refined salt with added inorganic minerals. Owners should be cautious about the amount of salt they feed to horses with ulcers because salt increases the production of hydrochloric acid in the body, an effect that aids digestion but can irritate ulcers.

Available: 3 lb., 5 lb., 10 lb., and 25 lb.

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10 Things We Can All Learn From Animals

BY DR. VINT VIRGAlearn from animals

Late one November evening in my fourth year out of veterinary school, while tending to the first wave of patients who’d flocked to our clinic for emergency care, a single dog in an unconscious haze forever changed the course of my life as a vet.

Pongo, a two-year-old retriever struck by a pickup speeding by his front door, lay before me on a blanket no better for all that modern medicine and my training had offered him – his vital signs ebbing fatefully weaker than when he’d arrived several hours before.
Worn from the onslaught of all the night’s cases, I surrendered to a wave of growing frustration and sank exhausted to the floor, with little else left to offer Pongo except for my arm draped across his chest, a soft word spoken, a gentle touch. Yet, from this simple act of caring, in less than an hour, I watched him fully recover in body and spirit.

For the past twenty years since that night spent with Pongo, I’ve spent most of my working hours studying animals and the profound connections we share with them. As a specialist in veterinary behavioral medicine, I’ve delved into the inner lives of creatures – from whales, wolves, and leopards to mice, dogs, and cats – and immersed myself in the world from their perspective.  My book, The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human, reveals key truths I’ve learned through the years about animals and our relationships with them – basic traits we share in common, ways we differ, our likenesses, and how by perceiving the world as they do, we can enrich our own appreciation of life.
Inspired by animals I’ve come to know through the years as well as the people whose lives they touched, it offers an intimate journey into the lives of our fellow creatures and a thought-provoking promise of what we can learn from spending time with them.

Below are 10 lessons we can all learn from animals:

1. Savor the moment. 
Animals live focused on the moment whereas we humans are far too often distracted by our thoughts about the past and future—a fight with a friend last night, the performance review tomorrow, our growing to-do list. By taking our cue from animals and noticing more of each moment, we can find more fully appreciate what is happening right now in our lives.
 
2. Heed your instincts. 
Alert to each of their senses, animals respond to cues about the world around them by trusting their instincts and acting on them. When we rationalize what our instincts may tell us to take notice of—or ignore what our senses are conveying to us—we risk dismissing important signals about events, circumstances, and the people around us. As we attend to our senses and acknowledge our instincts, we open our selves to new choices and opportunities.
3. Keep focused on what’s most important. 
On those days when it seems everything has gone wrong and we come home exhausted, our animal companions devotedly greet us with unfailing offers of love and affection. Even those times we may speak harshly toward them or ignore them completely as we walk in the door, they wait in the wings for the moment to come when we, at last, turn our attention to them. And in their patient devotion, they serve as reminders of how vital it is to connect with others and share our hearts.
4. Don’t get bogged down on words. 
As we communicate with family and friends, most often we think of relying on words. Yet, we often neglect to consider the many others ways that we portray our inner world. The tone of our voice, our facial expressions, our posture, our movements, and even our  scents, can all communicate our thoughts, emotions, and intentions. They’re often more reliable than the words we choose.
5. Take time to rest. 
In the hurried pace of our daily routines, it’s easy to fill our days with a steady stream of activities—places to be, people to meet, tasks to accomplish. But, taking a cue from our dogs and cats, the lions at the zoo, a hawk perched in a tree overlooking the road that we glimpse from the car, we can take quiet moments to rest for a bit and give ourselves time to relax and reflect.
6. Remember to play. 
Likewise, in the middle of our day, when we feel pressures from work or at home, a well-deserved break—even just a few moments—from the task at hand can lighten our load and help ease our concerns. From Labradors to Bengals and timber wolves to leopards, the creatures around us routinely play to invent, discover, and bring joy to their day.
7. Don’t take yourself so seriously. 
Whether rolling in catnip or pouncing on strings, our cats are fully absorbed in their game without worries about how they may appear to others watching them. Likewise, when our dogs chase a ball, sniff at lampposts, or gnaw a bone, they relish their pastimes without concern for how they may look to passersby. Letting go of our inner critic and the judgments of others, we can more fully embrace those times we enjoy.
8. Let go of attachment to being right or wrong. 
Evolution favors those creatures who focus on what matters most: finding food, remaining healthy, resting, breeding, caring for young. When we defer to our sense of pride and self-importance, we risk losing the outcomes and results we want most.  Letting go of our attachment to being right or wrong frees us align ourselves with what we value most.
9. Practice forgiveness. 
While animals, certainly, suffer grief, misfortune, and misery, they move past them with greater poise than we, as humans, often do.  The continuity of their lives takes precedence over reliving the past. When words and deeds come back to play in our minds, like the creatures around us, we can give as before with grace and equanimity.
10. Love unconditionally. 
In the silent presence of the creatures around us—all alone on the sofa with our dog by our side or cat resting cozily curled in our lap—we sense their regard for our thoughts and feelings, and we respond in kind without reserve. If we choose, we can do so, as well, with each other.

 

 

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Herbal Bute Alternative for Horses

What is Herbal Bute?herbal bute

A combination of herbs known for their anti-inflammatory and pain relieving qualities.  Herbal Bute relieves pain, stiffness, and inflammation for performance horses.

Are you concerned about long term use of bute for your horse?

When we’re dealing with chronic conditions, like arthritis, bute or other NSAIDs aren’t a good choice.   There are documented negative side effects to long-term use of bute, including:

  • stomach ulcers;
  • mouth ulcers;
  • right dorsal colitis (ulcers in the colon); and
  • kidney damage.

For long term or more frequent use, there is  a safe, effective  and natural alternative to bute or NSAIDs.

[quote]I just wanted to say Thank You for you Herbal Bute product !! We have a 34 year old retired Gymkhana horse (Bear) Bear has arthritis, so we started him on Herbal Bute as recommended from my farrier. Bear was having trouble walking and would not even go out to pasture. We decided to try giving him 2 scoops of the Herbal Bute twice a day. WHAT A DIFFERENCE !!!! Not only is he walking much better, he even RAN up the path to the barn from his pasture.My husband and I were so happy to see him back to his old self. Jim and Laurie L. Copperopolis, CA[/quote]

herbal bute

Herbal Bute contains Devil’s Claw which is reputed to have two main effects – analgesic (painkilling) and anti-inflammatory. It’s analgesic properties are not controversial  A laboratory in France has obtained results that show a 78% reduction in pain using Devil’s Claw. Devils Claw is regarded as the herbal alternative to ‘bute’ and cortisone. It is well known for its ability to provide fast, reliable and powerful pain relief as well as having anti-inflammatory and anti-spasmodic benefits. Herbal Bute can be used safely as a substitute to ‘bute’. Devils Claw is often used in the healing of degenerative bone disease, developmental orthopedic disease, tendon and ligament damage, navicular and joint injury.

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The Best Hay for Horses

What is the Best Hay for Horses?Best horse hay

Knowing the right kind of hay to feed your horses can be tricky. There are many different types depending on the area of the country you live in and the time of year the hay is cut.  This article from The Naturally Healthy Horse  will clear up any confusion you may have about the best hay for horses.

Selecting Hay for Horses: Which Type is Best?

Most of us know that forage should be the cornerstone of any horse’s diet, but when it comes to hay, which type is best for your horse?  Knowing some basic information about the different varieties of horse hay can help.  And while many of us may be limited to the hay that is available in our particular area, some of us have a few choices.

The most important factor in choosing any horse hay is that it be clean–free of mold and dust.  Having no or relatively few weeds is a good thing, too.  The maturity of the hay when it’s harvested is important as well.  The earlier a hay is harvested (within the life cycle of the grass), the more nutrients will be available to the horse.  Late-harvested hays are usually coarse and thick and are lower in nutrients as well as palatability than hays harvested in early to mid-bloom.

Best Hay for Horses

Legume vs. Grass Hays

There are two general types of hay:  legume and grass–but sometimes hay can be a mixture of both.  Legume hays (such as alfalfa) are higher in protein, calcium, Vitamin A, and digestible energy than grass hays.  While growing horses, pregnant/ lactating mares, and equine athletes may need a higher energy source such as that provided by legume hays, many horses do not. Read More

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The Secret to a Raw Diet for Dogs

Feeding a raw diet for dogs?Raw diet for dogs

I fully believe that a raw diet for dogs is the best way. It just makes sense to feed them in a way that would be comparable to the diet that they have evolved to metabolize. Dogs have not evolved to eat grains. You wouldn’t see a dog in the wild stealing ears of corn out of the corn field and chowing down. However you would see the wild dog killing a small prey animal and making supper out of that. Commercial dog foods  contain grains. Grains that are genetically modified as well as not being what your dog needs. This can lead to obesity, and possibly diseases down the road. This is a very comprehensive article from Dogs Naturally Magazine that may answer many of your questions pertaining to a raw diet for dogs. If you have been wondering, considering, or already feeding a raw diet this is a must read.

Raw Diets For Dogs: Getting Enough Vitamins And Minerals

One of the main reasons pet owners are reluctant to switch their dog to a raw diet is the fear their dog wouldn’t get enough vitamins and minerals. Many others feed plant and vegetable matter for an added vitamin and mineral punch. But if you’re one of those raw feeders who’s tired of mincing veggies – or you worry that carnivorous dogs shouldn’t be eating that many veggies – then here’s a guide to help you see the vitamin and mineral content in animal proteins. If you’re new to a raw diet and want to learn more about starting out, then you might want to read our Raw Feeding Primer.

Although it’s hard to improve on a fresh, natural diet of species appropriate foods, you may have a dog who you feel needs extra nutrition (perhaps extra vitamin C for immune function or iodine for thyroid function). Luckily, there are nutritional herbs you can use to give your dog an additional boost without needing to mulch up those veggies. Most importantly, these whole food sources of vitamins and minerals are a much healthier choice than their synthetic counterparts. And unlike synthetic vitamins and minerals, herbs provide essential nutrients complete with the cofactors they need to make a healthy change in your dog – just as nature intended!

Read More

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Top 10 Reasons to Use All-Natural Pet Products

Learn the many benefits of using eco-friendly natural pet products Natural Pet Products

By E.A. Anne

Just as you wouldn’t use harsh chemicals on a newborn baby, you should also try to avoid chemical-packed pet care products. Fortunately, as people move toward Earth-friendly and natural goods, more and more all-natural pet products find their way to market. Choosing to go all-natural for your pet may reduce your overall pet care product choices, but what you do end up using will be much better for your best friend. Here are some of the many benefits to switching to all-natural pet products.

1. A proven track record 
Many forget that chemical and synthetic products are somewhat new arrivals on the shelves of markets and pet stores. Natural remedies, on the other hand, have been around for centuries and are time-proven solutions to common maladies facing your pet.

2. Natural products are good for the environment 
Chemicals eventually make their way back into our water supply, our air and our soil, thus damaging our planet and wildlife. Our pets interact daily with the planet, and when the environment is chemical-laden, expect your pets to ingest chemicals, too. Natural products do not have these nasty environmental side effects.

Natural Pet Products

3. Synthetic compounds can damage an animal’s skin and fur 
Natural flea and tick remedies, on the other hand, have essential oils that benefit an animal’s coat and skin while ridding your pet of fleas and ticks.

4. Pesticides used in pet shampoos can trigger adverse reactions in many animals 
These range from simple allergic reactions to premature death. Avoid these pesticides, choose natural, and know that your pet is safer.
Read More

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Healthy Homemade Horse Treats

Make Your Own Homemade Horse TreatsHomemade  Horse Treats

Here’s a great recipe for homemade horse treats.These are much healthier than most treats you can buy at your local feed store. Be sure and source out the best ingredients and use organic when possible. Your four leggeds will love these homemade horse treats, just be  careful not to over feed them.

Recipe

 Ingredients                                                      

  • 4 cups whole flour (e.g., whole oat, hemp)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal or hemp hearts
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup*
  • 1-1/4 cups applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (e.g., a certified organic, rice
    based, gluten and aluminum free product)
  • 1 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon finely crushed dried mint leaves (if your horse
    likes the taste of mint)
  • Extra flour for rolling out dough
  • Dehydrated maple syrup and sundried, unsulfured
    cranberries for garnish

*For insulin resistant horses, use filtered water or brown rice
syrup in place of maple syrup.

Instructions                                                         

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Cover a large cookie sheet with
    parchment paper for easy cleanup.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. The dough will pull
    away from the sides of the bowl when it is ready to be kneaded
    and rolled out.
  3. Sprinkle a cutting board or countertop with flour. Divide your
    cookie dough into four balls, knead each one well, then roll them
    out separately and cut into squares or other desired shapes. Place
    on cookie sheet and garnish with cranberries and/or a sprinkle of
    dehydrated maple syrup.
  4. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the edges of the cookies are golden
    in color. Cool cookies completely before storing in an open bowl.
    This recipe makes 45 large cookies.