When the seasons change, so do our horses and that's why this is always on my mind in fall. It is the hardest change on the horse's system that can lead to health complications.
This week, our group covered some different "types" of colic and some remedies and preventions for them.
Ulcers and Inflammation
Make sure your horse is on a diet that keeps their pH levels balanced.
When the pH is out of whack parasites will set up shop. Horse guts are great for them. But they aren't so great for the horse.
Have a routine.
Try to avoid chemical wormers.
Rotate and/or manage your pasture or clean your paddocks if you can't.
Avoid or help your horse through stressful situations with probiotic support (Dynamite's Dynapro)
An impacted gut. Horses can carry 25 to 75 pounds of SAND in their gut before they show signs of discomfort.
If you live in a sandy area, be sure to have probiotic support.
Check your feed to be sure there is adequate, natural Omega fats in their rations. (I like to feed my horses black oil sunflower seeds and ground flax - just a quarter cup of each) Oils will strip them of their nutrients. Horses don't have Gallbladders, so they don't actually breakdown and process the oils so well... it just slides on through.
Treat pastures with a natural root simulator to encourage vegetation, and manage the pastures (again)
Feed in hay nets, or in feed tubs.
Always feed grains in tubs.
When weather changes occur (Summer going into Fall) horses' digestion slows down, their liver function goes dormant and their metabolism slows down.
The slower gut function effects their digestion and water balance, which is where Gastric Acid can build up in some horses.
This slowing down of their system is something that happens automatically to conserve energy and keep them warm over the winter. Just as their coats automatically get thicker.
Gastric Acid can also build up from stress during traveling, thunderstorms or horse shows, a lack of forage and low pH in their gut.
So, what can you do to prevent this?
- Have the horses out and eating grass or hay
- Feed a good probiotic for 4 weeks during Fall and Spring season changes (I’m a big fan of Dyna-Pro).
- I also like to add Bentonite clay to their feed to help balance their pH levels (MiracleClay is a good one) I recommend giving this to the horses for at least 5 days after worming and vaccine treatments too, to support the liver after it gets a dose of the heavy metals and toxins that they are exposed to.
- Always have water available to your horses, the further from their food source, the better.
If your horse is showing signs of colic
- Kicking or biting at their bellies
- Change in personality
- Refusing to eat
- Unable to pass a bowel movement
- Sitting or lying down exhausted
- Repeated rolling
-Stretching like they do when they pee
DO THIS -
1- Call your veterinarian
2- Do not let the horse roll
3- Orally Administer 10-20ccs of Dynamite's DynaPro (every ten minutes) (Write down the time and keep track so you can inform your vet when they arrive)
4- Do a tail pull (hold doc at the angle of the croup and pull firmly for a few breaths and release slowly)
5- Rub Teatree Oil on the horse's belly button (this stimulates contractions in the intestines)
6- Rub Teatree Oil on the tips of the horse's ears, pulling upward (this encourages relaxation and relieves pain)
Repeat with the DynaPro. If you do not have DynaPro (which is an all natural Probiotic that I swear by) You can use 20cc Apple Cider Vinegar and 1TBSP of Cayenne Pepper every 20 minutes.
If your horse has a bowel movement continue with the DynaPro every 15 minutes (ACV & Cayenne every 20-30) Until your Veterinarian Arrives.