Bloating - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 09-30-2011, 10:28 PM Thread Starter
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My horse has been bloated off and on for about a week. I'm totally stumped. I don't know if he's colicing on me. He hasnt gone down, hasnt been dropping his head. He's been eating and drinking well. He's fed inbetween 7-8 am and 7-9 pm. He's getting one flake of brome hay twice a day, 1 scoop of sweet feed 2x day, I scoop of rolled oats 2x day.

He has been shedding his coat quite a bit too. I was feeding one flake of alfalfa few just a few days so get me til my next hay delivery.

I'm utterly confused. He's eating, drinking, pooping, peeing and he's his normal self when he isnt bloated. His stomach is hard when he's bloated and its the lower portion of his abdomine.

Here's some pictures:

I took these about 30 minutes ago. Does he look bloated to you?

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post #2 of 10 Old 09-30-2011, 10:34 PM
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Yeah, I look like that once a month too.
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post #3 of 10 Old 09-30-2011, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Hahaha! I'm a bit concerned if that is the cause of HIS problems. I would think he wasn't telling me something. O.O lol.

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post #4 of 10 Old 10-01-2011, 01:17 AM
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You can try giving him one to two table spoons of Epsom salt with his food. If he has any gas build up in his stomach/intestines it will help break it down for him to pass. This works great for horses on stall rest that get bloated or gasy from being cooped up for long periods of time.

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post #5 of 10 Old 10-01-2011, 08:20 AM
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Well, I had this very thorough explaination typed up...and lost it :(

Anyway, the basics of what I said were to try and get him on more hay (roughly 1 to 2% of his body weight) and a better quality grain that is low in sugar and starch. Also try to feed the hay spread out throughout the day so that it is consumed almost constantly in small amounts.

Both of these measures are more in line with how the equine digestive system is designed to work, and as such, help it to function better (without bloating). An added benefit is that this also lowers the likelyhood that your horse will develop ulcers- a common condition in horses that occurs with this sort of feeding program.

Good luck and I hope this helped. I would recommend doing some additional research on the equine digestive system to get a better idea of how everything functions.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 02:22 AM
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If he only gets 2 flakes of hay daily, I'm presuming he's turned out at grass the majority of the time? If not, more hay and more turnout are definite necessities to start with. Free movement is important for a horse's digestive health, as well as other health & wellbeing reasons.

While depending on your scoop size, one each of sweets & oats daily doesn't sound like a huge amount, this could be the problem, along with how you feed it. Horses don't cope well with sugary, starchy feed and it commonly causes 'hind gut acidosis' which can include gas colic. The way their digestive system works, it's also important to feed little & often and high fibre, low GI. Therefore, if you continue feeding what you are, I'd be 'watering it down' with a fair bit of chaff and feeding over a couple more meals daily at least.

Check out & for some good info on diet as it relates to health.
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 03:46 PM
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I totally agree w LOOSIE....increase his hay intake and cut back on the grain intake. He could be getting too much starch that is causing the bloat.
Sweet feed in general is like candy for horses, allot of sugar, tastes good, but doesn't have allot of nutritional value.
To help him balance out any "bad bacteria" that is stuck in his gut, adding a good pre/probiotic for the next little while may be beneficial as well

Horses are like can never just have one

Last edited by Maverick101; 10-02-2011 at 03:47 PM. Reason: spelling
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 04:24 PM
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I am voting for Loosie and Maverick's posts, too. Walking it off and eliminating anything but forage for a few days should be a good idea.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Alright. We're doing great today. Just a little gasy but not bloated. I cut it to a half scoop oats/sweet feed and gave him two flakes of hay instead of just one. He seems to be alot better.
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-02-2011, 04:40 PM
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That's great news! I'm sure he feels much better, too!
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