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Colic Prevention Through Diet?

This is a discussion on Colic Prevention Through Diet? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

     
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        12-16-2009, 08:51 AM
      #11
    Yearling
    Well, he decided not to eat his breakfast this morning! The Barn Manager called me at 6:15 am to say that he was acting totally normal, but wasn't interested in his grain. She tried giving it to him dry, and with the oil, no interest. By the time I got there, the BO was out too, and he was still acting completely fine, but didn't want his grain. He had drank about half of each of his two buckets the night before, and finished all his hay. We tried giving him half a scoop of sr feed that we had in the barn, and he gobbled it right up. Walked around for a while, still no change. Is it possible that he just lost interest in strategy (he's been on it for two years). His owner told me that he is a complete drama queen if he is slightly uncomfortable and there is NO WAY we'd not know if he was starting to colic. Not so fun morning, but he seems to be ok! The BO is keeping an eye on him today while I'm at work and will call if anything changes...
         
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        12-16-2009, 09:03 AM
      #12
    Weanling
    Maybe that particular bag of strategy was stale or something.. who knows. Keep him on that senior for awhile if he's eating it well, plus most seniors are complete with forage to help keep things moving.

    Good luck
         
        12-16-2009, 09:15 AM
      #13
    Yearling
    The sr food has corn listed as the 5th ingredient. I know his owner said that anything with corn irritates his digestive tract, so we didn't want to give him too much of it. I'll be researching some concentrated pelleted feed today!
         
        12-16-2009, 09:31 AM
      #14
    Started
    Some horses go off their feed at new places. Is he a picky eater that you know of?

    My little guy ate a mix of pellet and sweet at his old him when I got him he refused to eat anything but grass. I was pretty worried at first, but I got him a bag of senior and mixed that with his pellets and after a week he switched over.
         
        12-16-2009, 09:43 AM
      #15
    Yearling
    ALL of my animals are high maintenance and prissy so this shouldn't come as a big surprise if he's a picky eater!! He's done pretty well on the Strategy for the last two years, but she didn't mention if he ever decides to turn his nose up at it or not. Maybe he doesn't like the brand of veggie oil I bought?! Perhaps I should try some gourmet, organic oil. I'm sure he'll be happy with whatever costs the most!! LOL! If he still won't eat the strategy tonight, we'll try mixing it half and half with the sr feed and see how that works... The vet is coming out on Friday for a pre-purchase exam and to do a dental. I'll talk to her about it then. There was also talk of possible ulcers, but his owner was never able to afford to have it checked out. So, maybe we can get to the cause of the problem and try to manage it a bit better. As long as he continues to eat his hay, drink water, and at least eats the sr feed, I'll be happy for now.
         
        12-16-2009, 10:02 AM
      #16
    Yearling
    My vet and trainer always advised to feed water soaked beet pulp with the feed and I do that every feeding, gives them more water to digest and the beet pulp helps push out anything in their tummy that has gotten stuck. It you could also try putting electrolytes in his feed, it will encourage him to drink more due to the salt or just give him a mineral block to lick. Ever since I've done none of my horses have ever colicked including my friends colic proned Trakehner that had had 3 colic surgeries and never once colicked again after we started feeding her the beet pulp.
         
        12-16-2009, 10:22 AM
      #17
    Started
    ^^ I always feed my baby beet pulp. Its the only think that keeps his stool hard. My biggest fear was he wouldnt eat it (i got the kind w/o added molasses). I had to soak it with his normal grain at first but he eventually got used to it and he loves it now. It also adds some weight to thinner horses.
         
        12-16-2009, 11:11 AM
      #18
    Yearling
    Wild Spot hit alot of the points I wanted to make.
    A horse with a history of colic and seems to be sensitive to corn-based feeds would point towards possible gastric ulcers. Even the drinking less in the winter can be because of discomfort caused by cold water when ulcers are present. You should really discuss this possibility with your vet. If GI ulcers are present, then you need to treat them.

    But even before your vet checks or treats for ulcers you should make some feeding changes. Strategy is a grain based feed (corn is a grain and one of the highest in starch) and grains (high starch feedstuffs) tend to trigger painful episodes in a horse with GI ulcers. Grains also increase the risk of GI ulcers. It would be best to remove grains from his diet altogether. Since purina feeds are available, I would recommend going with either Enrich 12 or Enrich 32 which are both forage based and designed to balance the nutrition that a horse receives from hay. The provide free-choice hay or pasture. Also provide water that is tepid rather than cold or warm.

    All of these recommendations are actually applicable to any horse to help prevent colic.

    Here are some good articles for you:
    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12957
    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=5337
    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=10133
    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=10551
         
        12-16-2009, 11:48 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    Thanks guys! I'm reviewing all the info here with my BO and will talk to the vet about this on Friday. I hope to determine the best course of action since I'd rather treat the underlying cause than just the symptoms. Definitely looking into Enrich 32. His owner said that she gave this to him as a supplement (just a handful as a dressing) since it seemed to make his feet healthier. I don't know if it could have been helping his tummy as well, and they just didn't realize it. She was pretty insistent that he stays in at night, but the horses at my barn are typically out 24/7 when the weather permits. He's been staying in at night since he's been with us. Maybe we could start increasing his turnout time, but keep him in while he eats since he's not one to stand up for himself and protect his food. I always tend to think that more turnout time is better than standing around in a stall when you're sensitive to colicing.
         
        12-16-2009, 02:17 PM
      #20
    Started
    I tried Enrich 32 with advice from someone at the feed store. I think it suposed to be fed as/like a ration balancer. I liked it but some people feed it like a grain, when you only really need a little of it. (It was also more expensive then a bag of grain, but it should last longer) I used the recomemded dose and my horses stool was pretty loose, but Im sure results will vary per horse.
         

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