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Frequently laying down?

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    03-13-2010, 01:42 PM
He may be trying to shed his winter coat. My horses do that when it gets warmer.
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    03-13-2010, 02:27 PM
*sigh* ok so taking out the bran, which I will do now since I read many articles that it is not a laxative and isn't good for long periods, I need something to help clean out the system... he seems to be up more today, only saw him down once last night, hasn't been down in the few times i've checked on him today.

I did however slowly change his grain (that I do know :]), well slowly add in the senior feed since he was used to everything else. The applesauce and molasses was just to get him to eat the bran. Guess ill only use it as a treat now.

Any suggestions to help "clean" out his intestines?
Oh and I'm not trying to add weight, just fiber to help his system.

All this info has helped, thanks a lot!

What would be a good beet pulp feed?
    03-13-2010, 02:46 PM
Buy just plain pelleted beet pulp. Then soak it. I don't like "beet pulp based" feeds, the beet pulp itself is great. Just make sure you are feeding a mineral supplement like Hoffmans.
A good article about beet pulp:
The Horse | Understanding Beet Pulp as an Equine Feed
    03-13-2010, 05:32 PM
I am lacking a little clarity on "cleaning him out", what exactly do you mean by this- just so I am sure we're on the same page. I use Sandclear monthly on my horse, or did, when he was being fed in a very sandy environment and would frequently snuffle at the ground all day looking for those last bits of hay until his next feeding. I liked it's effects. I agree with Anebel that just plain beet pulp is a good high fiber feed but soak the living heck out of it as it can sometimes make horses choke. However, since you don't want to add weight you should know that beet pulp is a good weight builder too so make sure you're not feeding a lot of it and are also aware that unlike humans who pass fiber undigested and therefore get "cleaned out" by it, horses have hindgut fermentation which allows digestion of fiber and therefore gain nutrition (ergo weight) from it. So all this is sort of where my "what do you mean by cleaning out" question was stemming from...
    03-13-2010, 06:07 PM
Not really sure to be honest, vet said he wanted to push out what was making his tummy hurt, I assumed he meant add fiber to clean out any blockage that could be creating an upset tummy. Vet thinks he may have some problems digesting rough food.

The articles I've read said that horses who choke on beet pulp will usually choke on grain period... he's used to large pellets since I feed him the hay pellets... he shouldn't have a problem but I'm going to soak it and make a mash out of it since he seems to enjoy them.

Since I was planning on adding it slowly to his grain anyway I won't be feeding him a lot of it, I will keep it down just to be sure I don't throw too much weight on him although I expect some weight gain especially since he is on a Senior feed.

I plan on calling him (the vet) Monday since he wants to monitor Fox's progress and I will see what he has to say about that. The next thing I am thinking is a ulcer... going to start research on that since I had someone bring it up.
    03-13-2010, 08:11 PM

I'm sure I'm probably stating the obvious, but going to state it anyway.... please don't just take our - or anyone else's word for it, but use our advice to do your homework before making up your own mind. Among other sources of learning, I suggest getting onto a good equine nutritionist /service/program/site. I use a mob called who are fantastic value & very helpful. They have numerous articles about the hows & whys of feeding & effects of grain, etc. They are also there to answer whatever nutrition/diet related questions you may have.

How does the vet know there is something needing to be 'pushed out' that is the cause of 'tummy ache'? What's the difference between tummy ache & colic, in your vet's view? If you do need to expel sand or some such, then psyllum(sp?) husks or supp made from it is apparently good. Can't speak from experience there tho.

I would be removing the sweet feed grain & molasses & applesauce from his diet immediately, as this may well be the cause. Horse's systems can't deal with grain/sugar/starch very well and it often leads to hind gut acidosis - which can cause 'fizziness' &/or 'tummy ache'.... along with laminitis & other good stuff. Unless he's in very hard work, he is not likely to need the extra calories anyway.

Also the way you feed has a big bearing on the effects too. Horses are designed to eat tiny amounts near constantly. Feeding grain in this manner is a lot safer, if you must feed it, while feeding only twice daily in large meals pretty much ensures that a lot will go through to the hind gut without digestion. Then there is more in the hindgut to cause problems, and yet the horse didn't get much goodness from it either. This goes for whatever you feed.

Agree with whoever said free choice hay & supplemented minerals in some form is pretty much all he needs. It seems that beet pulp is a very popular (new?) feed idea ATM. Heard people say it's great for weight loss, full of goodness, etc. Only now heard someone say it's full of fat & good for weight gain. Altho I haven't looked into it myself, I'm sure I read an article that explained it was a good source of fibre, for horses who may otherwise lack it - eg. Race horses fed highly concentrated feed - but has little else in it besides sugar. So, of course, do your homework first, but I wouldn't be rushing out to buy it.
    03-14-2010, 12:46 AM
The article that Anebel posted has great info on beet pulp re: type of fiber content (there are all kinds of fiber!!), sugar, etc. so I won't go into it.

Since the OP mentions ulcers, here is my 2 cents. My guy has ulcers and has been treated for them repeatedly in the past. I have them too so I really feel for horses with these awful lesions. The best thing you can do for a horse with ulcers (and I think that you should have him scoped to get a definite diagnosis) is to treat for 2 weeks with omeprazole (gastroguard for horses, prilosec for us) concurrent with eliminating whatever the source of stress is for the horse. Do not provide high sugar and grain feeds, keep him on hay and suppliments. I have also recently added an ulcer protectant to my guy's feeding regimen. He has stopped grinding his teeth, his poops look nicer, and his gut sounds are far less loud and irregular which was causing me concern. Good luck with your guy and remember that most of all horses crave consistancy so don't change too much at once!!
    03-14-2010, 09:29 AM
I always do research in case before buying... if I buy before I check, I check before I feed, I keep the receipt... everything is returnable.

Everyone keeps bringing up colic... it's NOT colic, at least not at this point, he shows absolutely no signs of colic, and he's colic once before. The difference is the signs he is showing.

If I feed grain 2x a day but he has consistent hay, so how would his grain not be digested? He doesn't wolf his grain down and he doesn't get but 3 quarts and that's upped a quart since I added some senior feed. & The applesauce and molasses is not the cause either since I only fed this after to get him to eat the bran mash the vet wanted. And it was only 1 tbs of molasses & 2 tbs of applesauce.

With these ulcers, he doesn't have any "gut" sounds like tealamutt was talking about. I read up on them and the only symptom he has is the frequent laying down. It out lined the main causes as
-he's hardly ever without food
Type of feed.
-he's on a fairly small amount of grain & consistent alfalfa/mix hay
Amount of exercise.
-he's worked a few times a week but not for long periods of time since he's not broke.
-he never gets anything except what he needs for vet procedures.

What signs was your boy showing?
    03-15-2010, 12:42 AM
Originally Posted by Audra0729    
everyone keeps bringing up colic... it's NOT colic, at least not at this point, he shows absolutely no signs of colic, and he's colic once before. The difference is the signs he is showing.
Why I have asked this is because it seems it depends on who you ask as to whether there are differences between 'tummy ache' & 'colic'(which effectively is a general term for 'tummy ache' & gastric probs. So a rose by any other name.... perhaps it's the degree of the problem - ie like saying 'low grade laminitis' vs laminitis or founder, or 'heel sensitivity' vs 'navicular'.

If I feed grain 2x a day but he has consistent hay, so how would his grain not be digested? He doesn't wolf his grain down and he doesn't get but 3 quarts
Sorry, don't know what a quart is, but if there is a need to feed something which is difficult to digest such as grain, my nutritionist has suggested 2-4 cups per feed is about as much as she would advise. Another consideration that I think I forgot to mention before is what type of grain & how it's processed. Ie. Oats are about the safest, and virtually the only grain that can safely be fed whole. Other grains generally need processing, not just 'cracking' in order to be digestible, and corn is potentially problematic to horses no matter how it comes. Sorry for my faulty memory, but below is basically how I understand how it works...

Firstly the horse only has a small stomach and relatively quick processing, from stomach to small intestine/hind gut. I think the max. Time food is in the stomach for is around 15 mins & regardless of time, it empties when about 2/3 full. So larger feeds tend to get pushed through the stomach without being digested well enough there, so this doesn't give much time for the stomach to break down outer coatings of grains. Sugars & starches need to be digested in the stomach rather than small intestines, to give the benefits & to avoid/minimise health risks.

Secondly, much of the digestion of horses is done via bacteria in the hind gut. Can't remember the exact details of how this works(but sure you'll find much better info from any good equine nutritionist), but here's how I understand it... When there is only a regular trickle of something such as high-starch grains coming through, most horses tend to be able to deal with it(they still don't get much goodness from it, but don't tend to have health issues), but when there are large or infrequent quantities, the bacteria can't deal with it, create a heap of lactic acid & die, which effectively is 'hind gut acidosis' and causes pain, wind, laminitis, ulcers, etc.

Again, the above is very likely not 100% right, as it's been a while since I looked into it, but get onto an equine nutritionist or site if you want more info.
    03-15-2010, 12:59 PM
Audra- colic is a generic term for "tummy ache". It has been thrown around so much that people think it is a specific disease (usually impaction or twisted gut) but really it just means the horse is in pain and that is from the stomach and or intestinal tract.

My guy showed all the typical ulcer signs- weight loss, grinding teeth, girthy, alternating diarrhea and constipation. He's on ulcerguard from smartpak (way cheap!!) and he is doing a million times better. Also his gut sounds were so loud you could hear them without a stethoscope or even putting your head up to his side. I'd be grooming up by his face and hear GUUUUURRRRGGLE!!! That doesn't happen any more and he is much happier! But he was originally scoped to get the diagnosis and then treated with gastroguard to heal the ulcers before putting him on the preventative.

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