Sand colic.... Everywhere. Help - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Sand colic.... Everywhere. Help

Hi, we have had two cases of sand colic in the past two week and I have noticed a couple of our other horses eating sand. Our horses lived thankfully and we leaned allot but does anyone know of any tricks or tips on how to prevent this happening again? We got some sand clear for the horses but the entire ten pound bucket only lasted a week on two horses while fallowing the directions and it was very pricey, so with 11 horses at our stable this will not work for every horse. We are also putting allot of corn oil in the horses oats which we were told helps allot. We are trying to stop the horses from eating sand by making sure they are getting enough salt (All the horses have there own salt block). Would mineral blocks be a good investment?

Well any advice is very welcomed.

Our three month old mini baby horse Latte almost died from sand colic a couple weeks ago so we are on our toes about this.
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post #2 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 07:18 PM
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I have never seen horses eat or lick dirt or sand if they were not mineral deficient. If you are feeding grass hay or fresh grass of any kind, your horses are probably deficient in Calcium (Ca). If you are feeding Alfalfa, I do not have a clue what mineral will be needed to balance it out.

You will only get Ca in a loose livestock mineral that is high in Ca and low in Phosphorus (P). You can get loose livestock minerals at any farm supply store. I prefer a mineral that also has around 2% Magnesium (Mg) in it. Mg helps a horse utilize the Ca and also keeps horses much calmer and less nervous than when they lack Mg.

Making a mineral like this available free choice will usually stop wood eating, tree eating, dirt eating and dirt licking overnight --- if a horse is eating grass and grass hay.

Meanwhile, until you get the balanced out you need to try to get the sand out of them. We have always used 2-3 quarts of heavy mineral oil administered through a naso-gastric tube. I usually do it twice about a week apart if I get sand the first time. I have heard that Metamucil type fiber additives will work but have also read that they do not always work very well. I'll just stick to mineral oil. I have tubed horses and had them pass so much sand that I was washing it out of their tails for a week.

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post #3 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 07:31 PM
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The sand clear is very inexpensive really and you only need to feed it for 7 days once per month.

I would only feed the affected horse though. You need to make sure they have enough roughage in their diet as well

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 07:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cherie View Post
You will only get Ca in a loose livestock mineral that is high in Ca and low in Phosphorus (P).
Beet pulp will give you Calcium with virtually no Phosphorus. Of course they also need Phosphorus, just at a slightly lower ratio than Calcium. I do that with beet pulp and copra.

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 07:37 PM
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When I lived in Louisiana, horse was boarded in Slidell, Sand Clear was a must as the area was just full of it and it ingrained itself into everything. The barn I was at (75 horses on property) never had an issue with sand colic.
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post #6 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 07:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LyraFreedom View Post
Hi, we have had two cases of sand colic in the past two week and I have noticed a couple of our other horses eating sand. Our horses lived thankfully and we leaned allot but does anyone know of any tricks or tips on how to prevent this happening again? We got some sand clear for the horses but the entire ten pound bucket only lasted a week on two horses while fallowing the directions and it was very pricey, so with 11 horses at our stable this will not work for every horse. We are also putting allot of corn oil in the horses oats which we were told helps allot. We are trying to stop the horses from eating sand by making sure they are getting enough salt (All the horses have there own salt block). Would mineral blocks be a good investment?

Well any advice is very welcomed.

Our three month old mini baby horse Latte almost died from sand colic a couple weeks ago so we are on our toes about this.
As ridiculously obvious at it sounds...." oz. Of prevention is worth a lb of cure" As with many things that's not always as easy at it sounds.
I've been lucky and have never had to deal with sand colic with any of my horses (although I think impaction is worse). Have had some other folks horses that were less fortunate. The best advice I can give is what a vet gave since it apparently worked. Give the horse psyllium (?spelling?....it's something like that ). If I remember this correctly it goes in dry, gets wet in the digestive tract and collects bits of sand on it's way out. This may be what you used since it did take a couple of weeks with a double daily dose to clear up the colic. Since the horses were pastured in an area that's somewhat over grazed with a fair bit of dirt the recommendation was to give them a normal dose for about one week out of ever 4 or 5 (basically 12 weeks a year).

They're always going to be bigger and stronger so you better always be smarter. (One of my grandfather's many pearls of wisdom)
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post #7 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 09:37 PM
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I have only 3, as opposed to your 11 horses, so I can see why the cost of Sand Clear is a lot - keep in mind, that the preventative dose is just 1 scoop per horse for 1 week (usually the 1st wk of each month) - Here's a thought, however, if that's too costly - many horse owners buy Metamucil, or the "house brand" equivalent and feed a scoop to each horse for a week instead. Best of luck! :)
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post #8 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 09:38 PM
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The bigger problem in these horses is that they are eating the sand, not ingesting it with their hay or grass. That indicates a mineral imbalance and a lot more sand in their gut than a horse gets just eating on sandy ground.

Just for kicks and giggles, throw some fresh tree branches in their pens. Soft woods like Cottonwood, Poplar and Willow is usually eaten like candy if a horse is lacking Ca.

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post #9 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 10:49 PM
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To help clear sand out of the gut, feed lots of roughage. If possible get a a hay roll and keep them on that. If you are hard feeding, chuck in a supplement. As people have already advised, horses don't normally eat sand and dirt... They only do it if something is lacking in their diet.
Psyllium husk in the feed will help clear sand too.

If you are prepared to put in a bit more effort, you can feed a mix of 2 cups French White Millet and 1 cup Linseed (Flaxseed) that has been boiled for an hour in 5 cups of water. That recipe is per horse (so one horse gets 2:1 FWM:Linseed(Flaxseed) and it should be fed 3 times a week. It is full of Omega 3, Omega 6, Silica and a slimy substance called Mucilage which coats the gut, prevents ulcers and helps get rid of sand.

Gene Kelly ~ Omdurman <3 my boys

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-13-2013, 10:58 PM
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Here in Tucson, AZ it is common practice to use Psyllium (sand clear) for 7-10 days every month. Our (2) get 1 scoop every day for 10 days every month.
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