digestive health

Cribbing in Horses

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Once known as a stable vice, cribbing is now considered by equine behaviorists as a stereotypical oral behavior. Cribbing behavior (sometimes referred to as crib-biting) is rarely, if ever, seen in free-living feral horses but is frequently found in domesticated horses, leading researchers to believe that such unwanted behavior is caused by the way we manage our horses. When a horse cribs he grabs onto a solid object with his teeth, arches his neck, pulls... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Health & Management | Tips and Topics

Why do horse people feed wheat bran mashes?

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One of the most prevalent myths in the realm of horse nutrition today is that bran mashes are good for horses. Horse folks have long fed bran mashes for a variety of reasons: to act as a laxative and prevent constipation, to increase water intake, to add fiber to the diet, and everyone’s favorite, to warm their horse up on a cold night. Unfortunately, the negative effects of an irregular bran mash greatly outweigh the perceived positive ones. Wheat... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

Dealing with arthritis in senior horses

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Over the past couple of decades improved management, nutrition, and veterinary care have contributed to increase longevity in today’s horse population. It is not unusual to hear of horses living well into their thirties. As horses age, the wear and tear of a lifetime of activity takes its toll on joints, leading to the development of arthritis. While there is no cure for arthritis, there are ways we can keep older horses more comfortable. What is... Read More »

Category : Health & Management | Tips and Topics

Fiber: the key to healthier horses

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In every aspect of our lives we strive for balance. As owners and caretakers of horses we should also make every attempt to achieve balance in their lives too. We try to balance exercise with stall rest and stall rest with turnout. We try to provide balance in their nutrition as well. Understanding how to balance forage intake with concentrate intake is critical to ensuring optimal nutrition and energy balance. Concentrates are the portion of the diet we... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Fat & Fiber | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Feeding to Ensure Digestive Tract Health

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We have all heard that certain horses exposed to stressful contiditons are at a higher risk of developing ulcers and hindgut imbalances, but did you know that how and what you feed your horse can also increase the likelihood of damaging his or her sensitive digestive tract? One of the most important facets of equine management is learning what strategies should be used to ensure digestive tract health in the horses you care for. Extensive research has... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Health & Management | Tips and Topics

What is the difference between Neigh-Lox original and Neigh-Lox Advanced?

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The original Neigh-Lox®, with the blue label, was developed in 1996 to address the ever-growing problem of stomach ulcers in horses. Neigh-Lox’s proprietary formula maintains normal stomach pH by buffering excess gastric acid and coating the stomach. Four ounces (2 scoops) of Neigh-Lox helps maintain normal stomach pH for 6 to 8 hours. Neigh-Lox can be offered two to three times daily to horses that are at high risk for developing ulcers due to... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Tips and Topics

Equine Gastric Ulcers—Do You Need To Worry?

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A scoop of grain and two fluffy flakes of hay in the morning. A scoop of grain and two fluffy flakes of hay in the late afternoon. A few hours of turnout on mediocre pasture sometime during the day. Sound familiar? This feeding pattern is repeated almost without thought, but is it best for a horse? Does it sufficiently mimic a horse’s natural desire to graze, and does it keep a horse’s gastrointestinal tract in tip-top shape? Or is a horse... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Tips and Topics

Managing Your Horse’s Bugs

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Bugs? What bugs? Horses are hindgut fermenters. In other words, the hindgut portion of your horse’s digestive tract contains millions of beneficial bacteria and yeast, often referred to as microbes or “bugs.” These bugs have the ability to break down otherwise indigestible fiber into digestible compounds through a process called symbiotic microbial fermentation. Both the horse and the bugs benefit from this process. By joining forces, the bugs and... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

The Skinny on Fat

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Packed with energy Fat is an effective energy source for horses. Pound for pound, fats provide 2.25 times more energy than carbohydrates. In a natural state, horses consume only small amounts of fats, but they digest and absorb them well. Fats are broken down into fatty acids in the small intestine and stored as triglycerides in the adipose tissue of the body. Fat is utilized to fuel long-term, slow work. Some fat is necessary Fat is necessary for the... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Feeding Horses – Energy Sources Matter

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Dietary energy dictates body condition in healthy horses. Too little energy and the horse loses weight; too much energy and the horse gains weight. Typical diets of pasture, hay, and concentrate often do not supply sufficient dietary energy to horses that have increased calorie needs. Such horses include hardworking performance horses, lactating mares, and aged horses. The fat in rice bran contains more calories per mouthful than pasture, hay, or... Read More »

Category : Fat & Fiber | Tips and Topics

Laminitis: What’s Grain Overload Got to Do with It?

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What is laminitis? Laminitis occurs when the tissues that connect the coffin bone to the hoof wall, called the laminae, become inflamed and the blood supply is compromised. Laminitis varies in severity depending on the amount of damage inflicted on the laminae. Mild cases usually result in very little permanent damage to the laminae, while the more severe cases can result in founder, or the sinking of the coffin bone. There are several factors that can... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Research Proven Neigh-Lox® is Suitable for All Horses, No Matter Their Age or Use

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For years, horsemen have believed that the surefire way to sidestep gastric ulcers is full-time grazing. However, that widely held theory was challenged recently. Researchers at the University of California at Davis set out to determine the prevalence of gastric ulcers in broodmares. Results of the study indicated that pregnancy was not a factor in the development of ulcers, but the sheer number of ulcers found in these pasture-managed mares was... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part III

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Is Fiber a Carbohydrate? In Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I, we reviewed simple carbohydrates and in Clarifying Carbohydtrates Part II we looked at rapidly fermentable carbohydrates. This Nutritional Minute describes slowly fermentable carbohydrates (fiber) and discusses the concerns associated with all carbohydrates in the equine diet. Slowly Fermentable Carbohydrates Slowly fermentable carbohydrates, or fiber as they are commonly called, are... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part II

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Clarifying Carbohydrates Part II There are many types of carbohydrates in equine diets, including simple carbohydrates, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, and complex, slowly fermentable carbohydrates. Your horse digests each type of carbohydrate differently. Some types of carbs are better for your horse than others. Click here for Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I for information on simple carbs. This time we will reviewing rapidly fermentable... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I

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Clarifying Carbohydrates Part I There are three different types of carbohydrates utilized by horses: simple sugars and starches, rapidly fermentable carbohydrates, and structural carbohydrates. This part of our series will deal with simple sugars and starches. What are carbohydrates and why are they important? Carbohydrates are substances made up of the elements carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and oxygen (O). Various forms of carbohydrates are made through... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

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