Digestive Health

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

Havoc in the Hindgut

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Your horse is a home The digestive tract of your horse is home to millions of microorganisms that aid in the digestion of feedstuffs. The sheer size of the microbial population shows their importance to your horse’s health. Leading equine nutritionist David Frape once wrote “…the bacteria cells in the digestive tract of the horse number more than ten times all the tissues cells in the body.” Think about it: There are more microbes in the gut... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

Gastric Ulcer Treatment: A Two-Step Approach

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Veterinarians and horsemen recognize the harmful effects of gastric ulceration in their horses. Colic, chronic diarrhea, decreased appetite, and weight loss are documented clinical signs of gastric ulceration. Anecdotal reports point to changes in behavior as well, including depressed attitude or a surly, sour disposition. Fortunately, scientists and nutritionists identified the frequency in which gastric ulcers occur in horses and formulated products... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Tips and Topics

The Trouble with Fructans

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What is a fructan? Fructan is a type of sugar found in cool-season grasses. Instead of being digested in the foregut, fructan passes into the horse’s hindgut, where it ferments and causes the production of lactic acid. If too many fructans are consumed at one time, high levels of lactic acid can accumulate and cause the pH of the hindgut to drop. Even small changes in pH can negatively affect the delicate microflora that live in the hindgut and aid in... Read More »

Category : Digestive Health | Nutritional Minutes | Tips and Topics

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