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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    8,263

    Arrow Drastic change in temps, colic-prone horse, what to do?

    My mare is colic-prone, and yesterday's high was 81F. Tonight's low is 35F.

    I'm trying my best to make sure we don't get an upset tummy from the extreme change in temps. Extra hay (and also a bit of scrubby pasture to pick at 25/7), dumped and scrubbed the trough so it's extra-clean, fed her an extra-wet mash.

    I might toss a sheet on her tonight if she seems cold. I figure shivering isn't exactly conducive to a relaxed, active gut?

    Any other suggestions? This time of the year the temperatures just seem to jump around a ton!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
    Location
    Carolinas
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    5,037

    Default

    Same here.

    My rule of thumb is to keep them well hydrated and keep them warm. I know of 3 horses that appeared to be colicing when in fact their backs were cold. A sheet or appropriate weight blanket resolved the issue everytime.

    So I close barn windows and sheet or blanket as needed.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
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    16,871

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    Warm soupy beet pulp or soaked hay cubes for LOTSA hydration, with added salt so he keeps drinking.

    Was boarded with a friend's gelding who was also very prone to gas colic with drastic temp & barometric pressure changes. She kept the following on hand at all times:

    A BIG fat syringe (sans needle), Whiskey, Epsom Salt -- Mix one part whiskey, one part epsom salt -- dissolve & blend together in warm water. Syringe down.

    Was prescribed by the vet and it worked every time.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,661

    Default

    Same here and I have one with a delicate constitution also.

    I'm feeding mine wet hay in addition. Fortunately he seems to thing it's a great treat. He's a pretty enthusiatic salt-licker, otherwise I'd add some salt to his dinner, too. I do all hard feeds wet, anyway.

    In fact, I'll probably add some epsom salts to his dinner tonight.

    Oh, and a little Omeprazole every day.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
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    8,263

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    Any difference between adding epsom salt and just table salt, to prevent colic?
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2006
    Location
    Port Perry Ontario - formerly Prodomus
    Posts
    2,364

    Default

    give electrolytes to my guy - but for me it is watching that he doesn't get frozen grass



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2011
    Location
    Central Va.
    Posts
    713

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    Yes, soupy-soaked feed. Tea, hay or feed tea. A sprinkle of salt if you must. Hydration is important.
    No extra hay.
    Move her around. Keep the GI going. So handwalk or lunge some.
    35* isn't that cold, but it's the doggone big changes that seem to cause the problems.
    Hydration and movement.
    Someone wrote here on Coth ( please step forward) : An old cowboy told me many years ago to walk that horse a while, then pull on its tail, then poke, poke poke, poke it in its anus and it will pass wind.
    It works



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,871

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    Magnesium Sulfate (epsom salt) is highly dissolveable and has a slight laxative effect, thereby keeping the gut moving
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2007
    Location
    Illinois, USA
    Posts
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    Thanks for the input guys! I'll have to dig out a sheet from the basement, and find my epsom salt. Spending the money to have it on hand keeps the abscesses away!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2010
    Posts
    665

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    As soon as the weather changes, I add loose salt to my gelding's feed. He coliced a couple of years ago from not drinking enough water when it was cold out. We went from almost 100 degrees three days ago, to a high of 78 or so, so I started the salt. I will feed two tablespoons of salt daily through the end of spring to encourage him to drink more.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Yeah, taking a gut that's in distress and causing osmotic diarrhea on purpose makes a LOT of sense.

    I can just see a pediatricion on the phone with the mom of an unhappy, colicky infant telling her to give the kid some mild of magnesia and sodium citrate so the kid gets the runs on top of having a painful, gassy tummy.

    If the horse is warm and kept to its normal routine and diet it is much less likely to feel the swings in temperature and for there to be new problems for the gut to deal with. Changing things in the diet all of a sudden is rarely the right answer for a colic-prone horse.
    Click here before you buy.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
    Location
    Alberta's bread basket
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    I live in an area that frequently gets radical changes in weather. Our horses get plenty o' plenty of roughage from lots of hay, grass, and wet beet pulp. Never have colic.

    I would suggest you heat the water. Icy cold water is not as palatable to a horse and they appreciate it being heated a bit.

    If you add a teaspoon (which is plenty) of table salt to their diet you can cause more problems if they're not drinking, so I would only add salt if you're also heating the water. And I definitely would NOT add epsom salt to the diet if the tummy is already sensitive.
    https://www.facebook.com/MariposaSportHorses

    Practice! Patience! Persistence!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar. 23, 2010
    Posts
    665

    Default

    If the horse is not getting salt any other way, 2 tablespoons of table salt to encourage drinking is not going to cause a problem.

    Epsom salts would be a different issue. And I wouldn't start experimenting with electrolytes if the weather has already changed and the mare is sensitive to such changes.

    Clean water, extra-wet mash, and some loose table salt can't hurt.

    I would honestly consider a probiotic as well. I was pretty leery of introducing a probiotic into my gelding's diet until I actually did so



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2010
    Location
    minnesota
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    160

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    My old mare is prone to colic when the weather changes from warm to cold.I keep her water heated and make sure she has plenty of hay.

    Plus i have found giving her probiotics has really helped her. I also put on her blanket with big temp dips. Just had a big swing in temps here went from 78 to 30s in a twenty four hour period. No colic so iam very happy.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
    Location
    Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico
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    2,544

    Default

    In order to give advice, shouldn't we know if you are worried about gas colic or impaction?
    If a horse was prone to gas colic, I would say reduce intake of rapidly fermentable feeds ( ie cold stressed pasture) and have some Biosponge or antacid on hand. Weeds are common sources of short chain fructan. When the sugar content goes up in cold weather, weeds become more palatable.
    If a horse was prone to impaction, then water intake and movement would be more important.
    For either type, Yea-Sac might help as it stabilizes fluctuations in microbe populations and helps to digest fiber. It's found in many of the better all round supplements.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Posts
    500

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rodawn View Post

    I would suggest you heat the water. Icy cold water is not as palatable to a horse and they appreciate it being heated a bit.

    .
    I live in Houston, so take this as you may. But anytime we have a big swing I drag out warm water 3 times a day. My guys love it and slup it down and that way I know they have enough water to go with the extra hay.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 13, 2011
    Location
    Central Va.
    Posts
    713

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    I'm a huge fan of Katy Watts. Always have been, always will

    What is Yea-Sac ?



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2004
    Location
    Guanajuato, GTO, Mexico
    Posts
    2,544

    Default

    Yea-Sacc 1026 is a specific strain of yeast produced by Alltech. You can get it plain, or as an ingredient in various supplements.

    Effect of a preparation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae on microbial profiles and fermentation patterns in the large intestine of horses fed a high fiber or a high starch diet1
    B. Medina*, I. D. Girard†, E. Jacotot‡ and V. Julliand‡,2

    Eight horses were allotted into pairs consisting of one cecum- and right ventral colon-fistulated animal and one cecum-fistulated animal. They were fed daily at the same level of intake either a high-fiber (HF) or a high-starch (HS) diet without or with 10 g of a Saccharomyces cerevisiae preparation, in a 4 × 4 Latin square design. The HS diet provided a starch overload (i.e., 3.4 g starch•kg−1 BW•meal−1) while maintaining a high amount of fiber intake (i.e., dietary NDF/starch ratio was 1.0). A 21-d period of adaptation to the treatments occurred before cecal and colonic contents were withdrawn 4 h after the morning meal to count total anaerobic, cellulolytic, and lactic acid-utilizing bacteria, lactobacilli, and streptococci. Lactic acid, volatile fatty acids, ammonia concentrations, and pH were measured on cecal and colonic fluid samples collected hourly during the first 12-h postfeeding. When the HS diet was fed, the concentration of total anaerobic and lactic acid-utilizing bacteria increased (P < 0.001), whereas that of cellulolytic bacteria decreased (P < 0.05) in the cecum. The concentration of lactobacilli and streptococci increased (P < 0.001) in the cecal and colonic contents. These alterations of the microbial profiles were associated with decreases (P < 0.001) of pH, (acetate + butyrate)/propionate ratio and with an increase (P < 0.001) of lactic acid concentration. Supplementing the S. cerevisiae preparation increased (P < 0.01) the concentration of viable yeast cells, averaging 4.3 × 106 and 4.5 × 104 cfu/mL in the cecal and colonic contents, respectively. Yeast supplementation had almost no effect on microbial counts in the cecum and colon. The supplementation of S. cerevisiae appeared to modify (P < 0.05) pH, concentrations of lactic acid and ammonia, molar percentages of acetate and butyrate with the HS diet and [(acetate + butyrate)/propionate] ratio when the HF diet was fed. The effects of the S. cerevisiae preparation were greater in the cecum than in the colon, which coincided with the abundance of yeast cells. When the digestion of starch in the small intestine was saturated, the effect of the addition of a S. cerevisiae preparation appeared to limit the extent of undesirable changes in the intestinal ecosystem of the horse.



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