Daily per or pro biotic supplement for hard keeper?
Jay is my 14 year old TB. He's aaaaaalways been a hard keeper, from when I evented him until now when he stands in a field.
Last summer he got very thin and my vet did an ultra sound and scope of his gut, and full blood work. His blood work came back totally random; with many strange conflicting results. The ultra sound showed the linings of his gut was very thick in some areas, the vet thinks its scar tissue from his very bad enteritis 9 years ago.
We altered his diet a bit, but vet didn't give a good prognosis. Almost a year later, he's still kickin!
He's in ok weight from having grain and round bales all winter, but he's gotten a bit thinner now that I'm switching him to pasture (still getting grain).
Right now he gets 8lbs of purina senior and a large scoop of rice ran and access to a round bale all day and pasture all night.
Would a daily pro biotic help? I was looking at smart digest or something like that.
4 pounds of Purina senior is way under recommended feeding levels. I would worry about inadequate nutrition at that level and if he is a thin hard keeper I would definitely be feeding more. In regards to the pre or probiotics, I feed smart digest and really like it. I believe it's $15 a month so not pricey.
I wouldn't be giving him anything as high in NSC as Purina Sr. Granted, there are higher NSC feeds for sure, but for his issues particularly, IMHO the 18-20% is too high for him. TC Sr would be FAR better for him - better quality ingredients, far lower NSC, 11.8%
I'm not sure he'd need any of what you asked about if you switch to lower sugar and higher quality feed
______________________________ The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET
For a pre/probiotic that works well I use Uckele's AbsorbAll. It has prebiotics, probiotics, microbials and digestive enzymes. I used it on a horse who had had 70 percent of his small intestine removed, and it helped to keep the weight on and him looking fabulous! I put 1/2 scoop of it daily on the horse's feed. When the grass is coming in and the manure gets cow floppy and green, I up the daily dosage to 1 scoop, keep the hay in the diet, and the manure goes back to being better formed.
The horses are on a low NSC combination of Triple crown Sr. and Blue Seal Haystretcher (50:50). Add good hay, fresh water and a good worming program, and the horses stay looking great year round. The horse with the removed/resectioned intestine was on the same program. You would never have known he had ever had surgery. Here is the AbsorbAll link:
Certainly a reasonable thing to try. I prefer to go with fat and alfalfa (except for my one horse who can't tolerate it) and I see you're feeding rice bran--any reason he can't have more of that? Or something like Amplify which is more fat per pound?
Any estimate as to how much of the round bale he actually eats, and is it good, nutrient-rich hay?