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Super Duper Bloated and Gassy Horse

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  • Super Duper Bloated and Gassy Horse

    I unfortunately had to suddenly change barns May 6 (we were attacked by a new neighbor's dog two days in a row in the arenas; barn owner did not want to talk to the neighbor or let me call the sheriff, so she let me out of the boarding contract) and wasn't able to take any hay with us. We changed from a very poor quality brome/orchard mix and 2 flakes alfalfa a day to a high quality timothy grass hay.(and no alfalfa) Additionally, my horse is getting some pasture turnout at the new place (how much, I'm not sure--I asked them to limit it to two hours, but they put all the horses out at the same time and mine cannot be in the barn by herself). She has a stall and 24/7 access to a run. Anyway, she became extremely gassy--to the point of it affecting our rides. I tried xtra strength GasX, but it didn't seem to stop the problem. Shewas/ is getting probios treats and has probiotics in her Omega Grande, and I added TractGuard (one ounce 2x per day) two days ago. Also, through this change, she was getting a 1/4 dose omeprazole. She seems slightly improved and I know it takes some time, but I am concerned about the massive quantities of gas. Is there anything else I can do? I've cut her grain by 1/3 (she gets a whole grain mix 50/50 with Triple Crown Naturals and Omega Grande--she can't have soy). She is working at the top of my sport, about an hour 6 days a week, so I don't really want to cut the feed too much. Her stools were loose for the first few days she went on grass, but seem to have firmed up some. Am I just too impatient? Should I be doing something else? I have never had to cope with this much gas before (I've had horse her whole life), and it does seem to be affecting performance so I have to wonder if it isn't Uncomfortable for her.

    It seems, from my research, the issue is that this hay/grass is richer than she was used to and/or that she is digesting it too quickly. I had the vet/dentist out yesterday to do her teeth and she said the horse has normal gut sounds.

  • #2
    You know your horse best. I'd put her on half tubes of Ulcerguard until it resolves or some kind of stomach soother. It can escalate to colic very quickly. Or scope for ulcers. Change in behavior, performance and the move could point to that. And if you can, get some alfalfa back in her diet (soaked cubes in her feed?)

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    • #3
      I had tHe same thing happen with one of my geldings but for different reasons --- which never were truly deduced with blood work, etc.

      at the height of his gassiness, the methane smell could have caught the barn on fire, and I could hear him pass gas a thousand feet away up on the ridge ---- that is not an exaggeration.


      The equine chiro I use is a DVM who took the holistic route. She put this horse on a Jing Tang product called Phlem Fat. He stayed on that for two months. That was 2-1/2 years ago and so far he has been perfectly fine in that regard.

      Here is the link to the website. Key your zip code on the left in the green bar. Unless you are an herbalist, herbs mixtures are not something to mess with as they can be as dangerous as drugs if used wrong.

      https://store.tcvmherbal.com/Default.asp?

      i hope this will help, good luck

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      • #4
        IME sucralfate will knock the unsettled gasiness out of her quickly. Anti-gaz is also a standby for gassy colics.

        FWIW, if you were the one attacked, you probably had every right to call the sheriff with or without your barn owner's permission. If the neighbour himself had come over and attacked would you have waited for the property owner's blessing to call authorities?
        Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

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        • #5
          BO would not "let you call the sheriff when attackedd by loose dog". Interesting.

          Fresh spring grass can create gas and bloating. It should take care of itself over time. Obviously restricting access to it would be preferably but apparently health related issues are not a priority over convenience for the BO.

          Possibly you might want to look at upgrading your barn choice to one more willing to work with you. It will likely cost more but less then a vet bill for a bad gas colic or getting mauled by a loose dog.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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          • #6
            When we change hay (and this consists of bales from the same farm, seemingly different cutting or different field), mine gets super gassy. That's without changes involving grass access or different types of hay. Alfalfa pellets may help through the transition for calories if you are cutting back on grain. I'd pick pellets in this instance rather than long stem.

            I load my horse up on probiotics and prebiotics in times like this. Seems to be what it takes, and I've kept him on quite a lot full time because it seems to help the gas tendencies the most. Used to have good results with Equishure but not so much after a while.

            So, I'd at least double dose the Probios and consider adding something like Platinum Balance or HorseTech's Gutwerks. I wouldn't worry too much about the stool being loose as well unless it persists after the other symptoms resolve.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by tpup View Post
              You know your horse best. I'd put her on half tubes of Ulcerguard until it resolves or some kind of stomach soother. It can escalate to colic very quickly. Or scope for ulcers. Change in behavior, performance and the move could point to that. And if you can, get some alfalfa back in her diet (soaked cubes in her feed?)
              I had her on one packet of pop rocks (Abler Omeprazole) since two days before I moved in the new barn (I was attached on a Tues/Weds and moved on Saturday) and she is still on it. I could certainly double the dose (three Abler pop rock = 1 tube ulcergard). I don't think it is ulcers. She is not sensitive to the touch on her tummy and is not girthy (symptoms of ulcers for her). I think this is gas in her hindgut from being out of balance from the rapid hay switch and massive change in quality as well as sudden access to fresh grass. I should also note that my mare lived at and loved the barn we moved to (a private place that was kind enough to take us in) for two years several years ago (prior owner) and seems very happy and relaxed there.

              And while totally irrelevant, the former barn owner did not want to rock the boat with the neighbor because she was about to throw a noisy graduation party for 100 people on the farm and didn't want to get on the neighbor's wrong side. I had 3 surgeries in the last two years due to being trampled as a result of some kids coming on a property where I was in costumes and scaring the horses, so I was not about to take any chances. If she had not let me out of the boarding contract, I definitely would have called the Sheriff, since the dog escalated from attacking us in the outdoor arena to following us into the indoor arena and attacking us and the BO did not talk to the neighbor about it. It was all just as well because that farm fed crappy hay anyway and I had to feed more grain and add alfalfa to compensate for it.

              Does anyone know how long it takes a horse to get used to the new food? She was definitely quieter in her tummy in last nights ride in walk and trot, looked less bloated, but then passed massive amounts of gas in the canter. I think that means her gut is starting to balance? She has had the tractguard added in for three days now. She gets: probios treats (2 per day); Omega Grande, which has a serving of Diamond V yeast; and 2 ounces of Tractguard. Triple Crown naturals contains prebiotics and probiotics to enhance digestion. Should I add saccharmyces boullardii?

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by findeight View Post
                BO would not "let you call the sheriff when attackedd by loose dog". Interesting.

                Fresh spring grass can create gas and bloating. It should take care of itself over time. Obviously restricting access to it would be preferably but apparently health related issues are not a priority over convenience for the BO.

                Possibly you might want to look at upgrading your barn choice to one more willing to work with you. It will likely cost more but less then a vet bill for a bad gas colic or getting mauled by a loose dog.
                Yeah. I pay over $1000 a month for board and there is no upgrade from this except to move them home, which I will be doing...after my purchase of the ranchette closes in June! YAY!

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                • #9
                  Could you try turning her out with grazing muzzle to cut back on grass consumption without keeping her in alone?

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by luckycricket123 View Post
                    Could you try turning her out with grazing muzzle to cut back on grass consumption without keeping her in alone?
                    Great idea. I'll look into it. She was still consistently gassy tonight, but much less explosive type gas. I'm taking her off the property for four days and no access to pasture, so if she settles without access to grass, I'll definitely get a muzzle.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you do find it is linked more to the grass than hay, consider EquiShure. But I would wait and see if gas returns after you come home again. It could be she is adjusting already.

                      For less sensitive horses, I think they can make a switch in a few days to a week. Others, I'd give at least a couple weeks if not a month if the initial reaction is pretty extreme.

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                      • #12
                        Omeprazole upsets my horse's (evidently very sensitive) hind gut. I'm guessing because it leaves food more for the intestines to break down? Treating for ulcers caused calls to the vet for gas colics until he was taken off GG. If you don't think she has ulcers, try taking her off meds and adding a good probiotic to support the hind gut. I also use a grazing muzzle for afternoon turnout on rich pastures, because that can make him bloat too. Equishure didn't help mine, but it's definitely worth a try.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Taken View Post
                          Omeprazole upsets my horse's (evidently very sensitive) hind gut.\
                          Echoing this. I wasted a LOT of money on omeprazole when I should have used only Sucralfate and supplements.

                          FWIW, I react quickly to gassy episodes though. I can't imagine letting a horse stay gassy for days in a row, let alone bloated. If Sucralfate and a short trot on the longe line isn't enough and I have to use Anti-gaz, it's likely going to be at least a call to the vet to discuss. Extreme gassiness and bloating are not normal, imo.

                          Still can't believe your turd of a former BO not wanting to confront the neighbour about the dog attacks. That is absolutely ridiculous and bordering on negligent.

                          Ahhhh, spring is here. The birds are singing, the trees are budding and the paddocks are making their annual transformation from cake mix to cookie dough.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            I had the vet out on Thursday morning and she didn't prescribe anything; suggested cutting out all the grain (I cut it by 1/3) and giving pre and probiotics, which I was already doing.

                            She is much less gassy. Hasn't been on pasture in two days. Is eating all of her supplements.

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