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RDC/Hindgut diet change

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    RDC/Hindgut diet change

    Hi everyone,

    I suspect that my horse is suffering from some sort of hindgut issue, maybe even a mild case of RDC (please no!). He is a sensitive horse in general, but is particularly sensitive on his right side, both under saddle and to the touch (mostly near the flank). He has solid poo in his field (he lives out 24/7), but it becomes progressively runnier during work, to the point of cow pies. I initially pegged this as anxiety, but his monthly round of sand clear/psyllium did wonders for the loose poo, and he now has just one solid poo while working as long as I keep him on the psyllium. However, he is still quite gassy, and I notice him tensing up and raising his tail every now and then while working.

    I've done a lot of research on hindgut ulcers and RDC, and it seems taking him off of long stem hay and switching to cubes/pellets couldn't hurt. However, it is sooo expensive to switch to straight cubes/pellets, so I'm considering putting him on a complete feed along with cubes. He currently gets 1/2 scoop (1.5 lb) of Purina Strategy GX per day. He also gets 1.5 lb dry alfalfa pellets and 0.75 lb dry alfalfa cubes (both are soaked before fed) once a day, and approx. 4 flakes (12 lb) of hay. I'd like to switch him over to TC Senior, drop the hay, and add more cubes.

    Would like to do ~8lb of TCS and ~4 lb dry alfalfa cubes per day, split between two feedings.
    Does this seem like a viable option, both in terms of hindgut health, and in terms of him getting enough forage?

    PS: He is in incredible shape other than the loose poo and sensitivity/gas. Eats normally, is generally pretty happy, and is reasonably chunky
    PSS: I will be discussing with a vet as well, just wanted to get some thoughts

    How big is your horse? 8 lbs of TCS might be fine, or might be too much. Does he get any turnout? Any grass?

    Your comment about cubes/pellets being too expensive -- as opposed to TCS? A complete feed is going to be more money than plain cubes/pellets.

    Anyway, what I have done with mine is pull all long stem forage, and make mush out of pellets, cubes, senior (or a good V/M supp, with beet pulp). Well soaked with psyllium added. This worked very well. I followed this diet for 3 mos, the only "forage" the horse got was fresh grass. Then gradually and carefully added hay back.

    Have you consulted with your vet at all?


      Hay cubes are long stem forage.
      Hay pellets are not.


        Originally posted by marmarmar View Post
        He currently gets 1/2 scoop (1.5 lb) of Purina Strategy GX per day. He also gets 1.5 lb dry alfalfa pellets and 0.75 lb dry alfalfa cubes (both are soaked before fed) once a day, and approx. 4 flakes (12 lb) of hay. I'd like to switch him over to TC Senior, drop the hay, and add more cubes.

        Would like to do ~8lb of TCS and ~4 lb dry alfalfa cubes per day, split between two feedings.
        Does this seem like a viable option, both in terms of hindgut health, and in terms of him getting enough forage?
        12lb of hay is likely at least 9600 calories. The alf is adding roughly another 2250. The 1.5lb of the GX is in the range of 2250 (I'm assuming 1500 cal/lb, I don't know offhand, it's a good enough guess for this). That's a total of around 14,100 calories.

        How small is this guy? That's pony/small horse range calories, especially with only 12lb of hay.

        The potential new diet is closer to 16,000 calories (1500x8 + 1000x4).

        So, there's a bit of an increase in calories. 6lb TC Sr, and 6lb alf cubes would be about 15,000 calories and more long-stem fiber

        I don't know about you, but here, alfalfa, whether pellets or cubes, are appreciably cheaper than a bag of TC Sr.

        Without knowing the horse's weight, I don't know how much TC Sr he should be getting from a nutritional perspective. But given what costs would be here, I'd be feeding more alf cubes, and less TC Sr, just not less than recommended for his weight, due to the nutritional aspect.
        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          I hesitated for 6 months taking my RDC/hindgut issue horse off of long stem forage because I board and all the pastures have a roundbale, etc. etc. When push finally came to shove on a weekend where we had 3 episodes of pain in 3 days, I made it work. I used panels and created a 25x200' run between two pastures, I took him off hay and gave him nothing but senior feed and soaked alfalfa pellet soup. After about 4 months, he graduated to chopped alfalfa. After 6 months he worked his way back onto regular baled alfalfa. And after about 8 months, we worked Timothy in. I am in South Georgia where alfalfa and Timothy do not grow, so I'm paying $32 and $38/bale, respectively......but my horse is now healthy and happy with no issues.
          20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--


            Another thing...depending how much grass you have in the pasture, pellets/cubes are given pound for pound of regular hay. So for your horse to get 1.5% of their body weight in hay, that's how much they need in cubes/pellets. It gets expensive. If you have some grass, that's better, but I was down to nubs of grass, so all of his forage needs came out of my pocked in expensive pellets.
            20% off code for Hay Chix hay nets--