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Sand Colic Prevention...

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  • Sand Colic Prevention...

    Ok, dumb question. I'm moving my mare to a place with lovely big sand paddocks (No mud and twice the size of her current paddock ). Hay is fed in feeders off the ground, but obviously some will fall out, get eaten off the ground, and some sand ingested.

    Horses are fed beet pulp daily, which I've read can help minimize sand build-up in their systems. Should I still plan on doing a monthly round with psyllium?? Is this the best way to go (tried and true) or are there other options I should look at?
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."

  • #2
    We have three horses who eat hay out of nets on sand... pure sand, not dirt... and they also eat generous amounts of beet pulp. In three years <knock wood> we have not had any problems.

    I also fed Sand Clear the first few months, but relaxed after we didn't notice any change in them.
    Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans

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    • #3
      I've boarded at barns with sand paddocks for 11 yrs, and no psyllium is fed. Never had a sand colic. (These barns have about 30 horses each.)

      Comment


      • #4
        There are a bunch of different methods for sand clearance. I would definitely use generic metamucil over sand-clear or other pelleted products, because they don't work nearly as well. If you take metamucil and put it in water, you can see how it gets gummy and can work to move sand. The sand-clear pellets do not even dissolve.

        It also works better if you use pysillium fiber and mineral oil together.

        I have heard variations to treat once a week, one week out of a month, or every friday-sunday, so you'll have to decide which one works best for you.

        I use 1 cup metamucil once a week in a bran mash with mineral oil. You can put the metamucil on regular grain, but be sure to wet it down first.

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        • #5
          Sandy Lieb, nutritionist at Univ. of FL., wrote article on study she did on this topic. Found that psyllium actually can slow down/hinder sand passage from gut. States best way to remove sand/prevent sand is to feed about 2.2% of horse's body weight daily of great quality hay/pasture. She owns Pennock Point farm in Reddick FL. You might try calling her.
          Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!
          www.whitfieldfarm.shutterfly.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Whitfield Farm Hanoverians View Post
            Sandy Lieb, nutritionist at Univ. of FL., wrote article on study she did on this topic. Found that psyllium actually can slow down/hinder sand passage from gut. States best way to remove sand/prevent sand is to feed about 2.2% of horse's body weight daily of great quality hay/pasture. She owns Pennock Point farm in Reddick FL. You might try calling her.
            I've heard that as well.

            Comment


            • #7
              For what its worth, I've had two horses on sandy pasture for over 5 years, at least one of them eats dirt for fun, and both will root to China in search of a tiny speck of grain or pelleted feed or a horse treat. In those years I have had one horse have one mild gas colic. They have something to chew on (Bahia, Bermuda, weeds in the frost free months, and Bermuda hay in the winter plus more weeds and a little grass in the warm spells during our short winters)year round so I suspect the info from U of FL is pretty accurate.

              YMMV, of course.

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              • #8
                Been managing a barn on sand city in FL and we feed no physillum. Just hay. They even eat hay off the sand ground. Most won't pick up all the pieces avoiding the sand, but some due. *Knock on Wood* We are doing great here. We feed T&A and all the horses get as bit of coastal as I feel that helps get the sand out more than t&a. Not sure why I feel that way but I do.
                I love cats, I love every single cat....
                So anyway I am a cat lover
                And I love to run.

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                • #9
                  Our farm is on sandy loam soil (so basically sugar sand). I gave up long ago with managers and feeders - they just knock them down. In the more sandy paddocks, we feed coastal hay three times a day.

                  Used physillum on a rotating basis because it was only mildly cheaper than Sand Clear (with 30 horses, one does have to pinch pennies).

                  Did a PPE on a gelding and he came back loaded with sand. Tested a few others and same problem. Since the physillium wasn't working, I went to the next step and started all the horses on 3 oz of whole flax seed daily. Works out much cheaper for me. My vet was not convinced until this spring. We did fecals on all the horses and all came back as 'trace' for sand! The only one with moderate was a foal that just wanted to eat sand like candy. Boys....

                  So flax seed works for me, whereas sand clear, physillium and coastal hay didn't.
                  Horse Feathers Farm

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Whitfield Farm Hanoverians View Post
                    Sandy Lieb, nutritionist at Univ. of FL., wrote article on study she did on this topic. Found that psyllium actually can slow down/hinder sand passage from gut. States best way to remove sand/prevent sand is to feed about 2.2% of horse's body weight daily of great quality hay/pasture. She owns Pennock Point farm in Reddick FL. You might try calling her.
                    This.
                    "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."

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                    • #11
                      i live on a total sand base. NO dirt. Never had a problem with any of my horses. They do get soaked chia and love it! This was an article on it.
                      Chia and Fiber — Sand Clearing

                      Chia is hydrophilic (water absorbing); the gelatinous property of the seeds (upon getting wet in the gut) clears sand more effectively than expensive psyllium products. It has the capacity to absorb large amounts of liquid, increasing the volume passing through the digestive tract, stimulating the intestinal transit. This important feature clears sand and debris out of the horse's gut naturally, assists with regulating stool movement, helps prevent sand colic and diverticulitis.

                      Because Chia is a natural seed, and easily digestible, it can be safely fed daily. This virtually eliminates the need for psyllium products. Chia is high in soluble fiber, providing 27.6 grams of fiber for every 100 grams of seed.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wet beet pulp also clears sand from the gut. I'm on part-board and give my guy 2 of his 3 daily meals -- I just add a bit of water to his TC Senior and let it soak for about 10 minutes before I feed him.

                        Hadn't heard of the flax seed thing, but that's another reason for me to put him back on whole flax! (Plus, of course, it makes him slick as a wet seal. )
                        Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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                        • #13
                          I have sand in all my stalls since finding bedding was an issue. I have been using sand exclusively for over 10 years with 3 horses and NEVER had ANY colic issues.

                          Having said that - they are on pasture all day and stalled with plenty of hay all night.
                          Now in Kentucky

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sipsi View Post
                            Our farm is on sandy loam soil (so basically sugar sand). I gave up long ago with managers and feeders - they just knock them down. In the more sandy paddocks, we feed coastal hay three times a day.

                            Used physillum on a rotating basis because it was only mildly cheaper than Sand Clear (with 30 horses, one does have to pinch pennies).

                            Did a PPE on a gelding and he came back loaded with sand. Tested a few others and same problem. Since the physillium wasn't working, I went to the next step and started all the horses on 3 oz of whole flax seed daily. Works out much cheaper for me. My vet was not convinced until this spring. We did fecals on all the horses and all came back as 'trace' for sand! The only one with moderate was a foal that just wanted to eat sand like candy. Boys....

                            So flax seed works for me, whereas sand clear, physillium and coastal hay didn't.
                            Okay, how did you determine the horses were loaded with sand? Did you ultrasound the large colon?

                            Wouldn't it be a good thing for a lot of sand to be found in their manure as that means it is passing through and not just sitting in there large colon piling up?

                            I saw a necropsy of a sand colic and the poor horse has at least 15 lbs of sand in their large colon that finally created a blockage.

                            After my vet saw that we became a bit sand paranoid. So we ultrasounded a few of the horses on our property that would be likey to have more sand than the others. My mare was one as she lives out on sand 24/7 and eats all her meals out there. She basicly had no sand in her large colon. All other horses were okay as well.

                            Flax seed is not possible to feed my mare as she is highly allergic.

                            Anyways, I have always been interested in the thought that there was little sand in the manure meant that the horse was clean. To me it could mean that the sand isn't passing through and rather piling up in the large colon. Almost would be better to see more sand in the manure as that means it is passing through in my mind. I mean I know my horse eats off sand, so she is gonna ingest some no matter what.

                            I am headed to vet school in the fall and colic is a huge area of interest for me especially the whole sand issue. I would love to learn more and even be able to do some research eventually.
                            I love cats, I love every single cat....
                            So anyway I am a cat lover
                            And I love to run.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Recent study shows sand clear to be the only proven way to get rid of sand.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Beethoven View Post
                                Okay, how did you determine the horses were loaded with sand? Did you ultrasound the large colon?

                                Wouldn't it be a good thing for a lot of sand to be found in their manure as that means it is passing through and not just sitting in there large colon piling up?

                                I saw a necropsy of a sand colic and the poor horse has at least 15 lbs of sand in their large colon that finally created a blockage.

                                After my vet saw that we became a bit sand paranoid. So we ultrasounded a few of the horses on our property that would be likey to have more sand than the others. My mare was one as she lives out on sand 24/7 and eats all her meals out there. She basicly had no sand in her large colon. All other horses were okay as well.

                                Flax seed is not possible to feed my mare as she is highly allergic.

                                Anyways, I have always been interested in the thought that there was little sand in the manure meant that the horse was clean. To me it could mean that the sand isn't passing through and rather piling up in the large colon. Almost would be better to see more sand in the manure as that means it is passing through in my mind. I mean I know my horse eats off sand, so she is gonna ingest some no matter what.

                                I am headed to vet school in the fall and colic is a huge area of interest for me especially the whole sand issue. I would love to learn more and even be able to do some research eventually.
                                If its bad enough you can hear it in the gut.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by davistina67 View Post
                                  If its bad enough you can hear it in the gut.
                                  True but again if a horse has sand in its GI track which if its turned out on sand there is gonna be some at some point wouldn't you be able to hear it even if its moving through?

                                  I have heard it before, but I guess I you would hear it more in a horse that has more sand piled up rather than one that constantly moves it through...
                                  I love cats, I love every single cat....
                                  So anyway I am a cat lover
                                  And I love to run.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My girlfriend and I used to board at a barn with a lot of the sandy loam (beach like sand) and my friends gelding was there 2 years before I got my own place and we both moved the horses. I have sand/dirt mix here. My girlfriend horse is a vacuum cleaner and will get every. piece. of. hay. off of the ground. We had never had an issue with sand either. Well then her gelding coliced. At that time, I was feeding beet pulp, t/a cubes, ration balancer, o/a and coastal hay. It was bad enough that we took him to Ocala to a clinic. When we arrived and pulled him off the trailer, he had pooped but the balls were almost all sand. They did the sand test with the poo ball and water and let it hang and there was quite a bit of sand.

                                    Since then, I use psyllium monthly. The Sand Clear and Equiaid and all that is pricey so I just get a brand called Sand Clean from my feed store. 20lbs for $55 and with 3 horses, it lasts approx 4 months. Anyways, since then, I have had no problems with sand colic and do check their manure with the sand test and we are good. My mare unfortunately did colic 2 weeks ago but it was an impaction due to dehydration (super hot weather to not as hot and she wasnt drinking as much) but they did do the sand test on her too and we were fine.
                                    ~~~~~~~~~

                                    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

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                                    • #19
                                      Well, you do need something of a baseline in the sand test, so do it every few days to see what exactly your horse is passing. It is not quantifiable, most vets say that if there is more than a table spoon, you have a problem.

                                      The only way to definitively tell is either radiograph (but has to be done with more powerful x-ray unit than a portable) or surgery (so not in the budget). You can ultrasound, but that is also not very accurate and not as reliable as a radiograph.

                                      I think the premise is that if there are large amounts of sand passing through, then there are large amounts in the colon.

                                      All I know is that I went from high loads of sand to trace and my horses look good and healthy and with this freaking drought, I've more sand areas than grass.
                                      Horse Feathers Farm

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