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Feeding baking soda? Experiences? Yea or nay?

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  • Feeding baking soda? Experiences? Yea or nay?

    So, in my thread about ways to help my mare who can get gassy/bloated on grass, quite a few people suggested feeding baking soda. So I thought I'd make a whole thread about it!

    Who here feeds baking soda to their horse, or have in the past? What did you feed it for? Did it help? How much did you feed, and how often?

    Thanks for the input!
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

  • #2
    I have feed it off an on for years...used to feed a spoonful a day at the track until it became illegal. Would help keep the system from getting to acidic and seemed to prevent all the ulcer troubles that are now around - just think of grandma or greatgrandma drinking a glass of water with soda in it to sweeten a sour stomach in the days before readly available and cheap antacids for people. Same with horses, it should help with the gassiness.

    When I brought a horse home frone the track, I would just dump a box of soda into a pail and let him have at it. One thing, though, reduce salt intake if possible because there is a fair amount of sodium in soda.
    Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

    Member: Incredible Invisbles

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    • #3
      I ran across this article when I was looking into hind gut ulcers: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11507

      It looks at using EquiShure, which is an encapsulated form of baking soda. They demonstrated that the EquiShure was effective at buffering the hind gut.

      EquiShure looks cheap enough to try (something like $30 a month...more than baking soda, certainly, but still not unreasonable) and I did ask Mountain Vet to get some for me to try with Blush. It may be something that would help your horse as well, and would probably be more effective than just plain baking soda, which I would guess does not make it past the stomach.

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      • #4
        so you mean maybe if I started eating baking soda each day I would stop farting?

        People are always wondering why I'm running down the hallway so fast.
        : )
        http://kaboomeventing.com/
        http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
        Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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        • #5
          why is it illegal at the track? What would it gain you besides soothing the tummy?

          InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Simkie View Post
            I ran across this article when I was looking into hind gut ulcers: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=11507

            It looks at using EquiShure, which is an encapsulated form of baking soda. They demonstrated that the EquiShure was effective at buffering the hind gut.

            EquiShure looks cheap enough to try (something like $30 a month...more than baking soda, certainly, but still not unreasonable) and I did ask Mountain Vet to get some for me to try with Blush. It may be something that would help your horse as well, and would probably be more effective than just plain baking soda, which I would guess does not make it past the stomach.
            I was looking at the Equishure, and it looks like a really good product. It's a bit on the expensive side for me though, at like $1.30 per day.
            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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            • #7
              Gas and acid are two entirely separate things.

              Baking soda is broken down very quickly into salt, water and CO2. CO2 = a gas. Might actually make things worse.

              If you want to stop gas, try a surfactant. (Gas-X, etc.)
              Click here before you buy.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by pintopiaffe View Post
                why is it illegal at the track? What would it gain you besides soothing the tummy?

                One word - milkshake. In other words, one pound of soda plus some icing sugar and water. Syringe into the horse, and race. Produces elevated TCO2 count and that is illegal. The idea behind the shake is that if a bit of soda a day was a good thing, a whole pound before a race had to be better, and hence was born the milkshake. Theory was it would reduce lactic acid build-up better if given in a whacking great dose than a spoonful a day would.
                Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                • #9
                  Baking soda can be extremely helpful, even life-saving, for the horse which has become acidotic.. Ph is all out of whack -- typically from a disease/illness process that can affect the gut.

                  Acidotic horses, when offered 2 buckets of water..one with 2 tbs. of baking soda dissolved in it next to a bucket of plain water will gulp down the baking soda water until such time as they no longer need it. Then they will switch to the plain water.

                  Horses tend to "seek what they need". Personally, I don't think it is advisable to arbitrarily put baking soda in a horse's feed and force it to eat it, without giving them the choice ot "seek what they need" for whatever oddity is going on with them systemically.
                  www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                  "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                  Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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                  • #10
                    Hey sk pacer, since you're probably more familiar with tying up than the average horseperson...

                    I have a STB mare (former racehorse, former Amish horse) that had one mild tying-up episode shortly after we got her and put her in training to be a show horse. We tend to be very cautious with her, expecially when it's hot out, since she gets so excited about work. She currently gets a supplement called Tie-free. Do you think a bit of baking soda might also be a good addition to her diet?

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                    • #11
                      When I first started using baking soda I thought I was treating him for tying up. Turns out it was still an acid thing. The sping grass disturbs his ph and that produces very similar reactions as tying up. I will say that for tying up -- check into a product called DMG it is an amino acid. This helps with the reduction of lactic acid in the muscles. Now I use this also. Since I have dinked around with baking soda and DMG I deal with less problems.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sublimequine View Post
                        I was looking at the Equishure, and it looks like a really good product. It's a bit on the expensive side for me though, at like $1.30 per day.
                        I asked Mountain Vet to get it for me. They usually have excellent pricing (nearly always better than anywhere online) and I'll let you know how much they charge me and how Blush does on it

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                          Gas and acid are two entirely separate things.

                          Baking soda is broken down very quickly into salt, water and CO2. CO2 = a gas. Might actually make things worse.

                          If you want to stop gas, try a surfactant. (Gas-X, etc.)
                          Gas-X, as in the one for people? I've never heard of that! Could it be fed on a long-term basis?
                          Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by purplnurpl View Post
                            so you mean maybe if I started eating baking soda each day I would stop farting?

                            People are always wondering why I'm running down the hallway so fast.
                            : )

                            LOL, no, you'd get the runs.. you'd be running down the hall faster.
                            Baking soda has it's uses. Not just for cheaters. It is a very useful thing. Horses with stinky poop often benefit as do the horses that tye up... Feeding it is not a badthing

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by shakeytails View Post
                              Hey sk pacer, since you're probably more familiar with tying up than the average horseperson...

                              I have a STB mare (former racehorse, former Amish horse) that had one mild tying-up episode shortly after we got her and put her in training to be a show horse. We tend to be very cautious with her, expecially when it's hot out, since she gets so excited about work. She currently gets a supplement called Tie-free. Do you think a bit of baking soda might also be a good addition to her diet?
                              It looks almost a dead ringer for Blood and Kidney powder, with Vit E and selenium added. I've read bits and pieces about it, comments from assorted trainers on harness boards - reviews are mixed as they seem to love it or hate it. Honestly, from the label that i found on line, it could probably stand a teaspoon of soda added to the mix, more if needed, but if you compete with her, pull her off all 48 hours before the event if they run the black box (TCO2) because it will test. You do have to experiment to get the right level of bicarb for each horse - Mr Fussy would inhale a whole box over a week's time when he got home from the track, but his partner in crime rarely touched it - so experiment, it wont hurt her

                              What are you feeding her? And do you know how she is bred? Some lines can't take certain feeds without some kind of problems; problems range from RER to mild ataxia to personality changes and while it sounds like pssm, it may not be anymore than feed intolerance, generally soy, sometimes corn. Just a bit of gathering from the years spent with Standardbreds - they can and will tolerate, and sometimes need far more grain than other breeds - what you have to feed a Standardbred in grain would make the feet fall off a lesser animal
                              Founder of the Dyslexic Clique. Dyslexics of the world - UNTIE!!

                              Member: Incredible Invisbles

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                              • #16
                                Honestly, folks, please grab a 7th grade biology textbook and read about pH regulation in the body. Feeding baking soda orally is not going to do DIDDLY SQUAT for the body's pH at a dose of a couple of tablespoons, and certainly not in the short term. Used IV, yes, it can temporarily alter blood pH. But the downsides of doing this are enormous and it is no longer recommended in anything but the most narrowly-defined of settings in medicine, mostly long-term acidosis from kidney disease.

                                pH regulation and the immune system: way, way more complicated than people are led to believe and NOT readily manipulated with household chemicals.

                                Yes, Gas-X for humans. It's quite safe, but I couldn't begin to tell you what the dose for a horse would be! It's even available in peppermint chewables!
                                Click here before you buy.

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                                • #17
                                  My name is Betsy and I am NOT smarter than a seventh grader.....and neither are any of you!!!....(kind of harsh no???)
                                  Old trackies swear by Baking soda....maybe it is anecdotal but jeezzeeeee.....
                                  The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

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                                  • #18
                                    Deltawave -

                                    I think most people here are talking about using it to help regulate stomach Ph, not blood Ph.

                                    Personally, I have used it on gas colicky horses and it has made a HUGE and quick difference. From, ready to call the vet to normal in less than an hour. This was on horses who showed signs of stomach distress from the grass changing too quickly and you could hear their tummys rumbling from across the barn. One mare would stretch out, looking like she had to pee, and turn and look at her belly. She'd lay down, get up, etc. Give 'em a tablespoon of baking soda and *poof* good as new.

                                    So, in my oh so humble opinion and VERY limited scientific knowledge (a 7th grader is definitely smarter than me at this point!) it works.
                                    Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      "Honestly, folks, please grab a 7th grade biology textbook and read about pH regulation in the body. Feeding baking soda orally is not going to do DIDDLY SQUAT for the body's pH at a dose of a couple of tablespoons, and certainly not in the short term. Used IV, yes, it can temporarily alter blood pH. But the downsides of doing this are enormous and it is no longer recommended in anything but the most narrowly-defined of settings in medicine, mostly long-term acidosis from kidney disease."

                                      Deltawave- I understand your point and you are very educated on science.
                                      But not all things work exactly as a book may say. I know from my experience's with Baking Soda it works and works with the issues I and others have listed. I never will have the time to fully understand why simple things work so well and I am sure that the Prescription world hopes we never figure it out! also!! Natural , Non traditional and Traditional meds or remedies all have their place. I am not bent on one or the other. I wonder sometimes though with your posts if you had experiences that were bad with using natural or less complicated remedies. I understand it is your opinion , but did something happen??

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                                      • #20
                                        tried baking soda for my colicy horse

                                        I had my colic-prone horse on baking soda for - oh I can't remember - 2-3 years. It made absolutely no difference for him. He's been off it for approx 2 years now and if anything I've had slighty fewer colics with him in that time.

                                        In my experience, the baking soda did nothing for him - one way or the other.

                                        OP - I read your original thread with great interest as I'm always looking for the cure to my horse's colic bouts. It is nice to know, at a minimum, that I'm not alone.

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