“You Are What You Eat” - we have all heard this saying before with regard to human diets. It's also true for your horses. Apart from air and water, the metabolic processes in the body of all living organisms are maintained and largely influenced by the food that is absorbed. The digestive tract, especially the intestines, play a major role in this context.
The balance and the interaction of minerals, micronutrients and macronutrients, vitamins, hormones, and enzymes in the horse’s intestines depend on the feed as well as the feed management. In the intestines, the absorbed, pre-digested nutrients are digested further. They can then be resorbed from the intestines and are now available in the form of energy or as a fundamental building block for the deposition of body mass. Most of the body’s defence cells are found in the horse’s intestines, which means that the digestive tract is the most important organ for the immune system.
If stress or feeding errors, for instance, cause gastric hyperacidity, the pH in the horse’s intestines drops as well, which may cause the essential beneficial intestinal bacteria (intestinal microbes) and immune cells to die. Initial indications of this kind of indigestion with regard to the intestinal flora may include diarrhea, flatulence, foul-smelling excrement, watery excrement, and colics. These symptoms will ultimately affect the performance of the horse and increasingly weaken the immune system.
Medication, too, may disturb the intestinal flora, since a variety of active agents can cause the bacteria to die. Adverse effects include the elimination of beneficial intestinal bacteria. Thus, the horse’s intestines should be repaired after long-term medication therapy or stomach problems (due to gastric hyperacidity). Natural intestinal repair is enhanced by rations mainly consisting of premium quality roughage, adapted to the needs and requirements of the horse. The feeding time should be at least twelve hours per day; feeding gaps of more than four to five hours are to be avoided. Appropriate animal husbandry, a lot of exercise and a good structure of the herd also contribute to repairing the intestines.
Since, however, neither the husbandry nor the feeding conditions are always optimal, horses frequently need support with their intestinal repair. Probiotics are indicated for this purpose. These are special bacterial cultures having a positive effect on the composition of the intestinal flora, thus restoring the natural balance of beneficial
intestinal microbes. Since probiotics have only a limited lifetime in the horse’s intestines, they must continuously be administered via the feed in order to repair the intestines permanently and sustainably. To support this intestinal repair, various supplementary feeds containing probiotics are being offered by a number of horse feed producers.
Equine 74 Gastric
The long-term solution
Buffers the excess acid in the horse's stomach instead of blocking it.