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Why do colics often occur after concentrate intake?

Tanja Dietz


2 Min. Lesezeit

Persistent colic, initially relatively mild, without visible external cause: Aas a result of one or more stomach ulcers, the stomach pains caused by this are often expressed by the horse in the form of relatively mild colic, which occurs time and again without any discernible external cause.

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When do these colic occur?
Often these mild colics occur after eating the concentrated feed and do not last that long.

Why do these colics often occur after concentrate intake?
As a rule, horses are fed concentrated feed, which has a high starch content and thus leads to the formation of lactic acid during degradation in the stomach. This causes the stomach pH value to drop. In addition, the horse produces considerably less saliva when eating concentrated feed than when eating hay. On the one hand, this leads to a considerably poorer mixing of the feed slurry, which increases the passage time of the feed in the stomach and consequently leads to increased gastric acid secretion. On the other hand, there is less saliva in the stomach to buffer the acid due to reduced chewing. Ultimately, there is an excess of acid in the stomach, which irritates the gastric mucosa. This causes stomach pain in the horse.

How do these colics manifest themselves?
How these colic manifests itself varies from horse to horse. Some horses pull up their belly, while others step towards their belly, stomp with their forelegs on the ground and/or lie down again and again, roll around and get up again.

What should I pay attention to when feeding?
It is important that the horse absorbs sufficient roughage not only in the case of feed-related ulcers but also in the case of stress related peptic ulcers, in order to ensure good salivation and thus mixing of the feed and buffering of the acid in the stomach. Concentrated feed should not be administered before roughage intake to ensure that enough saliva is already present in the stomach to buffer the acid when the concentrated feed is ingested. If it is known that the horse has a sensitive stomach, care should be taken not to give the horse too much grain. If necessary, grain should be dispensed with entirely.

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