So many Colic's

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Mane Event Equestrian Supplies, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. #(There has been a massive increase recently in the cases of colic. With no rain and feed in paddocks either gone or barely there , the chances of colic are high for everyone. Once the rain starts ( if it ever will) the risk is even greater.
    For the sake of your horses you should all be undertaking a maintenance programme to clean the gut of sand and maintain a healthy animal.
    Drenching can be an option but so can kinder , natural forms of treatment.
    You may consider starting a course of Psyllium for 5-6 days and then adding Chia seed to your horses diets. These are cost effective, gentle to the stomach and work. With many health benefits your horses will love you for it.

    Chia has the substance essential to cell life?a balanced property of giving out (nutrients) and readily taking up (debris). The name Chia is derived from the Aztec word, chian, meaning oily. It is an ancient seed being rediscovered around the world, with balanced nutritional components. These tiny seeds are highly palatable! Chia is easy to top-dress on feed with a mild nutty flavor. Horses love it.

    Chia is an excellent source of EFA's (essential oils), antioxidants, minerals, protein, soluble (mucilage) fibre and low NSC (non structural carbohydrate).

    Chia and Omega Oils

    Chia (Salvia hispanica) is high in the magic Omega's. Chia is an oil seed containing 32-39% oil. Two-thirds of Chia oil is Omega-3 essential fatty acid (polyunsaturated) with only one-third Omega-6. This is an ideal healthy ratio. Because Omega-3 sources are becoming increasingly scarce in the world, we need to turn our attention to Chia.

    Fresh green grass, a horse's natural diet, is very low in fat at only 4% to 6%. But horses do require a dietary intake of omega-3 and omega-6 fats because the body can't manufacture them.

    Grasses contain anywhere from four to six times as much omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid as they do omega-6 alpha-linoleic acid. This means that a horse would normally take in a much higher level of omega-3s than omega-6s. Unfortunately, omega-3 fats are very fragile. When grass is cut, dried and baled into hay, the omega-3 content is rapidly lost. Omega-6 fatty acids are a bit more resistant to breakdown. Hay, therefore, is lower in omega-3 compared to omega-6 than fresh grass.

    The situation just gets worse if you feed vegetable oils, grains, or high-fat meals such as corn oil. These are high in omega-6 fatty acids. In comparison, Chia oil is 62-64 percent Omega 3, flaxseed oil is 58 percent, menhaden fish oil is 29 percent.

    The only readily available feed ingredient, high in omega-3 fatty acids?without processing?is Chia seed.

    Chia and Fibre ? Sand Clearing

    Chia is hydrophilic (water absorbing); the gelatinous property of the seeds (upon getting wet in the gut) clears sand. 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. Oil acts as a natural lubricant.

    It can be safely fed daily. This virtually eliminates the need for psyllium products once a maintenance routine has been established. Chia is high in soluble fibre, providing 27.6 grams of fibre for every 100 grams of seed.

    Chia?mucilage gel increases in volume by 12x.
    Psyllium?mucilage gel increases in volume by 10x.
    Flax?mucilage gel increases in volume by 6x.

    Preventing Ulcers

    Chia is soothing to the gut with a mucilaginous gel, which eases inflammation caused by sand and ulcers. Chia acts as a barrier between the carbohydrates and the enzymes of the stomach. The slower metabolism results in less build-up of acid in the stomach. Horses are prone to ulcers because they constantly produce stomach acid.

    Slower Metabolism of Carbohydrates

    Chia is a very low NSC (non-structural carbohydrate). Chia forms a mucilaginous gel in the digestive tract and creates a physical barrier between carbohydrates and the digestive enzymes that break them down, thus slowing the conversion of carbohydrates into sugar. The slower metabolism results in a more even blood-sugar level, a huge advantage for Insulin-Resistant horses.

    Enhanced Fluid & Electrolyte Balances

    Chia provides greater efficiency in the utilization of body fluids and absorption of nutrients, helping to maintain electrolyte balance. Fluid and electrolyte imbalances occur when large amounts of fluids are lost resulting from diarrhea, colic, fever, ulcers or sweating. Extracellular fluid loss occurs in these conditions. Intercellular fluid then shifts out of cells to compensate, causing abnormal distribution of electrolytes resulting in cellular malfunction.

    Chia seeds give extensive hydration. Hydrophilic colloids, (a watery, gelatinous, sticky substance) form the underlying elements of all living cells. Chia has the substance essential to cell life?a balanced property of giving out (nutrients) and readily taking up (debris).

    Chia and Protein

    Chia Seeds contain all nine essential amino acids for a complete protein. Chia has 19-23% protein content, which is more protein than traditional grains such as wheat (13.7%), rice (6.5%), corn (9.4%), barley (12.5%) and oats (16.9%). Research performed on Chia's digestibility and biological value has proven that Chia is an excellent protein source.

    There are no limitations in Chia's amino acid content, therefore, it can be included in the horse diet to improve protein balance by itself or when mixed with other feed.

    Chia Vitamins and Minerals

    Chia Seed is an ancient wonder food?a whole food source of balanced ratios of vitamins, minerals and Omega oils.

    Chia is a rich source of Vitamin B, with a higher niacin content than corn, rice or even soy. Its thiamine and riboflavin content is similar corn and rice.

    Chia and Antioxidants

    Chia is highly enriched with antioxidants to protect its PUFAs (essential Omega oils) from becoming oxidized and going rancid, to the extent that chia seed can be stored at room temperature until use?which makes it easy to store at the barn. It does not go rancid quickly or lose its nutritional properties. Chia does not have a shell or husk that requires processing to remove. The natural antioxidants keep the inherent oils fresh. This is a unique feature of Chia that makes it easy to feed and store.

    What are the benefits of psyllium husks for horses?

    Psyllium Husk (Plantago ovata)

    The husk of the psyllium seed is one of those plant remedies which demonstrates ?the ingenuity of nature? (J.A. Duke, 2000) in providing a substance which is able to treat apparently contradictory ailments ? diarrhoea and constipation ? depending on what is needed.

    Psyllium is high in fibre and mucilage and when combined with water it swells to many times its original size, becoming slimy and gelatinous. Diarrhoea is inhibited via the absorbtion of excess moisture and bulking up of faeces, and constipation is alleviated by the softening of stool and the promotion of bowel movement by the extra volume.

    For horses, psyllium husk?s ability to pick up sand and move it through the gut is particularly valuable in the preventation and/or treatment of sand colic. Periodic addition of psyllium to the feed is practised in some sandy soil areas.

    ACTIONS include: bulk laxative, demulcent (soothing and protecting membranes) and healing, antidiarrhoeal. Important notes: It is vital that a horse being fed psyllium has constant access to plenty of fresh water to ensure that the bulking up and moisture absorbing effects of the psyllium do not hinder the passage of food through the gut. Adding extra salt to the feed whilst using psyllium can assist with increasing water intake.

    Do not feed psyllium to a horse whose gut is impacted.

    DO NOT feed psyllium continually as a preventative measure for sand colic. After a period of time the microbe colony in the horse?s colon adapts and will ?digest? (ferment) the psyllium, reducing its effectiveness as a ?pass-through? collector of sand and debris.

    As a precautionary measure, do not administer oral drugs of any kind simultaneously with psyllium. Separate them by a couple of hours so that the psyllium does not lower the absorbtion of the medication.

    It is reported that horses prone to sand colic can be fed 1 or 2 cups a day in their hard feed, for 5-6 days a month.

    For further information please visit:
    Mane Event Equestrian Supplies **)
  2. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    I thought that there had been no proven link between chia seed and sand removal?
    I know people who use oil/ chia seeds oat husks etc yet it still seems to depend on the horse
    I just provide my horse with a lot of hay and keep him on clay rather than sand.
  3. South Boulder Boy

    South Boulder Boy Well-known Member

    Our horses are on sand but we make sure they don't eat off it and have access to bulk hay. They also get an oil/worm drench once a year at least. We don't get colic cases and the horses surprisingly don't have Stomachs full of sand. I'm sure it's not just luck ';'
  4. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    I think the link is the bulk hay.
    Hubby's horse is an industrial Hoover and will anything that looks like it might be food, and have a crack at other things just incase. So he has to be kept on clay.
  5. Arnie

    Arnie Gold Member

    I thought this was going to be an informative post but instead basically an advert about chia! I believe it claims to do so much and no scientific proof.

    Hay all the way!
  6. I'm sorry if you don't think it's informative . The post states the facts and properties of both Chia and psyllium in horse management and as a preventative for colic . If you choose you can research both these products yourself and find out your own information . Funny if someone posts about a premixed , processed miracle food then that's ok .
  7. old_mate

    old_mate Well-known Member

    I have read a couple of studies showing that the husks don't remove more sand than just straight bulk roughage but none that do?
  8. I suppose the fact is that some people don't feed adequate amounts of bulk roughage. There fore if they have horses that are prone to colic, continually sift for food, are on sand paddocks etc then a natural treatment would be a great way to alleviate some of these problems.
    My local vet has treated 30 colics in the last week, a huge increase he said. Many of these horses were being fed roughage in large quantities and some were even on reticulated grass paddocks. I have read many studies and have proof myself and of others using these products, that they do in fact shift sand in the gut.
    I have witnessed a colic prone pony on a course of psyllium and chia for 5 days, having its manure tested, remove nearly half a bucket of sand from the gut.
    I am not trying to convert anyone here or wanting an argument ,just offering an alternative :))
  9. celestialdancer

    celestialdancer Gold Member

    My yearling gelding went down with colic yesterday morning.

    We had him drenched.

    He had been drenched six weeks before, and is on psyllium husks, pumpkin and chia (for his coat ;) )

    He was also on a hay roll, and hard fed twice a day. Still had a gut full of sand because no matter what I do with him, he likes to have his head down 'grazing'. Our paddock is sand, there are no green shoots. We have graded it to scatter the poop to reduce the amount of top sand, but Isk knows every trick in the book to eat the stuff like there's no tomorrow.

    Can't stable him atm as his sister was recently pts and he's depressed without the company of my older gelding.

    ';'What else am I suppose to do! :stir:
  10. Hunny

    Hunny New Member

    Having had a horse with prolonged colicky bouts and scouring (as in 4 months continuously), with repeated vet visits and drenches, I can say that the only thing that worked was the pysllium/chia seed 'remedy'. It was a much higher amount however than one cup a day.

    The amount of sand that came out after 3-4 days of that was incredible, and it completely stopped the scouring.

    Just my two cents. :)
  11. Archie

    Archie Active Member

    Thank you for the info on Chia :) I had recently started using chia as i heard it could potentially lower the risk of colic, I also feed hay rolls and use psyllium husks monthly and now this confirms I am doing the right thing **)

    I am willing to try everything to lower risks whether studies are proven or not! but I am aware it could still happen as we live in such a sandy state. ;)

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