What Probiotics Can Do for Horses

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Probiotics for horses can help remedy a variety of digestive problems. Stress, age and recoveries from injuries or illnesses can all cause an imbalance in your horse’s intestinal flora. Probiotics work by reintroducing that good bacteria to your horse’s gut, as well as helping them absorb key nutrients and improve their overall digestion.

Uses of Probiotics

Use a probiotic for your horse first as a treatment and then as a preventative, if needed.

If you’re showing or traveling with your horse, you know how travel can affect them. If your horse is prone to drinking and eating less, a probiotic can serve as a preventative against stress and reduce the chance of colic. Horses with a history of colic can also benefit by using probiotics as a preventative measure.

Probiotics are a natural treatment for horses with chronic diarrhea as well. Use probiotics exclusively as a treatment or to support your horse’s current diarrhea treatment. If you’re using a prescription like Metronidazole, for example, you may be able to reduce your horse’s dosage by balancing it with a probiotic.

Other medicines, such as antibiotics, can affect your horse’s digestive system by depleting both the good and bad bacteria in their gut. Use probiotics to reintroduce good bacteria and bring balance back to their gut’s environment.

Show, endurance and racehorses frequently develop ulcers, while older horses are at an increased risk if they’re treated daily with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) like Bute or Banamine. Probiotics for horses with ulcers help digestion and are often a part of a veterinarian’s treatment for ulcers.

Older horses can also benefit from probiotics. Natural probiotics can aid in the absorption of nutrients and help boost your horse’s digestive process.

Types of Probiotics

Different types of probiotics for your horse are available. Probiotics include pure bacteria cultures or a combination of bacteria strains. Other substances are added to boost a probiotic’s effectiveness and treatment scope.

Additives for probiotics can include:

  • Prebiotics
  • Yeasts
  • Vitamins
  • Digestive enzymes
  • Electrolytes

Probiotics often give your horse an advantage in balancing or maintaining their gut flora. Vitamins and enzymes, for example, are already produced by the intestinal flora, while prebiotics support the growth of bacteria introduced by your probiotic.