Horse Hind Gut Problems

Horse Hind Gut Problems

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If you are an equine lover, odds are yo u’ve heard of the term low starch in horse feeds. Are there any health reasons and benefits behind this trend? Well, for starters, hindgut ulcers develop as a result of excess starch in the digestive system, but this increase in starch doesn’t just happen, it all begins with the way we feed our horses.

Poor feeding can cause problems in the digestive system, which then disrupts the delicate balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria. The subsequent loss of beneficial bacteria and growth of harmful bacteria leads to the production of toxins, making the gut more acidic than it should be.

Then Versus Now

The horse will feed on grass up to 20 hours a day when living in a relatively stress-free environment among its herd. Horses have small stomachs, which produce gastric acid continuously. When the horse chews on grass, it produces saliva which buffers the stomach acid, reducing acid buildup. This process provides most of the horse’s energy just the way nature intended.

Compared with the daily life of the modern horse where in our quest to increase their energy levels, we feed them starch-dense foods on an intermittent basis and often in huge quantities. After all, how many of us can feed our horses slowly throughout the day? The result is more undigested starch moves to the large intestine, fermentation occurs and lactic acid is produced. More than 55 percent of horses, especially performance horses , suffer from hindgut ulcers.

Symptoms of Hindgut Ulcers in Horses

If all this is happening inside the horse’s digestive system, how can we tell from the outside? Usually, when digestive problems occur, absorption problems follow soon after. You will typically notice things like decreased appetite, diarrhea, weight loss, poor performance and even colic.

Other symptoms are less obvious, such as reluctance of the horse to flex, extend or collect, and heightened sensitivity on the flanks. Lack of focus, poor temperament and training issues are also common. How do you expect the horse to concentrate under these conditions?

Treatment and Prevention

The obvious answer to all these problems is to drastically change how we feed and care for the animal and to get closer to the way the horse’s digestive system was intended to work. This means more pasture, more forage and adopting habits such as feeding the horse small amounts of food multiple times a day. Other changes include limiting starch and reducing the amount of stress we subject them to.

Equine supplements can also help a horse who is suffering from hind gut problems. At Kauffman’s Animal health, we sell a variety of supplements that can help horses who are suffering from hind gut ulcers. These supplements include Digest-Mor, Equine laxative, KA-HI Pro Paste, Kauffman’s Digestive Health, Kauffman’s Equine Gold, and Kauffman’s Summit.

If you are looking for all-natural nutritional products, developed by experts in the safest facilities, then look no further than Kauffman’s products. Contact us at 1-800-992-3147 to find the right feed for your horse today.