A sound nutritional plan, along with careful attention from a handler, veterinarian, and farrier, can save many starved horses. Recovery may take several months, and during this time each horse must be evaluated and treated on an individual basis.
Soybean hulls are high in pectin and other soluble fibers. Because they are digested mostly in the cecum and contain relatively small amounts of starch, their use in equine diets does not pose a high risk for colic and laminitis.
Mares come into estrus about seven to 14 days after giving birth. This period coincides with the occurrence of diarrhea in about 80% of foals, hence the name "foal heat diarrhea." There is no certain explanation as to why foals get diarrhea at this time, and various possible causes-influence of hormonal changes in mare's milk, foal begins to eat mare's manure, bacterial infection, parasite infestation-have been advanced.
Most oats fed to horses are whole, meaning each kernel is encased in a hull or fibrous sheath. Oats are frequently subjected to processing, typically rolling or crimping, which cracks the hulls and adds slightly to their digestibility.
In addition to the type and amount of concentrate being fed, owners of hyperactive horses should look at other areas of management. Horses that are kept in a stall or small corral much of the day will likely be more difficult to handle than horses that have more liberal access to free exercise. Full-time turnout and regular work are sometimes all that is necessary to curtail the expression of excess energy.
Horses, like humans, come in a variety of body shapes. Some breeds and individuals tend to be "easy keepers," naturally assuming a well-rounded shape. Others always seem to look a bit thin and ribby, no matter how they are managed.
Equine colic is loosely defined as abdominal pain. The causes are numerous, and the signs of discomfort (rolling, kicking at the abdomen, pawing, sweating) are familiar to most experienced horse handlers. Colic is one of the most common health emergencies, with an incidence of just over 9 cases per 100 horses in an average year. It is a leading reason for surgery and a frequent cause of death in horses.
<p> What is sand colic and how can I safeguard my horse from it? </p>
Products defined as digestive aids can be broadly categorized as either probiotics or prebiotics. These aids can be fed as part of the horse's regular diet, or administered only occasionally in response to a particular need.
Plain oats may have a place in the diets of some horses. Mature horses in light work and without the demands of reproduction may do just fine on plain oats, especially if pasture is scarce or low quality or if the forage source is low in energy. If oats are chosen as a way to increase caloric intake, a feed balancer should be used to ensure proper levels of vitamins and minerals are consumed.
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