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Digestive Tract Problems on Horses

Horses suffer a lot when faced with digestive issues. Digestive system includes organs that help process food. The work of the digestive system has four division. It starts with the digestion of food, absorption of the nutrients, motility (the ability for micro-organisms in the digestive tract to move around) and elimination (of feces).

Your horse will show a sign of discomfort and poor performance when experiencing digestive tract problem. Proper and balanced feeding is the best way to prevent your horse from suffering digestive tract problem.

How do you know if your horse is suffering digestive issues?

Your horse will show signs like diarrhea, changes in bowel movements & colic. A diagnosis will be deemed complete and accurate after a thorough examination by a veterinarian. Your horse can also be examined for possible infectious disease that can invade the digestive tract of the horse. Just like people, horses have good bacteria within their intestinal system that help in the digestion and absorption of food. It also helps in preventing infections. When this intestinal or gut flora is destroyed, the ability of the digestive systems to protect itself is compromised.

Some digestive tract problem are also not just caused by infectious disease. Sometimes, it can also be because of the horse’s poor diet, injury and low immune system.

Treatment of the digestive tract issue is usually administered depending on the type of digestive issue, infectious and non-infectious. If the horse has an infectious disease, medications to kill the bacteria is given by the veterinarian. This process can also kill the good bacteria of your horse.

Digestive tract problem can be prevented by providing your horse with natural and balanced diet and a clean environment. Proper sanitation is an important practice when caring for your horse. During summer season, water can be easily contaminated because of bugs and flies being more active. Always remember to keep drink troughs clean and replace water regularly.

Credit: Merck Manual on Horse Digestive Disorders

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