View Full Version : Bare grazing causing colic?!
5th May 2005, 02:51 PM
With Alpi spending a fair amount of time in his almost bare paddock to prevent him getting laminitis I've been warned that he could be ingesting a lot of sand from the bare grazing? (we do have very sandy soil) and that this could cause colic?! Is there anything I can do to prevent this?
I discovered this supplement online...
Equine Products UK: Sand Shifter SD00-000
Description Sand Shifter contains pysllium husk powder, a revolutionary bulk forming natural fibre derived from pysllium seed. Once in the horse´s digestive tract, pysllium forms a fibrous gel which adheres to the sand particles preventing them from staying in the gut and causing potential blockages. Its bulk forming capacity encourages movement by peristalsis, aiding to remove the blockage from the horse´s digestive tract. Aniseed flavouring normally irresistible to horses, has been added to increase palatability. It contains kaolin to aid the whole digestive system. It is specially formulated for horses grazing sandy loams or short grass.
Has anyone had any experience with this or something similar? It's pretty pricey but do you think it would be worth it? Or am I overreacting..?
5th May 2005, 02:54 PM
yes, it can cause colic and yes, products like that are used to sort it out.
as a first go though, get some of her poo and dissolve it in water - then pour off the liquid and see if any sand is left. if there is sand in her system then some will come out in her poo, and there will be a sandy residue. i'm not sure though, whether it's a thing to do after they've had sand colic (that;s the only time i've heard of it being used) or if it's suitable to use as a preventative. perhaps give your vet a call and see if it is useful as a preventative?
5th May 2005, 03:10 PM
Sand colic is a very real risk and it is more likely that they will ingest more sand if there is little or no grass, but here is a way you can keep on top of it (told to my friend by Rossdales, newmarket equine hospital) Take a coffee jar and clean it out well, then get one lump of poo and put it in said jar, fill the jar about 3/4 with nearly boiling water put the lid on and give it a really good shake for about 30 seconds then put it down and let it sit for about 5 minutes. After it has sat pick it up carefully and look at the bottom of the jar, you will probably see sand settled at the bottom of the jar.
My horses have not suffered colic but still had some sand showing, maybe enough to cover a finger nail, my friends horse who did have colic had enough sand (in the same size sample) to nearly fill the finger of a rubber glove :eek:
So as we are on sandy soil we were advised that higher risk horses (those on poor grazing or when it is very dry) should be tested in this way about every 1-2 weeks and those at less risk should be tested once a month, just make sure you use the same size jar and same ammount of poo and compare how much sand you get. If you notice an increase you can buy straight pysllium from your vets (generally about the cheepest way to buy it) and give them a couple of doses to clear their system before you get colic. Locally to us it seems to be common practice for livery yards to dose all the horses once a week in the peak of summer, just to be sure but this test means you don't give the pysllium unnecessarily.
Hope this helps, and don't worry to much just keep and eye on it.
5th May 2005, 03:42 PM
colic and lamintis - whats the worse of the two evils!!! :eek:
luckily our field is very muddy, and not sandy!!! :eek: i didnt know that before
oh, wait a minute, the horses field has a river that has a sandy bottom - could this cause it. they have been drinking from it for 2 years and havnt had a prob!
5th May 2005, 03:56 PM
Sand could be ingested from drinking water but I doubt a small river would have enough strenght to get the sand off the bottom in to the water to be drunk, but if the river bottom is sand it would indicate that the surrounding soil could well have a high sand content. The test really dosent take long and it free so wont hurt at all, if there is nothing (after 2 years of being there) then it is unlikely to crop up in future.
5th May 2005, 05:19 PM
Sand colic is a common problem here in Florida, where EVERYthing is sand.
6th May 2005, 01:21 AM
it's very sandy in phx. i use a psyllium based product. a scoop a day one week out of a month, per vet. when she visits, she uses the steth and listens for sand. they've been clear since i've been using the stuff. check prices, they do vary a lot.
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