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Digestive System

Prebiotics and Probiotics in Horses

December 2016

The hindgut (cecum and colon) of the horse has a microbial population (microbes: bacteria, yeast, fungi) that ferment and breakdown fibre. Without these microbes in the hindgut, horses would not be able to digest and utilise plant material, such as hay and pasture.  

Colic: Part 2

October 2016

“I think my horse has colic...” These are the words many horse owners worry about. Colic means pain in the abdomen, but it is a clinical sign, rather than a diagnosis. From impaction colic or sand colic to twisted bowel, gas build up or parasite infestation, colic is the number one killer of horses worldwide. In this two-part series, Dr Kylie Schaaf from WestVETS Animal Hospital & Equine Reproduction Centre outlines the essential information that every horse owner should know about this potentially fatal condition. 

Colic in Horses: Causes, Clinical Signs and Prevention

October 2016

The term ‘colic’ strikes fear among horse owners. Colic is not a disease, but rather a generic term that refers to a combination of signs that alert us to abdominal pain in the horse, which may be due to an accumulation of gas, fluid or feed. 

Colic: Part 1

October 2016

“I think my horse has colic...” These are the words many horse owners worry about. Colic means pain in the abdomen, but it is a clinical sign, rather than a diagnosis. From impaction colic or sand colic to twisted bowel, gas build up or parasite infestation, colic is the number one killer of horses worldwide. In this two-part series, Dr Kylie Schaaf from WestVETS Animal Hospital & Equine Reproduction Centre outlines the essential information that every horse owner should know about this potentially fatal condition.  Signs of colic 

Treating Ulcers with Supplements: How Effective Are They?

August 2016

In this article, equine nutritionist Karen Richardson reviews the scientific research available to find out if the claims made by supplements based on pectin-lecithin complexes match their effectiveness in preventing and treating equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS). Understanding phospholipids’ protective role

Inside the Horse's Gut

August 2016

Veterinary and engineering researchers at Canada’s University of Saskatchewan have teamed up to harness imaging technology to fill in a blank area in equine health: What really goes on inside the horse’s gut? “Whenever I talk to students about the horse abdomen, I put up a picture of a horse and put a big question mark in the middle,” says veterinary researcher Dr Julia Montgomery in the University of Saskatchewan’s Western College of Veterinary Medicine.

Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome

March 2016

Traditionally believed to be primarily a disease of racing horses, ulcers are now known to be a far more common problem than previously thought. Up to 93% of elite endurance horses and 60% of show, western performance, dressage, showjumping and event horses may have Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome (EGUS). Recognising EGUS can be extremely difficult as there are no characteristic signs particular to the disease. In fact, some horses will not show any clinical signs of disease other than the presenting complaint of ‘poor performance’.  Presenting signs

Dietary Factors Associated with Enteroliths

March 2016

What are enteroliths? Enteroliths are stones that can form in the large intestine (right dorsal colon) of the horse that may cause partial or complete blockage of the intestine. The stone is created when struvite crystals, made of magnesium ammonium phosphate hexahydrate, form around a foreign object – such as some sand, plastic, rope, a stone, a piece of wire, or nail. The enterolith may be pea sized or grow to the size of an orange, and one or multiple enteroliths may be present. How do enteroliths form?

Are Pectin-Lecithin Supplements Effective in Preventing and Treating Ulcers?

July 2016

In this article, equine nutritionist Karen Richardson reviews the scientific research available to find out if the claims made by supplements based on pectin-lecithin complexes match their effectiveness in preventing and treating equine gastric ulcers (EGUS). Understanding phospholipids' protective role

First True Insight into the Horse's Gut

June 2016

Veterinary and engineering researchers at Canada's University of Saskatchewan have teamed up to harness imaging technology to fill in a blank area in animal health: What goes on inside the horse’s gut? “Whenever I talk to students about the horse abdomen, I put up a picture of a horse and put a big question mark in the middle,” says veterinary researcher Dr. Julia Montgomery in the University of Saskatchewan's Western College of Veterinary Medicine. Montgomery worked with equine surgeon Dr.

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