September was Senior Horse Education Month. So, our good friends at Kentucky Performance Products are offering this eight-part series on feeding the senior horse. Here is part seven:
Senior horses require special attention to address their changing nutritional needs. As horses age, their metabolism, dental health and digestive efficiency may decrease, affecting their ability to maintain weight and absorb nutrients. In this series we’ll give you some guidelines on what to feed your senior horse.
Part 7: Digestive Supplements for the Senior Horse
As horses age, they can experience changes in their digestive systems, which may lead to various digestive issues. Providing a digestive supplement can be beneficial in supporting their gastrointestinal health and overall well-being.
The older digestive system may become less efficient in breaking down and absorbing nutrients from feed. This can result in reduced nutrient absorption, leading to deficiencies and weight loss. The balance of gut microorganisms in the intestines may shift as horses age, affecting their digestive processes. An imbalance in gut flora can lead to digestive disturbances, such as diarrhea or gas colic. Changes in routine, environment or companionship can cause stress in senior horses, leading to digestive upset. A digestive aid may help mitigate the effects of these changes and stress on the gastrointestinal system.
Older horses can be more susceptible to gastric ulcers due to factors like stress, limited forage intake and reduced digestive efficiency. A digestive aid that supports gastric health can be beneficial in managing or preventing ulcers.
It’s important to note that the specific type of digestive aid needed for an older horse will depend on the individual’s health condition and requirements. Consultation with a veterinarian or equine nutritionist is crucial to determine the most appropriate digestive aid for a senior horse’s specific needs.
Always consult with a qualified equine veterinarian or equine nutritionist to develop a feeding plan tailored to your senior horse’s specific needs. They can help you determine the right balance of nutrients and make adjustments based on your horse’s individual health and condition. Additionally, monitor your horse’s body condition regularly and adjust the diet accordingly to ensure they maintain a healthy weight.
About Kentucky Performance Products, LLC:
Supports a return to normal gut function
Free fecal water syndrome (FFWS) is easily recognizable by the watery fecal matter that runs out of the horse when they poop. The majority of the manure in the bowel movement is normally formed, and the watery portion runs out either before, during, or after the movement. In the most of cases of FFWS the horse is otherwise normal, and the cause is hard to pinpoint. FFWS is different than diarrhea. When a horse has diarrhea the entire bowel movement is watery, and diarrhea is often accompanied by other symptoms of illness.
As anyone who has dealt with this syndrome knows, the watery substance makes a mess all over the horse’s hindquarters and can even cause skin irritation in severe cases. FFWS has many causes but regardless of the cause ProbioticWise can help retore normal gut function and reduce dirty butts and skin irritation.Ask your Vet if ProbioticWise is right for your horse.
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