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 eight:
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 8: Fresh Water and White Salt Are Important for the Senior Horse
Ensure your senior horse has access to clean, fresh water at all times to prevent dehydration, especially if they consume more dry feed. In the winter, offer your senior horse warm water when temperatures are cold. In colder temperatures, water can become very cold, and older horses with sensitive teeth may be reluctant to drink it if it’s too chilly. Providing warm water can be a helpful strategy to encourage them to drink and prevent dehydration during the winter months.
Sodium, which is found in salt, is an essential nutrient for horses. While horses can get sodium from various sources, offering plain white salt ensures that they receive an adequate and consistent supply of this important mineral. Sodium is one of the key electrolytes that play a crucial role in maintaining proper hydration and muscle function. Horses lose sodium through sweating, so providing them with supplemental salt helps replenish these electrolyte levels and maintain a healthy balance. Salt can stimulate a horse’s thirst, encouraging them to drink more water. Sufficient water intake is essential for overall health, digestion and preventing dehydration, especially during hot weather or periods of increased physical activity. Horses typically self-regulate their salt intake if provided with free access to a salt block or loose salt.
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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