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Horse Colic


Extensive research through rigorous trials has confirmed the proper protocol for dosage and frequency of use of psyllium husk in the equine. The Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the University of Murdoch in Australia has been conducting research on the efficacy of ColiClenz™ Plus and TracKlenz™ Plus.

Clinical trials at Murdoch University on horses continue. PHP Pellets has developed research associations throughout the United States and other countries, and continues to cultivate new collaborators. The result will be the development of new products that have been tested and are endorsed by experts in the scientific community.

Current research has shown that psyllium husk can be useful in the treatment of sand colic, sand diarrhea, and toxic diarrhea.1 In a case reported in the Journal of the Veterinary Medical Association, four horses with sand diarrhea had difficulty maintaining weight or had lost weight prior to treatment with psyllium husk. After treatment with psyllium husk for two days, the diarrhea resolved and all horses subsequently either gained weight or were easier to maintain in good condition.2 In a case study on sand colic in a foal treated with psyllium husk, a full recovery of the two and a half month-old filly was reported.3

Proper Dosage is Critical

PHP Pellets has determined, after extensive studies, the most optimal dosage and regimen to produce the best results in cleaning the equine gut and returning it to its original efficiency helping to avoid colic in horses.

Studies have been conducted by other research units using dosages of psyllium husk at other dosage regimens than that used by PHP Pellets in the ColiClenz™ Plus dosage regimen. The results of many official studies using psyllium husk as the active ingredient have indicated no benefits in the removal of sand from the horse. Many of these studies negated the raw product’s ability to act as a cleansing agent.

PHP Pellets’ research indicates if dosed and disbursed within the horse’s system correctly, ColiClenz™ Plus is highly effective (See Figure 2). The proper dose is essential to the product’s efficiency.

Our test results have been part of the research of ColiClenz™ Plus over an extended period of time. Testimonials for PHP Pellets’ product ColiClenz™ Plus indicate that the product has wide-ranging benefits to the horse. These benefits are obvious from two weeks after the first dose is administered, and continue to be apparent weeks and months after continued use. Consideration in evaluation is given to condition, behavior, performance, appearance, and ongoing illness, as well as the costs of veterinary and feed accounts.

Ongoing studies of ColiClenz™ Plus is being conducted by the Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, School of Veterinary Clinical Science at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. Results of controlled studies show that ColiClenz™ Plus cleared sand from the equine gut and found there were continued benefits in the appearance and well-being of the horses.

Preliminary data from product trials at Murdoch University Veterinary Hospital suggests PHP Pellets [ColiClenz™ Plus] accelerate the removal of sand from horses. Trial horses were fed either a placebo pellet or PHP Pellets at the manufacturer’s recommended dose rate. To date, all horses receiving PHP Pellets have cleared accumulated sand over the five-day treatment period, while horses receiving the placebo pellet typically do not. Horses receiving PHP Pellets have passed up to 1180cm3 of sand in feces collected over a 24-hour period. By contrast, horses receiving the placebo pellet typically pass less than 10cm3 in the same period. Dr. Sharanne Raidal, BVSc MVSt, PhD, MACVSC, Murdoch University, Australia


In November 2003, the University of Arkansas initiated a study on the benefits of ColiClenz™ Plus on the general improvement of horses, which may include improvement of coat, coronet band, and other visual characteristics

Pre- and Post-Surgical Care

Studies suggest that psyllium husk is important in both pre- and post-surgical treatment. It is important in the aftercare of equine patients, particularly following rectal, perirectal, and coccygeal surgeries, to prevent impaction or incisional dehiscence and surgical failure.5 Additionally, surgeries unrelated to the gastrointestinal tract in horses produce an intermediate clinical phase characterized by reduced fecal output preceding overt signs of colic.6 ColiClenz™ Plus may be beneficial in alleviating the risk of low fecal output that can cause colic after surgery.

Natural Anti-Inflammatory

A controlled study performed in Japan on rats indicates that psyllium husk “may shift the fermentation of amylase cornstarch diets from the caecum to the distal colon, leading to higher butyrate concentration in the distal colon...”7 Butyrate was the natural pain killer produced by the animal. This research suggests that ColiClenz™ Plus may produce the natural anti-inflammatory and has application in situations when an anti-inflammatory or painkiller is applicable.

Gastric Ulcers and Enteritis

Gastric ulcers are a common and difficult problem for horses. In the past five years, research has revealed several things about gastric ulcers. Feeding alfalfa hay every five to six hours is thought to provide a protective effect on the non-glandular squamous mucosa, the area of the equine intestinal lining where ulcers develop. Depriving feed for longer than 12 hours can contribute to the development of ulcers.8

ColiClenz™ Plus may have efficacy for the treatment of gastric ulcers and toxic enteritis in horses. An experimental study indicates that psyllium husk could protect the intestinal barrier function in rats.9 Another study shows that the severity of diarrhea induced by infection with entertoxigenic E. coli is significantly reduced with the administration of psyllium.10

Psyllium does not interfere with the absorption of nutrients from the gastrointestinal tract.11 A study, performed on humans, concludes that consumption of psyllium does not adversely affect either mineral or vitamin A and E concentrations.12 Hence, ColiClenz™ Plus can be administered without fear of compromising the nutritional status of the horse.

Studies indicate that the adverse gastrointestinal effects of drugs may be prevented with concomitant administration of psyllium.13 It is well known that phenylbutazone, a widely used non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and other NSAIDs used in the equine industry, can cause gastric ulcers and strictures in the equine colon.14,15 Butazone, as it is commonly known, is used by horse owners for everything from colic to trauma and exercise-induced injuries. The medication produces a microvascular injury that is associated with the formation of pyloric erosions in the horse’s stomach. These gastric ulcers can occur within 24 hours of administration of the drugs, causing colic or debilitation. Psyllium husk has been successfully used as part of a regimen in the treatment of NSAID-induced gastric ulcers.16

ColiClenz™ Plus obviously has application in the treatment of gastric ulcers in horses,16 but it may also be effective in the deterrence of gastric ulcers when used concomitantly with NSAID administration. Research shows that psyllium husk, when given with medications, does not interfere with the absorption of the medications.9


When a horse overfeeds or shows signs of laminitis, administration of ColiClenz™ Plus may be an effective treatment or precaution of this malady that often necessitates euthanasia.7,8 There are numerous known causes of laminitis, including feeding high grain or starch diets, large drinks of cold water, concussion from working on hard surfaces, retained placenta after foaling, overweight, and sudden access to lush grass. Laminitis can also occur as a complication after surgery.

The latest research indicates that the high amounts of fructan in lush grass may also be a cause of laminitis. As fructan enters the large intestine undigested, it causes the “good” bacteria to die, which causes the production of toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream and causes inflammation of the laminae.6

There is indication that the administration of ColiClenz™ Plus can delay the absorption of the high-starch content of grain and grasses and possibly avert laminitis.


Research indicates that ColiClenz™ Plus is useful for the following:

  • Assisting in the post treatment of horse colic or equine colic (sand, assisting endoparasitic, toxic, grass, and stress)
  • Assisting in the treatment of gastric ulcers and laminitis
  • Post-operatively to better manage the gut behavior and assist with colic management
  • Avoiding problems with sand-induced diarrhea and other such diarrhea attacks
  • Treating enterotoxigenic bacterial infections
  • As a natural anti-inflammatory


1 Cebra ML, Garry FB, Cebra CK, et al. Treatment of neonatal calf diarrhea with an oral electrolyte supplemented with psyllium mucilloid. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine. 1998 Nov-Dec; 12(6): 449-55.

2 Bertone JJ, Traub-Dargatz JL, Wrigley RW, et al. Diarrhea associated with sand in the gastrointestinal tract of horses. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 1988 Dec 1; 193(11): 1409-12.

3 Morita T, Kasaoka S, Hase K, et al. Psyllium shifts the fermentation site of high-amylose cornstarch toward the distal colon and increases fecal butyrate concentration in rats. Journal of Nutrition. 1999 Nov; 129(11): 2081-7.

4 Hammock PD, Freeman DE, Baker GJ. Failure of psyllium mucilloid to hasten evacuation of sand from the equine large intestine. Veterinary Surgery. 1988 Nov-Dec; 27(6): 547-54.

5 DeBowes RM. Standing rectal and tail surgery. Veterinary Clinics North American Equine Practice. 1991 Dec; 7(3): 649-67.

6 Little D, Redding WR, Blikslager AT. Risk factors for reduced fecal output in horses: 37 cases (1997-1998). Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. 2001 Feb 1; 218(3): 414-20.

7 Ramey DW, Reinertson EL, Sand induced diarrhea in a foal, J Am Vet Med Assoc 1984, Sep 1; 185(5): 537-8.

8 King M. The Horse; Ridding Sand from the Gut. February 2000.

9 Deng GY, Lui YW, He GZ, et al. Effect of dietary fiber on intestinal barrier function of 5-Fu stressed rats. Research in Experimental Medicine (Berl). 1999 Oct; 199(2): 111-9.

10 Hayden UL, McGuirk SM, West SE, et al. Psyllium improves fecal consistency and prevents enhanced secretory reponses in jejunal tissues of piglets infected with ETEC. Digestive Disease Science. 1988 Nov; 43(11): 2536-41.

11 Chui AC, Sherman SI. Effects of pharmacological fiber supplements on levothyroxine absorption. Thyroid. 1998 Aug; 8(8): 667-71.

12 Sierra M, Garcia JJ, Fernandez N, et al. Therapeutic effects of psyllium in type 2 diabetic patients.

13 Cavaliere H, Floriano I, Medeiros-Neto G. Gastrointestinal side-effects of oristat may be prevented by concomitant prescription of natural fibers (psyllium muciloid). International Journal of Obesity Related Metabolic Disorders. 2001 Jul; 25(7): 1095-9.

14 Hough ME, Steel CM, Bolton JR, et al. Ulceration and stricture of the right dorsal colon after phenylbutazone administration in four horses. Australian Veterinary Journal; 1999 Dec; 77(12): 785-8.

15 Meschter CL, Gilbert M, Krook L, et al; The effects of phenylbutazone on the morphology and prostaglandin concentrations of the pyloric mucosa of the equine stomach. Veterinary Pathology; 1990 Jul; 27(4): 244-53.

16 Evers S. AAEP 2002: Recent Developments in Equine Nutrition. The Horse. February 2003.


ColiClenz™ Plus and TracKlenz™ Plus are registered with the U.S. Patent Office (Patent Pending 10/636,331) and the Australian Patent Office (Patent Pending 200320441). Psyllium Husk Performance Pellets, Inc., has worked diligently to protect the authenticity of the product, allowing the company to continue providing an ethical product and an assurance of efficacy to the horse owner.

research to avoid colic in horses



It is recommended that the treatment be reintroduced every 10 weeks, when the process of absorbing the feed starts to break down in the horse’s system again.



cutting horse





Figure 3

sand in horse with colic

X-ray Diagnosis of Sand in the Large Colon




PHP Pellets may produce a natural anti-inflammatory and has applications in all situations when an anti-inflammatory or painkiller is applicable.





horse with colic being treated



PHP Pellets has application in the treatment of gastric ulcers in horses.



Psyllium has been successfully used as part of a regimen in the treatment of NSAID induced gastric ulcers.



barrel horse 2