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With 72 feet of digestive tract, a horse has much opportunity for developing issues within their system. Digestive issues can lead to much larger problems for the health and performance of a horse. In order to successfully prevent horse colic, we need to know what specifically causes it.
horse colic causes
Concerning horse colic causes, this is a common occurrence and easily preventable. When a horse ingests dirt or sand, colic can develop. This is a common occurrence with horses fed on the ground or who have regular access to it. Pasture grasses and hays may contain both dirt and sand. Over time, these foreign materials accumulate in the intestines, eventually becoming one of the most significant causes of horse colic. The horse may be carrying 30-80 pounds before they exhibit any colic symptoms.
Horses have big personalities and can at times be unpredictable. If a horse happens to break into a feed area, gorging itself on more than his normal rations, colic can be the end result of his feeding frenzy.
Parasitism in Horses:
Horse colic causes can be trickier than sand, dirt, or overeating. Worm infestations in a horse disrupt circulation in the intestines. Further, blood clots and deceased worms may cause blockages resulting in symptoms of colic.
Irregular Feeding Schedule:
Just as discomfort sets in when we go too long without eating, then eat too much too quickly, the same is true for our horses. With an irregular feeding schedule, a horse is prone to extended hunger, which leads him to digest too much food in too little time, disrupting his digestion rhythm. This can also happen when a horse is fed too soon after working or if the horse is still hot.
Abrupt Changes in Feed:
A sudden change in anyone's diet can lead to adverse effects, and the same is true for horses. When we change feeds, it’s important to do so gradually, allowing a horse’s intestinal tract to adjust at its own pace. Introducing new food too abruptly can cause symptoms of colic.
Bad Feed, Mold, and Toxins:
This, too, is another comparison to our own digestive tracts with those of our horses. Just like us, if our horses consume anything spoiled or rotten, their digestion suffers. This can cause the onset of colic. Toxins can also be a cause of colic, along with moldy feed leading to mold poisoning.
Ingestion of Non-food Materials:
Our horses may be curious creatures, but they can also be a bit oblivious as to what they are ingesting. From time to time they consume stones, sticks, twine, wood splinters, or other foreign materials. If your horse has a habit of chewing wood, they are at a higher risk for developing equine colic.
Too-fine of grain has a tendency of packing together and causing blockages in a horse’s intestinal tract.
Sometimes colic is caused not by what our horses eat, but by a twisting of their intestinal tract. This is a very serious and life-threatening condition. There are different types of twists which can occur at different sections of the intestinal tract. Here are a few common intestinal twists seen in horses:
ColiClenz Plus Pellets use time-tested remedies to clean and support the digestive system of horses. It can help avoid some of the aforementioned types of colic.
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