HORSE FEED KILLS WHEN LEAST EXPECTED!
What if your guiltless and hungry horse or pony breaks into the feed room for a binge. Maybe he turns over a few horse covers, rips open a feed bag or two or simply lifts the lid off that feed bin, whichever way he does it, that mess should not be all you worry about even if pony seems nicely content and FULL!
Grain overload is the term we use for over-consumption of feed. This could be an accidental occurrence and one requiring the forgiving of a child who permitted their cute pony free access to a bag of yummy sweetened feed. Should you have children and a feed room or greedy equines then please be aware.
WARNING WARNING WARNING
It is the amount of soluble carbohydrate in the amount of product consumed that could be fatal.
As the carbohydrates enter the stomach and intestines, the pH decreases and there is a change in the microbial flora. This results in acidosis and an increased risk of endotoxaemia.
Grain overload is also a major contributor to the development of lameness and laminitis.
Excessive consumption of horse feed can cause a range of problems from mild colic and diarrhoea to death caused by the stomach rupturing.
TAKE NOTE - if there is trembling, sweating or noticable distention of the stomach
CALL THE VET - IMMEDIATELY
Dont waste time, use ice therapy by standing your horse/pony in buckets of ice-water (if you are able to). Most will survive colitis if they do not develop laminitis. Research has shown that cooling the feet reduces the likelihood of an onset of laminitis.
Immediate concern is gastritis and stomach distension. In such cases the passage of a nasogastric tube is essential to prevent gastric rupture. The tube can then be left in place, or continuous monitoring for repeat distension should be performed.
There are specific products such as high quality carbon used during hospital treatments which can be given to reduce toxin absorption from the gastrointestinal system in horses.
If none of the mentioned signs are confirmed then an experienced person or your vet may provide treatment using magnesium sulphate and water to speed the passage of hazardous food through the gastro intestinal system.
Other treatments may include anti-inflammatories and anti-endotoxics, antihistamines and even aspirin to assist digital perfusion.
Acidosis and dehydration will need to be addressed immediately
If suitable treatment is not given to the animal in sufficient time the prognosis is not positive and if there are signs of colic and abdominal distension be prepared for death in as little as 2 days Unfortunately there have been cases where extreme therapy has proved helpless.
If laminitis occurs along with internal signs, the prognosis is dim.
For further information on how to treat and prevent laminits or the management of horses and ponies after founder then go to our contact page here CONTACT
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