Gas colic is the least serious form of colic. That’s the good news. The bad news is that it’s very common. So common, in fact, that it is often overlooked as “just gas,” like you might get when you eat too much pizza. However, never be complacent about gas colic because it can lead to complications such as displacement or twisting of the large colon.[i] Truth is, if you’re feeding correctly, gas colic should not happen. And if it does, then you’re more than likely doing something wrong. Read More
By Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D.
Your horse sweats more during the summer, making electrolyte supplementation worth considering. But electrolytes alone will not protect against dehydration. Your horse needs to have enough sodium (salt). One ounce per day (two tablespoons) is adequate for maintenance during cool months, but hot, humid weather calls for at least two ounces per day, and more if your horse is in work of any kind.
One way to accomplish this: provide a plain, white salt block, Redmond salt rock, or Himalayan salt rock in close proximity. But make sure your horse licks it; many horses do not, due to tiny scratches that form on the tongue. Even better is to offer coarsely granulated salt free choice by pouring some in a small bucket. You can also add salt to each meal. Iodized table salt and Redmond and Himalayan rocks offer a small amount of iodine. Take this into consideration if your horse already receives iodine from another source. Total iodine intake should not exceed 5 mg per day.
Be aware that electrolyte supplements should be given only to a horse that is already in good sodium balance. They are designed to replace what is lost from perspiration and should contain at least 13 grams of chloride, 6 grams of sodium, and 5 grams of potassium per dose. If your horse works more than two hours at a time, provide a dose of electrolytes after exercise by adding it to a gallon of water, top-dressing a feed, or offered via syringe. And always, be sure to keep fresh, clean water nearby.
Juliet M. Getty, Ph.D. is an independent equine nutritionist with a wide U.S. and international following. Her research-based approach optimizes equine health by aligning physiology and instincts with correct feeding and nutrition practices.
Dr. Getty’s comprehensive resource book, Feed Your Horse Like a Horse, is available at www.GettyEquineNutrition.com — buy it there and have it inscribed by the author, or get it at Amazon (www.Amazon.com) or other online retail bookstores. The seven separate volumes in Dr. Getty’s topic-centered “Spotlight on Equine Nutrition” series are available with special package pricing at her website, and also at Amazon in print and Kindle versions. Dr. Getty’s books make ideal gifts for equestrians.
Find a world of useful information for the horseperson at www.GettyEquineNutrition.com: Sign up for Dr. Getty’s informative, free e-newsletter, Forage for Thought; browse her library of reference articles; search her nutrition forum; and purchase recordings of her educational teleseminars. Reach Dr. Getty directly at email@example.com. She is available for private consultations and speaking engagements.
I love my Arabian, Mharquis. We’ve been together since 2006. He is my first horse. We were both rookies and we have learned a lot together. He’s a level 4 Parelli horse now. We can jump bareback and bridleless, we can play at liberty without halter or lead rope. Of all of this, it turns out he loves endurance riding the most.
With all the good, there’s been some bad. Unfortunately, we’ve also been through stifle issues, a suspensory injury, ulcers, and anorexia. Recently we had a saddle “slippage” event, because he’d lost so much weight. This left us with two problems: 1) the bruising and scraping of his inner rear legs from the stirrups hitting the inside of his rear legs when he ran away after the saddle slipped, and 2) getting him to eat to put weight back on. He has free access to hay. But getting him to eat the vet-prescribed supplements wasn’t going well. Then I tried putting his Daily Gold Quick Relief Syringe in his supplements. He couldn’t eat it fast enough. For the first time ever, he ate every drop.
I also put First Aid clay for horses all over his rear legs after the event, to pull out any dirt or infection, act as a poultice, and to take down the swelling. I came to trust and love this poultice after repeatedly applying it to the little calf behind my property when he somehow got a 6 to 8 inch gash that went down to his bone. I noticed it one day when I was feeding my horses and he came up to the fence. It was oozing infection and ugly with flies. I reported it to my neighbor, but she is elderly and seemed confused and unsure of how to handle it. So I slipped over the fence every day, fed them a little and put clay on. In a few weeks his wound was completely healed. He clearly associated the daily ministrations with pain relief because every morning he walks to me and puts his side to me.
I love Daily Gold as well. It handles Mharquis’s ulcers. I don’t see those wet, obsessive, scratching marks on his belly area any more. One element: clay, and it’s all natural. Love these products. Love the results!!! I loved them so much, that one day while pulling milkweek when gardening, my arms suddenly felt like they were on fire. I ran into the house and washed my arms like crazy, but it didn’t help. I looked up and First Aid was sitting on the windowsill, so I grabbed it and put it on my arms. The burning instantly stopped. Love this stuff.
I feel a little like the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding who used Windex for everything, but I LOVE First Aid clay by Redmond. Now I reach for it first. For example, my Arabian gets awful, raw rub spots from laying down on the front of his fetlock if I don’t get his upside down over reach boots on early enough in the spring. This year I couldn’t get his sores to heal. Finally, I decided to try First Aid clay on a square of Derma Cloth, wrapped it with Vet Wrap, left it for 4 days, and when I took the band aids off, the sores were healed.
Another time, I was out weeding and I pulled a lot of Milk Weed. My arms started burning unbearably. I ran in the house, washed them and as I glanced down, some First Aid was sitting right there on the counter, so out of desperation I put some on, and my arms instantly stopped burning.
Adjoining my property is 10 acres where the elderly lady who owns the property, lets sheep and 2 cows graze on her pasture. One morning when I was feeding my herd, I noticed one of the little calves had a really long, deep gash that cut all the way through the skin. It looked awful. I immediately knocked on her door and let her know, but she is elderly and it must have been overwhelming for her, because the next morning I noticed nothing had been done. I watched for a few days, and when I still saw no treatments, I went to my first aid kit and looked at my products. I grabbed my First Aid and (yes, I was feeding them) when they came to me, I put a bunch of clay on the calf’s gash. Now I do it every morning. He must associate it with pain relief, because, when I reach over to put the clay on, he leans his side towards me.
I had a really bad mosquito bite when I came in from watering the plants last night, and, yes, I reached for the First Aid. I hate sounding like an advertisement, but I really am hooked on this stuff.
I’ve been using Redmond Daily Gold now for quite a while, and being without it is inconceivable to me. My mare, Sienna, was having some very big issues when her stablemate was taken away, and all she would do, all day and night, was pace her fence line non-stop. She lost weight and wore her shoes down to basically aluminum foil. I tried several products to see if they’d help, and nothing did, but when I tried Daily Gold, by the end of that day she was standing peacefully in her stall and had settled down tremendously. Read More
We rescued our wonderful mare, Star, nearly 13 years ago when she was 12 years old, suffering from the aftermath of terrible abuse, and pregnant. She’d been through some awful times (and has the scars to prove it), but was still wanting so much to love and trust. Horses are remarkable that way, aren’t they? She gave birth to her daughter, Nova, about three months after joining our family and they both still live in our pasture along with their sidekick, a miniature donkey named Bobby Sue. Read More
To blanket or not to blanket is a good question. Blanketing a horse has both positive and negative considerations. One of the positive aspects to blanketing a horse is to keep a short-haired show coat, thus decreasing your body clipping time if you are showing your horse during the colder months.
Horses are such amazing creatures especially when you consider their ability to recover from something as serious as colic surgery. On April 9th 2014, my horse Pro Bono “Bo” underwent colic surgery due to a 180 degree twist of his large intestine. It was a scary time for us especially the first week after the surgery, waiting to see if Bo was going to make it or not.