Colic within horses is the most common ailment. Sand colic occurs in a horse from the food that it digests off the ground. Horses ingest dirt, sand, small rocks and silt. These items collect in the intestinal tract and can cause irritation. The collection of these items prevent the horse from absorbing nutrients from food and water. This causes their upset stomach.
The symptoms of sand colic can be seen in the horse by watching their habits. They will have a difficult time maintaining a constant weight. Diarrhea will occur and they will show signs of an upset stomach. These symptoms should be reported to a specialist to make sure it is sand colic and not something more serious.
Change Feeding Habits
The first step to help control sand colic is changing how the horse is attaining their food. Feed the horse both grain and hay from feeders rather than off the ground. Place the food on mats if it is going to be placed on the ground. This is especially true if the feeding area is in an open pasture with very sparse vegetation.
Normal peristaltic movement will help to move the sand through the intestines. A horse should be exercised on a regular basis. They should be trotted and ran to help the muscles move the sand through their system. Trotting will help break up clumps of hard sand that will then pass through the horse in a normal fashion.
Adding Bran to the horses diet will help in eliminating sand colic. It is important that alfalfa is fed to the horse during the time of using the bran. Bran provides calcium but it does not provide a enough phosphorus to their diet. The alfalfa is needed to ensure the horse will have enough fiber to move digested food through the intestinal tract.
The best additive to the feed for horses for sand colic is Psyllium. Psyllium is available in both liquid and pellet form. There is less problems with the pellet form due to the ability of the horse to eat the required amount necessary to break up and move the sand through their system.