Gut sounds giving you grief?

Check out some of these links that discuss gut sounds, what to expect and strategies to correct the issue:

A Guide to Gut Sounds & Recovery
 source document:

Gut Scoring:

A=Normal gut motility of a resting horse.
B=Normal sounds with reduced motility due to an exercising horse, acceptable level of dehydration.
C=Slower gut motility (less sound in the quadrants) indicates fluid depletion (dehyrdation).
D=Indicate fatigue, dehydration,

Feeding to Avoid Problems at the Check Points

“When feeding endurance horses, always remember that apart from electrolytes and water, the feeding regimen over the week prior is what will get the horse through the ride. Riders need to be flexible and many adopt a smorgasbord approach and offer the horse several alternative feeds and water sources. It is always better to have a horse eating and drinking what he prefers than offering him simply what you would like him to eat and he refuses.”
 Source document:

Preventing Dehydration

Too much electrolyte? Too little?   Getting this out of balance can affect the gut’s normal motility.  A short brush up of the when, how, and do not of electrolyte supplementation.  Important points to consider: 

  • The first ingredient in an electrolyte should be salt.  
  • Avoid electrolytes that list sugars first.  
  • Do not give electrolytes to a horse that is not drinking, and if possible give dilute or buffered electrolytes to protect the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • After syringing electrolytes follow with rinsing the horse’s mouth thoroughly with clean water.  This will further dilute the salt and protect the fragile mucous membranes from burning.
  • Remember that electrolytes are not only sodium, you are also replacing calcium, potassium, and magnesium.  Read your packaging labels!

Source document:

Disclaimer: As with all health issues with your endurance equine, allow your veterinarian to be your first line of defense.  Linked and published articles are intended to educate and inform so that you might have an informed dialog with your horse’s veterinarian for best solutions and treatment strategies.

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