Quantcast

Impaction Colic - 3 Horses in 2 months

Miniature Horse Talk Forums

Help Support Miniature Horse Talk Forums:

BeckyG

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
486
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas
We have recently been having a series of colic, due to impaction. (3 horses in 2 months) They have been relatively mild. But still very scary.

The cause seems to be Mesquite Tree Beans. (For those of you not familiar…… Mesquite is a very hardy & prolific tree in this part of the country. They produce long thin beans in the summer. ) The horses think the beans are exceptionally yummy. We got rid of smaller trees, but have always had the lager trees…. without problems.

We are addressing the bean issue best we can. My question to you guys is diet related.

What would you suggest, in general, as a diet for a horse that is “prone to impaction”??

I have heard feeding oats as the only grain. I have also heard alfalfa. But I figure you guys can confirm and/or can give me some good suggestions.

All input is greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Becky
 
Last edited by a moderator:

disneyhorse

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
5,382
Reaction score
191
I would think it dangerous to continually treat a horse with a laxative diet to try to counteract... maybe talk with your vet but...

Alfalfa hay is a "laxative" compared to grass and grain hays. Adding a little bit to the diet should not be detrimental, as long as it's not more than 50% of their diet I'd think. I feed about 50% alfalfa to my show horses.

I might also suggest feeding whole flax seed for the first ten days of each month. Maybe 1/4 cup. This is normally a laxative to prevent sand colic, so might also help with your issue, too.

And of course do what you can about the ROOT CAUSE of the colics!

Good luck,

Andrea
 

Carolyn R

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 10, 2007
Messages
2,709
Reaction score
151
Location
eastern Pa
When I had the large horses, the animal hospital that attended to them suggested, once I had them back on grain, feeding senior feed that was not a sweet feed (I don't feed sweet feeds, but the ingredients in feed like purina senior equine are made with an easy to digest formula). Other than that, grass or a soft hay diet, as suggested with the alfalfa, or maybe even alfalfa cubes that are soaked, it, the soaked cubes, is short stem and has plenty of moisture content which helps with digestion, not all alfalfa is created equal, there are plenty of farms around here that feed it to dairy cows and they allow it to get too tall and stalky before it is cut an bailed.

Carolyn

Forgot to add, well soaked beet pulp is always a good additive to a horses diet, bran is not a good thing when fed on a frequent basis, it strips the digestive track of beneficial bacteria if fed too often.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Riverdance

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 28, 2007
Messages
2,138
Reaction score
4
Location
Lake City, Florida
I had problems with impaction colic over the last year. I feed alfalfa hay, sometimes 50/50 sometimes more alfalfa. (depending on the amount of rain we got). I also feed a 14% oats mixture.

The first impaction was my 19 year old mare, last fall. She was at the vets for 2 days, but managed to pass it through. Then this spring a yearling had a really bad impaction. after almost 4 days at the vets, operated. She was impacted in her colon, small and large intestines. They recomended that I never give her hay again. They suggested senior diet with soaked beef pulp. That is all I have given her for the last 3 months. She is doing well. I can let her graze and used to do so, but one day I let her out in the pasture for a few hours and she came back in with a tummy ach. Scared me so, that I did not let her out again. I had another this summer, but I was able to pull her out of it myself.

The major key is for them to drink water. Plenty of it. You can add salt and minerals to their feed to help them to drink.

My vet says 1st cutting hay can be a cause of impaction, expecially in Mini's. Anything with large heavy blades like first cutting and some second cutting. My preference is to feed 3rd or 4th cutting, but that is not always possible.
 

wildoak

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 30, 2002
Messages
4,563
Reaction score
23
Location
Texas
Becky, I've got a couple of colic surgery survivors who live quite nicely on Equine Senior and alfalfa, per vets instructions. The mare can't tolerate coastal hay at all - she has colicked when I tried adding it back into her diet. I do feed a fair amount of beet pulp, and esp with the hot dry weather we've had I have been giving everyone an afternoon "slurpy". Mesquite beans can sure cause problems, and apparently they taste great because horses seem to go after them. Best you can do there is try to pick the beans up if its just a tree or two, move horses away from them, fence the trees off....or maybe use grazing muzzles seasonally. The flax seed suggestion is a good one too.

Rain would help - they might actually have grass to eat again!

Jan
 

anita

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 20, 2004
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
0
Location
Sulphur Springs, TX
Most of the hay here in Texas is cross and my horses don't want to eat. We look always for soft bermuda ( we are lucky our neighbor has gorgeous) or trifton is better to diggest AND oats 2-3 time weekly.

The best for our horses is on pasture with normal bermuda.

Anita
 

Boss Mare

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 17, 2003
Messages
1,228
Reaction score
64
Location
Mechanicsville, MD
I've had a few impaction colics.. for whatever reason or another.

My most severe was my Miniature Horse, Sky.. long story short and over $7k dollars in surgery she had a 13 lb. impaction! Her little self was only 127 lbs. going into surgery.

From my experience, obviously make sure they are drinking enough.

I add plenty of salt and mineral licks and when it is hot or in winter I add regular salt to their feed and/or electrolytes.

I also feed them well soaked beet pulp.. some of them do get it dry though with no complications..


I love alfalfa and it is a must in my program.. however, not too much.. I have one that colics at the drop of a hat on 'just a little too much alfalfa'..

SR feeds are great, especially soaked.. When Sky was recovering I fed Blue Seal Vintage SR.. soaked.. with soaked alfalfa pellets, beet pulp and a very leafy grass mix hay..

The key I think is plenty of fluid in-take, leafy hays.. and also.. feed smaller amounts more often.. rather than one or two large grain-based meals.

A good program for deworming and 'de-sanding' too..
 

BeckyG

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 21, 2007
Messages
486
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Texas
Thanks everyone! This has been most helpful, and is just what I needed.

Gives me a much better understanding of what I can do to make improvements.

Thanks!

Becky
 

AppyLover2

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 15, 2004
Messages
4,945
Reaction score
0
Location
Central Missouri
I can only imagine how dreadful that 2 months must have been. Colic is terribly scary. My big horse has colicked 3 times. Two of those was when someone else (trainers) decided to put him on something besides Purina Senior. I honestly don't think it's a coincidence.....he will be on Purina Senior forever.
 

HGFarm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2003
Messages
8,248
Reaction score
203
Location
AZ
We are VERY familiar with the mesquite beans here- and had a terrific crop this year. If they are eating them while still green, this is a big problem as they are stringy and fibery (is that a word?!) and can 'ball up' inside. We had a full sized yearling back in the late 70's get impacted from this. After a HUGE vet bill and several days at the hospital and her foundering from being bound up so long- she DID make it but it took weeks and weeks of recovery and constant hoof care too after that) Once the beans are DRY and tan colored, they are crunchy and do not have the fiberous texture that they do prior to that while still green.

The beans are sweet (so is the tree bark, etc...) and that is why the horses crave them so much. I keep the trees trimmed up above Mini reach- so they cannot reach the green ones, only the dry ones as they fall a few at a time when dried. If they have a few a day from the dried ones, they are ok. It's the green ones that are the real problem causers.

I only have a half dozen trees where I live now, so the horses dont have free access to the range like the situation I mentioned above.

If you dont have a way to keep them from the green beans, I would certainly use beet pulp or something in their diet too, but even that is no guarantee in the case of these stringy beans...

Also edited to note that I feed alfalfa and always have, but the horses that were running on the range had tons of spring grass, etc.. and were not getting any hay... they just pig out on the beans due to the sweetness and they had to come back and forth in to water....
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Latest posts

Top