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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Barometric changes and colic-like symptoms


I have a 4 year old Arabian-QH gelding who has had colic-like symptoms just prior to the last 2 hurricanes making landfall here in the south. He has, in the past, had similar symptoms when the temperature dropped at or below freezing in the winter. He is on pasture, T&A, Complete Horse 12%, wormed regularly and daily electrolytes. The symtoms were relieved by Bantamine and walking. No loose stools noted during these times. We also kept him off grain for two days. I have been researching that fall/rise in barometric pressure can cause colic-like symptoms and that water intake is important. Some articles also state that very windy conditions will increase stress. Do you think I should put him on a calming supplement during hurricane season and, if so, what would you recommend? Thx.

Where are you from? new port richey, florida

How did you locate this forum? prior user

Re: Barometric changes and colic-like symptoms

Greetings Lorraine,

Some horses are particularly sensitive to weather changes which can cause a significant stress response, leading to colic.

Yes, water intake is important and I recommend that you offer plain, white table salt in addition to an electrolyte. Electrolytes are designed to replace what is lost during sweating, assuming that the horse is in good sodium standing to begin with. So, offer at least 1 ounces (two level tablespoons) of plain salt in his feed each day and then, if he sweats a lot, add the electrolyte.

A calming agent during storms is a good idea. I recommend something that contains tryptophane, such as Su-Per Calm. Be sure to feed it with as little feed as possible since a large meal will inhibit its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and produce a calming effect (through serotonin production).

Thanks for writing.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO