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

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: probiotics after colic surgery - compensated IR horse

Hello Sandi,

Congratulations on a very successful outcome to your horse's surgery. I'm delighted to hear how well he is doing.

Yes, he should definitely receive a probiotic -- preferably one that also contains oligosaccharides to keep him immune system in good shape. Daily Start is worthwhile. Give him a double dose until he has completely healed. A strong probiotic such as Daily Start will replace the microbes that he has lost from antibiotics.

Regarding his diet... you can definitely feed the TC Senior -- moistened and in small, frequent meals. I would not, however, add individual minerals. You are already adding minerals feeding the TC product. Minerals interact with one another and you would need to take into account everything he is eating in order to be completely safe in adding more into his diet. Instead, a commercially fortified feed already has minerals in the right proportion.

I would also avoid the Quiessence for now until he has completely healed from his surgery and ulcer.

If we were to visit, I would spend time going over all of the possible reasons for his colic and his ulceration. The only true way to prevent these disorders from happening again is to identify the cause so you can make the appropriate changes. So, if you would find that helpful, let me know.

Keep up the good work and please keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

My 16 year old gelding is recovering from colic surgery, i.e a small intesting resection. He had ileus for 4 days following surgery and wasn't able to start eating until day 6. so we are also treating him for ulcers. He had wonderful, personal care thanks to the vets at Ohio State. His surgery was 17 days ago and he is eating free choice hay and has well formed appropriate amounts of manure now.
During his hospitalization he received quite a bit of intravenous antibiotics as well as the surgery itself which I understand disrupts the normal flora in his intestines. I was wondering if I should consider feeding him a probiotic. I have never had the need to utilize one but know there are some people who say they aren't useful (are destroyed by the acid in the stomach) and others that are firm believers. Since he is compensatied IR and has experience several laminitis attacks, I'm careful about what I add to his diet. He is primarily on timothy hay (8% ESC) and 2.5 lbs Triple Crown Senior (13% ESC) per day. Right now he is just getting a handful of the TC and we are gradually increasing. I also have not started his supplements back but he previously got NutraFlax, Vitamin E (d-alpha), Quiessence, Iodized Salt, Poly Copper, Poly Zinc, (calculated for the hay we are feeding) and also Jiaogulan, Spirulina, GLC 5000. I will be adding his supplements back one at a time. He is also getting some hand grazing for about 30 minutes a day.
In addition to my question about probiotics, I was wondering if I should consider eliminating the Triple Crown Senior until the ulcers are healed? Thanks for your time.

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO