Probiotics, Do they work?

My mare had colic surgery several years ago and the vet thinks that she has scaring in her intestines, this makes her stomach super sensitive. I thinking that probiotics might help. Have Probiotics helped your horses, and which ones were best?

Also any happy worked through colic stories would be welcome!

All of my horses get a probiotic daily. I just use the yeast one made by Purina. It was suggested to me by a vet for a horse that had a severe ulcer. It’s cheap, and I have noticed a difference in behaviour, weight wise with all my beasts and one colic prone horse hasn’t had a colic spell since he’s been on it.

Yes they work but don’t buy something cheap that has a lot of filler in it.

I feed two of my horses a PRE/probiotic call “Daily Start”. It is reasonably priced. It has stopped the spring runny bums on the 27 yr old and the 19 yr old doesn’t have excessive gas anymore.

My 25+ yr old is on the pricey PREbiotic “Succeed”. In his 22+ years with me, he’s never had so much as a tummy twinge until March 2012. I almost lost him on the first colic – he colicked 8 more times between March and October last year. I got to where I could tell if he put his head down the wrong way, I needed to be heading for the Banamine:cry:

He has hind gut ulcers. Succeed and feeding him 3 - 4 times daily has saved his life. The vet gave everyone physicals three weeks ago and couldn’t believe how great this horse looks. His coat is slick as a peeled onion, his weight is good, his eyes are bright, and he is still the strong alpha dominant.

He has ample hay when he comes in at night. His feed pan meals are mostly forage, with supplements for his metabolic issues and the Succeed added in.

The price of Succeed just went up at my local tack shop, so it’s a little over $3/day just for this horse. That’s ok, not all our history together were happy times - he’s seen me thru some ugly stuff so I’ll spend whatever it takes, until he tells me he doesn’t want to do this anymore:)

I am a minimalist when it comes to supplements of any kind. PROBIOS probiotics are one of the few things I DO feed. I had a horse come in who was a known hard keeper. I was feeding him a ton, had his teeth done, and had him out of work. He was putting on weight, but sort of plateaued at a certain point. Turns out he was so used to being undernourished that his intestines had stopped absorbing the full nutritional content of his feed. I put him on probiotics and saw an immediate difference. Thanks to the probiotics, his intestines started to function well and he is now happily on a grass only diet (and a 5 on the Henneke scale while working 3 days a week). I have other success stories, but that’s the one that stands out. I would definitely use it.

I have my gelding on Equine Choice enzyme/yeast mix that my vet recommended, after having no luck with the stuff that other boarders feed (purchased at Greenhawk). The stuff from Greenhawk made his tummy issues worse, but he seems to be doing well on the Equine Choice. That being said, I board (at a full board facility, where several horses have far more complicated diets than my guy’s “handful of mineral pellets and scoop of probiotics”) and lately the feeders haven’t been giving him his “tummy meds” as I call them. So I have had to depend on his leaser to give him a scoop of alfalfa pellets and scoop of his “meds” before she rides/works him, and then the other days I do the same, because I can’t depend on the feeders to actually give them to him, despite my making it idiot proof (dishing out individual feeds of pellets and probiotics so all they need to do is dump a ziplog bag into his bucket, but when I/my leaser goes out there, the bags haven’t been touched). We move July 15th, thank goodness.

My guy has a VERY sensitive tummy, partly due to having been raised on a diet of rotting hay and rancid beetpulp, in a small paddock, with several larger, also not gelded, horses. Between that food (crappy and in miniscule amounts as he was at the bottom of the pecking order) and the fact that he wasn’t gelded til he was almost 9, left him quite stunted, and anything new/sugary/starchy/concentrated gives him the runs. Previous vet claimed he would “grow out of it” but it got worse, and when I switched vets my new one suggested trying probiotics. The Greenhawk-bought ones made his manure even more liquid, but switching to the Equine Choice really helps, at least when he actually gets it.

Another nice thing with the Equine Choice is that it also comes in an ultra concentrated paste for giving to them before/during/after high stress events (showing, hauling, moving to a new barn, surgery, etc), so I started him with that and saw an instant change. After a week of the paste once per day, he moved on to one scoop of the powder once per day for a week, and now should be up to 1.5 scoops twice per day but since he’s not getting given it at mealtimes he’s getting 2 scoops once per day.

I added a probiotic into one of my horses’ diets after he colicked last year. The colic is assumed by several vets to have been a result of having had him on a maintenance dose of omeprazole (pop rocks) over an extended period (4+ months). He colicked twice, ending up in in the vet hospital for several days each time about 8 weeks apart. Pulling him off of omeprazole seems to be what made the biggest difference, but after stabilizing his diet post-vet-clinic I put him on Succeed, Equerry’s Choice probiotic, and Apple Cider Vinegar. He’s maintained his weight and is cleaning up his grain as well as he did on the omeprazole. I suspect that at this point he would be fine without the pre/pro-biotics, but I don’t want to mess with what’s working…especially during the show season.

Thanks guys! it’s great to hear that it they help! I am despreate to find some thing that can help my mare not to colic at the drop of a hat!

Not to highjack the thread but what about the omeprazole do they think caused the colic?

I recently started one of my horses on Probios because at a show he got the runny bum (walkingthewalk’s term so appropriate). I then added it to his smartpaks.

A few weeks later I talked to my vet about continual use of it. Her response was that it’s okay but I should take him off it every once in a while so he can build his own good gut flora.

I have my horses at home that recently have been getting runny bum. I am going to put them on Probios for a bit.

I too am of the thinking less is better. Good quality hay and add only what your horse may need.

I keep Probios powder and paste on hand. I only use it as needed: colicky episodes, stressful situations, while giving medications over a period of time, etc.

It seems to help. And it’s affordable.

You can find all of the long posts about it if you search for one of the last threads I started…I think that’s where most of the discussion took place.

In [oversimplified] layman’s terms, the working theory is that decreasing acid in the stomach allowed more less-digested food to pass through to the hind gut, and that the hind gut went into overdrive, resulting in acidosis and possibly hind gut ulcers. The colics were both gas colics (right dorsal displacements), and the second vet clinic did the Succeed test coming up positive for hind gut ulcers (the test is, of course, not terribly reliable).

Make sure the Proibiotic has not expired and has not gotten hot. The live proibiotics become dead probiotics pretty easily this time of the year.

[QUOTE=PNWjumper;7055566]You can find all of the long posts about it if you search for one of the last threads I started…I think that’s where most of the discussion took place.

In [oversimplified] layman’s terms, the working theory is that decreasing acid in the stomach allowed more less-digested food to pass through to the hind gut, and that the hind gut went into overdrive, resulting in acidosis and possibly hind gut ulcers. The colics were both gas colics (right dorsal displacements), and the second vet clinic did the Succeed test coming up positive for hind gut ulcers (the test is, of course, not terribly reliable).[/QUOTE]

Thanks, I will keep that in mind. I generally do a thirty day treatment (3 packet dose) and then wean her off over the next 30 days. I have toyed with the idea of a maintenance dose but I will read the other threads and leave it as is for now.

As for probiotics, I have been using the EquiOtic on my gelding with lots of gas and loose stools . There were some sketchy posts about it but my vet recommended it. I have to say it has helped my by with some of his issues. It is a powder so it seems to keep well in the summer so far.

I use SmartDigest from Smartpak for my pony who had chronic diarrhea. Worked very well.

Spacy, that is good to know that is what I am looking into for my mare!

I just put my daughter’s pony on SmartDigest Ultra and have seen a dramatic difference in only a week. She had solid poop, but liqued gas. She hasn’t had a drop since day one on this supplement. Her white legs show everything, and they are spotless. I couldn’t recommend it enough!

Some probiotics work, some don’t.

Before I knew much I tried my mare on one for diarrhea and it actually made it worse! But I use a different one now that definitely helps calm her gut.

I chatted with my vet about probiotics and she said to be careful about what probiotics you give. A lot of them contain human strains of bacteria (like lactobacillus acidophilus) that are not the same bacteria that would be in a horse’s gut, making them ineffective. There are only a few types of bacteria that have been shown with scientific studies to be effective in horses, e.g., Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pediococcus acidilactici and Saccharomyces boulardii.

The SmartDigest Ultra has been very helpful for a couple of horses at my barn. I used the regular SmartDigest on my guy when he came to me underweight, but then discontinued it after a few months. It’s hard to say what kind of effect it had in my case as we were doing a lot of things to try to get him to put weight on, but he beefed up quite nicely and I do think the pro/prebiotics were at least somewhat helpful.

Just wanted to second what Lillypad said. My husband went to a nutritional conferance this spring and that is exactly what was covered in one of the sessions. Lactobacillus acidophilus pretty much makes no difference in horses, but Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Pediococcus acidilactici and Saccharomyces boulardii are the ones you need.

Sheila

I work around Lexington, Ky. The hot probiotic down there is www.EquiOtic.com. I is made with DNA typed Equine L. Reuteri that emits reuterin. Here is the research paper sent to me that got me interested in it.
http://www.equiotic.com/pdfs/equine-journal.pdf

Hagyard/McGee, Rood&Riddle and UC Davis all use it so it must be good. I have 8 horses on it with no runs, even in trailering and showing.