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Too many probiotic sources?

I have an easy keeper senior pony who’s already getting Probios powder as part of his daily feeding. However, he does need a joint supplement to keep him comfortable these days and that’s where my question comes in. The joint supplement I really like (SmartFlex Senior) contains pre and probiotics in it already. The people at SmartPak assure me that feeding the supplement won’t hurt him in any way and that there’s truly no way to overdose on probiotics. The more neurotic side of my brain says otherwise though and after some searching around I’m unable to find anything on this subject as it pertains to horses and not humans. Anyone have thoughts or experience with this to put an overthinking mind to rest?

I have 2 degrees in Microbiology and took a course in grad school about pre and pro biotics. Really, definitely, no way to hurt him with too many. You need such a huge number to actually help colonize the gut, the doses he’s getting from either probably don’t meet those requirements. And only a certain percentage will make it through the stomach unharmed to even have a shot at colonizing the gut.

A friend in grad school was working on trying to use probiotics to treat/prevent Salmonella sp. in food borne illness. They were using it as a feed through for chickens. That study isn’t published yet, but I know of other studies going on looking at the same things in other food-production animals. Again, not sure if any are published yet, but I can take a shot at a search if you’d like!

Do you know what strains are in the Probios and the Smartpaks?

Agreed with Dutchmare, no chance of harming him with too many. There have been studies in horses where they have taken the cecal contents of one horse (so basically a vat of bacteria) and tubed it into other horses and still haven’t gotten any colonization. It’s much more likely that they are doing nothing at all than it is that they would be harmful. I’ll edit later with a source.

If there is already probiotics in the Smartpak. is it necessary to give him Probios too? Could you cut out/or down on the Probios and still have the same effect?

Side note: I really like Smartpak Senior also. :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=My Two Cents;8516600]
If there is already probiotics in the Smartpak. is it necessary to give him Probios too? Could you cut out/or down on the Probios and still have the same effect?

Side note: I really like Smartpak Senior also. :)[/QUOTE]

Problem with that is there’s just no way there’s a large enough dose in the SP to do anything meaningful. There likely is in the Probios, which is pretty cheap, and adding the extra should do no harm. Humans need something on the order of 10^9 CFUs (probably a low estimate) per day to have a meaningful affect, and my guess would be horses need proportionally more.

My Two Cents: I already have the big tub of probios powder so it would be a shame to waste it. Once it’s gone I could see dropping it but the time being I don’t want to waste supplements. That’s kind of why I’m wondering if the SF Senior would bee too much for him.

Dutchmare: I don’t know offhand aside from what’s listed on their websites (I’m not home to look at the back of the container). But this is what the website says. SF Senior: Profloratin®4.7 billion CFU (a proprietary blend of L. acidophilus, L. casei, E. faecium and B. longum)
Probios:Lactic Acid Bacteria*not less than 10 Million CFU/g
Enterococcus faecium,Lactobacillus acidophilus,Lactobacillus casei,Lactobacillus plantarum

So I guess it probably sounds like a lot but probably isn’t? Then again, I’m in no way well versed enough in microbiology and/or horse interworking of the GI tract to know this either.

Try calling Smartpak. They have been very helpful when I had questions.

My husband is the technical service director for a company who sells probiotics and direct fed microbials in the dairy industry. He does have a PhD in Animal Science and he has assured me repeatedly that you cannot overdose them. We do use them for our horses.

OP–they sound pretty standard, I would just go ahead and feed both. And agree with cutter99–you really can’t overdose them, so don’t worry!

Are you feeding the Probios for any specific reason? I give them to my guy whenever he gets anything that might upset his GI tract–antibiotics, NSAIDS etc. I suppose I could give them to him all the time–I take a large dose myself everyday after learning about all the benefits.