Vet Center Blog:

Your resource for current, advanced equine GI health diagnostics and management news and research.

Dr David Platt BVSc., PhD., DEO., FRCVS – Equine Veterinarian, Essex, UK

As a busy equine veterinarian I have become increasingly aware of a link between low grade hind gut inflammation and behavioural issues / poor performance in competition horses. Riders will be aware that stomach ulcers can make horses irritable, nappy and difficult to ride. Colonic inflammation, however, whilst being very common, is far less well appreciated as a cause of mild irritation that can induce poor behaviour such as mild bucking, rearing, napping, resistance, not going forward off the leg and reluctance to perform lateral work in competition horses. Neither should it be forgotten that a horse suffering with gastric ulcers may also have concurrent hind gut inflammation.

Over the last twelve months I have been evaluating all horses presenting with mild to severe behavioural issues when ridden, that have no physical evidence of any underlying orthopaedic or other clinical conditions, for the presence of hindgut inflammation, using the SUCCEED faecal blood test (FBT). In many of these cases the FBT results have revealed an increase in albumin loss in the dung consistent with an inflamed hind gut wall. Gastroscopy of most of these horses failed to reveal any evidence of stomach lining ulceration. In all of these cases I removed the cereal content in their diet and started them on SUCCEED Digestive Feed Supplement and the results have been quite startling. Within a few days many of these animals became significantly calmer, less resistant, more forward going and have stopped misbehaving when ridden, much to the relief of their worried riders. Feeding SUCCEED equine nutritional supplement is unlikely to be the panacea for all horses that have behavioural difficulties when ridden but I am convinced that many horses demonstrating such behaviour are avoiding work because they are uncomfortable as a result of reversible low grade hind gut inflammation.

SUCCEED equine nutritional supplement is an excellent product that I now routinely feed as part of my management of all horses demonstrating intestinal disturbances, loss of condition, poor performance or have developed behavioural issues when ridden.

Related Articles:

+
Hindgut Significance and Pathologies in Performance Horses

Equine veterinarians are starting to recognize the importance of the hindgut in digestive wellness as well as the problems that affect it. Hindgut health is vital to a horse’s overall health and performance, and it […]

+
Strategies for Supporting GI Health in the Surgical Horse

Maintaining a healthy GI tract via nutritive support is key to effective surgery preparation and rapid post-op recovery in horses. Impaired GI health is directly associated with impaired immune health (Schley and Field, 2002; Artis, […]

+
The Cycle of Performance and Malnutrition in Horses

When it comes to a horse’s health, nothing is more important than nutrition. It plays a role in almost everything—weight, body condition, attitude, energy, immunity, hoof health, and even mental focus. Therefore, appropriate and adequate […]

+
The Relationship Between Stereotypies and Microbes

Stereotypies, such as cribbing and stall-walking, are not found in wild horses, thus are likely a direct result of domestication and modern husbandry practices. While they may arise for a variety of reasons, these vices […]

+
Early Detection & Accurate Diagnosis of Equine Hindgut Pathologies

When it comes to the gastrointestinal health of our patients, equine veterinarians are highly aware of the widespread nature of gastric ulceration, especially for horses used in competition and professional settings. We also deal with […]

+
Gornall Equestrian’s Results With SUCCEED

Up-and-coming British showjumper Jamie Gornall owns and runs a successful training and breeding yard, Gornall Equestrian. He and his team are dedicated to giving their horses the best possible care and management. This includes working […]