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By Kentucky Equine Research Staff · May 16, 2013
Horses are hindgut fermenters. This term means that after fiber passes through the horse’s stomach and small intestine, it enters the hindgut where it is digested through the action of billions of microbes that aid fermentation.
Any change in diet can cause a shift in the bacterial population, changing the pH balance and putting the horse at risk for colic, laminitis, and other problems. Serious diseases and metabolic upsets can also cause changes in the dominance of various types of bacteria in the hindgut. To gain an understanding of microbial populations, researchers at Texas A&M University looked at types and numbers of microbes in the hindguts of ten normal horses and eight horses with chronic laminitis...
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