Horsenetwork.com - Full Article
It’s the trendy diagnosis, but is it a dangerous ride?
by ELEANOR KELLON, VMD
January 3 2017
Hind gut acidity, sometimes used synonymously with hind gut ulcers, is blamed for a staggering array of signs ranging from poor appetite, cracked hooves, right hind lameness and any undesirable behavior trait you can mention. It’s bad enough that there is virtually no scientific justification for most of this. Worse yet is that the treatments suggested could be harmful.
Enteroliths are stones that form inside the intestines when minerals precipitate around a core of nondigestible material. The core could be things like a wood fragment, piece of string or bit of rubber fencing. Most enteroliths are composed of struvite—magnesium ammonium phosphate.
Several factors have been identified as risks for enterolith formation. High intake of magnesium, phosphorus or protein is certainly one. The ammonium forms from bacterial breakdown of protein. Risk factors can vary between cases but one universal finding is an alkaline environment in the large intestine. If you are feeding your horse a product to increase pH/reduce acidity in the large intestine you are increasing the risk of enterolith formation, especially if the horse didn’t need it in the first place...
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