Equine probiotics are live microorganisms incorporated as feed supplement for horses. It can enhance and improve the balance of the gut flora which results in a well-maintained good condition.
The Gut Flora and Digestive System of a Horse
Microbes play a vital part in equine nutrition. Naturally present in the horse’s gastrointestinal tract, these microscopic organisms ferment grass, hay and other feeds producing volatile fatty acids that provide a significant energy source. They also produce essential vitamins, particularly B complex vitamins.
Over the years, the horse’s digestive system has developed to digest large quantities of forage on a continuous basis. Modern horses now require a different method of management involving the requirement of high energy diets. Therefore, beneficial microorganisms are needed to break down or digest the products. These microorganisms produce the enzymes necessary for food conversion so it will readily absorbed by the horse’s body. The beneficial bacteria introduced to the horse’s gut are normally acid-resistant and can multiply quickly, proliferate in the gut and replace good bacteria which have may have been lost due to stress or illness. Equine probiotics help promote proper digestion and allow better absorption of nutrients from the horse’s feed.
How Probiotics Help Horses Travel for Competition
The natural microbial flora in a horse’s gut is delicate and is easily disturbed when a horse is under stress during travel, competition, and dietary changes. This could contribute to the inefficiency of the digestive system which could lead to problems like diarrhea or invasion of harmful bacteria. Giving your horse probiotics helps friendly bacteria take over the space in the gut, even if the natural balance of gut microbes has already been destroyed.
How Probiotics Help Boost the Immune System
Antibiotic therapy, illness, and deworming can all lead to the disruption of the balance of microbes in a horse’s gut. Antibiotics may not be selective enough that it can even target the good bacteria. When probiotics are given, they colonize the gut and they don’t allow pathogenic microorganisms to have a chance to compete for absorption of nutrients. A horse’s immune system can be enhanced through probiotics. These live microorganisms can stimulate the production of immunoglobulins which are essential in providing the body defense from disease-causing agents. Viral infections can also be prevented through the enhanced production of interferons by the probiotics.
Keeping the number of beneficial microorganisms in the horse’s gut can improve the overall appearance, health, temperament and performance of a horse. Probiotics are natural supplements which are safe to use, and have no known side effects.