Psyllium, Magnesium Sulfate’s Sand Clearing Ability Studied
“The accumulation of sand in the large colon of horses is relatively common in some areas of the world,” said lead researcher Kati Niinistö, DVM, Dipl. ECEIM, director of the University of Helsinki, Finland, Equine Hospital. “Affected horses are at risk of colicking; chronic, intermittent diarrhea; and weight loss.”
In Finland, veterinarians frequently see sand colic in pleasure horses and ponies in the fall. Niinistö said sand impactions are to blame for 75% of the colics her hospital sees.
Although a variety of treatments exist, researchers haven’t been able to scientifically confirm any of their efficacies for clearing sand and minimizing disease in horses. So, Niinistö and colleagues conducted a prospective randomized trial designed to compare the effect of administering magnesium sulfate, psyllium, or a combination of both (each at a rate of 1 g/kg body weight) on clearing large (i.e., larger than 5 cm x 15 cm or 75 cm2) naturally acquired sand accumulations from horses’ large colons. They administered all treatments via nasogastric tube daily for four
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