Nutritional Support for Equine Digestive Health
The digestive tract, one of the top health priorities in the horse, is the system of organs that takes in food, digests it to extract energy and nutrients, and expels the remaining waste. Some digestive supplements have the potential to help the body digest food by supporting digestive efficiency and reducing the potential for digestive upset. Balancing the digestive system is a key to maintaining health by improving nutrient absorption and reducing the risks of digestive issues.
Recent studies show that gastric ulcers occur in a surprisingly high percentage of performance horses. Jack Grogan, CN and chief science officer for Uckele Health & Nutrition, explained why gastric ulcers develop and nutritional methods for contending with them.
"The leading causes for gastric ulcers are the stomach’s exposure to excessive acid levels, a reduction in the natural protection of the stomach’s lining, or both," he said. "Most equine ulcers occur in the upper portion of the stomach near the esophagus due to excess acid."
Grogan said that under normal circumstances, the stomach is protected from excess acid by the production of the horse’s saliva: "This happens because horses are naturally wandering, grazing animals with a digestive tract that is well adapted for a steady diet of forage and the continuous secretion of gastric acid throughout the day. When the horse produces saliva in adequate amounts by chewing, it buffers and coats the lining of the stomach, protecting the stomach from gastric
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