The Equine GI Tract: Down the Hatch

If the horse’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract were a highway, no self-respecting engineer would take credit for its design. Take a trip along the highway of the equine GI tract to learn more about how your horse digests his food.
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Take a trip along the highway of the equine GI tract to learn more about how your horse digests his food.

If the horse’s gastrointestinal (GI) tract were a highway, no self-respecting engineer would take credit for its design. With its twists and turns and complicated passageways, it is a road that appears designed for accidents to happen. And happen they do.

We’ll take a trip along this rather convoluted roadway with the help of sources who have studied the structure and the complicated workings of the equine digestive system and have reported on them in various presentations and interviews.

The sources on which we have relied most strongly are Judy Marteniuk, DVM, MS, of Michigan State University; Erin Malone, DVM, Dipl ACVS, of the University of Minnesota; a research team from the University of California, Davis; Jay Altman, DVM, who researched, developed, and is marketing a product designed to facilitate the equine digestive process; and a group of specialists from The Ohio State University Extension

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Les Sellnow was a prolific freelance writer based near Riverton, Wyoming. He specialized in articles on equine research, and operated a ranch where he raised horses and livestock. He authored several fiction and nonfiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse. He died in 2023.

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