Function and Health of the Horse’s Small Colon and Rectum

Function and Health of the Horse’s Small Colon and Rectum

Last Updated on February 19, 2022 by Allison Price

The small colon is where the digestive tract’s last bit of water absorbs from the digesta. It then transforms it into fecal ball. The rectum, which is located in the posterior part the digestive tract, serves as a storage space for fecal products not yet digested. The rectum holds material until enough material has been accumulated. This causes nervous stimulation and the voiding of feces through anus.

The biggest problem in maintaining a healthy rectal is keeping enough moisture in the feces to allow them to pass easily. The feces can become dry and hardened by excessive water loss from the small colon. Some horses are more capable of drawing water from the feces than others. The feces can become extremely dry and hard during performances that may be dehydrated. Impaction colic can occur when the feces are hardened and dry.

Function and Health of the Horse’s Small Colon and Rectum

It is important to ensure that the feed has enough moisture. This can be done by giving the horse plenty of green grass. Grass has 70% moisture, while concentrates and hay have 10%. You can also use soaked beet pulp to dampen the feed, or soak alfalfa cubes or pellets in water before you give it to your horse. It is a good idea for endurance horses to have their feed moistened.

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