Psyllium Husks

Should I feed my horse psyllium husks?

Last Updated on April 15, 2022 by Allison Price

Commercial psyllium products, which are made from the husks of psyllium seeds, are used to remove sand from horses’ digestive systems. There are some interesting findings from numerous studies on the efficacy of psyllium-husks.

No matter where you live in the world, horses will be exposed to dirt and sand every day while grazing or eating directly from ground. Sand colic is a condition where dirt and sand buildup in the digestive system. This can lead to severe digestive upset such as impaction.

Psyllium Husks

Although psyllium is safe for horses, there are studies that show long-term psyllium husks can cause damage to the horse’s digestive system. Instead, the fibre is ingested by microbes in your horse’s bowel.

Consult your veterinarian first to determine if you should feed your horse psyllium. If you are concerned about sand ingestion, your veterinarian can perform several clinical tests.

As with most health issues, prevention is better than treatment. Sand colic is more common where there are gravel, decomposed granite, or sand. Sand ingestion can also be caused by soft feet in arenas or paddocks.

You can protect your horse against the danger of sand colic by:

  • Eat small meals often
  • Qualitative roughage should be provided daily at a minimum of 1.5-2.5%
  • Make sure your horse gets enough fibre
  • Limit excessive grain concentrates
  • Safe on-the ground feeders
  • Rubber matting can be installed if necessary

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