Bio-Sponge® for Horses

Supporting Healthy Gastrointestinal Function

Using Bio-Sponge® For The Intestinal Health
and Well-Being of The Horse and Foal

Research performed in adult horses and foals, as well as through in vitro trials, indicates that Bio-Sponge® (Di-Tri Octahedral (DTO) smectite) is an effective tool for a variety of health concerns that result in diarrhea or gastrointestinal disturbances.

What is Bio-Sponge®?

Bio-Sponge® (DTO smectite) is referred to as an organo mineral as it is comprised of organic matter and minerals. Bio-Sponge® has a large surface area and affinity to toxins. When in close proximity to positively charged ions or organic cations, it binds to them and will remove them from the digestive system. It’s because of this adsorption-effect that Bio-Sponge® is a natural way to aggressively capture and neutralize damaging bacterial endotoxins and exotoxins before they can escape the intestine and reach the bloodstream to cause systematic harm.

Bio-Sponge® is Recommended to:

  • Support horses with chronic or occasional watery or loose stool
  • Support horses experiencing diarrhea after surgery or treatment with antibiotics
  • Support foals experiencing foal heat scours.
  • Support foals experiencing the harmful effects of microbial overgrowth and toxin production

Bio-Sponge® is available in powder or paste and is safe to be given daily for horses that need to consume it as part of their diet for ongoing intestinal disturbances or loose watery stool.

What is the Difference Between an Endotoxin & Exotoxin?

Endotoxins - a toxin that is present inside a bacterial cell and is released when the cell disintegrates. Endotoxins can be responsible for the characteristic symptoms associated with illness such as botulism (better known as food poisoning).

Exotoxins - a toxin released by a living bacterial cell into its surroundings.

3 Ways to Use Bio-Sponge®?

Prophylactic Use

Can be used prophylactically for foals on endemic farms, as well as for hoses being treated with antibiotics.

Intestinal Disturbances

Supports horses and foals experiencing intestinal disturbances or occassional diarrhea.

Foal Heat Scours

Bio-Sponge® may be helpful for foals experiencing foal heal scours.

May Be Helpful For Foals

Bio-Sponge® is supportive for intermittent cases of diarrhea that might be caused by a virus, bacteria or other pathogen. It is also widely used with new foals because exposure to infectious agents is especially dangerous for these young horses. Many veterinarians rely on Bio-Sponge® to help support both foals and adult horses with intestinal disturbances.

Recommendation For Use

For Adult Horses

Diarrhea: Administer one 4 oz scoop (97.5 g) of Bio-Sponge® powder or 120 cc Bio-Sponge® paste twice daily or as directed by veterinarian.

Newborn Foal (> 24 hours old)

Diarrhea: Administer 3 tablespoons (37.6 g) of Bio-Sponge® Powder mixed with 30 cc of water or 30 cc Bio-Sponge® Paste no earlier than 6 hours after foal first nurses. Administer 2-3 times daily or as directed by your veterinarian. *

Prevention of Diarrhea: Administer 0.5-1.5 tablespoons (4.6-13.8 g) mixed with 10-30 cc of water or 5-15 cc Bio-Sponge® Paste no earlier than 12 hours after the foal first nurses. Administer twice daily for 4-5 days or as directed by veterinarian.

*Discontinue 1 day after intestinal disturbance resolves.

Foals 2-4 Weeks Prior to Weaning through Weaning

As needed for diarrhea, administer 3 tablespoons Bio-Sponge® powder or 30 cc Bio-Sponge® paste 2-3 times daily for intestinal disturbances and diarrhea. When fecal matter has solidified, Bio-Sponge® may be discontinued.

Created Out of Clinical Necessity

The Threat of Diarrhea Post Colic Surgery

One of the early threats in horses surviving post colic surgery was diarrhea — caused by the use of both prophylactic and therapeutic antibiotics, the stress of not eating or by clostridial toxins. Progress was seen in practice as reliance on antibiotics eased, leaving healthier gut flora and a decreased occurrence of diarrhea post-operatively. However, for patients that did require antibiotics, veterinarians were asking themselves how to ensure patients didn’t succumb to diarrhea. It was this question that led to one of the better tools in the fight against diarrhea, the advent of Bio-Sponge®.

The theory behind Bio-Sponge® is that the cation-charged surface area in DTO Smectite attracts bacterial toxins that are inside the intestinal tract extremely effectively, essentially adsorbing the toxins before they have the opportunity to devastate the horse’s circulatory system. Bio-Sponge® began inside Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center and was studied by prominent veterinarians in both clinical and university settings.

“Being a referral hospital, we go through a lot of Bio-Sponge® here. We use it all the time. It’s one of our best therapies.”
— Dr. Chris Boutros, Waller Equine Hospital


Bio-Sponge® has been used in practice for 20 years and has been identified in several university as a highly effective adsorbent for toxins associated with intestinal disturbances.

2000 DTO Smectite and Digestive Health Kelley Neelley, DVM, and Doug Herthel, DVM, Alamo Pintado Equine Medical Center, 2000.

2003 Evaluation of in vitro Properties of Di-Tri-Octahedral Smectite on Clostridial Toxins and Growth JS Weese, DVM, DVSc; NM Cote, DMV, DVSc; and RVG deGannes, DVM, University of Guelph, 2003.

2008 Di-Tri-Octahedral Smectite for use in Post-Operative Diarrhea in Equids with Surgical Disease of the Large Intestine: Results of a randomized clinical trial Diana Hassel, DVM, PhD, Phoebe Smith, DVM, Jorge Nieto, DVM, Pablo Beldomenico, and Sharon J Spier, DVM, PhD, University of California, Davis, 2009.

2008 Adsorptive Effects of Di-Tri-Octahedral Smectite on Clostridium Perfringens Alpha, Beta, and Beta-2 Exotoxins and Equine Colostral Antibodies Jacquelin Lawler, DVM, MS, Diana Hassel, DVM, PhD, Roberta Magnuson, BS, Ashley Hill, DVM, MPVM, PhD, Patrick McCue, DVM, PhD, and Josie Traub-Dargatz, DVM, MS, Colorado State University, 2008.