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Nutrition and Digestive Health

The equine digestive system plays a critical role in a horse’s overall health, from weight management and immune function to successful absorption of key nutrients into the body. Managing the microbial world within the horse’s digestive system is important. There are many factors in horses that disrupt the delicate microbial balance within the gastrointestinal tract, including high grain feeds, antibiotic treatments, stress from traveling or hard training and competition, and changes in feed type and volume.

Nutritional Solutions to Support Your Patients

See our recommended Platinum Protocols for common equine conditions and injuries.

Condition Products Protocol
Overall Wellness
  • Platinum Performance® Equine or
    Platinum Performance® CJ
Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine or Platinum Performance® CJ BID.
Digestive Support
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Platinum Balance®
Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine BID and 1 scoop (6g) of Platinum Balance® BID to support digestion. For advanced needs, increase Platinum Balance® to 2 scoops (12g) BID.
Gastric Ulcers
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Platinum Gastric Support®
Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine BID and 1 scoop (6g) of Platinum Balance® BID to support digestion. For advanced needs, increase Platinum Balance®.
Colic Sand Impaction
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
Administer 2-6 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID.
Colic (Post Surgical)
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Platinum Balance®
  • Bio-Sponge®
Administer 1-8 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID depending on clinical and post-colic needs, 2 scoops (6g) of Platinum Balance® BID. For High Risk Post-Operative Diarrhea: Administer 1/2 scoop (2oz) or 1 syringe (60cc) of Bio-Sponge® BID.
Colitis/Enteritis (Antibiotic and Stress Induced)
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Bio-Sponge®
  • Platinum Balance®
  • L-Glutamine
In cases of Mild-Moderate Colitis: Administer 1 scoop (4oz) of Bio-Sponge® Powder or 2 syringes (60cc) of Bio-Sponge® Paste BID or TID. Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine BID and 1 scoop (6g) of Platinum Balance® BID.
In cases of Acute (Moderate-Severe) Colitis: If no gastric reflux, initially administer 1-2lbs of Bio-Sponge® Powder mixed in 4-6 liters of water by stomach tube followed by 1 lb of Bio-Sponge® mixed with 3 liters once every 6-8 hours until the diarrhea resolves. Amount can be decreased for less severe cases. Add 1 scoop (6g) of Platinum Balance® BID and 1-4 scoops of L-Glutamine BID to tube feeding. Discontinue if there is no noticeable improvement after 7 days of use.
(Note: 1/2 scoop (2oz) of Bio-Sponge® Powder = 1 (60cc) syringe of Bio-Sponge® Paste.)
Diarrhea Prevention (Antibiotic Induced)
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Bio-Sponge®
  • Platinum Balance®
Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine BID, 1/2 scoop (2oz) of Bio-Sponge® Powder or 30cc-60cc Bio-Sponge® Paste BID or TID while on antibiotics and 2 scoops of Platinum Balance® BID.
Diarrhea Prevention Endemic Farm (Prophylactic Support for the Newborn Foal)
  • Bio-Sponge® Paste
Following adequate intake of colostrum 6–8 hours after the foal first nurses the mare, administer 30cc of Bio-Sponge® Paste BID for 4–5 days.
Diarrhea (Chronic)
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Bio-Sponge®
  • Platinum Balance®
Administer 1 scoop of Platinum Performance® Equine BID, 1 scoop (4oz) of Bio-Sponge® BID and 2 scoops of Platinum Balance® BID
Diarrhea (Foal Heat Scours)
  • Bio-Sponge®
  • Platinum Balance®
Administer 30cc of Bio-Sponge® Paste or 3 tablespoons (27.6g) of Bio-Sponge® Powder mixed with 30cc of water 2-3 times daily. Discontinue use 1 day after intestinal disturbances resolve. To support digestion, administer 1/2 scoop (3g) of Platinum Balance® BID.

SID = 1 time daily, BID = 2 times daily, TID = 3 times daily.​

The Science Explained

Maintaining and Optimizing Gut Health

The Difference Between Live Yeast and Bacterial Probiotics

How Nutrition Influences Digestive Health and Feed Efficiency

The Advantage of a Synbiotic Probiotic/Prebiotic Formula

The Use of Lactobacillus delbrueckii in Foals

The Advantage of Probiotics and Prebiotics

Probiotics, by definition, are viable, live microorganisms that provide a health benefit to the host beyond their nutritive value.

Prebiotics are inert, non-live, normally non-digestible compounds that selectively aid in the growth, survival, and function of the desirable microflora, most often by acting as a direct dietary source for these microbes.

How Probiotics and Prebiotics Act Together to Support Digestive and Immune Function

Health benefits conferred by probiotics and prebiotics are well documented both directly within the intestinal tract and in the host.

  • Can help control the growth and colonization of pathogenic microbes by competing for nutrients and intestinal binding sites and by releasing bacteriocidal products that kill many pathogens.
  • Can help strengthen the immune system both systemically and at the level of the intestinal cell.
  • Can help improve nutrient digestibility and utilization
  • Can help improve hepatic, renal and cognitive function
  • Aspergillus oryzae

    The fungus Aspergillus oryzae and its fermentation products are commonly used as prebiotic agents to promote feed digestibility and to promote gut health due to their ability to initiate and enhance fiber breakdown, and thereby increase the bioavailability of fiber for fiber-digesting microbes in the gut.

    Saccharomyces boulardii

    Saccharomyces boulardii strains stimulate both adaptive and innate host immune defenses, prevent adherence of pathogens to intestinal cell walls, neutralize toxins, including those from C. difficile and E. coli, and maintain intestinal membrane integrity.

    In 2005 a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association supported the use of S. boulardii in horses with acute enterocolitis. The authors of that study documented a reduction in both the severity of disease and the duration of hospitalization among horses receiving the supplement when compared to non-supplemented counterparts. S. boulardii has also been suggested as a possible therapy for diarrhea in foals.

  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae

    Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a natural and traditional yeast species with documented health benefits to the horse, including improved microbial activity, nutrient digestibility, and feed efficiency.

    Oligosaccharides

    Oligosaccharides derived from yeast cell walls are commonly used as prebiotics, primarily as energy sources for the "good" bacteria in the gut. The unique structure of one of these compounds, mannonoligosaccharides (MOS), confers additional effects that may be of benefit to the host.

    Glutamine

    Glutamine is an amino acid that becomes an important component of the diet during times of intestinal stress and disease. Glutamine plays a critical role in maintaining healthy intestinal cells, preventing villous cell atrophy, reducing the permeability of the gastrointestinal tract to pathogens, and improving the immune response at the level of the intestinal cells.

Improving Feed Efficiency with Support from Omega-3 Fatty Acids, Antioxidants and Amino Acids

A study conducted at the UC Davis Center for Equine Health showed that supplemented* horses consuming a hay-based diet gained a significant amount of weight without a significant increase in their energy intake.

  • 87.5% of the horses that completed the study gained a significant amount of weight (p<0.05).

*Platinum Performance® Equine formula

The Science Behind the Supplements

White Papers

Improve Digestive Health and Get the Most from Your Feeding Program

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Improving Feed Efficiency with Proper Supplementation

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Maintaining and Optimizing Gut Health

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The Natural Diet: Feeding for Health

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Diet, Health and Supporting Healthy Inflammation

Download White Paper

Nutrients Beyond the NRC

Download White Paper

Platinum Performance® Product Flyers

Digestive Health Category Flyer

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Need an Advisor Consultation for Your Clients?

Answers, Recommendations and Support

Our Advisors are trained experts in equine nutrition who can answer tough questions, but most importantly, they care deeply about the health of your patients and are dedicated to providing your clients with the best service possible. Call today 800-553-2400.

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