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Enteral Nutrition for the Hospitalized Horse

Sick or injured horses in a hospitalized setting need additional nutritional support to aid in healing, recovery and a return to wellness. Enteral nutrition for a sick or hospitalized horse provides a blend of nutrients that is administered in a liquid form. As a result, these nutrients are provided directly to the enterocytes in a physiologic manner. Studies in many species show an improved recovery from surgery, decreased cost of hospitalization, and decreased bacterial translocation across the intestinal tract when enteral nutrition is administered to clinically ill patients.

Nutritional Solutions to Support Your Patients

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

Condition Products Protocol
Nutritional Support for the Hospitalized Horse
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
Administer 1-2 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID.
Analgesic
  • Platinum Comfort or
    Platinum Vet Joint Support
Administer 2 level scoops of Platinum Comfort BID or 1 level scoop of Platinum Vet Joint Support BID.
Cachexia
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Equi-Whey
  • Healthy Weight
Administer 1-6 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID in addition to hay and feeds. Administer 1 heaping scoop of Equi-Whey and up to 100 mL Healthy Weight BID.
Calming
  • Platinum Gentle® or
    Platinum Tranquility®
For mildly anxious horses, administer 2 rounded scoops of Platinum Gentle® SID. For moderately to severely anxious horses, replace Platinum Gentle® with Platinum Tranquility® SID. Administer 3 hours before trailering or other stressful situations. (Note: Platinum Gentle® and Platinum Tranquility® are not intended for use during or prior to competition.)
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.)
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.
Enteral Nutrition
  • Enteral Immunonutrition Formula
For veterinary use only. For the average (1,000 lb) horse, administer 8-12 scoops (800-1200g) of Enteral Immunonutrition Formula mixed with up to 4 liters of warm water TID by stomach tube. If necessary, mix with a wire whisk one minute prior to administration. For foals, administer 1 scoop (100g) mixed with 1/2 liter of warm water TID by stomach tube.
Laminitis
  • Platinum Performance® Equine
  • Hemo-Flo®
  • Magnesium Citrate
  • Platinum Antioxidant
  • Platinum Hoof Support
Make appropriate diet and medical recommendations and administer 2-3 scoops of Platinum Performance® Equine BID. Administer 1 level scoop of Hemo-Flo® BID, 2 rounded scoops of Magnesium Citrate BID, 1 rounded scoop of Platinum Antioxidant BID, and 1 level scoop of Platinum Hoof Support BID.

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

The Science Explained

Enteral Immunonutrition

In Practice Use of Enteral Immunonutrition

Inflammation in the Horse

Protecting a Horse’s Health with Pterostilbene, Curcumin and Antioxidants

The Use of Lactobacillus delbrueckii with Antibiotics

Managing the Anorectic Horse

Enteral Immunonutrition should provide a balance of energy, protein, and other critical nutrients including glutamine, arginine, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals to an anorectic horse.

  • Fiber should be included to more closely match the forage-rich diet of the healthy horse.
  • Glutamine is a preferred nutrient source for intestinal enterocytes.
  • Arginine promotes the production of nitric oxide needed to enhance the immune system.
  • A blend of B vitamins supports cellular metabolism to ensure adequate levels in horses with gastrointestinal disease.
  • Macro and trace minerals are needed to provide essential nutrients.
  • Antioxidants, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and selenium, are important to protect against ongoing cellular oxidative damage.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids should be included to help modulate the inflammatory immune response.

Initiating Treatment

When a horse has been anorectic for 36-48 hours, enteral diet therapy should be considered in the treatment plan. Enteral diets are used to manage horses that have normal intestinal motility, can tolerate placement of a nasogastric or esophagostomy tube, and are able to stand or remain sternal during diet therapy. Enteral nutrition is easy to administer, and horses can be fed both in a field setting and in a veterinary clinic. The only pieces of equipment needed to administer an enteral immunonutrition formula are a nasogastric tube, a bucket, and a stomach pump.

  • How to Feed an Adult Horse with Enteral Nutrition

    1. Determine the energy and protein requirements of the horse
    2. Prepare the diet
    3. Administer the diet
    4. Monitor the horse
    5. Return the horse to a diet of forage as soon as possible
  • Putting It Into Practice

    • Adult horses that are anorectic rapidly develop protein calorie malnutrition.
    • Enteral nutrition is a safe way to give nutrients to a horse that has a functioning gastrointestinal tract.
    • An enteral immunonutrition formula can be used to provide a sick or anorectic horse with energy, protein, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fatty acids.
    • Enteral nutrition can be used for 7-14+ days to provide nutrition to an anorectic horse.

The Science Behind the Supplements

White Papers & Platinum Performance® Product Flyers

Enteral Nutrition in the Adult Horse

Download White Paper

Enteral Nutrition Product Flyer

Download Product Flyer

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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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