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Re: [RC] More GI Stuff - EventXC

Hi folks, I have been off-line for the past week and haven't fully caught up 
on the discussion about e-lytes, drinking, ileus etc, but what a great 
discussion.  Here is another thing to consider... gut flora.

We really don't understand the interconnectedness of the inhabitants of the 
GI tract and how they pertain to overall gut function and health.  The human 
research on 'Leaky Gut' issues in people is just getting started in Europe and 
non-existent in the US.  I only recently heard the words 'leaky gut' mentioned 
at a vet meeting 2-3 years ago at AAEP (Am Assoc of Equine Practitioners) when 
Dr. Chris Pollitt (from Australia) was discussing gut bacteria and their 
roles in laminitis.

So here is another thing to think about based on what I have read in the 
human literature....what long-term role would overuse of antibiotics play in 
our 
horses?  Researchers in Europe think in some instances that as little as 2 
doses of antibiotics in a lifetime, combined with inappropriate diet, could 
start 
a process of gi dysfunction, especially under times of stress.  The problem in 
the US is that we now don't have to directly administer antibiotics to our 
horses in order for them to have problems.  A recent gov't study (done by NOAA 
and EPA) showed that triclosan, the chemical in antibacterial hand soaps, does 
not get removed by water treatment plants in metropolitan areas and goes right 
back into the drinking water (as do many pee-through hormones such as 
estrogen, progesterone and thryoid).  Wonder what affect that is having, not 
only on 
us, but also on our animals that share our drinking water?

Importance to this discussion?  Just curious if animals with less balanced 
and less varied bug populations (due to drug selection of killing specific 
bacteria) would tend to have a greater problem with ileus, diarrhea, abnormal 
peristalsis and gas production?  Maybe certain familial lines are that way 
because 
the foal never was really inoculated with the proper bacteria due to 
environment (water, mare's gut missing right bacteria, etc)?

At competitions for both myself (remember I am an eventer) and my endurance, 
eventing, CT, driving clients, I highly recommend use of probiotics, 
especially if gut sounds are diminished, unorganized or if there is loose 
manure. At 
rest stops for endurance folks, probiotics mixtures are alternated with 
electrolytes mixed with applesauce.  Also, ANYTIME any of my or my clients' 
horses 
have to have antibiotics, they ALWAYS go on as many different strains of 
probiotics as possible for at least 30 days, especially if the horse is kept by 
itself 
in a stall.  Any horse with a history with GI problems, even a little 
travel-stress diarrhea (which is normally ignored), gets weeks to months of 
probiotics.  I think since I have added this approach to my overall health care 
evaluation that the incidence of problems in these horses has diminished 
overall, but 
I sure would like to see some good research on the issue.  Who knows what 
roll, gut bugs play in ulcers?

Just some food for thought to add to the concoction of this very interesting 
and informative thread.

Kim Henneman, DVM
Park City  Utah  USA

PS: Thanks Joan for those words of encouragement from last week.  I can thank 
you for having some of the writing skills that I do...and definitely the 
speaking ones (kissing the Blarney stone might have contributed there too.)

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