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Electrolytes and dehydrated horses

>a 6 yo grey Comet/Alladin mare that seems to colic every year with the =
>onset of winter.  This is the classic sand colic but the thing that sets =
>it off I guess is that she decreases her drinking when it gets colder.  =
>She becomes dehydrated along with the colic.  My friend also has an

Hi Janet:  It sounds as if the horse may be colicking due to the change in
weather conditions.  This can be quite common.  I know that when we start
having 50+ degree temperature changes between day and night that several
horses in my area colic.  Lots of horses will colic with extreme weather

>ok to give electrolytes in this situation (either situation) and >how long
can you keep them on electrolytes?  I have set my friend >in 

As long as the horse is not already dehydrated.  You wouldn't want to
continue electrolyting a horse that is already dehydrated.  

I have found that my horses drink just as much water in the winter if I use
a stock tank heater.  

I know some vets recommend feeding a nice sloppy bran mash two or three
times a week during the winter.  I would recommend trying soaked beet pulp.
 I would also offer free choice salt to the horses.  I place a cup or two a
week in the bottom of their feed bins and they (2 horses) generally go thru
two 20 pound bags of salt per year.  I also give them the choice between
plain white salt, and salt with minerals.  

This may sound strange, but if your friend is feeding psyllium with lots of
bran, that could be enough to cause the horse to be upset.  My horses
seemed to be sluggish and get soft stools when I fed bran, so now I mostly
use beet pulp.  

Before adding any additional supplements, or even electrolytes, it might be
worthwhile to discuss this with your veterinarian.  

Happy Trails,

in Gardnerville
& Weaver
& Rocky :)

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