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Preventing Enteroliths

I found this on a website and thought it was interesting:

Preventing Enteroliths 

Enteroliths are stones that form around a foreign object in the intestine
of horses, similar to a pearl. The stones are composed
primarily of struvite which is a combination of magnesium, ammonium and
phosphate. The struvite crystals are laid down in
concentric rings around objects such as sand, pebbles, plastic, twine,
hair, etc. Smaller enteroliths are passed through the
intestine and may be found in stalls or paddocks. Larger ones will result
in fatal colic unless surgically removed. 

The number of enterolith cases seen at UC Davis has steadily increased over
the last decade. In 1983, 18 cases were admitted
to UCD with a diagnosis of enteroliths and in 1992, there were 106 cases.
So what can you do? 

Feed oat or grass hay. 98% of horses with enteroliths had a diet of 50%
alfalfa hay. 

Reduce or eliminate bran from your horse's diet. Bran provides high levels
of phosphorus which may contribute to
enterolith formation. 

Increase your grain to hay ratio which will decrease the pH level in the
colon. Horses with enteroliths had high pH levels in
their colons. 

Add one cup of vinegar a day to your horse's diet which will also decrease
intestinal pH levels. 

Increase feedings to three to four times a day. Infrequent feedings
contribute to reducing the movement of bulk feed
material through the large intestine which may provide a favorable
environment for stones to incubate and grow. 

Provide daily exercise and avoid prolonged stall confinement which also
contributes to reduced intestinal movement of

Bed on straw instead of shavings. Straw provides an opportunity for horses
to nibble on a high fiber, bulk feed material
throughout the day which is low in magnesium, phosphorus and protein. 
Happy Trails,

in NV
& Weaver, 2,455 miles
& Rocky, 1075 :)

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