Digestion of feed in the horse involves actions of enzymes in the fore gut and fermentation of fibre in the hind gut.
As forage is the mainstay of the horse’s diet it is imperative that this is functioning properly.
The fermentation is done by a number of bacteria and other microbes. If the balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria becomes upset this can lead to a range of problems from inefficient digestion to illness.
So, which is the best but balancer?
Most gut balancers will contain saccharomyces yeast to stabilise the hindgut.
Fellowes Farm's product of choice is Protexin Gut Balancer which contains a high level (1 x 1012 colony forming units per kg) of the favoured Saccharomyces cerevisiae 4b 1702 (NCYC SC47).
Gut balancers contain pre-biotics (fructo-oligosaccharides) and pro-biotics (yeast) that work together to optimise conditions in the hindgut for microbial fermentation.
They can also contain the essential amino acids such as threonine important for gut health and mucus production, and also in immunity, alongside a range of vitamins.
The probiotic is ideal for use during and after antibiotic treatment which can disturb gut microflora, following digestive disturbances including colic and diarrhoea.
It is also good for horses that have concentrate feeds as part of their diet, and during periods of change such as alteration in diet, moving yards, box rest or competition travel.
A number of gut balancer supplements are available to maintain a healthy and efficient digestive system. There is also a concentrated paste which last up to 6 days.