Due to the nature of our horses’ grazing habits, they are constantly exposed to dirt and sand. This sand can settle in the digestive tract and cause colic. Although there is no research to prove psyllium (the main ingredient in Metamucil brand laxative) helps prevent or treat sand that has accumulated in the horse’s gut, it does seem that there is some benefit to feeding psyllium to horses at risk for sand colic. This assumption is based on the fact we see less horses for colic that are on a regular sand prevention program than horses that are fed nothing to prevent the accumulation of sand in their gastrointestinal tracts. Sand prevention products can be purchased at your feed store and fed according to the label instructions. Just make sure the product is 90% or more psyllium or psyllium husks. A cheap alternative is to buy Metamucil or the store brand equivalent of psyllium and feed 1/4 cup per thousand pound horse every day for 7 days per month. Just sprinkle the psyllium over the horse’s feed and make sure the horse has plenty of water to drink near by. Some people feed a bran mash and add the psyllium to that it just depends on what your horse prefers. It has been our experience that this regimen helps with the build up of sand in the horse’s intestinal tract and decreases the horse’s risk of colic from a sand impaction.
As always, please call us with any questions or concerns.