Horses are sensitive animals, especially when it comes to digestive health. Any changes, such as disruption to their normal feeding behavior, physical or emotional stress, health or general wellbeing can cause digestive dysfunction. Serious consequences, such as weight loss, immune dysfunction, endocrine dysfunction, diarrhea or colic, can follow.
Fortunately, research and information regarding these risks to digestive health continues to grow, and owners are able to be more proactive in recognizing and addressing these issues. For example, we know that horses are hind gut fermenters, whose bodies are designed to consume forage regularly and consistently. As a result, providing daily access to pasture or free choice hay is becoming increasingly common for owners. Reducing environmental stressors and modifying nutrition programs also need to be considered when managing a horse who struggles with their digestive health.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on gastric ulcers (squamous and glandular). More recently, a great deal of attention has focused on hind gut dysfunction. There are many challenges, however, that come with addressing potential hind gut issues. To start, clear diagnostic imaging of the hind gut, alone, is a challenge. Additionally, the testing procedures are often unreliable and struggle to differentiate between issues like dysbiosis, intestinal inflammation, leaky gut syndrome and colitis – each of which may need to be addressed in a completely different manner.
Liver function also plays a critical role in regard to digestive health, but is all too often forgotten. In fact, the liver helps create a buffer for the small intestine – specifically the part called the duodenum, where the breakdown of food continues after it leaves the stomach. This buffer helps reduce the predisposition to glandular gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers.
The liver is also responsible for the production of hormones and digestive juices, that control everything from iron absorption to intestinal motility. So, a healthy liver is required for adequate digestion and absorption of dietary components – contributing to the overall wellness of the horse. Liver dysfunction can lead to excessive growth of bacteria and intestinal inflammation, resulting in dysbiosis and leaky gut syndrome.
The PhD equine nutritionists at Stride Animal Health decided it was time for a solution that would take all of these components into consideration – knowing a healthy digestive system is a multi-faceted and complex subject. The result was GASTRO pHIx®, the latest addition to Stride Animal Health’s line of digestive and immune support products.
“GASTRO pHix® includes research-backed ingredients that support normal liver function to keep the horse’s digestive system working properly,” notes Dr. Bill Vandergrift. “Prebiotics and probiotics also help keep the horse’s microbiome balanced. Additionally, GASTRO pHix® contains a proprietary blend of botanicals and nutraceuticals which helps horses guard against squamous and glandular gastric ulcers, duodenal ulcers, and leaky gut syndrome.”
In short, Gastro pHix contains active ingredients to buffer stomach acid, plus extras proven to support the protective layers of the stomach and small intestine. Multiple case studies with GASTRO pHix® on individual horses showed noticeable improvement in appetite and attitude within three days.
“I have been using Gastro pHix on both of my barrel horses, Phoebe and Kiss, since December,” says NRF barrel racing qualifier and customer, Shelley Morgan. “They eat it great, and their body condition is awesome! I feed it daily, so I always feel confident that they’re ready to go, whether we’re at home and on the road.”
GASTRO pHix® is pelleted and can be offered separately or mixed with the horse’s normal daily ration. The amount of GASTRO pHix® offered per day can be varied depending on the individual horse’s need for digestive support.
Gastro pHix® is great for horses dealing with occasional gastric distress, often caused by stress during performance, travel, and training – making it a worthwhile addition to your horse’s wellness program.
Learn more at StrideAnimalHealth.com.
About Stride Animal Health
Stride Animal Health utilizes research and science to develop solutions that create longevity and fulfillment for your equine companion. Research proven ingredients are used to ensure efficacy, and our facilities are routinely inspected by state and government officials to ensure accuracy and safety. Rest assured your horse is receiving the finest quality possible when you choose Stride Animal Health.
Media Contact: Kaitlyn Hurst
Director of Marketing, Bluebonnet Feeds & Stride Animal Health