Handling Digestive Upset in Pregnant Mares
Good digestion is essential for the health and well-being of all horses; a shiny coat, fine body condition, healthy attitude and even performance levels are directly connected to the horse's digestive health. Digestive health is important for horses in all seasons and stages of life. However, it is especially important for your mare to have proper digestive health during pregnancy.
Your unborn foal gets all of the nutrients he needs for proper development from the mare, which means that if digestive health is compromised and your mare isn’t absorbing her nutrients to the best of her abilities, neither is your foal. The digestive system performs vital functions, such as absorbing nutrients and blocking potentially harmful substances and microorganisms. Proper digestive function in the mare ensures that the foal is receiving proper nutrition in-utero, and your mare stays healthy and strong through this breeding season and breeding seasons to come.
Pregnancy can be very stressful for mares. Making sure that your mare stays active is very important. Exercise will not only maintain fitness and reduce the chances for health issues like edema, but it also reduces stress. Stress is a huge obstacle in the health and well-being of your mare. The more stressed out your mare is, the more likely she is to display destructive behaviors, go off her feed, become colicky, have a poor attitude, and drop weight. All of these problems will negatively impact their health as well as the health of the foal. During pregnancy, a mare’s Henneke body condition score should not fall below 5; ideally, your broodmare should be maintained at 6 or 7. However, too much weight can also be a problem and should be avoided as it has been shown that obese mares tend to have lower milk rates.
If your pregnant mare is suffering from digestive upset, look into supporting her digestive system with a high quality, research backed nutritional supplement like Assure Guard. Assure Guard is a granular, daily digestive aid for gastric health as well as hindgut support and maintenance making it an excellent choice for mares that are nervous or stressed. It provides nutrients to help maintain proper stomach pH, while stabilizing the gastrointestinal system to keep your mare's digestive tract normal and healthy. Maintaining proper stomach pH helps reduce the risk of ulcers and stabilizing the entire system assists in your mare’s ability to absorb nutrients and reduces her risk of colic. Assure Guard contains calcium carbonate, probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, and psyllium and utilizes a unique delivery system, GST®, for reliable hindgut stabilization. This digestive aid is an excellent choice to maintain stomach as well as colonic health and add the extra support needed during times of stress, such as pregnancy.
For the most comprehensive digestive health care available, check out Assure Guard combined with Assure Plus. Assure Plus is a pelleted digestive aid to help support hindgut motility when challenged with various digestive disturbances. This unique formulation provides encased probiotics, prebiotics, psyllium, and enzymes to naturally support your mare's digestive system. In supporting the hindgut, it has been found that psyllium husk combined with probiotics and enzymes helps to support colonic health. Additionally, by rapidly supporting hindgut health and stabilizing motility, accumulated sand, silt, and debris can be passed in regular fecal excretions.
If your mare is a picky eater, Assure Guard Gold is the optimal choice. Assure Guard Gold combines the power of two products, Assure Guard and Assure Plus, providing the convenience of one step supplementation with the most reliable hindgut support. Assure Guard Gold comes in a convenient pelleted form which provides maximum palatability and minimal waste.
The most significant period of growth for the fetus is the third trimester of the pregnancy. During this period, mares will require more energy to provide for the fetus, in order to ensure proper development. This is a critical time for foal growth and any digestive disturbances your mare is having will negatively affect fetal development. For this reason, it is a good idea to have a thorough knowledge of your mare’s individual nutritional needs and to seek advice on how to minimize any digestive issues.
The best way to determine your mare’s nutritional needs is to consult an equine nutritionist. A nutritionist will be able to evaluate your mare and determine the ideal diet and digestive support for her. If you do not have access to a nutritionist, don’t forget about your veterinarian. Your veterinarian is a very important part of your foaling team and is a valuable resource for nutrition as well. Veterinarians will be able to provide guidance for a proper diet and will be able to answer questions you may have regarding your mare’s digestive health.
There are very few things as rewarding as breeding a mare raising a healthy foal. Following this guide and keeping in regular contact with your veterinarian will ensure success for your mare and her foal.