Nutritional Articles

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Effects of feeding large amounts of grain on colonic contents and feces in horses.

Published: 2004-06-30

Brief content of the article
The objective of this study was to assess changes in systemic hydration, concentrations of plasma electrolytes, hydration and physical properties of colonic contents and feces, and gastrointestinal transit in horses with access to large amounts of grain. The results of this experiment indicated that grain ingestion had several effects, including changes in the concentrations of electrolytes in plasma; right dorsal colon (RDC) contents became more homogenous, dehydrated, foamy, and less dense; RDC contents flowed spontaneously when the cannula was opened; RDC contents expanded when heated in an oven; and feces became fetid and less formed. Horses did not have any clinical signs of colic, endotoxemia, or laminitis. It was concluded that changes observed in the colonic contents and feces may be explained by the large amounts of hydrolyzable carbohydrates provided by grain. Access to large amounts of grain may increase the risk of tympany and displacement of the large intestine. Note: A full abstract can be obtained from:
Keywords: colonic contents: colic; hydrolyzable carbohydrates; grain; gastrointestinal transit; tympany; displacement.

Lopes M.A., White N.A. 2nd, Crisman M.V., Ward D.L. 2004. effects of feeding large amounts of grain on colonic contents and feces in horses. AJVR 65: 687-694.

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