Nearly 70% of an animal’s immune cells live in the gut. It is no wonder why when the horse’s gastrointestinal tract is compromised, equine health is as well. Let’s dig a bit deeper into one problem that causes a chain reaction of bad events in horses: Leaky Gut Syndrome.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS)?
Leaky Gut Syndrome is exactly what it sounds like – the horse’s gut develops small holes in the gastrointestinal tract. Slowly, the cells that make up the GI barrier become less resilient, allowing toxins and dangerous pathogens to seep through and into the horse’s bloodstream.
What does this mean for your horse?
This chaos caused by LGS can make your horse vulnerable to many things, including these common issues:
- Colic or digestive upset
- Weight loss
- Low performance
- Behavioral issues
- Rough coat
What causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?
We know that LGS is when the barrier of the GI tract is damaged and the horse becomes vulnerable to a wide variety of issues, but what causes this to occur? Ultimately, it is the everyday stressors in your horse’s life that can cause the challenge. Just like us, horses tend to get sick when they are stressed; the same is true with LGS.
What can you do to help?
To help prevent LGS, it is best to minimize your horse’s exposure to stressors. Keep him or her relaxed and try to prevent stressful events before they happen.
Preventing stress is not always possible, though, especially for competition horses that travel often and are subject to new places, friends and germs. For those horses especially, we recommend Vitalize® Alimend®. Alimend contains the prebiotic AO-Biotics® which has been research-proven to aid in gastroprotection and boost the immune system, meaning it can help reduce incidences of LGS. Alimend also has been shown to prevent ulcers and help “mend” the stomach lining of the horse by coating it with its mucoadhesive formula.
Additionally, Vitalize has two products that contain MOS – a prebiotic designed to sequester bad pathogens that sneak into the gut due to LGS. Feeding Vitalize® Digest More® Plus (daily) and Vitalize® Equine Recovery Gel (in times of high stress) are both ways to get MOS into your horse’s system to help fight these bad bugs.
Leaky Gut Syndrome, or when the GI barrier becomes harmed, is often the beginning of a long line of problems in horses. Prevention is key by minimizing stressors in the horse’s daily life. But when stress is inevitable, Vitalize products can help when your horse fight LGS and those bad pathogens.