Feeding yogurt to horses

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by Barefoot, Jul 10, 2006.

  1. Barefoot

    Barefoot Banned

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    Roughly once a month i feed my horses a tub of natural acidopholus yogurt in with thier feed to help keep the bacteria in thier gut right.

    I was told to do this by a nutritionalist, as the yogurt does the same for the horse as yakult for humans.


    Has any one heard of or do this themselves?
     






  2. tangopony

    tangopony Senior Member

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    ive heard this... its good to feed a colicing horse yogurt.... the vet says its kinda like gaterade
     
  3. Chester

    Chester Senior Member+

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    I have read this a few times and am still wondering.

    Horses guts are designed to take milk as a youngster. After that it is designed for vegatation. Yoghurt is a MILK product. Is a milk product good for their gut? Will any beneficial bacteria int he yoghurt overcome what the milk may cause?

    This just doesn't make sense to me.

    I think that I would stick with just adding the bacteria via powder form rather than a product that isn't designed for their gut. Another point is that most of the yoghurt you buy commercially has actually had the bacteria killed. If you can not add some of it to warm milk, leave for hours in a warm environment and have the bacteria multiply to make more yoghurt then it is of no benefit to your bacterial levels in gut.

    Different tact perhaps, when raising orphaned wildlife with a gut problem it is normal to make a tea from the droppings of a healthy animal. It contains the CORRECT bacteria for the gut, added to the formula it cures gut problems.
     
  4. tangopony

    tangopony Senior Member

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    there is a special yogurt the vet said works and is beneficial to a horse with an upset stomach.. ill have to ask when i go to the barn..
     
  5. Chester

    Chester Senior Member+

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    When you get the name of the product, ask them for a sample. If it can not grow naturally as suggested in my previous post, I think it is a good marketing stratergy but not necessarily good for your horse.

    If you doubt this, go to the local store and buy your normal yoghurt and a tub of natural yoghurt with live culture. Try the above experiment with both varieties. Methinks that one will still be milk after overnight, the other will be thick.

    If it doesn't get thick, the bacteria is dead and of no use as a medicinal product, it is just a thick flavoured milk snack (and is probably heavily sweetened).
     
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  6. Sue B

    Sue B Senior Member+

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    In essence, yogurt has its place (provided it has the "live culutre" as noted above). However, its benefit to horses is limited. LAB (lactobacillus acidophilus) is found in the gut of horses, but when there is digestive upset, generally, the problem is related to acidosis. The gut pH turns acidic and the only bacteria that flourishes in that environment is LAB. The LAB takes over, prevents other beneficial bacteria from re-colonizing and you get things like chronic diarreha, bouts of colic, weigth loss or even chronic laminitis. The goal of any good "probiotic" should be to help maintain and rebalance as much of the gut bacteria as possible.

    With that said, if a horse has been on a course of antibiotics, dewormed or had other chemicals/drugs that might have been used to "kill things" in the gut, essentially all or the majority of bacteria may have been killed off. At that point, LAB seems benefical as there are little to none left and replenishing any of the bacteria is better than doing nothing.

    The primary source of gut bacteria is the envrionment....for foals (as noted above), it is the mother's excrement or the mare's licking of the foa's mouth area. For adult horses, it takes an entire day of grazing to maintain the bacterial colonies. So, any horse that is not on pasture most of the day, most likely will benefit from a daily dose of probiotics (actually refered to as "prebiotics"). For helping to reintroduce bacteria a "probiotic" (products that contain 1-3 species of gut bacteria) is beneficial in short-term doses.

    While it was once considered that any probiotic...including yogurt...was beneficial in all cases, this mode of thought has been proven wrong in the last 4-5 years and is/should no longer be recommended. Prebiotics are the better choice for maintaining a healthy horse.
     
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  7. DressageGirl

    DressageGirl Banned

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    Chester, my nutrition adviser, Victoria Ferguson recommends Jalna Biodynamic yoghurt...youve probably seen it adverted, or in the supermarket
     
  8. ThisIsMe

    ThisIsMe Banned

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    There's specific probiotics for a horse, although expensive but actually designed for them.

    I'd rather give my horses a course or Proxetin than fiddle around with yogurt.
     
  9. Top Dun

    Top Dun Senior Member+

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    From a previous discussion on the message board:

    http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.co...w-in-bacteria-41938.html?highlight=probiotics

    If you are going to to a probiotic, Got with a GOOD horse formulated product like Fasttrac or Bene Bac or Equine Express probiotics. The yoguart is human formulated and you would would have to give several cups in order to get a benefit from feeding it.

    The bacteria IS the same between yougart and equine formulated probiotics, BUT not in the same concentrations. To get the benefit a 1000 LB horse Would need WAY more than one Cup of Yougart.

    For example: My dose of Appetie Express probiotic paste for horses contains 5 BILLION colony forming units of Lactobacillus Acidophilus
    Then an additional 7.5 BILLION units of saccharomyces cerevisiae. (AKA Brewers Yeast) (AND is given in doses of 10 CCs as needed and may need to be repeated for FULL effect)

    Yogurt however is highly variable in the amount of Units of Beneficial bacteria available Especially between different brands and is may be in the 1-2 Billion units range, but not enough for a full grown horse to recieve FULL benefit from ONE 8 OZ carton. Yogurt is fine for a human, but not enough for a horse. To get the full effect of ONE 10 CC dose of equine probiotics, one whould need to give a minimum of 2 and 1/2 8 OZ cartons of human formulated yogurt. (AKA 20 OZ of yogurt.)

    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]http://www.connecticutcenterforhealth.com/acidophilus.html

    What's the Difference Between
    an Acidophilus Supplement and Yogurt?
    [/FONT]


    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]There may be some acidophilus in fermented milk products such as yogurt and kefir. However, most commercial yogurts are made with Lactobacillus bulgaricus or Streptococcus thermophilus. Although these two organisms possess some health benefits, they will not colonize in your intestines. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]On the other hand, the highest quality supplements are made with "super strains" of Lactobacillus acidophilus. These strains are designed for maximum clinical effectiveness. They also do not die as easily and are more likely to survive the digestive process in your stomach. So if you are looking for positive results, an acidophilus supplement is a better choice than yogurt. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Yogurt is still mildly beneficial, but make sure that it is unsweetened, because sweetening agents may destroy beneficial bacteria.
    [/FONT]


    There are many sites on the Internet which offer L. acidophilus in the form of supplements. In natural form, these bacteria are present in acidophilous milk or yogurt. However, in commercial yogurt the amount of Lactobacillus acidophilus cells does not currently appear on the labels because their concentrations cannot yet be accurately measured in the presence of other cultures, particularly Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus, which are the bacteria converting milk into yogurt.


    http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/research...R/1995RR08.PDF

    Viability of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Lactobacillus casei added as
    adjuncts in yogurt and cultured buttermilk during 28 days of refrigerated
    storage was investigated using five different strains of L. acidophilus and one
    strain of L. casei. Colonies were enumerated on LBS and LBS-O agars. At
    each sampling period, colonies from the selective agar medium were isolated
    for characterization and comparison using a commercially available
    identification kit (API CH 50). This helped ensure that the strains of L.
    acidophilus or L. casei and not the traditional buttermilk or yogurt cultures
    were recovered. Generally, L. acidophilus survived better in cultured
    buttermilk than in yogurt. However, strains of L. acidophilus differed in
    survival in both cultured products. L. casei survived very well in both cultured
    products.
     
  10. Sue B

    Sue B Senior Member+

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    While I agree with the last statement....those examples are not "equine specific" probiotics, they are all for "livestock" or other animals. Fastrack was developed specifically for use in cattle feedlots to help with rapid weight gain....a product that probably has not been tested long term as the cattle it is fed to only have months to live. Bene Bac is made small animals. The same is true of the Express (general livestock application). While they may have directions for equine feeding, that doesn't mean that they are geared towrd equine needs any more than yogurt is.

    Also, as for them containing "live" cultures. The question remains to be seen in most cases. If they are in a cooler when you purchase, then they contain "live" stuff....Fastrack is the only probiotic besides yogurt that I know that has instructions for keeping cool....and is stored that way prior to purchase. In other cases, "live" generally means that ther is some sort of "dried" bacteria that is supposed to come back to life when exposed to water. However, there is some concern amoung researcher as to IF any or even a little of this type of bacteria actually reaches the digestive tract where it is needed...don't forget, it has to go through the acid filled stomach....the majority of bacteria (other than lactobacillus) die when exposed to acidic environments. (see previous posts on PREbiotics that I have posted).

    So, it becomes questionable as to how much, if any of these types of probiotics are even worth using. However, with that said...I have experienced paste forms of simple (1-3 included bacterial types) probiotics eliminating gastric distress post antibiotics.
     






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