Both my boys, but Phoenix in particular, end up with sand in their gut. The boys go out together in a sandy pasture without much grass. The grass that is there is short, and the boys tend to pick up sand when they try to eat the little bits. After P got sand colic last year I’ve been more vigilant about checking him for sand whenever there isn’t snow on the ground.
I actually tested his poop Thursday night and found that even though it hadn’t been a full month since his last treatment with psyllium, he already had quite a bit of sand.
For those that don’t know how to test your horse’s poop for sand, I will tell you my method.
- Find a bucket, usually I use the one I clean my tack with (Is that gross?)
- Wait for fresh horse poop (old is fine if it’s not ground up or covered in shavings, but I never find that, lol)
- Put a couple balls of poop in the bucket
- Add hot water (cold if you don’t have any, warm just works faster)
- Let sit for a while ( I usually leave it while I ride, but a few minutes will do)
- Stir until all of the poop is broken up
- Dump water out slowly and watch the bottom as you get to the last bit. You should be able to see some sand sitting in the bottom if your horse has any
While this doesn’t seem like much sand, this is from just two poop balls, and we know just how many poop balls a horse makes…
Anyways, when you see any sand you know there is more sand in there, and it is best to treat the horse with a psyllium product and retest after to verify the sand is gone. I have had great luck with Sand Clear, even Stampy thinks it’s tasty and he doesn’t like anything. I did buy one other brand that was cheaper without looking at the details on the bucket and the concentration of psyllium was lower, meaning you had to feed a bunch more, so be careful of that.
It’s peak season for sand colic in my area, so I wanted to share! I had never had a horse get sand colic before last year, and I had actually never even tested a horse’s poop before that.
You can also hear the sand with a stethoscope on their belly in the right spot. My vet showed me and it sounds just like waves washing up on a beach!
Hope everyone is having a good Friday, I’m off to ride P in a little bit!