What is a Probiotic? A probiotic is a product that helps promote and re-populate the beneficial microflora normally found in a healthy digestive tract. These microflora promote digestion of the feed that horses eat and keep the digestive tract healthy and functioning at an optimal level. For a probiotic to be effective, it must be able to survive the acidity of the foregut (stomach and small intestine) and arrive alive in the hind gut (cecum and large and small colon) in high enough numbers of CFU (Colony Forming Units) to stimulate the bacterial popoulation there. It must also remail in a live, stable contidion during manufacture, storage and transit. What sets Equine Choice Probiotics apart from other products? Ingredients that are stable in temperature fluctuations found in transport and storage Ingredients that are active, live and reproducible - not fibre or filler Very high CFU (Colony Forming Units) Independent research verifying product is viable and does reach the hind gut alive. Long shelf life and palatable. Sold in a tightly resealable container to protect live contents. When should you consider giving your horse probiotics? Indications that a horse might benefit from having probiotics added to their diet include underweight, loss of appetite, difficult to keep weight on, “hay belly”, gassy or abnormally loose manure/diarrhea, frequent gas colic, eating dirt or manure (ingesting bacteria to replenish digestive tract imbalances), poor general health (unhealthy hoof or hair quality), or on-going fungal related hoof or skin problems. Circumstances that have been shown to cause digestive upset and stress on horses are transporting, intense performance, heat stress and dehydration, changes of feed, increase in work intensity, frequent changes of location, chlorinated water, de-worming, antibiotic therapy or ulcer treatment, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, extreme nervousness, inadequate chewing ability (as in aged horses). New born foals have little or no intestinal microflora and cannot properly digest high fiber feeds until approx. 3 months of age. Probiotics support a foals' digestive system, is helpful to minimize foal scours and helps ensure good digestion at weaning time.