Sand colic is prevalent in parts of the world when there are periods of no rain or drought and the soil is sandy, such as here in Perth, Western Australia. If the grass dries out from a lack of rain, the horses are hungry for the new shoots when the rain does come. This means the new grass can be pulled up by their roots. Although horses usually spit out the roots, with its covering of sand, some inevitably gets ingested. Over time this can develop into sand colic.

When I first got my mare, she had a huge stomach. I gave her psyllium husk (about 2 tablespoon) in her daily food. Within a week, she had slimmed down to a normal size.

Now I start to feed the horses the psyllium husk a week or two before the rains start, all through the wet period and into the spring for a time, too. You can see the psyllium working – the sand comes out as the last part of their stool so it lands on top. It is also a different colour to the surrounding sand.

When I can’t see that anymore, in the dry summer months, I stop the psyllium.

I understand that soaked (not boiled) linseed would have the same effect as it’s quite gluey, but I haven’t tested it out for myself yet.

I have never known a horse to get sand colic under this treatment.

Psyllium husk is a natural plant fibre, with no detrimental effects. Drenching horses with a petroleum based oil can have many side effects including destroying their oil soluble vitamins.

Sand colic can be treated by feeding a tablespoon of the psyllium husk in a very small feed, about once an hour, for how ever long it takes to fully recover. You should see some encouraging results after the first dose or two.

Here is what you can expect to see with psyllium in the diet. The sand is clearly visible, although smaller amounts can be more difficult to see.

Natural treatments for horses is so effective, non-invasive, economical and easy to administer.


Madeleine Innocent

You know how often people struggle with their horse’s health? They want to know WHY they suffer with health issues and all their veterinarian can offer is drugs and more drugs? They feel helpless and at the mercy of another. Well, what I do is to help you pinpoint WHY your horse is getting sick and implement a strategy that takes you to a feeling of empowerment, of being in control of their life. A strategy that restores their health and allows you, and them, to enjoy life.

    2 replies to "Natural Treatment of Sand Colic"

    • gina

      My 20yr old standardbred,colicked with sand July 2nd, he passed half a bucket of sand in ball shape{looked like manure at first,but at closer look, entire pile was sand and gravel} he has been eating metamucil{smooth type} mixed with water 2x day for about 3 months, have not seen any more sand exit, however he has lost considerable weight and muscle{may have nutrient absorbtion problem, due to the sand still inside him. My question is: should I try giving him psyllium husk and can the husk be pre-soaked, as he is prone to choke, or would it be better to try flaxseed{linseed}? Any help is greatly apprciated.Thanks {the metamucil is given in a liquid form,due to his choke problem}

    • Madeleine Innocent

      You do need to see the sand come out. Loosing weight is a good sign but not muscle, so there may be other factors to consider. For maintenance, I give 2 desert spoonfuls psyllium husk mixed in with food once a day. It works well for me. I stop it in the spring, when I can no longer see sand in the manure. The food is moistened to prevent inhalation. The addition of flaxseed can only be good. The best way is to soak this for 24 hours before adding it to the food. This makes it more nutritious.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.