I have a hard keeper. He is typically a slow eater and then one winter he started to take a very long tome to eat his pellets and his belly got bloated. He was worse if he ate hay. This went on for about 3 months while the internal medicine specialty vet worked him up, it would take hip 2 hours to eat 1 scoop of soaked pellets. He said he had aversion anorexia, eating was causing discomfort. He was scoped, x-rayed, blood work, 3 times, teeth were good, fecal tests, etc. every thing was normal. Vet said he had no idea and said exploratory surgery was next option. Not an option for me.
He looked bloated to me, like he was gaining weight even though he wasn’t eating much. I was beside my self with worry. I sent his blood work off to a Chinese medicine doctor who said he had an infection, the western vet did not see that, I tried the herbs the Chinese medicine doctor recommended but he got worse, and his legs and sheath were swollen, so I stopped.
Still desperate I found Silver Lining Herbs and tried their digestive formula,he seemed a little better on that and spoke with the owner of silver lining herbs about what I might give him. He said if he possibly had an infection to give him the INFX formula. It was a miracle, $20 worth of herbs and he was better in 5 days.
Now I believe he either had small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO which causes bloating, gas, discomfort in humans) or he had/has a diverticuli that was infected. Neither one of those scenarios will show up in blood work or on x-ray, but the herbs sure did work.
Shari who made a recommendation to feed low starch feed, may have had the same issue as small intestine bacterial over growth as the bacteria in the small intestine that should not be there, or not be there in large amounts will digest the carbs and cause bloating. Using an antibiotic or herbs with antibiotic properties can work for this kind of issue.
Now, he eats better over all, and this winter has actually gained weight. He gets timothy hay and I have him on Smart Digest from SmartPak and give him a bit extra of powdered psyllium daily.
Good bacteria in the hind gut eat the soluble fiber in the psyllium and create fatty acids that the intestines use as fuel to create a stronger and healthier intestinal lining,