Intestinal Bacterial Infections in Equines- Ayurvedic Treatment


Intestinal bacterial infections in animals are very common, pathogenic and if not noticed in the early phase of infection can be life threatening for animals. Bacteria are contagious and infect other animals in the herd so it’s the duty of the farmer or owner to maintain the proper management practices. They use horses for sports, diagnostic purposes and also for transport purposes at village level purposes. The horses are kept stable and are maintained in the supervision of veterinary doctors. The most common bacterial intestinal disease through which the horses suffer. Here I am going to discuss two infections viz. Salmonellosis and potomac fever have their causes, signs, diagnosis and most important part which is treatment of these infections . My focus is mainly to discuss how the AYURVEDIC medications play their role in treating these intestinal Infections.

Intestinal Bacterial Infections in Equines


Equines – family Equidae (genus :Equus ; species :cabalus) are the herbivore mammals; the intestinal bacterial infection in horses may lead to destruction of the equine industry at a broad level because they are contagious. Salmonella infection is a zoonotic disease which can transmit to humans also . The young foals and aged animals are highly susceptible for the infection.The other one is Potomac horse fever which causes intestinal diarrhoea as well as abortion also in mares.

Salmonella infection in horses

It’s a common causative agent of intestinal diarrhoea in adult horses . The salmonella infection has a high mortality rate and high morbidity rate. The diseases can be acute and chronic both and is characterised by gastroenteritis

Aetiology of salmonella-  Salmonellosis in horses caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies Enterica serotype Javiana, and S. enterica ser. Typhimurium

  • Gram negative bacteria
  • Rod shaped , non sporing
  • Organism can be destroyed by pasteurisation or we can say that at high temperature
  • Organism can be alive in soil /water, faeces or pasture for more than 6 months

Salmonella infection in horses

It’s a common causative agent of intestinal diarrhoea in adult horses . The salmonella infection has a high mortality rate and high morbidity rate. The diseases can be acute and chronic both and is characterised by gastroenteritis

Aetiology of salmonella

Salmonellosis in horses caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies Enterica serotype Javiana, and S. enterica ser. Typhimurium

  • Gram negative bacteria
  • Rod shaped , non sporing
  • Organism can be destroyed by pasteurisation or we can say that at high temperature
  • Organism can be alive in soil /water, faeces or pasture for more than 6 months

The transmission of salmonella is the horizontal mode of transmission from the infected animal . Contaminated feed , water , pastures are the source of transmission of infection There are carrier animal which acts as the reservoir host of infectious agent and they excrete the causative agents in their faeces when the management practices are not good the healthy animal comes in contact with the infected soil and gets infected. The alimentary tract acts as the site of infection . In the gut there is multiplication of organisms . Organism multiplication also depends on various factors like

  • Environmental stress
  • Scarcity of feed
  • Nutritional deficiency like vit b complex
  • Improper ventilation
  • Unhygienic environment like water stagnation etc.

The organism enters, proliferates and damages the intestinal mucosa. Endotoxins produced by bacteria further damages the intestinal mucosa and provide the path to bacteria to invade in blood vessels which lead to haemorrhage and necrosis of mucosa organisms through blood vessels lead to septicemia and foci of infection in liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. Diarrhoea is due to increased level cAMP. There is the release of prostaglandins because of interaction with salmonella enterocytes and there is stimulation of Adenylyl cyclase enzyme ( which is produced by the bacteria as a toxin). This adenyl cyclase enzyme causes diarrhoea in horses. Severe diarrhoea causes dehydration in animals.


The infected animal does not show any symptom until and unless its not exposed to any stressful conditions like environmental stress or strain . Till then it will act as a carrier animal. There are two forms of infections

  1. Enteric form
  2. Septicaemic form

1. Enteric form

This is commonly observed in adult horses .Animal will be depressed , dull , Inappetance or reluctant to feed , temperature will shoot more than 102 degree fahrenheit Consistency of faeces in initial stage will be semi solid and later it will be watery

Abdominal strain is observed

Blood clots and mucus in faeces observed. Death occurs due to gradual drop in temperature followed by subnormal temperature

2. Septicaemic form

Observed in young foals. septicaemia is characterised by high temperature , ataxia, and recumbency

Death of animal within 1-2 days

Foals may show both enteric and septicaemic form . septicaemia is characterised by dyspnoea, arthritis and bloody diarrhoea


a) The history of animal, which is told by Owner

b) Clinical signs observed by veterinarian

c) Lesions

d) Confirmatory diagnosis by – isolation and identification of animal through culture

e) F. A. T – fluorescent antibody test


Broad spectrum antibody and chemotherapeutics – broad spectrum antibodies tetracyclines are given. Fluid therapy to recover water and electrolyte loss through diarrhoea. So ringers lactate can be given also if the animal is anorectic than DNS can also be given.


Bacteria name Neorickettsia risticii infecting the equines through feeding the infected insects present on feed. Potomac horse fever was firstly reported was firstly reported in valley in united states called as potomac river valley therefore disease in is named after its originated place


Neorickettsia risticii viz a intracellular gram negative bacteria. There is no exact information about how the infection is transmitted but it is assumed that it may be due to feeding of infected insects or snails or ingestion of contaminated water.

Clinical findings

The starting phase of infection shows the increase in temperature which stays around 7 to 14 days.

  1. Followed by fever, diarrhoea is noticed. usually the diarrhoea remained unobserved by Owner
  2. The immune system of host gets affected and becomes weak because the organism evades the monocytes


a) History: May include the type of management practices by the owner and any nearby freshwater stream or river as the main cause is assumed the freshwater organism which are considered to be the cause of transmission of infection.

b) Clinical findings which include fever, diarrhoea/colitis, and 30 to 40% horse shows laminitis

c) Biochemically it is for diagnosed by blood antibody test titre and PCR of blood and faeces


  1. Fluid therapy – To control the water and electrolyte loss during diarrhoea.
  2. NSAID – which acts as antipyretic and antiinflammatory to bring the temperature during the infection.

Ayurvedic overview

Pashu ayurveda

Pashu ayurveda is the science which has dealt with the use of herbs since olden days . The first animal which developed the bonding with humans were dogs. An ancient man used dogs for hunting purposes and slowly he started using the animals for farm purposes . Since the only way of treating their animals was natural herbs, ayurveda has played a very vital role in veterinary science.


1) Ashwa ayurveda – Ashwa ayurveda is the science of ayurvedic medicines which has been used in the treatment of horses. The common health issues like lameness in horses, intestinal infections due to bacterial , protozoal and viral infections

2) Gaja ayurveda – A branch of ayurveda which deals with treatment of elephants. Treatment of animals with modern science is quite difficult whereas if we use herbal medication to treat elephants is quite easy and also the ayurvedic medication does not have any side effects

3) Go ayurveda – The branch of ayurveda dealing with treatment of cattle . The cow holds great religious aspects in India. It’s recommended that people should avoid the intake of milk if the animal is undergoing any antibiotic treatment so it leads to great economic loss to the farmer whose livelihood is dependent on that cattle, but in the case of Ayurveda we do not have any such indications.

Herbs which are very commonly used in veterinary are – neem leaves and oil, giloy, ashwagandha , fennel , tea tree oil etc.

Herbal remedies for intestinal bacterial infections by Planet ayurveda

Planet Ayurveda provides the best combination of effective herbal remedies such as for ayurvedic treatment of all digestive problems in horses like colitis . These herbal remedies are prepared from using best quality herbs and strictly follow the principles of Ayurveda. All these herbal remedies of Planet Ayurveda are 100 percent pure, natural and vegetarian. These are free from chemicals, additives and preservatives. These are safe to use as these are free from side effects.

Herbal Products for Intestinal Bacterial Infections in Equines Buy Now

Product description

1. Giloy capsules

Giloy capsules are obtained from the extract obtained from the Giloy plant .Giloy (Tinospora cordifolia). Giloy has multifunctional capabilities like antipyretic, antiinflammatory, anti oxidant etc. It enhances the immune system to fight against any bacterial or viral infections.In Case of intestinal bacterial infections in horses. It helps in repair of damaged mucous membrane bacterial infections like salmonella. It acts as an antipyretic in case of salmonellosis and potomac horse fever in horses. These capsules help to reduce the effect of endotoxins produced by the bacteria and increase the ability of macrophages to fight against the bacterial infections.

Dosage: 4 Capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.

2. Ashwagandha capsules

Are single herbal formulations prepared with extract of Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) that promote health and longevity. It is anti inflammatory, antibacterial and anti diarrhoea. In case of intestinal bacterial infections in horses it helps in reduction of inflammation in intestinal epithelium caused due to invasion of bacteria. It destroys bacterial infections by enhancing the immune system. Its antidiarrhoeal property helps in subsiding the diarrhoea.

Dosage: 4 capsules twice daily

3. Halorhena + capsules

Is a single herbal formulation prepared using standardised extract of Kutaj (Holarrhena antidysenterica) which promotes gut health and regular bowel movement.It also has antidysenteric and antidiarrhoeal properties. In case of intestinal bacterial infections in horses it repairs the destruction that occurred during the bacterial invasions in the gut epithelium and subsides the haemorrhages. Its antidiarrheal property reduces the loss of water and electrolytes loss occurred during diarrhoea

Dosage : 6 cap twice daily

4. Digestion support capsules

It is the combination of many herbs. These herbs combinedly acted in the synergistic manner helps in controlling acidity, flatulence, gas and also constipation. These ingredients help in retaining the fluid from the intestine and help in control the motion in horses during infection.

Dosage: 2 capsules twice daily

5.Mahashankh vati

Consists of Shunthi,Pippali,Shankha Bhasma,Tamarind Bark,Shuddha Vatsanabha,Rock Salt,Black Salt,Sea Salt. The ingredients present in these tablets helps in digestion of feed and improves the appetite of animals i.e the anorectic behaviour of animals which occurs during infection. Hence overall improvement of gut health will take place.

Dosage: 6 tablets twice daily


The above content is about the bacterial infection – salmonella colitis which is caused by Salmonella enterica subspecies Enterica serotype Javiana usually and Potomac horse fever caused by Neorickettsia risticii. It includes causes , diagnosis and treatment of infection in horses. The most important point of attraction in the article is about the mode of treatment using AYURVEDIC medications by Planet Ayurveda . It tells the formulations of herbal drugs and their mode of action. It describes that these drugs are completely safe and highly efficient with no side effects.

The following two tabs change content below.
Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD - Ayurveda) is a Globally Renowned Ayurveda Physician with Expertise of more than 25 Years. He is the CEO & Founder of Planet Ayurveda Private Limited, a leading Ayurveda Brand, Manufacturing, and Export Company with a Chain of Clinics and Branches in the US, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and other parts of the World. He is also an Ayurveda Author who has written Books on Ayurveda, translated into Many European Languages. One of his Books is "Ayurveda – God’s Manual for Healing". He is on a Mission to Spread Ayurveda All Over the Planet through all the Possible Mediums. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments with the help of the Purest Herbal Supplements, Diet, and Lifestyle, according to the Principles of Ayurveda. For More Details, visit