Can a hore get to much salt? And would it give Diarrhea?

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Can a hore get to much salt? And would it give Diarrhea?

This is a discussion on Can a hore get to much salt? And would it give Diarrhea? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    12-11-2010, 02:14 AM
Can a hore get to much salt? And would it give Diarrhea?

See we didnt have a place for the salt block in the stall at the moment so we just put it in his feed bucket and well he went through it pretty quick (We've moved it now). Plus he's on a ration balancer, Min a vite lite by blue seal which has 4.6% salt in it and he gets about 1/2 scoop twice daily. Since he's has kind of loose stool and lots of water afterwards, we've been cleaning his tail, butt and legs like every other day.
Could he be getting to much salt? Would that cause diarrhea? I asked the vet she just said change his food I forgot to ask about the salt..

Does anyone have any suggestions for a different feed for a very very easy keeper. He's gained 20lbs and he's just on this ration balancer.. and like 2 flakes of hay a day.
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    12-11-2010, 02:30 AM
If he's got diarrhea and is gobbling up free choice salt he may be dehydrated. Horses can have as much as 3-4 oz of salt a day so I doubt he's getting too much. Make sure he has plenty of fresh clean water and maybe try an electrolyte or a psyllium fiber product for a week.
Also, what kind of hay? What kind of horse is he? How old, etc.?
Try pinching the skin on his shoulder between your thumb and forefinger, if it stays "tented" for a few seconds he may be dehydrated.
    12-11-2010, 09:59 AM
He's a Quarter Horse about 12 yrs old. He gets mostly orchard grass but I have a skinny horse who I'm trying to put weight on so he gets some alfalfa too but he had the diarrhea before we got the alfalfa. He also has plenty of clean fresh water that he can get to 24/7 just so you know. I do see him drinking but obviously im not there all the time. I will try the test to see if he's dehydrated thanks
    12-11-2010, 10:13 AM
Also he's not getting worked right now and is on stall rest half the day and outside half the day due to a bowed tendon.
    12-13-2010, 09:23 AM

Yes, horses, as everything else, can suffer from excess salt, as they can from any mineral & many vitamins. But it is probably more likely that it will cause problems due to imbalance with other nutrients. Eg. Sodium binds and prevents absorbtion of many nutrients.

Agree with the vet that it could be the feed, and I wouldn't be feeding a horse with grains generally and especially corn, or molasses. I'd find a low starch/sugar balancer to replace it. I'd also guess that if he hooked into the salt lick, there was a lot more to it than straight salt. Many have grains etc in them and most for horses seem to have molasses. You can buy straight rock salt 'wheels' or such tho, that you can hang up somewhere for him to lick if needed.

I also wouldn't be feeding him much if any lucerne either, as it's high energy and high in calcium & other minerals which may imbalance his diet. I would do at least a basic diet analysis and consult a nutritionist to work out a balanced diet for him. I personally subscribe to a great program called which does all of the above.
    12-13-2010, 10:11 AM
Thanks Ill have to check out that website.. Yeah he really doesn't need the calories in a regular grain I'm just worried about him getting his min/vitamins.

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