Chronic loose stools :-( - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 11-01-2010, 10:20 PM Thread Starter
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Chronic loose stools :-(

I have a 19 year old small (14.2 hands) QH mix (QH mixed with a pony breed we are thinking) gelding who has had chronic diarrhea since I got him 4 years ago. I originally thought it was the poor quality hay and free feeding of oats in the winter at the place I first boarded him. But it still hasn't cleared up since I have moved him over a year ago to a much better boarding barn. I've had contacted my vet multiple times regarding it (it's a wonder she still answers her phone when she sees it's me!) and she thinks we just need to keep trying different feeds. He's now on grass hay with a small amount of alfalfa hay and we now have him on Nutrena Triumph complete feed 2 scoops 2x a day along with Equitum Digestive in the am. He has a very low fecal egg count and is in good health otherwise (meaning he doesn't act sick). But every weekend when I see him his bum is all caked with dried feces and his tail is all matted with it too. It breaks my heart and really worries me. The vet is thinking as a last resort to try a steroid treatment but I really don't want to go down that road just yet. If anyone might have any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate them!

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post #2 of 8 Old 11-02-2010, 01:30 AM
Join Date: Oct 2010
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There are many causes of loose stools in horses.. it will probably take a while to figure out what is causing your horses problem. I would suggest reducing the amount of protein in his diet to the lowest possible level and only feed grass hay.. no alfalfa.. I say that because he's probably an easy keeper and doesn't need all the extra protein... my horse used to get bad diarrhea from eating anything other than grass hay and I also cut out her grain ration. She didn't need it.

Don't change his diet suddenly either as that can aggravate it. Make sure you run all your decisions through your vet... that's what they're there for and what you pay her for... to answer your questions!

Good luck.
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post #3 of 8 Old 11-02-2010, 02:45 AM
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When I see diarrhea my first thought is not drinking enough water. I had a TB mare who drank hardly anything no matter how hot it was, and it took disconnecting her automatic waterer and filling up a bucket to measure how much she was drinking a day to realize how little water she was getting in her system. We had to start feeding her electrolytes in her grain, or add it to her water, and that helped her problem significantly. Maybe you have already ruled that out, in dealing with your vet, but just wanted to throw that out there. Some horses can have a looser stool just because, but I would continue to work with your vet, and see what you can try to make it better.
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post #4 of 8 Old 11-02-2010, 07:37 AM
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Is Equitive Digestive like a probiotic? I don't know, that's what I use when my horses have diahhrea. But your case sounds different. I'm surprised there seems to be nothing a vet can do. I'm surprised your horse holds his weight. All the nutrients go with the feces in diarrhea doesn't it? Something to really dig into.
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post #5 of 8 Old 11-02-2010, 03:49 PM
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I had a pony that had loose stools all the time not only loose, but very stinky...from the time we bought him to the time we got rid of him, so about 7 years. It never effected him at all, he was able to keep weight on he drank enough water, he was all around healthy. He used to be at a barn with little turn out and no grass, then we moved him to a farm with huge grassy fields, and his stools were still the same.

I actually never even thought about it being a health problem until I read your post.

Maybe it's just how your horse is.

Last edited by ErikaLynn; 11-02-2010 at 03:52 PM.
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post #6 of 8 Old 11-02-2010, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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That seems to be the verdict that me and my vet are possibly coming to. Might just be the way he is... Thanks!

Aladdin's Mom
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post #7 of 8 Old 11-02-2010, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
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That is definitely something to consider. I have been toying with the idea of adding some electrolytes to his feed especially with winter coming to be sure he's getting enough fluids. At least his stools are all water/liquid so I don't believe that he is getting dangerously dehydrated. Thanks for the idea!

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To me horses are freedom, unconditional love and best friends all rolled into one beautiful package!
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post #8 of 8 Old 11-03-2010, 02:36 PM
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There was a horse at our barn that had horrible runs on any kind of hay. When he was turned out in a grass field for most of the summer the runs went away. For fall he was brought back in and they noticed that the hay was in some cases hardly digested...they had the vet back out and it was determined that his teeth were going to be causing him tons of problems. One tooth was significantly bigger/taller than the rest and for the vet to effectively help, he would need dental work every 2-3 months. For whatever reason, when he was on straight grass, he was able to digest the food much better.

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