Harley's chronic runny stool - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 01-06-2017, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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Harley's chronic runny stool

Yes, it's me again, complaining about Harley again. It isn't the first time I post about this, but honestly, I cannot figure this one out. Maybe someone has an idea I haven't tried yet.

To sum it up, Harley is my daughter's 16 yr old Arabian gelding who is pretty healthy overall, but tends to have little issues like skin problems and mild coughing (I'm mostly staying on top of that, for now). When we first got him in November of 2015, he had very runny stool for at least two months. I chalked it up to the changes in diet, etc. Spring and summer came and went, and he went on pasture, his stool firmed up and all was well. He really does best in 24/7 turnout in the summertime, but in our climate, that isn't possible year round so he went back on hay in the fall and is now in his stall at night. The bitter cold makes him cough so I shut him in during the coldest part of the day and steam his hay.

The runny stool came back around November and just isn't going away. Or I should say it comes and goes really. He can go days with good, round droppings, then suddenly we're back to the wet stuff. It runs down on his hocks and tail and makes a mess, which is a problem because I can't wash him when it's -20 C. I brush off as much as possible, but I know it's not good for his skin.

His diet: hay and hay cubes. The vet recommended we try second cut hay because he says it will help firm up his stool. After about 3 weeks of feeding him second cut hay (which is really a more grassy type hay), his stool is still runny. Maybe it hasn't been long enough? As for hay cubes, I had bought timothy/alfalfa cubes and decided to switch to timothy alone. I know some horses don't do well on alfalfa. I switched him to timothy alone about 2 weeks ago. Again, maybe I'm not being patient enough, but today, he had particularly messy stool.

Supplements: he was on Cal Trace, but they will no longer ship to Canada, so I worked with an equine nutritionist to basically re-create the Cal Trace formula. She is also my trimmer and I trust her completely. I'd be happy to provide you with the breakdown of all the nutrients if it helps, but basically, they're the same as what was in Cal Trace. Selenium, vitamin E, flax, biotin, zinc, iron, copper, salt, and a few other things. I went through a whole bottle of Probiotic with him and it didn't seem to make any difference whatsoever. He has access to warm water (heated water buckets) 24/7 and drinks about 25-30 liters a day (I know, because I had to haul water to the barn when my pipes froze).

He moves around less than he would in the summer, but we still ride him occasionally. Still, I'd say he is being used very lightly at the moment. Oh, and I had a fecal egg count done from his stool in the fall and it came out clean. I still treated him with a broad spectrum dewormer (my mare had an egg count of 200 so I wasn't going to take chances). He has had a full metabolic workup in the fall as well and everything looked good.

Thoughts from the hive mind?
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post #2 of 38 Old 01-06-2017, 09:14 PM
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I went through this with my guy for several years, when my guy was around 18, his poop was a diarrhea type consistency. The vet did work ups to check liver enzymes, kidney function, etc. and he came out just fine as well. How is your horses weight holding up with the hay diet? Does he actually eat the hay or does he waste a lot?

With my guy we played a lot. We treated him for ulcers and we put him on a senior feed. We fed him yogurt for a few days (the kind with the bacteria in it) and I also kind of begged the vet to put him on antibiotics, even though he wasn't running a fever and his blood tests were normal, I knew my horse and I felt like there was SOMETHING. He gave me a five-pack. I don't recall what antibiotic it was but it came in little packets and you gave him one a day. for five days. Now, who knows if that is what did it but his poop did go back to normal after he finished the round.

Triple Crowne Senior worked the best for me but I can't get it around here anymore so I have him on the SafeChoice Senior and his poop is normal for him. It's solid-ish but it's not horse apple solid, it's more like a ploppy pile solid but keep in mind, he is 32 years old.

If you've ruled out inner health issues, teeth, and ulcers then I think you may just have to play around with your feed until you figure it out.

Good luck!

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post #3 of 38 Old 01-06-2017, 09:31 PM
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I had a gelding that kind of got runny poop every winter. I say that because his poop wasn't actually that runny but he always had a mess running down his behind because he had liquid farts. Man, could he shoot that stuff out too, you ran when you saw that tail lift. LOL Vet exam, making sure he had the best of hay, etc... never changed this, only spring coming with green grass fixed it. Opposite of what most horses experience. He did that for years but it never seemed detrimental to his health because he acted perfectly normal.
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post #4 of 38 Old 01-06-2017, 09:35 PM
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You could try egg yolks... there is a treatment for foal diarrhea that is made from egg yolks. Sorry I can't remember the name, but it came in a packet.....
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post #5 of 38 Old 01-06-2017, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farmpony84 View Post
I went through this with my guy for several years, when my guy was around 18, his poop was a diarrhea type consistency. The vet did work ups to check liver enzymes, kidney function, etc. and he came out just fine as well. How is your horses weight holding up with the hay diet? Does he actually eat the hay or does he waste a lot?

With my guy we played a lot. We treated him for ulcers and we put him on a senior feed. We fed him yogurt for a few days (the kind with the bacteria in it) and I also kind of begged the vet to put him on antibiotics, even though he wasn't running a fever and his blood tests were normal, I knew my horse and I felt like there was SOMETHING. He gave me a five-pack. I don't recall what antibiotic it was but it came in little packets and you gave him one a day. for five days. Now, who knows if that is what did it but his poop did go back to normal after he finished the round.

Triple Crowne Senior worked the best for me but I can't get it around here anymore so I have him on the SafeChoice Senior and his poop is normal for him. It's solid-ish but it's not horse apple solid, it's more like a ploppy pile solid but keep in mind, he is 32 years old.

If you've ruled out inner health issues, teeth, and ulcers then I think you may just have to play around with your feed until you figure it out.

Good luck!
His teeth were done recently, he was treated for ulcers last year, but I'm pretty sure he never actually had any (he was cinchy, but I know believe it was purely behavioral). He eats like it's his last meal EVERY TIME! He always thinks he's starving - he's not. In fact, he's a little pudgy. But he sure loves his food. Nothing gets wasted. I wonder if I should try yogourt. The fact that it's off and on and seems to do that for months on end makes me think it's not something an antibiotic would treat.
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post #6 of 38 Old 01-06-2017, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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I should also add that his stool isn't liquid. It does form piles, just not the nice, round, apple type balls. And it has enough loose consistency to hit his hocks, but is easy to pick up with a manure fork. Does that make sense? Maybe this is just how his stool is in the winter.
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post #7 of 38 Old 01-06-2017, 11:50 PM
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It could be that it's caused by his water intake what with soaking/steaming his hay. Really if he's healthy in every other way and his piles are at least cow patty consistency I wouldn't worry too much, just keep an eye out for any other changes.

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post #8 of 38 Old 01-07-2017, 04:37 AM
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You could try feeding him probiotics to help the gut.

Also with thenpoopmsticking to him rub some Vaseline into where it sticks and although this in itself is a tad messy it will stop the poop sticking.

I would do this tomfoals when they were around five days old to stop the scouring they get from the mare coming back into heat causes so they didn't end up with bald butts.
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post #9 of 38 Old 01-07-2017, 05:51 AM
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You might want to look into Yea Sacc and Bio Mos by Alltech. The link below has pretty good prices. I don't know if she sends to Canada but you can check.

About Oak Creek Services LLC ? Horse Supplements Store

I've been using Yea Sacc for about two years now with my horses and I see a big difference in them. I also stopped giving it to them for a month or so because I ran out and didn't reorder right away and saw a difference. They are now back on it. It is part of their supplement baggies that I make for them.

I use CT, Yea Sacc, ground flax and salt to mix with their hay pellets or cubes.
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Last edited by LoriF; 01-07-2017 at 06:01 AM.
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post #10 of 38 Old 01-07-2017, 06:07 AM
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I would also like to add: When Star was not getting her Yea Sacc, she started reverting back to being a ding dong and nervousness. Now that she's back on it, she has calmed way down again. Maybe the yea sacc is helping her body absorb more nutrients or something IDK, but that is the only thing that has changed for her.
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