"Mushy" poops?

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"Mushy" poops?

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    03-03-2013, 02:58 PM
Super Moderator
"Mushy" poops?

This is probably totally silly but Miss Lacey never has any sort of runny poo-issues so I'm just being overprotective and checking in, to make sure.

In Lacey's stall this morning, out of her usual 7 piles, 2 were mushy - near cow pie like. They both seemed to be the freshest as well.
Her poop is always very solid, always, always, always, so having any sort of mushy poop is a "Wuuuuut?!" moment for me!

The weather did change a bit last night - from 60*F down to 40* and rainy but other than that nothing has changed. Her food is the same, same hay, same pellets, same supplements.
She ate her breakfast with gusto this morning and was busily chomping at her hay net when I showed up to feed her breakfast.

Really, I'm pretty sure there's nothing to worry about since she's behaving perfectly normal but is there anything I should be watching out for?

She does need to have her teeth done and she'll be getting them done mid-April/May. But I wouldn't think that needing to have her teeth done would cause suddenly runny poop...

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    03-03-2013, 03:13 PM
How old is she, and what does she get feed wise?
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    03-03-2013, 03:18 PM
Super Moderator
She just turned 28.
Currently she gets free choice grass hay (grazes pasture during the day, stalled at night with hay), and a handful of alfalfa hay. As far as pellets go, she gets about 2lbs (probably a bit less) of alfalfa pellets, plus a pound of beet pulp pellets (split into 2 feedings) a day - well soaked. Supplements: she gets flax seed, MSM, a smidge of RedCell, raspberry leaves (generic Mare Magic), and a vitamin/mineral supplement everyday.

She's a really perfect weight right now too, if that matters. Usually she's a bit chubby, but right now she's perfect.
    03-03-2013, 03:20 PM
Could have been a funky bale or the fact that she's just getting older. I wouldn't do much over one occurrence. Just continue on like normal and if it continues, I'd take a fecal sample to the vet. You may need to add more fiber if it continues.

Ricci is prone to softer poops. The other horses at the barn all have perfect little apples, while Ricci has more of a "plop" lol. It's probably not the end of the world. =]
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    03-03-2013, 03:23 PM
Super Moderator
Thanks Leigha, that's what I'm thinking too. :)

I DID open a new bale of hay last night, I'll examine it when I head back up to the "barn" (lol) tonight! Good thinking.
    03-03-2013, 03:31 PM
Green Broke
I would primarily suspect either something in the new hay (and that's not necessarily bad - just different than what she had been used to) or the dip in the weather gave her a slight chill and triggered a looser stool response (again, not necessarily bad) or a combination of both.
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    03-03-2013, 03:40 PM
I suspect the alfalfa. Too much protein for a horse of that age.
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    03-03-2013, 06:17 PM
Green Broke
I agree there may have been something in the new bale of hay.

What about the alfalfa? Was that also a new bale? Do you think you may have accidentally fed her from a flake that had some mold in it? I have seen grass hay and alfalfa/mix be just fine in 1/2 to 3/4 of the bale and the other end have mold in it. Generally those flakes also have weeds in them or seem to be thicker than the rest of the bale, therefore didn't cure properly.

Anyway, at her age, however much you can grab up in your hand should be fine, as long at it's clean and she's been used to eating alfalfa for awhile She needs those extra amino acids.

When my 25 yr old was a Youngin' alfalfa would make him literally climb the stall walls. He has had Equine Metabolic Syndrome, formally, since 2007 and has lost muscle mass as a result. I feed him 1-1/2 - 2 pounds daily of timothy/alfalfa cubes and he does very well; it seems to have given him back some stamina and top line the EMS took.

Why the Red Cell? Did the vet suggest that? Just curious

If she's made it this far in life without a pre-probiotic, before getting a mild episode of the runny bums, that girl has a cast iron tummy

I also agree to keep watching her manure and if she continues to have some piles that are mush, you may want to ask the vet about putting on a high quality Pre-probiotic.
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    03-03-2013, 06:24 PM
Green Broke
My old man had consistently runny poops and was starting to lose weight this past summer, and putting him on Probios and an easier to digest senior feed did the trick. Now he's back to normal and a little pudgeball. If she works through it and is fine in a day or two, then you probably don't need to change things, but if it becomes a more regular problem, adding a probiotic is an excellent idea.
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    03-03-2013, 06:44 PM
Super Moderator
Thanks walkinthewalk! I was hoping you'd chime in - I love your perspective! :)
The alfalfa wasn't new. I get 140# bales so, as you can imagine, one lasts quite a while! Haha! We're about in the middle of the current one - it's a really nice bale this time, all "fluffy" and green.
The grass hay was the new bale. I did notice that the flakes were a bit weird (some of the flakes had weirdly folded areas/chunks of short grass) but I didn't inspect it much more than being like "who were the weirdos that baled THIS?" I'll look into it more fully when I head back up there after this reply.

Yeah, I'm not too worried about the alfalfa. She drops weight like crazy without alfalfa in the winter and gets all potbellied like a protein deficient horse, my theory is that she has higher protein demands than the average horse...for whatever reason. Our grass hay is also really low protein so that probably plays a part. I'm glad you agree! :)

The Red Cell is just because, according to FeedXL.com, her diet is lacking B vitamins and a few other things -even with the mineral supplement- that are "only" solved -according to FeedXL- by adding Red Cell. I got it to try last summer and I've definitely seen an improvement in her overall immune function+cool energy (she has ERU which is an auto-immune disease so her immune system needs all the help it can get) so I've kept her on it. She doesn't get a bunch, maybe only a tablespoon per day, but it helps for sure. Glad to share my thinking!

She sure does have a cast iron tummy! She can have sudden feed changes, go from 100% one kind of hay to 100% a different kind, move pastures, even get really worked up nervous, and nothing. Her poops are always solid. I find it sort of amusing: she looks like this unassuming sweet old girl but then really she's a literal machine, inside and out! I try not to change things too suddenly on her, just because even if it doesn't show I don't want to be causing her any discomfort, but it's sure nice to not have to really baby her tummy...most of the time. Haha!

I do have Probios on hand that I bought for my goats (the powdered kind in a tub), I'll sprinkle a little on her dinner tonight to help her help herself get back on track. Can't hurt, right? Haha

Thanks Apachie! I appreciate your thoughts! A probiotic certainly can't hurt, especially since I already have Probios on hand! :)

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