OTTB with cow patty diarrhea
I recently purchasd (about 2 weeks ago) an OTTB whose last race was July 11, 2008. I have noticed that his stool resembles the consistency of cow patties...somewhat loose diarrhea. I initially suspected stress/diet change to be the cause, but when I called the woman I purchased him from (who has known him his whole life) said when she had him laid up at her farm 6 months ago he had the same type of stool, and he had this same kind of stool when he was at her farm waiting for me to pick him up. He is dropping weight and I can see his ribs/hip bones. I presently have him on Trotter/Pacer mixed along with nice green hay (not sure whether it's got alfalfa in it...have to ask the barn owner). My suspicions as to the cause of his cow patties are: ulcers, worms, hay, hay stretcher, needs probiotics and lastly maybe he has a bacterial infection in his gut. My plan is to put him on probios, electrolytes and Ulcergard. I just picked up Omeagtin to wean him onto in place of the sweet feed and I'm going to give him more hay in place of the hay stretcher.
I've never encountered this type of ailment in a horse before, so if anyone has any advice or experience with this type of thing I'd appreciate some advice!
was his food changed with each move? coming off the track has got to be very stressful too.
Ulcers may be a part of it, but I would be worried about a bacterial infection as well. I would talk to your vet and tell him about the history and get his recommendation. A fecal culture can't hurt. ;)
It sounds like you are doing a good job with the feed supplements. I would start him on ulcerguard and probiotics as well.
Why was he taken off the track? Does he have an injury? Are you currently exercising him? If he is not being worked, he really doesn't need any grain. My OTTB has been off the track for 4 years and was having similar problems. He has diarrhea when he is experiencing some kind of pain. He has been having some problems with his feet, and when they are really bad he will have very runny diarrhea for 2 days. When his feet feel fine, his stools are normal.
My TB also had trouble with weight. I give him a little bit of senior grain because it contains vitamins and probios already. I also started him on alfalfa hay with his grass hay. This seemed to be the key for his weight gain. The problem with alfalfa is that it tends to make horses hot. In my case this isn't a problem because my TB is very lazy to begin with.
I would recommend finding out if your horse has some kind of injury (old or new) or soreness that would cause him to be uncomfortable or painful. Also start him on ulcer treatment and probios. Keep in mind that horses on the track are pumped full of all kinds of drugs. It will take your horse's body at least a month to start getting back to normal.
Good luck and keep us posted!
He was taken off the track because of a soft tissue injury behind his knee...but he was sold to me with clean bone x-rays. As he isn't in 100% good health yet I am not working him at all, but he is being turned out daily in a small paddock adjacent to other horses. He has no heat, swelling or sensitivity in any of his legs, although I have not had a farrier down yet to pull any of his shoes (I plan to pull his back shoes when he is scheduled for his next farrier appt. in a few weeks). I suppose it is possible he's in some kind of pain...but I feel like he would have other symptoms should he have some type of leg or hoof issue. He was a very expensive racehorse and came from a wealthy owner who took very good care of him and his feet appear to be very healthy. I haven't started any of his supplements yet...so my plan is to start him on all his new stuff tonight and see if in a week the cowpies are looking any better. I think with all of these measures taken, I can rule out worms, ulcers and poor digestive flora. If he doesn't start turning around my next attempt is going to be switching him onto straight timothy hay. If that doesn't help matters then I'm going to definitely have the vet come down and culture his feces. I have a feeling it's not a bacterial infection because he doesn't have watery diarrhea it's just loose...but even though it's just loose he could still have some type of mild bacterial infection. I'm so stressed out about this that my boyfriend says I was talking in my sleep last night about horse supplements hahahahaha
how lush is the grass he's out on?
The grass he's turned out on is very crappy and limited. When we first brought him home it was sunday night and nobody felt comfortable turning him out all week because we weren't there to watch him...so he wasn't on grass then and still had the diarrhea...i dunno if that helps
also Kickshaw your horse is beautiful...saddlebreds for dressage...i love it!!
with all of our horses that had weight problems and possible ulcers or stress problems we would use corn oil in their feed along with soaked beet pulp. that always seemed to help settle their stomachs and help them put weight on.
and our specialty were abused horses and ottb's.
A sugestion for the runny poo is to take some and put it in a plastic baggie, like a lunck baggie, or better yet a gallon baggie. Put some poop in there and put some water in with it to make a um poo shake! Then hang it and see if some sand comes to the bottom by morning. Then you can rule out to much sand in the system and it is really cheep! This is what my vet had me do with my OTTB! Good luck to you!
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