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FITchick 09-29-2012 04:48 PM

Chronic Diarrhea
 
This one has even my vet scratching his head! I've had my mare since March. About in May, I noticed she had some runny poo marks on her rear (on the white side of course), it didn't look serious then. I just watched it in the beginning and it didn't seem like there was anything to worry about. I figured it would work itself out. Well a couple weeks later, it gets worse. Runny marks down her whole rear and down her leg. Talked to the vet and he said it had to be the grass or a bacteria, he recommended probiotics, but it had no effect. Talked to the vet about how the probiotics didn't work, and he still said it must be the grass. So, I've been watching it all summer. Some people recommended sand clear, so I tried that but it didn't cause any change. I've had her on digestive supplements, but that hasn't worked either. I've been told to try a grazing muzzle - haven't tried it yet. So the vet comes out yesterday. I got there shortly before he did and my mare's whole back side was covered in a runny mess and went all the way down her legs. This is the worst I've seen it yet. And it is starting to smell bad. He took a fecal sample. Called me back later and said that the sample came back with nothing abnormal in it! He just wormed her yesterday, and now wants to worm her again in three weeks. But he's not sure if it's a parasite problem just because of how healthy she looks in general. Thoughts? Opinions? I've exhausted all of my own theories and would like to hear others'. Thanks :)

loosie 09-30-2012 12:11 AM

What is her diet? Including amounts. What sort of grass? Is it likely low NSC - tested as such or native, unimproved - or is it regular 'good' pasture grass - high sugar, cattle fattening grass?

The first thing that came to mind is hind gut acidosis from too rich grass, or a grain/starch rich diet. Next possibility which is also common is too much protein or such in her diet. Capeweed, clover & other plants can cause diarrhoea if too much is eaten & other nutrient imbalances can too.

So firstly, I'd keep her on probiotics & remove any grain from her diet. I'd restrict her grazing of rich grass, such as rye. Keep her off clover or capeweed. Replace rich grazing with low NSC grass or hay, or other low starch roughage. I'd cut back on alfalfa or any other high protein feed. I'd look at getting the horse's nutrition well balanced, if you haven't already(I find feedxl.com great).

barrelbeginner 09-30-2012 01:03 AM

okay! my horse Sunny.. Has the same problem during the winter only though!! Ive been told its because he cant digest his food properly. bu during the summer when he is out on grass.. he is FINE.. normal normal normal..

Ive been told also that feeding the alfalfa pellets helps for some reason( already compacted? maybe im not sure) Id love to here what other people are saying as well..

maybe try alfalfa pellets?

FITchick 09-30-2012 12:29 PM

Ok, her diet is 2lbs pellets/day. Then she's out on pasture 13hrs a day. I don't have any control of the pasture though. It does have rich grass. It's about 8-10 acres big, and is strictly the mares' pasture. There are about 7 or 8 mares out there. I've had her on probios for three months now without any change. The whole place is nothing but grass! I've contemplated that the grass out there is just too rich for her and the barn owner told me that she's had some horses in the past leave because the grass was too rich. There are a couple horses out there that have to use a grazing muzzle. Thanks for your advice Loosie. I just wish I had more control of the circumstances to try what you have suggested.

loosie 09-30-2012 08:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FITchick (Post 1702006)
I just wish I had more control of the circumstances to try what you have suggested.

IME as a hoof care practitioner & knowing how common & serious health issues due to too much/too rich feed can be, I'd then advise you to look for a healthier environment for your horse where you have more control.

Oldhorselady 09-30-2012 09:05 PM

One of my mares was very sensitive to either the type of grain she had or the amount she was given. Last year I fed LMF Gold and she had the runs. Can't remember if it happened when I tried the Purina Ultium or not. But I noticed when I didn't grain her, she didn't have the runs. I was thinking that it may have been too rich? I didn't even feed the whole daily recommended amounts. I now only feed a ration balancer.....no grain at all and have not had the problems since.

deserthorsewoman 10-01-2012 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by barrelbeginner (Post 1701758)
okay! my horse Sunny.. Has the same problem during the winter only though!! Ive been told its because he cant digest his food properly. bu during the summer when he is out on grass.. he is FINE.. normal normal normal..

Ive been told also that feeding the alfalfa pellets helps for some reason( already compacted? maybe im not sure) Id love to here what other people are saying as well..

maybe try alfalfa pellets?

Had the same problem with my senior....took me two years with eliminating one component after the other from his diet to figure out on straight grass there was NO problem...duh......turned out to be his teeth....he couldn't chew the roughage properly which resulted in the runs. Now, on soft, soaked hay for the winter and regular dental he's fine.
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deserthorsewoman 10-01-2012 05:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FITchick (Post 1701338)
This one has even my vet scratching his head! I've had my mare since March. About in May, I noticed she had some runny poo marks on her rear (on the white side of course), it didn't look serious then. I just watched it in the beginning and it didn't seem like there was anything to worry about. I figured it would work itself out. Well a couple weeks later, it gets worse. Runny marks down her whole rear and down her leg. Talked to the vet and he said it had to be the grass or a bacteria, he recommended probiotics, but it had no effect. Talked to the vet about how the probiotics didn't work, and he still said it must be the grass. So, I've been watching it all summer. Some people recommended sand clear, so I tried that but it didn't cause any change. I've had her on digestive supplements, but that hasn't worked either. I've been told to try a grazing muzzle - haven't tried it yet. So the vet comes out yesterday. I got there shortly before he did and my mare's whole back side was covered in a runny mess and went all the way down her legs. This is the worst I've seen it yet. And it is starting to smell bad. He took a fecal sample. Called me back later and said that the sample came back with nothing abnormal in it! He just wormed her yesterday, and now wants to worm her again in three weeks. But he's not sure if it's a parasite problem just because of how healthy she looks in general. Thoughts? Opinions? I've exhausted all of my own theories and would like to hear others'. Thanks :)

Could very well be the grass is too rich.
Oldtimers in Germany used to put a bale of wheat- or oat straw out in spring pasture...to get them the much needed roughage for the lush grass. Has to be feed quality straw tho.
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deserthorsewoman 10-01-2012 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FITchick (Post 1701338)
This one has even my vet scratching his head! I've had my mare since March. About in May, I noticed she had some runny poo marks on her rear (on the white side of course), it didn't look serious then. I just watched it in the beginning and it didn't seem like there was anything to worry about. I figured it would work itself out. Well a couple weeks later, it gets worse. Runny marks down her whole rear and down her leg. Talked to the vet and he said it had to be the grass or a bacteria, he recommended probiotics, but it had no effect. Talked to the vet about how the probiotics didn't work, and he still said it must be the grass. So, I've been watching it all summer. Some people recommended sand clear, so I tried that but it didn't cause any change. I've had her on digestive supplements, but that hasn't worked either. I've been told to try a grazing muzzle - haven't tried it yet. So the vet comes out yesterday. I got there shortly before he did and my mare's whole back side was covered in a runny mess and went all the way down her legs. This is the worst I've seen it yet. And it is starting to smell bad. He took a fecal sample. Called me back later and said that the sample came back with nothing abnormal in it! He just wormed her yesterday, and now wants to worm her again in three weeks. But he's not sure if it's a parasite problem just because of how healthy she looks in general. Thoughts? Opinions? I've exhausted all of my own theories and would like to hear others'. Thanks :)

Must be the rich grass then.
Oldtimers in Germany used to put a bale of wheat or oat straw out in pasture to give them the much needed roughage on the lush grass. Must be feed quality straw tho.


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