Mitch tends to always have soft manure, plus a bit of diarrhea toward the end of each bowel movement he has (that I've ever seen) and he has always been a bit of an issue to keep weight on during the winter when there is a lack of grass, but as soon as spring hits, he piles the weight back on and looks like he should do all the time. bringing him back into work however, always causes him to look ribby afterwards.
My concern right now is the loose manure rather than weight, not only is it horrible for both him and I to be cleaning his butt every day to keep him comfortable and rid of the mess he leaves throughout his tail and butt cheeks, but surely it can't be healthy for him! He has always been like this since I got him 3 years ago, he has always been on the same grass (Rye, somebody kill me now
I hate the stuff but it's where I live) and always been on meadow hay also, there is always a fresh pile in front of him somewhere.
Right now, he is on barely any grass, but plenty of hay due to his behavioural issues that crop up with the spring grass, but yet he is still having quite loose poop, I only cleaned him up yesterday afternoon, and had to do it again today because it looked like I hadn't cleaned him at all!
Since I'm in NZ and many of you aren't i'll stick up links to the feeds he is on just in case you may not have seen them before... He is only on feed to get his toxin binders etc, so I'm not worried about the whole "your horse MUST have this much per day" part of the website
He is being fed a 2L icecream container of Fibre Protect each day http://www.fiber-fresh.com/equine/pr.../fiberprotect/
(I know, bad mother, I don't remember what it weighs)
He is also on alleviate C and Tox Defy, he is on the "proper dosage" of these each day
Alleviate C: Calm Healthy Horses - The problem with grass!
Tox Defy: Calm Healthy Horses - The problem with grass!
His behaviour has improved immensely after being put on the above two supplements, and about a week ago he had these random looking lumps over the bottom of his belly, and the lower part of one side of his rump, I am ticking that up to possible allergies since they have disappeared completely with the use of the Tox Defy, and also a mesh cover on all the time, he gets too hot in a cotton sheet. The lumps were around 1-2cm raised, and differed in shape and size, some being as big as my entire hand, some as little as my thumb. they were all hard, but never looked or felt to be causing pain to Mitch.
He sweats incredibly easy, it's actually ridiculous how much this horse can sweat and how easily he does it. So with that and his diarrhea I am worried about him losing electrolytes and becoming dehydrated during this rather hot summer, could this all be related to why I have a hard time keeping weight on him when he is in work, and in the winter?
Should I be supplementing electrolytes into his feed, or can I accidentally overdose him with electrolytes and cause issues that way too? I haven't found any sources of powdered electrolytes around here yet, but I am also toying with the idea of adding yeast or another probiotic of some sort for a period of time to see if it makes a difference. but again don't want to risk over supplementing him and causing other issues.
I do want to have the vet draw bloods, but they have never seemed terribly worried about his diarrhea, so I never thought much of it, but it's becoming quite a bit of a hassle, and it can't be very comfortable walking around with dried poop stuck to your butt cheeks until it gets cleaned off by your human slave every day. I did have it under control for a bit, or so I thought, and it has just come back all of a sudden for no obvious reason. No feed changes, no new stresses, nothing that I can think of.
I don't know whether it makes a difference to this particular case, but he is UTD on everything, all vaccines(due feb 2014), teeth (due august 2014), hooves, worming etc.
I know I will probably get the vet speech, and I am prepared to have the vet out, but it will have to be asap after new years since everyone has gone on holiday and this isn't the sort of thing, to me, that warrants an emergency out of hours call when he is still happy and bouncing around the place, still showing every sign of being healthy apart from the diarrhea.