Worried about my TB's digestive health :/ - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 05-06-2017, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Question Worried about my TB's digestive health :/

I recently was given a very beautiful and healthy 14 year old TB mare(That, may I add, I have quickly fallen in love with )

When she was at her old home, she was on grass 24/7 and wasn't being given food. So when she went to the barn that I ride at to be refreshed, she was put on 1/4 of sweet feed and slowly moved up to 1/2 scoop senior feed. She also had hay when she was in her stall, but she didn't get grass when she was out because the round pen she went out in didn't have any grass in it, so she got hay then too. Now that she is home with me, she was slowly bumped up to 3/4 senior feed to help her put on weight.

I started noticing that her poop wasn't as solid as it was, and she was peeing a lot, but it was rare when I saw her drinking. I thought it was just her getting used to the different senior feed (She gets Nutrena safe choice senior feed). Well, several weeks later and no change. She is on the same water as the barn is, so I don't know what could be doing it other than the feed. My older mare is on the same feed and she is fine.

My other two mares are not in the same fields because one can have hay but the other two can't, so they are separated. I am trying to come up with a way to keep them together (one being separating them while my TB eats hay and letting them together afterwards)


I apologize for this being soo long but I an trying to type every detail I can think of, because goodness knows what it could be, or if I even should be worried about it. Thx if you read through this far

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post #2 of 19 Old 05-06-2017, 10:48 PM
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Being on grass 24/7 is the ideal food! Why are you worried about the horse, because she is peeing lots and not drinking water? If that is the case, it sounds like a health issue, call a vet maybe?
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post #3 of 19 Old 05-06-2017, 10:53 PM Thread Starter
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I am worried because her poop hasn't been solid for a couple weeks, and I don't see her drink. She does drink after I ride and I make her drink, but I haven't seen her drink by herself :/

I mean, she is still acting fine. I guess I am just being a worrying horse mum haha!

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post #4 of 19 Old 05-06-2017, 11:25 PM
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I was under the impression that grass 24/7 could cause foundering and laminitis (spelling?). I am pretty new to this, but it was something about grass storing tons of sugar when not "growing" under light or if brown and dry.
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post #5 of 19 Old 05-06-2017, 11:41 PM
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Grass is a horse's natural food, but lush pasture 24/7 for a horse certainly could cause that. Most areas don't have lush pasture like that unless it's spring.

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post #6 of 19 Old 05-07-2017, 12:28 AM
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Since you brought her home does she have pasture again? Green grass can cause loose stools and the moisture in the grass provides them with a lot of the water they need. It's been raining so much in my area that my horses aren't drinking out of their tank near as much as they do during dryer weather. If you're concerned you can make sure she's hydrated by doing a pinch test. I usually do it on their neck, right in front of the shoulder, because it's easier to get ahold of some skin there. Anyway you pinch and pull up on the skin for a few seconds. Let go and if the skin immediately goes back into place she's fine. If the skin stays tented up for any length of time then she's dehydrated.

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post #7 of 19 Old 05-07-2017, 01:12 AM
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That's also what I was wondering...I got a little lost in the description.

If I understand right, she was somewhere turned out on pasture with no hay or grain.
Then you brought her to a barn for training and she was started on a little senior feed but was in a dry lot and only given hay, and she lost weight (probably wasn't getting enough hay is my guess).
Now you have her at home, and she is back in a field with grass but also has added hay and senior feed to help her gain weight.

You don't mention what type of hay you have. It's possible that it has higher protein than she was used to, and horses urinate out excess protein. A food that is richer than the horse is used to will also make the stools more runny for awhile until they adapt. So all of that would be normal with feed changes.

If the horse has access to a trough with fresh water all the time, you don't have to worry about them drinking normally. I rarely see my own horses drink, but they have access to water at all times so I don't worry about it. Unless the horse is sick or appearing dehydrated, then you may need to have the vet out.
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post #8 of 19 Old 05-07-2017, 07:57 AM
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So, not sure how often you think a horse drinks...not every hour like a human does.
Horses do a deep quenching watering usually twice a day with a few smaller mouth wettings as I call them a day.
You might not see the horse actually drinking deeply....
If the manure is moist as you want it to be, not runny poop but not hard dried balls either....the horse is drinking adequate amounts of liquid.
Depending upon how much feed you are feeding, how soon you made manufacturing change-over and adjustments and how mush you just increased it again I might not be so concerned.
Some horses take time to acclimate their gut to a new recipe fed.
And you have again changed diet with now again being back on a pasture environment.
Do indeed do the pinch test for dehydration. If not dehydrated slow down what you keep introducing to the horse and let her get used to what it is you have changed on her diet....
Some horses also don't do well on certain brands of feed....just the way it is.

I would also be doing a poop test and checking for sand in the gut with the things you write of...
Testing Your Horse for sand in its stomach
Sand accumulation can do exactly what you describe...

Good luck.
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jmo...

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post #9 of 19 Old 05-07-2017, 09:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Witherspad View Post
I am worried because her poop hasn't been solid for a couple weeks, and I don't see her drink. She does drink after I ride and I make her drink, but I haven't seen her drink by herself :/

I mean, she is still acting fine. I guess I am just being a worrying horse mum haha!
"You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink"

If she is drinking when you offer then she is drinking on her own. She is fine.

How long have you had her? She went from grass and hay to two? different types of feeds (What is the amount in lbs/qts?) and hay and no grass. How long was this transition? I don't find that surprising at all. Loose manure is not uncommon. Her diet changed dramatically and she also is in a new barn (times two!) with new friends. All very very stressful.

I would give her a short course of ulcergard but otherwise just monitor and try to keep any additional changes to a minimum or at least over a period of time. I wouldn't be too worried. You can always add water to her feed, it won't hurt anything and will at least make you feel better.

Do a pinch test to check for hydration but it's not like she forgets the bucket is there when you don't put her in front of it.

I'd be surprised if she didn't have a little upset after all that excitement!

Why can't the others have hay? Just make sure she still has friends around even if she can't be in with them.
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post #10 of 19 Old 05-09-2017, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy View Post
So, not sure how often you think a horse drinks...not every hour like a human does.
Do they?? Another thing I'm more horse-like on then!
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