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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all

Cocoa is 32 yrs old as of last month. I noticed that now that the hot weather has arrived she hasnt been drinking enough. Her manure has become dry and I have witnessed her having issues passing the manure.

She gets fed 2-3 times a daY, a soaked rice bran mash, senior blue seal pellets and alfalfa cubes - its all soaked for a long time until its soup. But I have noticed she hasnt been licking the salt mineral block as much as she used to either.

How can I get more water into her? Do you think that her hard stool is lack of water?

Oh and I want to add that we moved the beginning of March. They went from a small dry lot to a 4 acre grass field. I have been keeping them up on a 1 acre dry lot during the day and letting them graze on the 4 acres at night because I didnt want to have them founder on the lush spring grass after being in a dry lot for the past 2 yrs.
 

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Have her vet checked. I had one old timer that started doing this and he had cancer in his intestine. Not saying thats what it is, but your old girl deserves to be comfortable and I can imagine she's not feeling good right now.

Now, I don't know why it wouldn't work with horses, but when our goats or dogs get bound up I feed them canned pumpkin. Not pie filling mix, but pure pumpkin. It works really good and they love it.

Many times its not a lack of water, but a lack of fiber/long stemmed forage. Can you try adding in soaked beet pulp too?
 

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Add 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar to two of his meals. It will help increase water comsumption. Start with just 1/4 cup at two meals for a few days, then increase to 1/2 cup. My horses all hit the water trough HARD after their feed since I started using ACV. Just get the cheap store brand for $3.something a bottle.

You might also try adding some flavoring to the water to see if that will increase her consumption. Use a small packet of sugar free jello in a large tub of water. You'll have to try different flavors until you find one she likes best.

I also agree with calling your vet if this issue doesn't clear up in a few days.
 

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I would soak hay.......maybe even fill up a muck bucket with water and let the hay float in it this way every time he picks up hay he will be getting water with it.

Super Nova
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
What type of oil would you use? Veggie? Canola? Mineral?
Thank you all for the ideas. I am making her mash even more watered and going to try some ASV in her feed as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do put hay out for the horses too but Cocoa has next to no teeth, so she chews some then spits it out. She cant really eat hay. :(
 

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Adding veggie oil to feed does not lube her up. Her stomach will break it down. In order to lube her up you have to use an oil that is not digested. That is why they use mineral oil when they are treating an impaction. But mineral oil is not palatable.


I would start simple. Make her soup a little more watery. Add a little salt or electrolytes to her soup to encourage to her to drink more.

If she does chew hay then soaking it will help.
 

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A vet examine and some basic bloodwork would be a good idea especially at her age but for things to do at home, start looking for reasons why she would stop drinking.

With the change to pasture is it further to get to water than it was in her paddock? Has the type of water container changed? If so, it may be that the water also tastes different. All of these things can cause a horse to stop drinking as much. They may not like the shape/color of the container (especially older horses who's eyesight may make certain shapes/colors/depths hard to differentiate). They may not like the flavor of the water if it's not cleaned and refilled as often, has grass bits in it, etc. They may also not want to walk as far to get their water if they have arthritic issues.
So start by looking at those changes and maybe make water available in more areas and in containers like the ones used in the paddocks.

As someone already mentioned, vegetable oil will not lubricate the GI tract. And lubrication may help with the already present hard feces. However mineral oil would need to be fed in quite large quantities to do much. You are better off getting more water in her.

You may also want to reconsider her diet. Depending on how much rice bran you are feeding, you may be really throwing off the calcium to phosphorus ratio in the diet. That can affect the overall health of your horse. Rather than making a mix-n-match diet, you should consider going straight to the label recommended amount of a complete senior feed. A balanced diet is extremely important to help maintain optimum function of all of the body systems.
 

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I just wanted to tell you i've been there with the same problem.

My rescue horse Floyd pooped like little rabbit poop! And had a hard time passing it. It took more than a week for his poop to start looking normal. He *was* very dehydrated.

As for the rest, good luck. I would definitely get an exam done and maybe some bloodwork - she needs it at her age anyway.
 
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