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NEED HELP! Older Horse has the runs - UPDATE - We have solid poop!

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  • NEED HELP! Older Horse has the runs - UPDATE - We have solid poop!

    Ok, I have a fabulous old horse. Have had him for 4 1/2 years now. We guesstimate him to be around 30.

    Every winter he gets serious runny, wet manure. Projectile, watery, nasty poop. He does not have a fever, or any other related issues. Just loose manure.

    Last year, I thought I had finally figured it out when I took him off Horse Chow. Nope.

    Now, he's getting 3lbs Horseman's Edge 10% pellets 2x/day, plus 3lbs of soaked beet pulp. He's maintaining his weight well. No signs of dehydration. Same hay, off our fields. But he's not a good hay eater.

    He does this EVERY winter. Once the grass comes back, he's fine. So, I'm thinking it has to do with the amount of roughage in his gut. I'm thinking of trying to increase his beet pulp and reducing his grain.

    A probiotic doesn't help. We have also tried some dry bran to see if that would help bind him up. Nothing seems to work.

    Any ideas?
    Last edited by sanctuary; Dec. 12, 2011, 09:18 AM.
    Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn

  • #2
    Have you ever tried a different hay? Maybe an alf/tim mix so he'll be more tempted into eating more of it?

    If not, how about timothy hay cubes/pellets, or alfalfa cubes/pellets?
    Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!


    • Original Poster

      we have tried different hays, with minor results, but nothing that firms him up like during summer.

      The hay cubes is a good idea. I may have to look into that. Would Hay stretcher be along the right route (as he does eat some) or more of a straight timothy cube?
      Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn


      • #4
        You can try some hay stretcher pellets but if he is not eating much hay cubes would be better as they meet the requirements of hay subst (1 inch or greater coarse fiber). In general it is never a great idea to break your min 1% BW coarse fiber rule..tho there are reasons too.

        You may find if he is having troubles getting even soaked hay cubes down that a blend of the 2 works (cubes and pellets) better.

        Also chat with the vet about diarsanyl plus...


        Always bagged senior feeds too if needed.


        • #5
          Did you use wheat bran? A cup dry added to the food each day? How long did you try?

          You could try Bio sponge. You can call Platinum Performance and ask their advice about dosing.
          The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry


          • #6
            Have you tried digestive enzymes instead of probiotics?
            My senior has a bout of this every year too, probiotics don't help much in his case either, but he does seems helped by the digestive enzymes. Just a thought.


            • #7
              Sounds very familiar. Dealing with this right now with my older guy.
              We did blood and fecal tests.
              Blood chemistry was slightly off, so we started him on omeprazol in case it was ulcer related. He has been on this a week. His stool seems to have firmed up, but he still has the run off at the end and liquid farts for lack of better desciption.
              Up until now we can't order Bio Sponge in Canada, but just heard from my vet and it or a similar product is now available, so he is going to start on it tomorrow and see how it works.
              Over all the loose stool doesn't seem to bother him, he is still cheery and his same old self, but with a very dirty bum.


              • #8
                Gee, that sounds really familiar. Once my guy starts really chowing on hay, it stops. I'd do as others suggested and try some other types of hay or haylage. I've never used Biosponge, but I've heard great things about it.
                "Rock n' roll's not through, yeah, I'm sewing wings on this thing." --Destroyer


                • #9
                  I second trying wet hay cubes. We had one that did that every winter when the grass died and he had to eat hay--even though he was "eating" it his teeth were not grinding it enough for his body to process it. As soon as we switched to cubes the runs stopped.
                  Originally posted by EquineImagined
                  My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


                  • Original Poster

                    sounds like I need to go get some hay cubes I will pickup some tomorrow and let you know

                    Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn


                    • #11
                      --Gwen <><
                      "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."


                      • #12
                        a barnmate has a similar problem with her older horse. She gives him
                        Calf Booster from Animal Medic (http://www.animalmedic.com//item.asp?itemid=5108547)

                        which generally helps under normal circumstances.

                        She also gives him a 1/4 c. of oat flour when he's particularly runny.


                        • #13
                          Is he keeping weight on and staying hydrated? If yes then I wouldn't panic, my understanding is that the digestive tract of older horses gets less efficient. My 36 year old goes thru the same issues periodically, I wish it were correlated to the weather, at least it would make sense...
                          Do not take anything to heart. Do not hanker after signs of progress. Founder of the Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.


                          • Original Poster

                            Ok, I picked up some timothy hay pellets. I started him on 1.5 lbs 2x/day and will go up from there. I still gave him some hay tonight so he has something to nibble on. How quickly/how much can I give him of the hay pellets to start right off the bat?
                            Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn


                            • #15
                              I had a thirty plus year old gelding like this once and I took him off hay (because of incomplete mastication the long fibers were irritating his gut) We put him on Blue Seal Senior extruded complete feed and his diarrhea pretty much stopped...I did give him a few handfuls of hay to pass the time.. Might be worth a try.
                              The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.


                              • Original Poster

                                WOO HOOO! we have solid poops The timothy pellets seemed to do the trick! Thank you for the suggestion!
                                Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn


                                • #17
                                  Yay for solid poops! Glad that's all it was!
                                  Originally posted by EquineImagined
                                  My subconscious is a wretched insufferable beotch.


                                  • #18
                                    I'm bumping this as I care for a 28 year old gelding with light Cushings that has starting having liquid farts in the past month or so. I saw it every once in a while during the summer/fall and had attributed it to a richer bale of hay (I've got a mixed lot in my loft this year). But now it's pretty constant - his manure is pretty normal (every once in a while it's soft), but farts are accompanied by a stream of nastiness. I feel bad for his tail and his bum.

                                    He's been recently wormed with Equimax, gets about 2 pounds of TC Senior and all the orchard grass hay he'll eat. I've been weaning him of the TCSr for weight reasons and am thinking of pulling it altogether - the risk being he may drop weight again. Probios hasn't helped.

                                    That said, I might try giving him a pound or two of timothy pellets each day - do I feed them dry or wet?


                                    • #19
                                      Dry, I'm thinking of getting some as well.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        I've fed them both wet and dry. It doesn't seem to make a difference. I found straight Timothy Pellets at Tractor Supply. They also have an Orchard Grass Pellet/cube (can't remember which). I'm calling them tomorrow to place an order for the month, as they keep running out.

                                        I also want to add, that along with more solid poops, he has put on weight so quickly, I am now actually backing off some of his grain. We've only had to wash his tail/legs once, maybe twice since I posted this question
                                        Life is hard. After all, it kills you. - K. Hepburn