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Chronic intermittent diarrhea

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  • Chronic intermittent diarrhea

    I have a mare who has had chronic loose manure for years - however, it is totally intermittent and sporadic....
    Over the years she has been on a variety of diets but nothing makes a difference in the diarrhea. Type of hay, grain, grass, supplements don't matter.
    She can pass normal manure and then watery diarrhea from one poop to the next, then back to normal again. Her stall generally has mostly normal manure with one or two watery piles each morning. Sometimes when being tacked up she will pass one pile of normal manure and sometimes when being tacked up she can pass up to 6 piles of manure, each getting waterier. There does not seem to be any rhyme or reason to why. She usually only passes one pile of manure while being ridden.
    She has been fully treated for gastric ulcers twice (and hind gut ulcers once) and she currently lives on a low starch pellet, first cut grass hay and Succeed, Uckele G.U.T., smart muscle stamina, natural E and selenium for supplements.
    She goes out in the pasture with her girlfriend for ~6-8 hours/day.
    She gets Legend, Adequan, chiro and massage monthly.
    She has a very good saddle that gets fitted ~4 times/year.
    She has her teeth done regularly.
    She is very well shod and is a sound horse.
    She has been tested for EPSM, Lyme, Vit E, and insulin resistance.
    She is ridden by a professional and is ridden kindly and has a good relationship with her rider. She does work hard (FEI horse) but is not pushed past her abilities or fitness.
    She is a highly sensitive, emotional mare who wants to be good but must be handled/ridden in a way that works for her.

    Does anyone have any ideas about what could be causing the intermittent diarrhea?? It's not just centered around the riding and it randomly goes back and forth between being normal and watery...


  • #2
    You are not alone! I have been dealing with the exact same scenario for about two years now. I could have copied your post exactly - have tried all the things you did without success. I just posted about Ritezyme. My vet has recommended it. I am 45 days into using Succeed paste and have definately seen some improvement - but has not cured the whole situation. I am going to finish the first three months as recommended and see where we are. Have you ever tried Ritezyme?


    • #3
      My pony had that problem. My vet recommended using psyllium for two months and she hasn't had a wet stool since.
      Pam's Pony Place

      Pam's Pony Ponderings


      • #4
        I too have a mare that would on occasion produce watery manure. I did psyllium for sand. Nope Considered ulcers...tho that did not seem to fit. Diet did not matter. She is such a sweet natured girl I was beginning to wonder if maybe she had other health issues as just not showing signs of pain. She seemed sluggish but not really colic. Banamine eased her sluggishness. Wet manure episodes would go away only to return a couple wks or so later.

        Then it finally dawned on me...tho my brain was rather slow I admit cuz it took the better part of a riding season. Each and every occured when she was coming into heat AND a big weather change.

        We made afew changes last year. But honestly so late in the season I really can not say if they were of benefit truly. But this year I at least have the knowledge of why. The what to do to handle it has yet to completely be ironed out.

        Originally posted by Desert Topaz View Post
        My pony had that problem. My vet recommended using psyllium for two months and she hasn't had a wet stool since.
        I was curious as to the reason for the psyllium. Sand clean out? Or other?


        • #5
          If you haven't tried a full month of psyllium I would start there. If that doesn't work, then I would do a Power Pak. Good luck!


          • #6
            Originally posted by D Taylor View Post
            I was curious as to the reason for the psyllium. Sand clean out? Or other?
            I think it was sand, but I can't quite remember. I was on pain killers from a surgery at the time we had this conversation so my memory is a little foggy.
            Pam's Pony Place

            Pam's Pony Ponderings


            • Original Poster

              Thanks for all the suggestions. I have not tried Ritezyme. Will look into that.
              She has been on Succeed for years now. Made a huge difference in her ulcer related issues but it hasn't touched the diarrhea. After being on it for about 1.5 years, I took her off it and within 6 weeks her ulcers came back. She will never go off it again!
              I am curious about the psyllium. Is it being fed for sand issues? We have no sand here, just LOTS of clay.
              I will certainly try a powerpak. She hasn't had one of those in years.


              • #8
                Originally posted by ticofuzzy View Post
                Thanks for all the suggestions. I have not tried Ritezyme. Will look into that.
                She has been on Succeed for years now. Made a huge difference in her ulcer related issues but it hasn't touched the diarrhea. After being on it for about 1.5 years, I took her off it and within 6 weeks her ulcers came back. She will never go off it again!
                I am curious about the psyllium. Is it being fed for sand issues? We have no sand here, just LOTS of clay.
                I will certainly try a powerpak. She hasn't had one of those in years.
                I guess that is why I questioned D Topaz as some say psyllium is good for mucus production in the gut. A former vet of mine (now retired) was very against using psyllium for this. For sand treatment ok tho.


                • #9
                  I wish my vet wasn't on vacation so I could ask her specifics. My pony was living on clay, not sand, so either a) it was for sand just in case there was some or b) some other reason that I have no way of divining without a ton of research I don't have the time to do right now.
                  Pam's Pony Place

                  Pam's Pony Ponderings


                  • #10
                    my horse is experiencing the exact same thing now for 5 yrs.will be interesting to see more reply posts to this..will be following this thread.


                    • #11
                      I have been dealing with chronic intermittent diarrhea in my aged pony since he arrived (almost two years ago). He's been on multiple pro and pre biotics, as well as Biosponge. He has been regularly dewormed (including power packed), teeth dealt with (he has all his teeth), treated with Psyllium Pellets (which he hated and I had to trick him with yummy stuff to get him to take the stuff).

                      He recently took a turn for the worse (I was very concerned for him)---though he himself never became symptomatic of anything (never missing a meal, never colicy and never any specific NEW issues)--but seriously squirty diarrhea. I was about to ask for metronidazole when my vet said to give the sand treatment another shot---I was a little skeptical but went ahead and started him on this and overnight his gassy, squirty, diarrhea is gone. No idea what part of this product is working but he looks SUPER (and DRY TAILED for the first time in two years) and Im so pleased---fingers and toes crossed it keeps working!!! He literally came with diarrhea and does do significantly better when very little or no hay is given (he is able to eat it-it just doesn't agree with his delicate aging gut)--fortunately he has access to sufficient pasture grass year round-and does get a small amount of easier to digest senior feed.
                      Redbud Ranch
                      Check us out on FB


                      • #12
                        My instant thought was sand. I had a foal with the same problem and diagnostic tests revealed a lot of sand.
                        The Inverted Y
                        Thoroughbred and Anglo Arabian Sporthorses
                        2005 and 2007 USEF Breeder of the Year.


                        • #13
                          My mare had this problem last winter. She's never had any digestive issues or ulcers and there was no change of any kind in her feed or routine. My vet recommended a yeast supplement. That did the trick. I kept her on it for several months to make sure. This winter she's been fine.


                          • #14
                            Hi, appreciate this is an old post, but I wondered if anyone had managed to resolve their horses' problems.


                            • #15
                              There's another recent post about long-term diarrhea in this horse care for him that might have some useful ideas for you. This is a copy and paste of my reply to the thread:

                              I am not a vet, and all suggestions should be run by your vet.

                              Have you tested for cryptosporidium? Someone in a FB group I am in had regular, progressive diarrhea issues with her gelding, and a new vet finally figured it out.

                              Maybe your vet would be open to this COMPLETELY off-label product? It is widely used in senior living facilities, and really considered a godsend.

                              Mr 2HG ordered a case for one of the horses at my previous barn, but the owner and/or (veryoldschool) vet weren't interested in trying it. Mr 2HG also had a conference call with the head of research at Medtrition, and they were VERY VERY VERY interested in the equine market. Horses are supposed to love banana flavor - it's one of the top three flavors in a study that was done.

                              Have your vet call them - PM me for the name. We have already broken the ice and had the conversation re: usage in horses. (At the very least, there may be a paper out of this.)

                              Have you ever tried adding chia seed to her feed mix? Chia absorbs up to 6-10 times its weight in liquid, forming a bulky gel - many people like them for removing sand from the gut; the sand gets incorporated into the gel, and moves along out of the system. Typically they are recommended to be soaked before feeding in order to avoid creating blockage when they do absorb liquid from the stomach. I wonder if soaking them briefly (i.e., to 50% "capacity") would allow them to absorb some of the excess liquid while minimizing the blockage risk....?

                              They are also the highest naturally occurring source of Omega-3 fatty acids, with a 3:1 ratio of Omega-3s to Omega-6s, which adds an anti-inflammatory property that might help your horse. Chia seeds are a complete source of protein as well; if you decide to add alfalfa pellets to his diet, take that into account.

                              Hope this gives you - and anyone else - some helpful ideas.
                              "Let's face it -- Beezie Madden is NOT looking over her shoulder for me anytime
                              soon . . . or ever, even in her worst nightmares."

                              Member, Higher Standards Leather Care Addicts Anonymous