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Intermittent Loose Stool

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  • Intermittent Loose Stool

    Hi all, sorry this may be a little long...

    I have a 3yo warmblood gelding that has been having intermittent loose stool, gas and gas with fluid since late November. This horse shipped from the east coast late August 2011 to the southwest.

    From arrival until Aug everything was fine, totally normal. Then in late Nov he had some sour smelling diarrhea cow patty type with extra gas and wet gas. This went on for a couple of weeks and I wormed him for bots and tapes, of which he had both as they were plainly visible in his manure but not what seemed to be a massive amount. There was some improvement but still not normal. So a few weeks later he was power packed just in case there were encysted strongyles, again more improvement but just not totally back to normal. Before all this worming, I also had a fecal run which was negative.

    Horse only gets grass hay fed free choice in small mesh hay nets and pasture... and in fact when this loose stool had started the hay was the same load as when he arrived in August- so not hay related. Lives 24/7 out in the pasture with another horse who has no digestive issues. I feed 1lb grass/alfalf pellets with a flax based multivitamin, which he was getting before the loose stool started and had no issues then. I had taken everything away for a couple weeks and just fed the hay, but the intermittent stools were still there. After worming I used pre/probiotics and that seems to help for a few days but then the loose stool comes back. I have also been testing his droppings for sand-negative. The episodes of loose stool occur every week or so and in between just mostly large somewhat wetter piles and occasionally a more normal one.
    Additionally the horse is not yet working under saddle and is a calm relaxed fellow although when he has the loose stools and wet gas he seems a bit uncomfortable. He has never been lethargic or off feed or anything and is maintaining weight.
    Currently I am trying to feed some bentonite clay and probiotics, but of course today he had another cow patty day and wet gas...

    If anyone has any experience with something like this or has any ideas please let me know. Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    You might look into feeding Yea Sacc and Bio-Mos. I have a mule that tends to this problem, and I feed it daily, and it took care of the problem rather quickly. I get mine from Barb Daniels at
    Oak Creek Services- you can google her, she has a web page.
    It is pretty inexpensive, certainly worth a try with your horse.


    • #3
      I had the same issues for a month with my horse. It ended up (likely) being a stress realted he was not happy in his pasture though he too is a laid back fellow (overall).

      I moved him to stall board so he could have some "down time". I powerpacked him and it also helped. He is on probiotics daily and although it didn't help much at first I think its a good choice.

      Vet was thinking ulcers, if my horse didn't get better I would try Neighlox or U-gard for a period of time.

      Some horses have IBS too. I would check into the ulcers first. Can't really treat IBS in horses all that well.


      • #4
        Am going through a similar thing but is different. The bentonite clay and probiotics did stop the pooping but the horse appears to have issues when changing feed small changes have resulted in pooping issue reappearing and there is other issues. I am now waiting on blood tests as the current treatment has ruled out virius or bacteria as being a cause. I would suggest bloods & if necessary urine tests the vet advised me that fecal tests are hit and miss with the results. Hit as in you get a result miss as in they could need to test retest etc to try and find a reason add that one up $$.

        Good luck.


        • #5
          I had the same problem starting last November. The horse had a dental and then broke with watery to cowpatty diarrhea which would semi clear up and then return Tried probiotics and Bio Sponge without much luck. Horse did not have a fever and had a good appetite. Horse had a fecal analysis prior to the dental. Worms were not an issue. I finally thought that it might be ulcer related and purchased a 30 day supply of the blue pop rocks.The diarrhea cleared up within 5 days and has stayed away.


          • #6
            Similar thing with a new horse I got in November (bit of a rescue) We tried everything including metronidazole as per the vet. The only thing that seemed to work was Equigest twice a day. I'm now looking into Smart digest which was suggested to me by a trainer with a similar problem.

            Smartdigest is similar, but less $$$$. It takes about a week or two to work, but it was the only thing that did anything. There's another thread on this, but I can't find it. . . sorry. Hope you get some answers.
            RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

            "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


            • #7
              Some prebiotic and DE would probably help.
              --Gwen <><
              "Treat others as you want to be treated and be the change you want to see in the world."