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Watery Farts and Explosive Diarrhea

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  • Watery Farts and Explosive Diarrhea

    Gotta love horses for coming up with creative ways to stress us out.

    Horse in question is a 17 year old mare with no chronic health problems. Same grain (1/2 lb grow n' win), hay (2 flakes coastal fescue mix in nibble net), turnout (alone for 12 hours with muzzle), and supplements (MSM, Cosequin, Fish Oil). No new bags of hay, grain, or supplement.

    Mare was having watery gas in the crossties this am (passing 1-2 cups of fecal liquid when she passed gas). I gave her the day off and let her graze for a bit and tossed her some hay hoping that the extra forage would settle her stomach.

    I was just informed that she is apparently having very noisy, explosive bouts of diarrhea.

    I deworm based on fecal count but did a dose of Ivermectin 3 weeks ago because she had a suspicious stomach spot and I was worried about a summer sore.

    Vet is coming out for fall shots in less than a week.

    My only possible lead is that two horses left property for a quick trail ride. I am wondering if they are asymptomatic but carried home a bug.

    How long before I should worry?

  • #2
    Oh my! I had an older QH gelding that always seemed to have the runs of some sort. I put him on pro-biotics and that really helped.


    • #3
      If the mare has no other symptoms (fever, colic like behavior, lethargic), I would have the vet out tomorrow if she's not back to normal in the am. If she is feverish, colicky, or otherwise abnormal, I would have the vet out ASAP.

      Had a horse with horrible diarrhea in conjunction with colic behavior (rolling, very unncomfortable, etc). Called the vet when I found him, and she said not to even waste time waiting for her to get to him. Just put him on the trailer and get to the hospital. He was in isolation (standard practice for diarrhea), and ended being diagnosed with a bad gastro-intestinal bug. Nothing to mess with. We came close to losing him.

      Diarrhhea is also a symptom of PHF. I wouldn't fool around. Cow pies is one thing, projectile diarrhea is not to be messed with.


      • #4
        Projectile diarhea is THE primary symptom of PHF.

        If it were my horse, I would talk to the vet TODAY.

        If you have not taken her temperature yet, do so ASAP.

        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).


        • Original Poster

          Just managed to get across town to the barn.

          Pros: No temp (98.7), inhaled dinner, bright eyed and very cheerful, grazing quietly when I pulled up, good mucous fill

          Cons: Drained both water buckets dry (not normal), two cow patties and one liquid spot in stall (seems to indicate diarrhea is getting worse), slightly off smell to manure

          Tentative game plan for morning:

          Option 1- No temp in am, bright and cheerful, eats all food, manure is cow patty style: Take fecal into vet, pick up biosponge, watch like a hawk for 72 hours

          Option 2- Anything other than normal or improved: Call vet immediately to make an appointment

          We had a horrendous storm Sunday PM and I am sure her neighboring pasture mate probably panicked, paced, and stressed all night long. Hopefully its just a GI imbalance from some temporary stress. If not, hopefully I'll have some answers in the AM.


          • #6
            Agree with Yellowbritches and Janet.

            Could be colitis, if not treated right away, is often fatal. Often no temp with that condition.

            Projectile diarrhea is nothing to wait on.
            www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
            "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
            Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


            • #7
              I agree with everyone who is saying you need the vet.

              However, I will say that I had two horses get explosive diarrhea this summer and it was from a new weed in the field.
              Pam's Pony Place

              Pam's Pony Ponderings


              • #8
                I lost a horse that had right dorsal colitis. It was a very devestating ordeal. I would call your vet.


                • #9
                  Watch like a hawk in case it is major.

                  Some ideas: After major rain it could be due to bacteria on the grass after the rain storm. If so, a probiotic would clear that up.

                  Another non-major cause of this that we encountered with a gelding of ours was an allergy to sugar. Too much in-season grass, or too much sugar in the feed or treats, and he would develop big, explosive gas farts and watery manure. Once we made the dietary changes (IR diet), he was much better. The grazing muzzle helped, but changing the feed and eliminating the sugary treats eliminated the problem. This doesn't sound like it could be your problem, but I would remove the fish oil for a while until after things resolve.

                  If no improvement by later today, I would suggest having a chat with your vet.
                  "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." Albert Einstein



                  • Original Poster

                    Positive Update!

                    I took her temp every 20 minutes from 7 am until when I left at noon and it fluctuated between 99.2 and 99.7. She was still trying to eat me out of house and was her normal perky, inquisitive self. At 9:30 she had a cow patty poop so the vet went ahead and gave me 6 doses of biosponge paste and orders to call her immediately if her temperature went above 101.5 or she seemed off at all.

                    When I got back from the vet's office she had an almost normal poop in her stall (Happy Dance!!). I am going to follow through with the biosponge and take her temperature 4-5 times a day through the weekend but hopefully we are dealing with a minor tummy upset and nothing life threatening.


                    • #11

                      If the biosponge isn't enough, a fecal culture for clostridium and metronidazole is often the next step a vet would take.

                      That usually does the trick.
                      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
                      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
                      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


                      • #12
                        My first guess is that it might have something to do with the rain/grass quality changing/new weed chain.

                        No, these symptoms are nothing to ignore, and you're doing the right thing by keeping an eye on her and monitoring her temperature.

                        My Appy has a very sensitive stomach, and I can tell when something in the quality of the pasture has changed based on his poo and gas. He's on SmartTract, per the vet. There have been a few panicked calls to her, when I first got him and noticed this behaviour.

                        I think your vet has a good plan in place. Good luck and jingles!!!