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Colitis in horses

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  • Colitis in horses

    Could someone shed some light on what kinds of signs horses display when they have colitis???

    I think a horse boarded at my barn might have it. He has the worst diarrhea and it's been going on for MONTHS!!! Nothing stops it...worming, meds, feed, weather, etc.

    Just curious for my own knowledge.
    Kristen

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
    http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

  • #2
    Do a search on any posts with the words "right dorsal colitis" or just "colitis" in them. There's a lot of info shared in quite a few threads.

    Runny manure is a sign of colitis, but also look for mucus or slightly bloody mucus/blood in the manure.

    Also watch for colic signs and/or pain signs. With colitis these are usually present within a short time after they've eaten grain or dry stem hay. Not normally seen after grazing or soupy meals.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

    Comment


    • #3
      I lost my 6 year old OTTB to Colitis this Feb.

      He went from normal to terminal in 24 hours.

      Started out seeming like a mild colic, didn't seem to get better with banimine or refluxing, started to go into shock, foaming at the mouth, unable to stand

      I rushed him to New Bolton but there was nothing they could do.

      He never had diarrhea, an extremely high fever, and never appeared in immense pain.

      Worst day of my life (I've never lost a close family member) and I hope no one ever has to go through anything like it.
      http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        This horse has BAD gas all the time, but NO colic symptoms ever. The owner did 3 months of Ulcergard on him over the summer because he's the worst eater. The ulcergard helped fix his appetite, but did nothing for the diarrhea. The diarrhea is so bad that it has absolutely NO form and it's just water. It gets all over the walls and everything

        Weird thing, is that it's been going on for MONTHS!
        Kristen

        Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
        http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

        Comment


        • #5
          I lost a mare to bute-induced colitis. Once she broke with diahrrea she was gone in a week, despite hospitalization.

          What you're seeing could also be a result of salmonella or clostridium. Has the owner sent a fecal to a lab for a culture? Man, if I were the BO, I'd insist on it. And surely isolate the horse until the cause is known. The last thing you want is tromping salmonella all around the barn.

          Metranidazole often clears up clostridium.
          Last edited by sid; Sep. 26, 2009, 09:37 AM.
          www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
          "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
          Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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          • #6
            If you've done blood work and ruled out any type of infection, then you may have a horse with colitis. I bought an older horse (the husband horse that he's NEVER sat on ) and when he started to have diarrhea, I pulled blood, I treated him with pre-biotics, pro biotics, post biotics, Ulcergard, cimetidine and NOTHING worked. After doing a little research and picking the brain of our own Coth'er Mistyblue, I came up with a diet that (knock wood) has kept him squirt free for almost two years. He gets 2 quarts GLOOPY hay stretcher in the am, Safe Starch chopped hay for day 'munching', 1 quart GLOOPY hay stretcher for lunch, 2 quarts GLOOPY hay stretcher + (what equals) 4 cups of Speedibeet + tri forage (bagged hay) + Safe Starch chopped hay for pm and overnight. The theory is to keep as much moisture in his system so that his gut doesn't go into 'hyperdrive' trying to moisten whatever enters his gut. Sounds counterproductive doesn't it? One would think you want dry food to 'dry' up the squirts. Well, I can only tell you what works for me. Good luck. It's no fun dealing with a poopy butt in the winter, and thankfully, I don't have to do that anymore.
            R.I.P. my sweet boy Tristan
            36 years old, but I was hoping you'd live forever
            5/5/75-7/5/11

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            • #7
              Originally posted by sid View Post
              I lost a mare to bute-induced colitis. Once she broke with diahrrea she was gone in a week, despite hospitalization.

              What you're seeing could also be a result of salmonella or clostridium. Has the owner sent a fecal to a lab for a culture? Man, if I were the BO, I'd insist on it. And surely isolate the horse until the cause is known. The last thing you want is tromping salmonella all around the barn.

              Metranidazole often clears up clostridium. this up.
              I second all of the above. My vet had me take 3 samples, one a week, which all were shipped to a lab for testing. Don't treat for anything the horse might not have or you migh end up making things worse. Let a good vet diagnose and prescribe treament. (I've never known a horse diagnosed with colitis, but have known people who had it.)

              And for some anaerobic bacteria problems, the metranidazole really works. Worked 2 yrs in a row on a pony at our barn who gets diarrhea in the summer (no fecal tests done). It's $150 for a bottle of 500 tablets from my vet. Takes a 10 day doseage and you have he bottle of tablets left for later treatments.

              Glad this is not your horse, OP, how is he doing now?

              Comment


              • #8
                Colitis really is a nightmare. We figured my nightmare out when he started developing this edema in on his stomach and sheath area - has something to do with the protein loss that happens with Colitis. I don't know if it presents in all cases and I am def. not a vet, but I know sometimes basic blood work will show the protein loss if it is colitis.

                It's hard to diagnose. Ultra sound and blood work is a good way to start.

                It could be a lot of things, but I would switch to wet, soupy meals anyway - water isn't going to hurt, if anything it would help re-hydrate the horse.

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
                  I second all of the above. My vet had me take 3 samples, one a week, which all were shipped to a lab for testing. Don't treat for anything the horse might not have or you migh end up making things worse. Let a good vet diagnose and prescribe treament. (I've never known a horse diagnosed with colitis, but have known people who had it.)

                  And for some anaerobic bacteria problems, the metranidazole really works. Worked 2 yrs in a row on a pony at our barn who gets diarrhea in the summer (no fecal tests done). It's $150 for a bottle of 500 tablets from my vet. Takes a 10 day doseage and you have he bottle of tablets left for later treatments.

                  Glad this is not your horse, OP, how is he doing now?
                  My horse is doing really well-THANK GOD! He's actually sound, and hopefully he'll stay that way once I finish treating him for Lyme.
                  Kristen

                  Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
                  http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    The BO insisted the owner of this horse do something, so on Friday she brought me a bag of "goodies" to try with this horse-metamucil, pepto, keopectate, pro-bios, etc. I'm kinda like the barn manager of my barn. I'm the most knowledgeable/capable horsie person around, plus I pretty much run the place and do everything around the barn.

                    Anyway, I had mentioned trying metamucil daily for sand on the horse. He's in the most sandiest paddock at the barn and eats off of it. Well, I started the metamucil on Friday and by yesterday afternoon (Saturday) the horse is actually pooping like a NORMAL horse!!!

                    Now, lets hope it stays that way...
                    Kristen

                    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
                    http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Meredith and Sid....so sorry for your losses. Colitis is a real b*tch. Can't really diagnose easily, and many times by the time a stoic horse shows symptoms it can be too late. (or by the time everything else was ruled out first) It's amazing how fast colitis can eat right through the colon and go septic.
                      MyTwoCents...so glad to hear he's still doing great! I learned more about colitis on here than I did having a buttload of vets on the payroll. It's hard to learn a lot about it...because it's not quite common enough for small areas to get enough cases of it to learn from, but when you go nation or world wide in the internet you find out it isn't as uncommon as you thought and we can all share experiences and ideas. This BB literally saved Moo's life and I'm thrilled it's still doing so from those experiences when people put them out there.
                      Kiwayu...that's *great* that the metamucil is working!!!! has any of the poop looked sandy? Did you soak any of the poop balls to see if sand separates out? Or maybe it's something else the metamucil is helping with?
                      You jump in the saddle,
                      Hold onto the bridle!
                      Jump in the line!
                      ...Belefonte

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Projectile poop that stinks to high heavens, The horse goes from good to on deaths door in a second. Blood work, continual saline, plasma... it is a fight for their life!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          MistyBlue - I don't think this horse is colitis, but you sparked a memory of mine. I read all over the place online that daily psyllium has been shown to help heal the colon because - I *think* it was increasing the amount of short-chain fatty acids and that helped with the healing(?). Did you ever hear of that/try it with Moo?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I don't think it's colitis without pain showing either...that would be unsual I would think.
                            I did use psyllium with Moo for short term...what I read was that it helped increase the protective mucus layer inside the colon and that helped buffer and heal the colitis. Moo really hated the psyllium so I used it for 3 months and then stopped it. Odd for that little hoover, usually he ate everything in sight.
                            You jump in the saddle,
                            Hold onto the bridle!
                            Jump in the line!
                            ...Belefonte

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              If you can find a vet that is experienced with TCVM it can be what seems short of miraculous. I had a foal with chronic runs which we tried to remedy with the whole gamut and then once more... Nothing worked. Three days on the Chinese herbs and his runs were gone forever. Also seen many other success stories with especially gastrointestinal type issues. Not going to pretend I understand the theories behind it, but it works!

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Well, so far the metamucil is working. Now, I don't know if it's just a "quick fix" or anything but if it's working, I'll take it! The owner doesn't want to sink lots of $$$ into him to find out what's causing it. He seems perfectly healthy in every other way. When the vet comes out next month to do physicals and fall shots, the BO is going to question her about it and see if we can come up with something without running all sorts of tests.
                                Kristen

                                Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:
                                http://community.webshots.com/user/kiwayu

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