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persistant diarrhea--what now?

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  • persistant diarrhea--what now?

    I posted about this a few weeks ago but I am still having trouble and wondering if anyone would have any suggestions.

    horse: 11 year old lusitano gelding with no previous issues

    symptoms: persistent diarrhea and excessive drinking (though the latter seems to be getting better.

    Last summer he came back from being away and he had lost some weight and a fecal showed he had large strongiles. I de-wormed with ivermectin. At this time he also switched from Poulin senior to Nutrena Prime (he's been on the Prime in the past and did well on it). I also gave him some alfalfa pellets (would have rather given cubes but that wasn't an option at the boarding barn). And the hay was 1st cut, rather stemy.

    At this time I also added Omega HorseShine to his diet. He gained his weight back and his coat looked great. About 2 weeks after the first fecal I had another one run that was negative. And about a little over a month after putting him on the flax I added MSM to his diet.

    Then he was de-wormed again (along with the other horses in the barn) at the end of Nov. with Anthlecide. He got diarrhea the next day but it cleared right up the following day. It was around this same time I noticed the exess water consumption.

    Beginning of January, like the 7th I think, he came home and I reduced his grain since he's not getting worked that much and he also changed to 2nd cut hay. Although hay change has never affected him in the past.

    Mid-Jan I stopped the MSM to see if there would be a difference in anything.

    Jan 28th I de-wormed with Strongid Paste and the next day he got diarrhea and he still has it, it never went away.

    On Feb 10th I stopped the flax supplement.

    The vet came on the 17th and check his fecal and ran a CVC/chem test on his blood. The fecal was clean and the blood tests were normal.

    The drinking does seem a bit better these days but he still has diarrhea. It seems like the diarrhea gets worse when he works but I might just be imagining it.

    What other things can I do?

  • #2
    Did the vet run a culture on the fecal? What about probiotics? Scope for ulcers? Teeth floated?

    By the way, it's a Complete Blood Count (CBC) & Chem screen. With the chronic diarrhea I'd think checking his electrolytes would be in order as well. (another blood test).

    I've experienced horses w/chronic diarrhea to receive Priobios paste up to 4x a day. Also a daily, or twice daily dose of Biosponge. In desperation Metronidazole or Chloramphenicol has been prescribed as well.. but that is up to you and your vet to discuss in depth.


    • #3
      Shiaway, did you have the vet check his thyroid level? When I hear "excessive drinking" I tend to think Equine Metabolic Syndrome and that generally includes the thyroid.
      "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


      • #4
        Originally posted by Cherry View Post
        Shiaway, did you have the vet check his thyroid level? When I hear "excessive drinking" I tend to think Equine Metabolic Syndrome and that generally includes the thyroid.
        If he has diarrhea he needs to drink a lot of water to keep hydrated. Diarrhea pulls a LOT of water into the intestines. Not everything is about EMS.

        OP, good luck to you. Sometimes it's very difficult to determine the root cause of these things.


        • #5
          Is it the same type of hay? I would try a different hay and see if it affects him.

          My horse had very bad diarrhea (with coughing) and he developed an alfalfa allergy... even though we had always fed T/A, go figure. He is much better now with no alfalfa in his diet.


          • Original Poster

            Since the water consumption has gotten a little better I'm thinking that any excess drinking he is doing now is from the diarrhea.

            It's CBC? Sorry it's my vet's tech/assistant who almost whispers into the phone so I can barely make out what is said so I heard CVC.

            The vet is coming back for shots in a week or two so I'll follow up with him then. It was hard enough to get him to come out this time. I'll see if he thinks we should run electrolites or a thyroid. He doesn't really have any other symptoms though.

            He is a fairly easy keeper but that is typical of his breed. But when I put my mind to it I haven't had trouble taking weight off him. He got a little fat once from being on grass and not getting ridden. But when I decreased his food a little and made sure to get out an exercise him every day he lost the weight. Right now he has a good weight, although I have noticed the re-emergence of his hay belly which is kind of a suprise to me. Usually he only gets that when he's on crappy hay but right now he's getting really nice second cut hay--it's actually award winning hay LOL.

            The vet found it odd that he got the diarrhea right after being de-wormed. Maybe something is funky with his gut flora and some probiotics would help, like you said.

            Thanks everyone!


            • #7
              Not everything is about EMS.
              No, not everything is about EMS, but I've experienced my fair share on the subject.

              I thought this was board where people were free to answer questions in the manner they saw fit--would you prefer I not post here rcloisonne? What makes you any more right than me?

              Besides, one of the jobs of the thyroid is to regulate water usage in the body, so if the thyroid is out of whack it could lead to persistent diarrhea.... If it's not addressed it could lead to foundering. It's so much easier on the owner and the horse to check these things out before a horse crashes....
              "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~


              • #8
                I'd be thinking about encysted strongyles; none of the de-wormers that you've used with him would have dealt with those, and encysted strongyles can cause persistent diarrhea. The fact that you know that your horse had an active problem with adult strongyles adds to this suspicion.

                Ask the vet, though. I don't think I'd subject your horse either to a Powerpack or to Quest (the only de-wormers that will get encysted strongyles) without having the vet's okay first.

                Good luck.
                "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                • Original Poster

                  Would they show up in a fecal? I don't know much about encysted strongyles. I'll start looking into it because that makes the most logical sense to me given that he's been so healthy in the past until he got the large strongyles last summer.


                  • #10
                    No, encysted strongyles would not show up on a fecal.

                    This link is a good, short summary: http://www.power-dose.com/PDF/Encyst...Strongyles.pdf
                    "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


                    • #11
                      We had this same issue with my sister's TB. He was on a regular 6-8 week worming protocol when we acquired him and my sister was religious about worming him. Come to find he had small redworms which we found via inspection of his backside. They were a PITA to get rid of. Once he was clean, his diarrhea went away.
                      "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."


                      • #12
                        Hay belly? Diarrhea?

                        Encysted strongyles. I'd powerpack him. Once they get to the stage of having the runs damage has been and is being done. It might take him a while to recover from that. Afterwards biosponge and this stuff are your friends -

                        "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                        The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                        • Original Poster

                          Given the place he was at over the summer I would not be surprised at all I'm going to call my vet tomorrow and see if thinks it'd be ok to try powerpack. I only worry because it seems like his diarrhea has always started with the de-worming these last two times.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Shiaway View Post
                            Given the place he was at over the summer I would not be surprised at all I'm going to call my vet tomorrow and see if thinks it'd be ok to try powerpack. I only worry because it seems like his diarrhea has always started with the de-worming these last two times.
                            That makes sense tho'. You are disturbing them
                            "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                            The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


                            • Original Poster

                              Vet said it's ok to try it. So does it matter quest or powerpack? And now I'm wondering if I need to also give it to my old standardbreds. Sol's only been him for 2 months and this problem was present before he was home.

                              I only worry because one of my stadardbreds has cushings and I just de-wormed them all, just a month ago.


                              • #16
                                Powerpack them. Quest only kills them in one life stage.

                                Cushings and recent deworming should have nothing to do w/it.
                                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.