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Foal with constant diarrhea

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  • Foal with constant diarrhea

    Hi all- wanted to ask the experts about my foal- 10 weeks old, and has had diarrhea ever since his dams first foal heat. It went from projectile to cow patty-ish but has never really been solid. He has a normal temp, very active, eats, drinks, etc. We have done the following:

    1) vet ran bloodwork- negative
    2) he has been dewormed with panacure and is on a schedule and dam is on a deworming schedule.
    3) he is on probiotics 10g once a day
    4) he is on lactaid (one tablet) once a day
    5) mare has been taken off all supplements.
    6) was given ulcergaurd for a week- this is the only time his poo has ever been close to solid.

    So, I am going to put him on GastroGard but wonder if this is something he needs to grow out of? Will he be on probiotics for life? Is there anything I am not thinking of?

    Lastly, and shame on me, but he does get tiny bits of carrot and apple when I give my mare her treats at night- but I mean, they are bite-size tiny. Could the apples or carrots be making her milk too rich for him? Could the treats be too much for him?

    Any advice would be appreciated- I feel badly that I email my trainer, former trainer and breeder friends in a panic, so figured I would panic somewhere else today!

  • #2
    Make sure there is no salt block or mineral block within his reach. If ulcergard helped I would certainly put him back on it for now. I doubt if the treats are the issue but it would make sense to eliminate that as a potential cause for now.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

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    • #3
      I've had two foals like this (actually a mother and daughter). I tried everything you mentioned, probiotics, Biosponge, worming, blood work, nothing worked. The first one did get better on Gastoguard. The second one just "grew out of it" at a couple of months of age. Then at age 3 she got ulcers. I would definitely continue on the Gastroguard program. I've also used the generic omeprazole with good results.
      I know it's a gross job, but make sure you are washing the bum everyday with a mild soap and water and then coating with Vaseline or your foal will start losing hair.
      www.saraalberni.com

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      • #4
        I had that issue with one mare in particular. All her foals got diarhea for weeks and weeks. After many consultation and trials it turns out that it was probably her very rich milk. Three foals, all three got long lasting bouts of very liquid poop. Grew out of it and matured just fine.
        Due your due dillence for sure but it might be the richness of the milk.
        Véronique
        www.FormosusSporthorses.ca
        Like us on Facebook

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I meant to say- there is no salt block- mare used to have one before he was born, but I read that they could cause diarrhea as well as dehydration so I took it away once he was born. He does however, eat dirt, which makes me wonder if he is lacking in some nurtrient? he doesn't chow down on it, but especially when i have to turn them out in the indoor due to rain, he licks the poles and rubs his nose in the dirt and i always have to clean his mouth out to make sure he doesnt swallow anything.

          I also forgot to mention we tried the biosponge as well. His poor bum was tender, but I have been diligent about keeping it clean and so his hair is starting to grow back. I was using desitin or that MTG stuff bc I didnt want the Vaseline to cause sunburn when he is outside... Sounds like I am on the right path, although my mare will be calling me judas if I stop giving her treats thanks for the advice, and keep it coming!

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Thats what the vet said, that her milk is just too rich, hence the lactaid- at least he is very good about taking his meds, do you think that means I might need to wean him early? He will be three months at the end of august and I want to take him to an inspection in September, but then should I look at weaning them? He is very independent- and my mare acts like she could use a break, but every now and then, she seems to get upset when he explores on his own, so then i think, hmmm, maybe she has a motherly instinct after all. This is her first foal, FWIW (and mine)...

            Comment


            • #7
              I would try increasing the lactaid dose. My 120lb foal was given two tablets 3X daily when she was being treated for diarrhea. One tablet a day for a 10 week old foal doesn't sound like it would be enough to really help.

              As long as he is staying hydrated and remains bright and active, I wouldn't worry too much, but I'd be keeping a close eye on him. As for eating dirt, sand consumption can cause diarrhea in foals. An easy way to check would be to put some of his poop in a container with water and see if sand settles to the bottom.

              Comment


              • #8
                Acidophilus 1 pill 1 time a day dissolved in 5cc water. Has done wonders for my foals in the past when nothing else would work.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Another possibility could be that the foal is drinking water. Is the mare's water bucket within his reach? I have heard of (and have had) foals drink water, which will give them diarrhea as well. I think they are more likely to do so if they have acces to a salt block, but sometimes do so even without one.

                  Good luck!
                  Mary/New Horizons Haflinger Sport Horses
                  Standing Stellar TVR, 2013 N.A. Stallion Testing/lifetime licensed WE, RPSI, AWS, AHR
                  www.newhorizonshaflingers.com

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                  • #10
                    I have a colt similar... we use BIO SPONGE or called GI PLATINUM now

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      He is obsessed with water, loves to play with it, and my mare drinks alot of water, so maybe he is drinking it too. I will up the lactaid as well, the directions said to give with the first bite of dairy, and thats impossible to do with him, so I'll increase it for sure. I will do the poop/waterbucket/sand trick too- I never thought I would be so obsessed with poop! thank you all!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I too would increase the lactaid. I once had an orphan that was lactose intolerant. I can't remember exactly how many lactaid pills I was putting in the daily milk replacer, but I know that it was well more than one. That helped her, but she still had manure the consistency of putty until she was weaned and on no milk based feed at 5 months.
                        Mary Lou
                        http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                        https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                        Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Forte View Post
                          I've had two foals like this (actually a mother and daughter). I tried everything you mentioned, probiotics, Biosponge, worming, blood work, nothing worked. The first one did get better on Gastoguard. The second one just "grew out of it" at a couple of months of age. Then at age 3 she got ulcers. I would definitely continue on the Gastroguard program. I've also used the generic omeprazole with good results.
                          I know it's a gross job, but make sure you are washing the bum everyday with a mild soap and water and then coating with Vaseline or your foal will start losing hair.
                          Forte can I ask what you use for the generic Omeprazole???????? thx

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            So do you guys think an early weaning is in his future?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Zoey101 View Post
                              So do you guys think an early weaning is in his future?
                              I've had a few too with milk-loose pooh, and they were fine after weaning - but I wouldn't wean too early - that has its own psychological and physical issues.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would not wean early. My post referred to weaning from milk replacer. Little orphan had no mama. I'd increase the lactaid, keep up the probiotics and monitor the situation.
                                Mary Lou
                                http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                                https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                                Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  This year one of my foals had diarrhea for a couple of weeks. Biosponge didn't work, yogurt with active culture and added probiotics didn't work either. I spoke with my repro vet who was not the vet treating the foal and he said to give the foal Metamucil. I continued with the yogurt, probiotic and added generic Metamucil and within 3 days the diarrhea was gone. My take on it is that the added fiber slowed things down and the probiotics were able to work instead of being ejected before they could do anything.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I have one that also likes to eat dirt when he has to be with only his mother and has no friends to play with (mother has allergies and cannot stay in the bigger fields in the summer). I second sandclear (or any type of psyllium) and a mineral block- biosponge or immonium ad tabs until the diarrhea gets better.
                                    www.threewishesfarm.com
                                    https://www.facebook.com/ThreeWishesFarm
                                    Expecting 2017 foals by Vagabond de la Pomme, Cornet Obolensky, Zirocco Blue, Catoki and Christian.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Pulling the salt from where the foal can get it, I understand, but I would NEVER pull water away from a foal. They need some water!

                                      I do not advise early weaning...if the mare is in good condition you can try reducing either/both the amt. of her feed and THE QUALITY.

                                      That doesn't mean you feed her junk, but perhaps you are over doing it.

                                      And if it helps, the farther along the mare gets, the more the quality of her milk declines, till by mos. 3-4 (according to most experts) it actually is NOT giving the foal all the nutrition it needs.

                                      Meanwhile, I know you know it's vital to stop TRUE diarrhea. Soft stools is NOT diarrhea. Diarrhea is defined by frequent, uncontrollable LIQUID stools. If it's not that, I wouldn't go crazy with worry.

                                      I haven't tried it (and I've tried Bio Sponge, Pepto, etc.), but my vet recommends yogurt & probiotics (like an ounce or two). I can't see where adding Metamusical would hurt.

                                      And many foals eat dirt...it generally is not a cause for alarm unless the habit continues into the first year or so.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I guess that is up for debate. I don't think foals need water and water can fill their stomach and reduce the amount of milk they take in.
                                        McDowell Racing Stables

                                        Home Away From Home

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