Chronic diarrhea in a perfectly healthy horse
Last Post 05 Feb 2010 11:39 AM by ropinreins. 24 Replies.
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hunterjumpergirl92User is Offline
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21 Jan 2010 03:55 PM

    My horse is 12 years old and has developed chronic diarrhea.  It first set on when she was 8, a little while after we bought her.  At that time we gave the vet a stool sample to see what she could find, and she found nothing.  Since then, I've just tried to live with her nasty hind end.  She is a very active horse, being exercised regularly, and has always been on the more energetic side.  The diarrhea does not in any obvious way affect her health and she has been living with it for almost four years.  Her diet has been changed a few times but has made no difference.  She's now on a diet of just hay and grass.  I've been researching and have found no other cases of diarrhea that is not accompanied with any other symptoms.  So I've grown more and more worried that this condition may be harming her, and also more and more frustrated with her legs and tail being coated in poop.  Thanks in advance for your help.

    SqueaksmomUser is Offline
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    21 Jan 2010 06:24 PM

    Does she get a probiotic in her feed?

    hunterjumpergirl92User is Offline
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    22 Jan 2010 12:16 PM

    No she doesn't

    madel_equestrianUser is Offline
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    22 Jan 2010 02:11 PM

     

    Put her on Probios and see if that helps.  If it hasn't cleared up within a week I would take her to the veterinarian.
    hunterjumpergirl92User is Offline
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    23 Jan 2010 06:45 PM

    ok thanks! I gave the vet a stool sample a few days ago but havent heard back yet so I hope she finds something this time! :) 

    Equi SearchUser is Offline
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    25 Jan 2010 07:25 AM

     hunterjumpergirl,

    Does your horse have a lot of sand in her paddock?  If so, do you ever give her sand Clear, or some other brand of psylium (sp?) to clear her intestines of sand?

    Sometimes (here in FL, at least) sand can cause chronic diarrhea and even colic (impaction from so much sand).

    hunterjumpergirl92User is Offline
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    25 Jan 2010 06:55 PM

    I keep her in a pasture and it's all grass.  I've heard sand clear helps, but since it's gone on for so long there would probably be a lot of sand backed up in there, which i don't think is very likely since she's not really exposed to sand and the diarrhea has persisted for years despite changes in where i keep her and diet.  Good idea though.  I haven't completely ruled it out.  I'm waiting to hear back from the vet who took a stool sample and I'm also going to do an at home test for sand in her stool.

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    27 Jan 2010 11:02 AM

     Good Luck!  Please let us know what the vet saysYes

    hunterjumpergirl92User is Offline
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    29 Jan 2010 07:56 PM

    the vet found worms! yay! apparently we havent kept up with worming her as regularly as we should... :/  But the vet told us to use some kind of really strong wormer for 5 days in a row and that will definitely get rid of the worms... just keep your fingers crossed it takes care of the diarrhea too!! :)

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    30 Jan 2010 10:17 AM

    [quote user="hunterjumpergirl92"]But the vet told us to use some kind of really strong wormer for 5 days in a row and that will definitely get rid of the worms... just keep your fingers crossed it takes care of the diarrhea too!! :)[/quote]

     

    Good Luck!  Something else you may want to try: Strongid C or Strongid C2X for a month or so (doesn't take care of everything though, so make sure you use something broad spectrum as a paste dewormer, like Equimax or Quest Plus).

    FrizzleUser is Offline
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    30 Jan 2010 10:51 AM

    [quote user="cafl"]Something else you may want to try: Strongid C or Strongid C2X for a month or so (doesn't take care of everything though, so make sure you use something broad spectrum as a paste dewormer, like Equimax or Quest Plus).
    [/quote]

    I second cafl! Daily dewormers have a huge benefit over monthly or bimonthly wormers, as they do not allow the worms to mature and cause damage to your horse's internal organs. I was sick to my stomach when I read that our "regular" deworming schedule still leaves the horses with worms crawling around in them and puncturing little holes everywhere until the next deworming.

    I like Equiaid CW because it is cheaper than the Strongid. Or, I remember another forum member (amberp) saying that she uses diatomaceous earth as a natural daily dewormer, as it kills worms and fly larvae. I'm thinking of trying that myself.

     

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    30 Jan 2010 11:29 AM

    [quote user="Frizzle"]diatomaceous earth as a natural daily dewormer, as it kills worms and fly larvae. I'm thinking of trying that myself.[/quote] 

    Frizzle,

    You will have to keep us updated on how the diatomaceous earth works!

     

    FrizzleUser is Offline
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    30 Jan 2010 08:33 PM

    cafl, I haven't started it yet, but I certainly let you know. Amberp said that she had a fecal egg count done on her horses after she had them on d.e. for a while and they all had a zero egg count -- that's some pretty good evidence! Yes I also really like the fact that d.e. is natural. Now, I'll just have to see how expensive it is! Oh, and one VERY important point -- for anyone intending on doing this, make sure you get the feed grade diatomaceous earth only!! This is very important, as I believe the other stuff could kill your horse.

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    01 Feb 2010 04:45 PM

    [quote user="Frizzle"]make sure you get the feed grade diatomaceous earth only!! This is very important, as I believe the other stuff could kill your horse.[/quote] 

    I have heard this too!  The non-food grade diatomaceous earth is supposed to be too abrasive on the horse's digestive system tissues.Hmm

     

    Does anybody know the specifics about this?

    SqueaksmomUser is Offline
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    02 Feb 2010 12:01 AM

    Well, I know that DE is like tiny shards of glass, and is supposed to work by slicing up the protective covering on the worms.

    crittergirlUser is Offline
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    02 Feb 2010 08:13 AM

     Good luck to the OP!

    I would just like to add my new knowledge so that maybe it can help others!  Ta'ceyewi developed horrible diarhea the other day, and when the vet was out yesterday (no worries, it is clearing up on its own basically, the only thing we can figure is that he may have gotten something from my well-meaning neighbor, but either way, it wasn't colitis (which is what I was terrified it was))

    Probiotics: I know that there has been a big debate among experts about the effectiveness of the prepackaged dry probios, bc the beneficial bacteria tend to be, well, dead when stored in such a way, which makes them completely unusable by the horse's digestive tract, though many many people say that they have seen success with them.  How many of us humans have been told to eat yogurt to help regulate our digestive systems, esp. after a round of antibiotics? It works the same way, except that in yogurt, the beneficial bacteria are still alive.  I knew that part, but it never occured to me to give any to my horse.  This vet is fairly fresh out of school, (my vet has 3 vets working in it...) and she said that they used plain (unflavored) yogurt in place of Probios, and that combined with the powder form of Bio-sponge works wonders.  Ta'c is a fairly picky eater, but I mixed his yogurt, (he only got one initial dose of Bio-sponge, and then wait for his body to figure out what to do) a little metamucil (fiber is not necc. a diaretic) and water with his feed, and he loved it.  So, basically, you can use plain yogurt in place of Probios, and the horse gets more bene. bacteria from it.

    Worming:  The vet was talking about a lot of new research that shows that we worm horses too much, and that now the new rec. is to worm regularly through the month (on a 2 month rotation, they have found increasing drug-resistance from the daily dewormers) through the winter months, and then stop worming through the summer, which seemed really odd to me, but she explained to me that worms are much more sensitive to heat than cold, and that the hot summer months killed them off.  This is followed by fall fecal egg counts, and then it is decided what to do for each individual horse, but most are still free of worms.

    The vet wordedthis SOOOOO much better than me, but I thought I would share, bc it seemed very interesting to me, and this post concerns it so very much. I hope it helps at least a little!

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    03 Feb 2010 08:15 AM

     crittergirl,

    How much yogurt are you supposed to give?

    crittergirlUser is Offline
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    03 Feb 2010 03:57 PM

     It isn't really precise, kinda the same as with people.  I'm giving Ta'ceyewi about 1/2 cup twice a day with his meal, but anywhere from 1/2 to a cup. BTW, without anymore Biosponge Ta'c is right back to normal, and I can't help but want to credit the yogurt for evening out his tummy some.

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    04 Feb 2010 08:05 AM

    [quote user="crittergirl"] I can't help but want to credit the yogurt for evening out his tummy some. [/quote] 

    crittergirl,

    That's good to hear!  Thanks for the more specific yogurt info, too.Smile

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    04 Feb 2010 08:06 AM

    [quote user="crittergirl"]now the new rec. is to worm regularly through the month [/quote] 

    crittergirl,

    This statement is a little confusing to me.  Can you please clarify it for me?Confused

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