Chronic...but very mild diarrhea

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by mygirl1197, May 3, 2015.

  1. mygirl1197

    mygirl1197 Senior Member

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    My mare is 10 years old, and she has had issues with very mild diarrhea for years. I just realized that she had this issue before I bought her almost 7 years ago. When I bought her she had a dirty stained tail which I didn't attribute to her digestive issues until last month.

    Currently her manure is a mixture of normal looking but wetter than normal with the little liquid squirt at the end, and occasional piles of softer shapeless but mounded manure. She has no cow patties or puddles. Usually just a dribble of liquid on her tail or hind end.

    She is very healthy in every other way.

    Her history...

    She has always had very heavy, wet, but pretty well formed manure. I didn't realize this until my current BO mentioned it to me almost 5 years ago. After being at her facility for a good 6 months or so being fed a mixed grass alfalfa hay, her manure finally became normal.

    Unfortunately, because of enteroliths, she has to be on straight orchard hay, and since then the mild diarrhea is back. My vet put me in contact with Dr. Altman who developed The Assure System, and his nutritionist said to feed straight orchard. I have access to orchard/timothy, but the nutritionist said there was too much protein...I think...in the Timothy.

    There seems to be a lot of people with the same issues feeding straight Orchard hay..to certain horses... from different growers and in different parts of the country. My gelding is on the same hay, and he has no issues.

    The only digestive health related issue I have faced with my mare is having a really difficult time getting sand out of her gut....which I am sure caused the enteroliths. For 5 years, I battled sand in both my horses. Both horses had PPE when I bought them, and both came to me with sand already. I had always fed 7 days of Sand Clear...didn't work, vet suggested 30 days...still didn't work, vet suggested 30 days every 3rd month...still didn't work. I feed my horses out of Port-a-Grazers, and she wears a grazing muzzle because she would nibble around in the sand arena for loose hay that was blown in there. Still the same diagnosis every 6 month...SAND.

    Finally, I did the sand clearing protocol using Assure and Assure Plus, and my horse is finally sand free! My vet always thought all psyllium products worked the same, but now she knows that they don't.

    Assure Plus was a god send for my two horses.

    Assure and Assure Plus were supposed to help with the diarrhea...but it didn't. She is still on the Assure Plus for sand.

    Bio-Sponge and Platinum's probiotic doesn't seem to be working to correct the issue. I spoke to someone at Platinum Performance and followed their treatment protocol, and her maure went back to normal...it took 1 1/2 scoops AM and PM. When I started to taper down, the problem returns. She is currently on 1 Scoop AM and 1 Scoop PM plus the probiotic.

    The vet does fecals on my horses spring and fall...which are usually negative considering I live in the desert and horses aren't kept on pastures here, and they get Equimax or Quest Plus twice a year.

    The vet was just out on Friday to do spring shots, and I talked to her again about the mild diarrhea. She is going to come back out to pull blood and get another fecal sample to check for anything that could explain the chronic mild diarrhea. She couldn't do it Friday because she wouldn't be back in the office until Monday, and she said the fecal sample has to be really fresh.

    I asked about ulcers several times, and she always said no because she has no other symptoms. I asked her again, and she said maybe colonic ulcers.

    I thought about trying to treat her with Abler's Abprazole to see if it helps.

    I would really appreciate anybody input on this. It is a constant cause of stress for me because we can't seem to figure it out!
     
  2. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    Ough, gee, that's puzzling. Have you thought about tumors in the large intestine?

    I say this because an older mare I know of had one and as it would grow larger she got runny manure, then diarrhea. That would go off and on: on for a week or two, off for a month to six months then back on again. The Vet said she had a massive tumor in her intestine that was going up and down, up and down in growth. It would take hauling to the University to get that checked and with her having only mild diarrhea and healthy in every other way, you might not want that expense.

    Do you have access to any Coastal hay? Maybe that would work.
     
  3. sqshers

    sqshers Senior Member

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    hind gut acidosis?

    My mare had this issue - for years it was just the odd sloppy poop but always the liquid squirt. However, hers started to get worse this winter into sloppy poop too and her back end really started to smell. The only thing that helped was a round of metronidazole and probiotics. She is on Biotic8 and the day I tried cutting her dose in half, she had the squirts again. On full dose, she's good. So... sounds a bit different from your horse but I'd look into hind gut acidosis or hind gut ulcers. The hind gut is where the extra water absorption should occur
     
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  4. mygirl1197

    mygirl1197 Senior Member

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    Manes...I board my horses, and the only grass hay the Bo provides is the mix hay and straight orchard. I can get bermuda, but I heard that it has a lot of starch and needs to be soaked, and my BO will not do that. She won't even feed out of my slow feeders anymore so I purchase additional hay to keep in their slow feeders. She feeds enough to maintain weight, but they go so long between meals. I have 3 Port-a-Grazers, but the horses still eat pretty quickly with them. I am trying to figure out a way to modify the port-a-grazers to really slow them down.

    I hate boarding!

    I've heard that using Metronidazole, under certain conditions, can really back fire and make things worse so I have been hesitant to try it.

    I forgot to mention that I even tried a fecal transplant, and her diarrhea got worse. My vet said that they usually do fecal transplants only on really severe cases and tube it into their stomachs.

    I worry that whatever it is could turn into something more serious if not figured out.

    I am really considering treating her with Abprazole for a month to see if it helps.

    Does pulling blood and doing a fecal analysis sound like a good idea or a waste of money?
     
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  5. sqshers

    sqshers Senior Member

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    What are they checking for with a blood draw? Just curious...

    Also, I may have missed it but is she getting any commercial feed of sorts? Another horse at my barn had a similar situation and any time he goes back on grain it comes back. His owner hasn't narrowed down which ingredient it is that he's sensitive to. I've heard of soy being a problem for some horses... Just something to think about.
     
  6. mygirl1197

    mygirl1197 Senior Member

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    I am not sure what the blood or fecal would be checking for. I asked my vet if checking her manure or blood could give us an answer. She said possibly, but often nothing shows up.

    Other than orchard hay, she gets 1lb of timothy pellets and 1 lb of alfalfa pellets mainly to mix her supplements with.

    Supplements...Daily
    1 scoop Bio-Sponge AM and PM (replaced the Assure to see if the additional strain would make a difference...Saccharomyces c.boulardii 1079)
    Platinum Performance Equine 1 scoop which is 1/2 a regular dose...recommended because of the enteroliths by vet
    1 scoop Platinum Balance(probiotic) AM and PM
    1 cup ACV AM and PM because of enteroliths
    First 7 days of the month Assure Plus

    The people at Platinum Performance said the Bio-Sponge is supposed to ride the body of bad bacteria and the toxins they produce AND correct the issue, but other people told me that bio-sponge only absorbs excess liquid and firms manure up.
     
  7. WallaceHillfarm

    WallaceHillfarm Full Member

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    I swear by the product EquiShure for this problem! I had a gelding with the exact same issues, he always had normal poops with extra liquid which made keeping his hind end and tail clean a pain! Started him on this product and within a few days the extra liquid slowed and stopped all together and its been 4 months with no issues.
     
  8. rhinebeck

    rhinebeck Senior Member

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    Subbing

    hoping you get it sorted out
     
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  9. mygirl1197

    mygirl1197 Senior Member

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    Is EquiShure something your gelding is on all the time?
     
  10. mygirl1197

    mygirl1197 Senior Member

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    Thanks!

    She is on Bio-Sponge and Platinum's probiotic which is keeping her manure mostly solid. The vet is coming out on the 19th to pull blood and get a fecal sample to have it checked for anything that could explain her issue.
     

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