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Discussion on Loose stools

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Jane Besel
Username: Janieb

Post Number: 16
Registered: 7-2002
Posted on Monday, Aug 4, 2003 - 11:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Having read the articles and prior posts, I feel pretty confident that the appearance of loose stools in the pen are probably not a cause for alarm, but since I am new to all of this, it does warrant a quick query.

Yesterday all six equines (4 mules, 2 burros) were allowed to be loose in the yard while my husband and I worked on some outdoor projects. Now, lest you envision a "yard" as some grass covered property, our back yard is just a clearing in the trees and rocks that has some mixed grass and weeds. They were out for most of the afternoon and happily ate and watched us. There are no toxic plants, to my knowledge, and I am depending on the common "wisdom" that mules and burros will not eat something that will harm them.

Anyhow, when I went to check on everyone before bed, I noticed a few piles of fairly loose stools. Unformed, but not really watery. Based on what I have read here, I assume that a change from grass hay to this type of forage would be the cause.

Should I be concerned? Is it okay to let them graze? Their usual enclosure has some flora, and they strip and sometimes eat all of the bark from the cedar trees. (Anyone want any standing cedar for fence post?)

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 8889
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Aug 5, 2003 - 6:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Jane,
That may be common wisdom but I would not count on it. I have seen mules reach up and grab a bite of both red maple and wild cherry.

There is no way for us to know if some serious disease is brewing in your horse or not. You are correct however a horse with loose stools and no other signs of disease is not likely to be a big deal and recent changes in feed can be a common cause.
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