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Discussion on Constipated pony

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Jackie Kleban
Member
Username: Bluedog1

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 - 6:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My pony is constipated. I noticed this today when she strained quite hard to pass manure. The manure was firm and formed in smooth balls. I board her and she is turned out with 2 geldings during the day and then stabled at night. The barn hands fill the water several times a day so I'm not sure how much she is drinking. I have recently added 1/2 cup of rice bran to her diet. She is insulin resistant and I need something to mix her supplements in that is safe for this disease. I will ask the manager to keep an eye on her water bucket levels when she is inside. She is on grass hay and is nibbling a little grass in her turnout paddock. I feel like I need to do something quick or risk the chance of impaction colic. What should I do or feed her? Thank you!
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 29
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 - 8:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Grass is a good thing if you can get her on some. The insulin resistance doesn't help matters. Otherwise, you might have added some molasses to her water bucket to intice her to drink more. Lots of people seem to give alfalfa when the gut gets sluggish, and you could soak some cubes to make a nice broth without actually giving much alfalfa. If you are giving bran or psyllium you need to make sure there is plenty of water getting into your horse. Psyllium on top of a working impaction can sometimes cause gas. Some people might suggest mineral oil, but I prefer not to give that unless it is via tube by the vet. Good luck!
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Jackie
Member
Username: Bluedog1

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Sunday, Apr 10, 2005 - 8:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Vicki, that's a good idea about soaking some hay cubes. She LOVES her timothy hay cubes. I will go out and make a nice sloppy soup for her in the morning.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 12538
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Apr 11, 2005 - 7:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Jackie,
Difficult defecation is different than impaction and may not indicate an impending impaction. It may be more related to injury around the anus. I see horses sometimes straining and grunting to defecate that don't later develop impactions. How was your horse behaving and how dry were the stools? If the stools are dry the most reliable way to increase water content of stools is probably 4 or 5 ronded tablespoons of Epson Salts in the feed each feeding but it may reduce food palaptability.
DrO
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Jackie
Member
Username: Bluedog1

Post Number: 4
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Monday, Apr 11, 2005 - 8:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

She was behaving normally, just really strained to pass manure (she even grunted). I'm not sure how dry the stools were. They dropped and stayed in smooth round balls. They looked quite dense and hard. I'm not sure how long this has been going on since her stall is picked clean when I get there. I'm going to give her some hay cubes soaked in water today as well as get a handle on how much water she is consuming. If the added fiber and water doesn't help, should I call the vet?
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 31
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, Apr 11, 2005 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Timothy hay cubes are great. Just one added thought in this regard -- over the past 3 weeks or so I switched one of my horse's forage over to T/A cubes to conform to the Parelli diet since I was taking him there for a week-long session. They do not allow regular hay to be fed in their pens in Ocala, Florida, because it "ruins the footing." Their practice is to fill a 5 gallon bucket about half full of cubes and then cover with water, 3/4 or even completely full. (That would be for an average-sized horse, twice daily, so ponies should eat less). At first my boy didn't like the cubes with the water on them, so before leaving home I was feeding him quite a bit not moistened (he was also out on grass pasture part of the day, which helped get moisture into him). When I got up to Parelli, I inquired whether it was okay to feed them dry, and they said that was a bad idea because of how much the dry cubes expand inside the horse after eaten, if not properly moistened (kind of like grains of rice or pasta, though maybe even more). Probably due to little pasture consumption the day before and on his first day at Parelli, his manure suddenly became VERY much more formed and hard than is usual for him, but it quickly cleared up once I gave him his gruel plus a little alfalfa forage (alfalfa probably not good for your pony's condition) He also enjoyed having another bucket of water in his pen to even further moisten the glop. I think it is okay to feed a few small cubes for treats without moistening, but we probably need to be careful not to overdue without adding the water to the cubes. I've camped many times with this horse and his manure never got hard like that or changed from what was normal for him, so believe it was mostly due to feeding the dry cubes. Hope your pony is soon normal!
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Beth Gordon
Member
Username: Bethyg2

Post Number: 104
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Monday, Apr 11, 2005 - 11:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jackie,
My 2 cents, I do not give my miniature horses ANY hay, if you can believe it. I give a complete feed which I soak in warm water for 15 minutes before feeding. My vet suggested it following a colic episode, and I can't see why I should stop. I haven't had a problem since I started. I once kept the minis in due to bad weather and fed timothy, and caused a pretty bad impaction. The minis get fed three small meals a day, plus are out from 8 AM to about 8 PM on grass. So their insides are slick!
I also think I read somewhere that soaked beet pulp is a good way to feed supplements to insulin resistant horses (practical horseman, western horseman, horse journal are the three possibilities) but don't quote me. But boarding the pony makes it harder to do all these things.....which is why I don't board anymore....Any deviation from the average feeding plan was such a trouble to the barn manager, it usualy wasn't possible. -Beth
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Debbie E
Member
Username: Deggert

Post Number: 181
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, Apr 11, 2005 - 4:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jackie
what grass hay does she eat? bermuda is difficult to digest compared to other grasses.
Maybe a change there would help too. Soaked hay pellets work well too.
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