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Laurie Sweeney
Member
Username: lsweeney

Post Number: 115
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Monday, Jan 21, 2008 - 7:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a 3 year old Friesian mare that has watery stools, where she will squirt out some water, and then the bowel movement will follow which is pretty normal looking. She will soil her hind-end and tail with the watery stuff.
She has been doing this at least since the summer, maybe longer.

There have been no changes to her diet, and I wormed her a few months ago. She does have some access to sand in the pasture area. Her heat cycles are pretty dramatic, and I have NOT tracked this phenomenon in conjunction with her cycles.

She is built like a tank. She is very heavy set and looks more like a Percheron. She is cresty and I can't tell if it is fat or that she is just a hunk. She is a pig, very social, good attitude, and in every other way she looks healthy. She has a very rich, luxurious coat and lots of hair. She is out in a pasture (not a lot of grass). She is a weekend riding horse (very light trail riding, and we camp in good weather). She should be as stressed as a piece of broccoli growing in a field.

She gets some pelleted feed, just enough to include some vitamins. She is on grass hay and barley/wheat/rye hay. She gets a little of each, each day. She is out with a foundered mare, so she basically is on the founder diet (the 3 way is a little rich for the foundered mare, but so far, so good). The grass hay does have a trace of alfalfa in it. 90/10 or 80/20.

She does have a pond that she will get into and eat water plants.

Many have suggested ulcers as a potential. I read about ulcers, and I'm not seeing watery stools as a symptom?

My plan of action is as follows:

Worm her again.
Start her on a more intense regimen of psyllium to remove any sand.
Consider Pro-biotics.

Other thoughts?
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 315
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Monday, Jan 21, 2008 - 7:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Laurie,

Well, there's a whole differential diagnosis you can go through-- sounds like you've done a lot of this. I have an AQHA mare who has been passing watery stools for at least ten years and she is otherwise healthy as a, well, horse. We looked for a cause, but it seems to be normal for her, and I figure "better wet than dry," though I do hustle to the front when she raises her tail.
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Laurie Sweeney
Member
Username: lsweeney

Post Number: 116
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Monday, Jan 21, 2008 - 9:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yeah, I get that. She has tons of hair, so somehow those Friesian feathers lose their charm when they are painted green.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1101
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 - 11:46 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

"I wormed her a few months ago."
Laurie, have you read Dr. O's article on worming? He recommends more frequent worming or testing. Possibly that could be your problem.

Hope that's all it is. Easy enough to fix, huh? Good luck.
Erika
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Laurie Sweeney
Member
Username: lsweeney

Post Number: 117
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 - 3:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yeah, I know that I'm not worming as aggressively as recommended. That's why that is first on the list. I thought, though, that I might have the feces analyzed for worms, before I worm. I think I wormed them in September/October which isn't that long ago.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19912
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 22, 2008 - 5:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Laurie,
I have occasionally seen these horses with the "wet prelude" followed by a normal stool and we do not find a disease state associated with it but this should not keep you from looking, see the recommendations in the article for more on this. Some of the empirical treatments like beet pulp have helped in most cases again check the article for more on this.

Before deworming you should have a fecal checked. You should try to remove all the alfalfa from the diet we have had many horses that get and stay loose on alfalfa.

Judging from the fact that she is cresty, adjust her condition down to a healthier level. For more on how to assess condition see Horse Care » Routine Horse Care » Estimating Weight, Height, and Body Condition Scoring.
DrO
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 582
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 - 11:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Laurie -- Review Dr. O's worming program carefully and make certain that the horse receives the recommended dosage according to weight plus more. My biggest horse needs more than what is contained in one tube of wormer to adequately control parasites. He had the squirting "water prelude" to his manure for years but has been normal for over a year. His stools were the worst many years ago when he was shedding salmonellosis (verified via Vet. tests), which we treated and cleared. (Those nasty stools had a peculiar odor).
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Laurie Sweeney
Member
Username: lsweeney

Post Number: 118
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 - 1:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Dr. O. I think the fecal count would at least tell me if there is a significant worm problem, however, the last thing she looks is wormy.

I need to take a hard look at her weight. She is tough because she is just so drafty and hairy. I can't tell how much of it is the way she is built, or if she really is carrying too much weight.

The only thing she is getting is hay and just a small amount of pellets to cover vitamins. It's winter so she is not getting a ton of exercise. The Friesians, though, do tend to be pretty easy keepers.

My Arab who is out with them, and has a founder history, has ribs showing, but she is almost 20 and is IR - she has pockets of fat at the tail congruent with the IR problem.

Anyway, I will start with the worm review, psyllium and try the beet pulp.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1104
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 - 2:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Laurie, are you sure you aren't looking at my horses?
My mare Cleo, is half Friesian. She is so fat, (on grass hay only) with a rain gutter down her back in the middle of winter. I am constantly chastising my farm help to feed her less, and he claims he can't give her any less, grrr. I am afraid for her health if she comes into Spring heavy already. I am not riding while it is so cold/icy so she is "storing nuts".

So you have my sympathy.

My other mare is like your Arab--she's a Saddlebred with Cushings,we think. Eighteen years old with IR, lumpy looking, and lots of inflamation. She seems to need the hay, but I bet Cleo is eating faster than she!

This weight thing is ridiculous...I knew I would have to fight it as I age, but I didn't know it would be so hard to maintain my horses' weights!

Hope you solve your wet problem, and your weight problem!
Erika
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Allyson Petrenko
New Member
Username: apfaith

Post Number: 2
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 - 3:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sometimes it is as simple as the hay. Have you tried changing it?

Over the years I have noticed quite a few horses not being able to tolerate orchard hay in their diet. Others do just fine, but for some it is a problem.

For my personal horses, a switch to timothy did the trick. TEFF is also fine for these horses.

I live in the PNW, the Eastern WA grass out here is pretty darn rich. My hay man also told me that the later cuttings are often sprayed with something (i forget what it is called) that can have a bit of a laxative effect on some horses. Whatever this stuff is gives it that blue-green color. maybe it is a fertilizer, I'll ask him the next time I see him.

I've also been told that our hay is getting dirtier- carrying more sand/dirt than in years past. This could also be the problem? I don't know.

I don't know much about growing hay, but I do know that bio sponge helped in the interim and switching to a different hay solved the problem.
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Laurie Sweeney
Member
Username: lsweeney

Post Number: 119
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 23, 2008 - 9:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks you guys for the ideas. This has been an interesting problem in that there are so many factors that could be in play.

However, I'm a computer professional, and I know if you change 5 things then you don't know which one of the 5 fixed the problem. So I'm going to take each one at a time.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19939
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 7:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Though not a computer professional Laurie, I have owned and been responsible for maintaining over 30 of the recalcitrant glitchy boxes over the years and know that sometimes you change just one thing, the problem gets better, but later you discover it was simple coincidence and the problem and cure unrelated to your "fix". I see this particularly with network connectivity where signal strength uncertain. This too happens all the time in medicine.
DrO
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Elizabeth Kaufman
Member
Username: ekaufman

Post Number: 323
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 9:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr.O-- we called this the "Sure has rained a lot" syndrome. Back in the day, I worked installing the first Internet connections (before it was the Internet). I took a serious complaint from a customer one day, where we had installed a microwave link. "Sure has rained a lot since you put that network connection in." And I was nearly fired for my answer (which just shot out of my young mouth) "That's true, and our offices smell really bad now too."

I'm glad we invented science and good statistics to help us learn stuff from this messy world! Because it sure has gotten cold outside since I got so many horses.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1110
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 11:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Elizabeth, please go back and disconnect that guy!
I'm really tired of rotten weather.
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Laurie Sweeney
Member
Username: lsweeney

Post Number: 120
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Thursday, Jan 24, 2008 - 12:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, trust me, I get the intermittent problem. Those are the toughest. So for example, let's say she gets these watery stool bouts when she is in season, but I haven't tracked this yet, and don't realize that this is "female" related. I worm her. She goes out of season. The stools return to normal. Then 3 weeks later the watery stools are back......Why?

I've been battling with my cable company. They say it is my equipment/TV, and installed their own TV in my house to monitor the problem. I have had to take videos of now both TVs with choppy reception. Troubleshooting can be just painful sometimes!
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