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We have a three year old Appendix filly. She has constant loose stools. Does anyone have any suggestions of helping to firm up her stools. I have tried the probiotics. She is on free choice grass mix hay with very little alfalfa. No grain. On a routine upto date worming schedule etc. I dont know what else to do for her. She came to us after being somewhere that she was always in a stall or a tiny paddock for a few hours for turn out and was fed oats and corn mix there. When she came to us she was  put outside 24/7 on quality pasture and we slowly weaned her off the grain as she was gaining way too much weight. Her hooves are also growing very weird as well. Regular trimmings for those also. The are cracking as well as like rolling up when they grow. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much. Have a great night.

Anna WI

Take a look at the "feeding salt during winter" thread. I just posted on there about a horse I have that has loose manure and I am begining to think it is from consuming too much salt, then drinking a lot of water. Also with her feet growing the way they are maybe she is slightly foundered. I would talk to your farrier about that.


What kind of de-worming schedule was this horse on?  Just because it was wormed does not mean it may not still have small strongyles or tapes.  I would get a sample and have it looked at by a veterinarian.  See if they will run a McMastersor a smear versus a float.  McMasters can tell you what parasite you have to eliminate.  Not all de wormers kill all internal parasites.

Next I would consider stress.  This too can cause loose stools in horses just as it can dogs and cats.  A change of enviroment, herd status or routine can cause this.

An ulcer is another possibility and can be related to the stress above or performance/training and showing related. Even though you are not training or showing this horse, was it before you took it?

Was the diet change gradual?  Changing too quickly from a grain diet to a forage diet can cause loose stools/intestinal upset.

Is the horse feverish? eating? Lethargic? Has there been any weight loss? Does the horse look dehydrated?  How long has the filly had this?

This horse came from a vet. We have followed her worming schedule from her. She has always had the loose stools since she was a foal. Change in diet was gradual. She is low on the totem pole but we have had her for over a year now and no change in stress, training or diet all summer. The loose stools didn't just start. I have given her some probiotics and today she seems to be a little better but I dont know how often you can do this. Can you do a daily probiotics I was thinking yogurt maybe. I am a nurse and we give that to those that are having loose stools at work. Just a thought. So I am not sure what to do. Will get a stool sample and see what that has to say. Any other suggestions would be great. Thanks so much.

Sherri N.
I have had good luck using a product called KLPP for this.  The active ingredient (excuse the spelling) is saccromyces boullardii  -which is a kind of yeast.  You can buy it online.  I haven't needed to use it for quite some time, but I think I used it for 20 days, then went off it.  It takes a while to rebalance the flora in the gut.  This also helps with leaky gut syndrome. 
Daily probiotics can not harm a horse as long as the loose stool is not a symptom of something such as parasites, stress, ulcer or dz.

Another thought -when I still employed in veterinary clinic we had a 2 year old warmblood patient that had loose stools since weaned.  The veterinarian and clients exhausted every known diagnotic to find out why.  Finally someone at the veterinary laboratory we were sending samples to to be analyzed suggested that the cause could be allergies.  Low and behold after sending blood and fecal samples to a lab that did nothing but allergy testing we found that this horse had severe allergies.  After switching diet to grass hay and feed to rice based pellet, adding a supplement and daily probiotics there were no more issues after 4 weeks.

This horse as well had numerous amounts of testing. At the barn she came from it was a lot of artificial insemination babies. All of them seemed to have problems with diarrhea and I began to wonder if it had something to do with the AI process or something. She got worse when weaned. When we first got her it was way worse  but it has been fluctuating off and on for the last year. Allergies is an interesting line of thought though. I just feel bad for her as she is so beautiful and then has this poopy tail all the time and now on her legs. I am worried it is going to hurt her skin. So I am going to try the probiotics and a mare and foal feed maybe that has yeasty cultures and amino acids for good growth etc and see how this works. Thanks so much for answering new thoughts are always great to hear. Thanks again.


Allergies could be a possibility.  My filly is allergic to the binding ingredient in pellets.  We almost lost her to diarhhrea when she was about 2 1/2 months old when we started her on a pelleted feed for foals.  To this day, if she is fed even a minor amount of pellets she will have loose stools.  Interestingly enough, Mia is an AI baby as well.

If there is a correlation to AI, it almost makes a person wonder if it has something to do with the penicillin used with AI. 

If all other avenues have been exhausted, I would probably allergy test.  It will be interesting to hear if the probiotics work. 
Anna WI
Allergies? Never crossed my mind with the issues I have with my horse. After having the salt block pulled for the last few days I am not seeing any improvement in my horse. What is all involved with having an allergy test done or can I ask if anyone has any idea cost wise? Also what type of grain would be rice based? I will have to talk to my vet about this for my horse.

I feed my horse probiotics daily and have found them to help somewhat. I bought a tube of it last week to go along with deworming this horse and it made a huge difference but is also more expensive than the powder.

Also this is off topic but because of the loose stool and like Deanna said, the tail gets full of crap, I am thinking about keeping my horses tail wrapped up until I can get his issued figured out, but I am not sure what's the best way to keep a horses tail up or how to wrap it up properly.
Horses can get skin irritation after constant exposure to diahrrea.....just as a human baby does if left in a dirty diaper.  You can cleanse the area well and use a bit of petroleum jelly or diaper rash cream to sooth the area and keep exposure fecal matter to a minimum.  The key here is cleaning the area first and repeating this several times a day.
If the horse is stalled, cleaning the bedding more often than normal will help decrease skin exposure as well. 

Rice bran diets....
Unfortunately the feed I know about is made by Seminole and is available only in the FL area.  Another that may be available here in the north is Legends.

For allergy testing....
There are many labs now that do this procedure.  Normally this entails having a detailed history of the horse and blood samples sent to a lab by your veterinarian.
In the case that I was involved in the owner's horse was allergic to corn.

You could do a feed trial on your own.  SLOWLY change the diet to avoid issues with colic that could arise.  Find a feed that is rice based and after transition use ONLY that feed for several months.  This means giving no other treats or supplements that may contain any corn products.  If diahrrea clears than it could have been result of the feed.

Again....veterinarian input/exams are always best to rule out other reasons or dz.

Probiotics and the new grain seem to be helping. Stools are not completely firm but I don't need to worry anymore if I am standing behind her and she passes gas. The AI thing intrigues me. All the foals at this barn that were AI babies seemed to have the same problems. All different breeds. But anywho. What diseases could be the cause of this? I thought of ulcers as well because she had a huge weight loss when we first got her as well. But when we got her she used to just be in a stall and turned out for a few hours a day in a small paddock with hay and grain twice a day. When she came to us she was on pasture, acres of pasture able to run and be free and be with a herd like a horse should. I attributed the weight loss to being able to move constantly and not be cooped up all the time. She has since regained the weight and good muscle as well. She was given to us for free as she did not make the cut in height for the hunter classes in the quarter horse circuit. Wish I had the money to spend thousands on a stud fee plus all the care for the AI and everything and then just throw the horse away. It still amazes me. She is an amazing mover and jumps beautifully. My daughter will be training her this spring and hopefully she will do well for her. Thanks again for all the help. It is greatly appreciated.

Have been eavesdropping, lots of great advise!
As for wrapping the tail... we wash the tail, let it dry, braid it into one braid starting at the bottom of the dock. Once braided, we take the end & loop it into the braid towards the top, creating a loop, then, take that end again & put it into the braid towards the bottom of the loop. Some then use vet wrap to hold it in place - I dont like to use that sticky stuff on the tail (personal opinion) - we use an old tube sock - cut the top into 4 strips & weave into the braid to tie w/each other. Washable too! :)
You dont want to braid or wrap the top of the tail (the dock) as you could cause problems there as well - too tight could cause damage to the dock itself & hair loss - just to touch on a couple problems

Deanna, have you looked into trying Bio-Sponge.  It is a product that is used specifically for this type of problem.  My trainer did a lot of breeding also, and would give it to her foals as soon as she saw she had a problem. As well as any horse that developed a loose stool problem.  It always worked for her on the horses she used it on.   You can read up on it on the Internet.  It really helps the entire gut and intestine system. It absorbs the bad bacteria and improves the internal system.   

Diane B.

As a follow up, if interested in the Bio-Sponge, I talked to my trainer and she gets it either from Agi-Blenders in Ripon, Wi (920) 748-1266 or from the mfr.

Dont know if anyone will still check this...but I have an almost 2 year old colt I got to prevent to go to auction.
He had no diarrhea before we brought him home.  Once he got here though, his stool was pretty much a water consistency.  It was horrible.  It has only firmed up a little bit at a time.  Its seven months later and he still isnt as firm as he should be. 
I wormed him many times and used probiotics.  I just had a fecal sample taken this past weekend and it was "as negative" as they can get with worms. 
My vet recommended to Bio-Sponge and said he should harden up after 3...if not after the first dose.  He hardened up a little but by the time I'd give him the next dose, 24 hr later, he'd be back to his regular loose stool.  I just gave him his last bio-sponge tonight, but I dont think its the solution.
He gets only 2 coffee cups of pellets morning and night and grass/alfalfa mix hay as well as pasture during the day.
He wasn't well taken care of before I got him, he had only had his coggins and was in a pasture with all the other mares, babies, and a stud.  He is now up-to-date on his shots, etc.
Im just wondering if there is any other advice out there, since Ive done about everything already suggested.

We had this ongoing problem with old Karem here.  Have you considered it might be sand in her gut?  I give a sand clear product monthly to everyone but the vet recommended that we give it three days on and then three days off, two days on and then two days off and down to one day and then quit.  It worked and it has not come back and this was a few months ago.  Good luck with her.


Cassie, you said it has been like this since you brought him home, so the change must be somehow related to something new to him at your place.  Have you tried feeding him a non-pelleted food?  My filly is 4 yrs old, and still is not able to eat any large quanitity of pelleted feed without diarrhea due to her allergy to the binding ingredient.   You dont mention if he is in good condition now or not, but I will assume he is...smile...and suggest trying to put him on a hay only diet.  If you feel he is a horse who will need grain, trying adding back feed that is not pelleted, or adding one grain type at a time, to see what he can handle.

Sherry A.

I had a horse with chronic diahrrea(sp?). The vet had me give him Sand Clear once a day, and that cleared it up. I would call your vet first, though.


I had a horse with chronic diarrhea too...my vet did blood testing and determined that he was allergic to alfalfa hay.  As long as I had him on total grass hay he was fine but as soon as he got any alfalfa (even just a tiny bit) he'd develop diarrhea again.  I did donate him to MHWF quite a few years ago (I think it's been 4 years now), I'm not sure if he still has issues with that.   

steve w/ ledgend
7 months ..always loose stool,some turds..probios for two weeks now. did sand treatment one week..vet tomorrow  12/07/13...p.s. wormed twice now,the weaker wormer ..///let you know???
dz or allergy or bugs in gut.
It's funny that this thread got brought up again, we just had an issue with a horse with diarrhea that would clear for a bit and then come back.  It was mini horse, Daisy (Misty).  We did the Sand Clear, Probios and yeast...it would intermittently clear and come back.  We were in a deworming process with her.  Long story, but the mini's had a hay supply that was different from the large horses (they are in a separate area).  We took a couple of bales of the mini's hay to a weekend trail ride and both of our horses got diarrhea, and one of the other mini's also had these same bouts of diarrhea.  At that point we correlated that some of the hay must have had something in it that was causing the diarrhea. 

Fast forward to Daisy getting adopted...she had another flare of diarrhea right before she got adopted, she went to her new home and her diarrhea was not clearing.  Of course with change in environment and all of the stress they have with traveling and a new environment, it is understandable to have a little issue.  After some time and Priobios and yeast it would clear a little, but did not resolve.  The fecal sample did show strongyles, but a fecal sample will not show encysted strongyles which can cause diarrhea.  The treatment plan included treating encysted strongyles with the proper dewormer (Pancur pack) and also ulcer treatment in case there was an ulcer issue.  After these measures the diarrhea has cleared.  Because of the history it is really impossible to say if it was ulcers or not that Daisy had, because it could be that clearing the parasites that were tough to get (encysted strongyles) is what worked as well as time to settle in, but ulcers are pretty common in horses and it sure would not hurt to treat your horse for ulcers and see if that helps. 
My vet and I have exhausted all test's,fecal, blood,wormed her,took away salt block.Took her off the pasture,had a culture done.feed and hay has always been the same.my other horse doesn't have loose stool's.both horses are healthy,no loss of appetite , drink's plenty of water,and act's perfectly normal.But's what so strange is she only has loose stool's during the night.Every morning I go out to feed,and there will be 4 0r 5 loose stool's . This has been going on going on a month now,and my vet nor I know what else to do! HELP!!

This is probably so far-off the wall...  I know a couple of horses when nervous will have loose stools including my own.  Only thing that made me think of it was; I grabbed a piece of thick grass and made a few whistles threw it (a WI thing) while we had a lil picnic this weekend - yep it scarred him, he danced around and he loose pooped.

Others - I load them in the trailer / nervous and there it goes - loose.

Just putting it out there - is there something scary at night? (coyotes or other critters or fights between the horses?)  Our Arabian would poop from fear if he saw another horse's poop on trail and jump 3 ft. to the side.  Really I am not trying to be goofy on this one (like I normally am)  Just another thing to check into - could it be something that scares your horse or makes her nervous at night?

Again, I am probably way out there on this one but it sounds like you looked into other things pretty thoroughly and I don't even know if loose if caused by nervousness other then what I have seen with my own.

It does almost sound as if something is making your horse very nervous at night if the loose stools are truly only happening at night.  I would set up a trail camera or something along those lines to see your horse's behavior and if there is something going on at night to cause a problem.  

Is your horse alone at night and not alone during the day?  Is your horse put with a different horse or in a different area at night?  Anything different about nighttime than daytime?  

Also, you could treat your horse for ulcers as that could be the culprit.  Odd that it only seems to be at night, but with exhausting all other avenues that is the one stone that wasn't unturned and it sure wouldn't hurt.  
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