loose manure on hay, not pasture

This topic contains 34 replies, has 18 voices, and was last updated by  PBJ 5 months, 1 week ago.

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  • Hurricane Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    My Percheron X Paint gelding (4 y.o.) has loose manure when grass is done and he switches to 100% hay for the winter. In Spring it clears up again when grass starts growing. Hay is Timothy mixed grass hay, first crop, fertilized with chicken manure.

    I’ve tried equine pro biotics for 2 winters with a small improvement. But manure still coats the hind legs and the tail. I was advised to try supplements for insulin resistance and/or dried raspberry leaves supplement. Also, to try feeding
    lower protein hay (2 yrs old) or mix hay with oat straw.

    Any ideas?

    GHFrider GHFrider
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 32

    This happens with my elder geldings every year. The hay, no matter how fine, is still coarser and more fibrous than fresh grass. It’s also drier. It’s not the protein that’s causing the problem. My guys also react when they switch back to pasture, but for a shorter period of time. You might try switching his regular grain ration to a complete feed that’s higher in fiber so the change to hay isn’t so dramatic for his system. Make sure he’s well hydrated, even if it means soaking his feed a bit during that time period. Otherwise, I doubt there’s much you can do for this poor sensitive guy. But your vet might have suggestions. Give him/her a call and see what the recommendation is.

    Horses In the Yard

    NinaJD NinaJD
    Topics Started: 8Replies Posted: 139

    My friends horse does the same when he’s given alfalfa hay or a high mixed hay. He does great on straight grass hay and out in pasture. The probiotics didn’t help him much either.
    I would try changing him to a complete grain(triple crown has a good one).
    Have you tried finding a crop that isn’t fertilized with chicken poop?
    Maybe that’s his issue?
    Does he have the same reaction if he gets the cubes or pellets?

    "Take the time it takes, so that it takes less time."
    "Expect a lot, accept a little, reward often."
    Pat Parelli

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 12

    I want to share my experience with this same problem. I have a 17yr Morgan gelding(Mr.Ben) that I have owned for 15 1/2years that displayed excessive fluid passed with a formed stool and the passing of gas, when on a hay diet. If even a small amount of grass was in his diet it was greatly alleviated. Being an older Morgan and needing to be on an IR diet, grass is a problem with its sugar content and only seasonally available. My vet and I tried everything to help this horse through the years. Last summer Mr. Ben developed a case of hives to something that was in his vitamin mix. When we put him on an antihistamine with in 24 hours his stool problem that we had been dealing with for years was gone! The hives weren’t gone but the age old problem was. My Vet diagnosed Mr. Ben with a food allergy. He is allergic to something that is in grass. When the grass has been processes into hay (dried) it is intolerable, in fresh grass because of the water content it does not cause the problem. I switched Mr.Ben from the pharmaceutical antihistamine to an allergy herbal blend and it completely controls it. He is on a total forage only diet (hay) and the bathing of the butt days are gone!

    Odie4Me Odie4Me
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 13

    My horse has had this same issue. He is currently on SmartGut Ultra. It definitely helps. Talk to your SmartPak customer service and see if they have some ideas. I don’t know if you have sand in your area, you could also try a week of Sand Clear or similar to see if that helps.
    This is a really frustrating issue and I know what you are going through.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 12

    I did consult with SmartPak and they were wonderful. We did try SmartGut Ultra, it did not give us much help. We also tried Sand clear and it would help some as long as he stayed on it. It seemed to soak up the fluid in the bowel some, and as soon as you would work your way off of it we were back at it again. Thank you for your input and response, I was desperate at times to find anyone with a horse like mine and had numerous consults with GI experts. So imagine my surprise when out of the blue a treatment for a different problem (the hives)took care of it. It blew us away!

    PiaffeNPassage PiaffeNPassage
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 25

    That sounds very strange, I would absolutely being having the hay tested and looking out for quality control. Maybe he is allergic/sensitive to the certain type of hay? Have you tried other types of hay with the same results?

    Owned by Imperious 1997 ArabXFriesian Gelding

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 12

    Through the past 15 and 1/2 years we have fed some alfalfa/grass mix without much difference and we have to be careful with the calories adding up with a richer diet for this easy keeper/IR horse. I’ve tried various mixes of grasses and various levels of maturity of the grasses. When he was younger and could be on pasture for meals it was mostly controlled and as soon as these pasture meals were replaced with hay as winter set in it would flare up again. Coating the underside of his tail, running down one or both hind legs. Squirting out excessive fluid with every passage of stool and gas. Nothing we did managed it until we treated him with antihistamines for a case of hives. Surprise & Delight
    As for testing our hay I have completed two horse nutrition courses that taught you how to test you hay and build a balanced diet based around your hay analysis. Nothing ever showed up in the hay tests to give us answers. And I tested our well water, nothing there either.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I had the same issue with my horse for the longest time. We found out it was the timothy/alfalfa we were feeding. T/A tends to be the go-to hay around here, but it was too coarse for his sensitive stomach and it’d make his manure really loose. We’ve switched him to orchard/alfalfa and he does great on it, as orchard is a bit of a finer grass than timothy. You might want to try him on a different hay if you can, to see if that helps.

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 12

    His manure was formed fecal balls with excessive quantities of fluid. Not what you general think of diarrhea “cowpatties”
    I would like Hurricane who posted the original problem to chime in here and share more about what she is dealing with in regards to her Perchiepaint horse.

    GHFrider GHFrider
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 32

    PiaffeNpassage, for what it’s worth, I grow my own hay. What’s in the hay is almost the same as what’s in the pasture as they’re side-by-side. Yet the two oldest horses have this issue twice a year even with Triple Crown Complete as their only grain ration. But if this poster is buying hay from assorted makers, that could be the problem. Good suggestion! And as a hay producer, I know for a fact that the weather greatly affects the assay of the hay. This year the last of our first cutting actually had second cutting coming up under it because it was so late, so this will be some very tasty hay indeed! LOL Last year we had a drought during the winter, so the pastures and hay fields were full of an invasive grass with virtually no nutritional value. Oddly, it was the first time the old guys only had a day or so of loose stools. It’s a tough problem!

    Horses In the Yard

    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    Loose manure on hay while not on grass can be a symptom of hind-gut ulcers. The treatment is to remove all long stem fiber from the diet to alleviate the aggravation to the hind gut and to treat with sucralfate.

    It would be worthwhile to discuss hind gut ulcers with your vet, and perhaps run a course of treatment as you would for hind gut ulcers and see what you get as a result. Can’t hurt, might help.

    GHFrider GHFrider
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 32

    Great suggestion, Ashley! Certainly if the problem doesn’t resolve, that would be a good bet.

    Horses In the Yard

    Dragon Tea Dragon Tea
    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 18

    Bump to ESH. My horse had chronic diarrhea for the longest time and we tried every supplement known to horses. I even called New Bolton and spoke with a specialist. My trainer finally suggested making the switch from Timothy hay to Coastal… and it was like magic… suddenly gone. It’s not something vet’s suggest so it was our last resort and it worked.

    Topics Started: 4Replies Posted: 8

    Have you tried SmartDigest Ultra? My pony had loose manure for several years before a vet suggested I try a supplement for it. SmartDigest Ultra is the one with which I’ve had the most success. He still gets the occasional loose poop, but it has been much, much better. I am not sure where you get your hay, but I know that my pony is especially sensitive to the fresher hay cuts. He also had some of the liquid gas/manure issues when the fresh grass started up this spring. Since my barn grows/cuts its own hay, the fresher cuts this spring and summer caused him to have some of the liquid gas/manure problems again. It cleared up after the grass/hay were less fresh.

    My pony has been tested for various things, and nothing significant has showed up. We think that he may just have a sensitive digestive system or prior damage from worms that happened earlier in his life.

    Also, for the wet manure on tail/down the legs – I clean with all-natural baby wipes and apply Balmex to keep the area from getting raw.

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