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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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diaheria and loosing weight and condition bones

I have a 20 yr old mare and she has diaheria and 2 teeth pulled last year.we ground her oats tried nutrena senior ,morglo to put weight on but she is bag of bones and no condition at all. She has diaheria all the time she eats and drinks water.We can not figure out what is wrong with her.We are in desperate need of help she is the best loving horse and I can't seem to help her. Pleasse can anyone help me we don't want to loose her. We feed her ground oats and hay now.nothing seems to help her/

Where are you from? saskatchewan

How did you locate this forum? internet

Re: diaheria and loosing weight and condition bones

Hello Lisa,

Diarrhea can be caused by many reasons. Here is a list of things to consider that you may want to investigate:
1. Large and small Stongyle infestation – these worms can be detected by a fecal sample
2. Potomac Horse Fever – he will have a fever with this. Is this disease in your area? There is a vaccination for it.
3. Tumor in the gastrointestinal tract
4. Sand consumption
5. Salmonella infection. These bacteria live throughout the environment. A horse can become exposed to it through contaminated pastures, water, or even poor sanitary conditions of the horse’s handler. The thing about Salmonella poisoning is that a horse can have no symptoms and then have intermittent bouts of diarrhea.
6. Clostridium infestations. These bacteria live in the soil and the intestinal tract. They generally are not problematic unless the horse’s immune system is impaired and overgrowth occurs.
7. Poor teeth. If he is not able to grind his feed properly, it can irritate his intestine. So, grain should not be fed. Senior feed is designed for horses with older teeth.
8. Ulcers
9. Poisonous plants.
10. Giardia infection – parasite found in polluted water.
11. Stress and uncomfortable or unfamiliar surroundings.
12. And, in most extreme cases, there can be cancer involved.

So, I recommend that you ask your veterinarian to perform some diagnostic tools. He may want to do a basic blood count, fecal culture, fluid analysis, rectal mucosal biopsy, or other tests.

Here are my feeding recommendations:

1. During any acute phase of diarrhea, stop feeding his oats, offer a small amount of senior feed as long as it is not sweetened. Feed free amounts of grass hay and some alfalfa hay, moistened cubes of pellets. Do this until his intestines settle down.

2. Give him an electrolyte supplement along with plenty of clean, fresh water at all times.

3. Give him a probiotic that contains live microbials. I recommend Microbalance by Vita Flex.

4. He should have a multiple vitamin/mineral supplement that also boosts the immune system such as Accel Lifetime (by Vita Flex).

I hope this is helpful. Please keep me posted!

All the best,

Dr. Getty