Dear SmartPak: My horse has ‘the runs’

Today SmartPak vet Dr. Lydia Gray answers a question from the concerned owner of a 26-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse who suffers from chronic diarrhea.

From the SmartPak Blog

I have a 26-year-old TWH that has chronic diarrhea. He had vet work done last year, when it first started, with his blood work coming back normal, fecal exam okay and teeth are okay. No feed or hay change. Actually, his stool will be somewhat normal, not firm apples but has some substance to them, for most of the time then about once or twice a month it gets loose to the point of liquid. I had him on ProBalance during some of this time period but it did not seem to affect his stool. He is now on Stomach Smoother but still having the same results as with ProBalance. His coat is shiny, he eats all his grain and most of his coastal hay (his preferred hay for 23 years) and is still very active. His weight is pretty much staying the same the last year. – GB

Dear GB,

Diarrhea is one of those conditions that differs from horse to horse. Because what works for one doesn’t always work for another, you just have to start somewhere, keep a good journal, and try different treatments until something works.

You’ve started in the right place: with your veterinarian. That is, ruling out some of the more common causes through a complete physical examination, blood work and fecal exam. Some uncommon causes of chronic diarrhea require particular tests of blood, feces and even GI tissues; you may have to specifically ask your vet to run these additional tests….

[Read the rest of Dr. Gray’s response on the SmartPak Blog.]

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