Monday, October 24, 2016

The Peebs Poop Problem #2

Peebs has had either a little bit of runny poop or watery discharge down his leg off and on since I bought him.  His old owners told me it happened when they switched hay, but its more than that.  I had my vet look at him in April and we tried a few different pro biotics to see if any helped.  Not much did.

A couple months ago we started using a new vet, JD, who I really, really like. She had a few thoughts on what it could be and recommended a different pro biotic and GI health supplement.  I started him on it and while it did help, Peebs would still have occasional discharge.  She also ran a fecal on him, and he came back with a zero egg count.

On Wednesday I noticed a little more discharge than normal, along with a little stocking up in both his right legs.  He had had a light lunge on Tuesday and had Wednesday off, so I figured I just needed to get him out more.  Thursday there was a lot more discharge down the back of his leg, and while I had him in the cross ties he farted and brown water came out.  Seriously gross.  And again, both right legs were swollen, as well as the right side of his sheath.  I called JD, not super freaked out because he was sound, bright eyed and bushy tailed, and the swelling went down after I rode. He was also eating and drinking like normal and showed no signs of colic.  JD called me back and agreed to look at him on Friday.

Could be nerves from the sheep returning
 Friday his butt and leg were once again covered in watery poop and JD got to see him fart out brown water again.  All his vitals were normal, we lunged him and he bucked and played, and generally he's fine.  She did take and run blood (all normal) thinking it could be in infection (including salmonella or Potomac horse fever), it could be there's too much sugar in the hay, or he could be an irritable bowel syndrome horse.  Awesome. She wasn't too concerned about the swelling, said that since he prefers to lay down on his right side that's why he's stocking up those legs. 

The only butt I'll be putting diaper rash cream on
She did want to change his feed around.  So we are currently soaking his hay to remove some of the sugar, we added some alfalfa to up his protein, changed his grain to Purina Senior to remove any variables from buying a local made alfalfa/timothy based grain, and added BioSponge over the weekend to help. She also wanted me to put diaper rash cream on his butt so he doesn't loose hair and get sores.  Poor Peebs.

Major pain in my ass, but not Peebs!
So far the BioSponge seemed to help and we're going to keep him on that for a week to help him adjust to the new feed.  After I soak his hay, the water smells and looks like sweet tea, so obviously there's plenty of sugar coming out.  I do have a lead on some low sugar hay that a friend knows of so I might buy a couple bales to see how Peebs reacts.  The plan right now is to keep soaking and see if he stabilizes after a week and if not, then we might be hauling into the vet school for a rectal biopsy.  But on the plus side, since he's sound and full of energy we've got the ok to keep riding and working as normal.


  1. Ugh. That's a frustrating problem and something I've struggled with with Emi. Are you using Bio-Sponge paste or powder?

    1. My vet had three tubes of paste that I used, but we're on the powder now.

    2. I have a 4lb tub of the powder that I used about 1 scoop out of it. I just put it on craigslist but I'd be happy to give it to you.

    3. I'd love to take it! I figure I'm going to be keeping some on hand for a while.

  2. Oy good luck! We had to soak hay for a chronic laminitic horse and it was a chore but definitely did the trick for the hay.

  3. I bet the probiotic will help! Henry has a very sensitive tummy and it always clears up his running poop

  4. Rio gets this way too. I have yet to definitively figure out what causes it, but the change of weather plays a part for him. His diet stays exactly the same all the time, and sometimes he has really nice solid poop and other times not. Ditto with the discharge. Since he's happy and healthy otherwise, my vet and I just let it be. He has enough on his plate with his neuro issues and foot problems!