April News Letter ---
I just want to say THANK YOU for all of the birthday
wishes from all of you for Echo and I - we truly had a magical
week, with friends, family, and neighbors! I have had
lots of company on the ranch, and lots of people stopping by, which
I totally enjoy!
My big oak tub of bulbs are
coming in to full bloom with the Iris trailing behind! The
fruit trees are blooming and budding out in leaf and everything
looks fresh and green!
The horses are so enjoying being turned out during the
day to enjoy the greens sprouting in their drylot - they also have new neighbors who
moved in on Easter Weekend and commune with them at the corner
during the day, the new horses are two older Tenn. Walkers so it is
nice for them to have some new friends! Shelters should be
going up in the next few weeks in the dry lot and in Destinee's big turn out area. Am so
hoping for a round pen in the next couple weeks, and have the
perfect place for it too!
What is the Real "Poop" on Poop-ology? Excerpts from an article by Dr
Stacey Oke, DVM
If you've ever had a bought of horsey diarrhea, you
know it can herald the arrival of a virus, an infection, or any
number of nasties that leave you reaching
for the Imodium and heading to bed. Weese
says that a horse with diarrhea doesn't always have a health issue,
but never take your horse's case of the runs lightly.
"Sometimes it's just a cosmetic issue, but at
other times it can indicate a life--threatening problem (e.g., due
to salmonella or a Clostridium
bacteria in young foals)," he notes. "Determining the
cause for the diarrhea is important, but often difficult,
especially with mild, chronic -disease."
groups diarrhea in horses into four main categories:
e.g., due to bacterial infections such as salmonellosis,
-clostridiosis, and equine proliferative enteropathy caused by Lawsonia intracellularis;
"Inflammatory bowel disease, a common problem in people,
rarely causes diarrhea in horses since the large colon (which
largely controls fecal consistency in adult horses)is not commonly
affected; however, inflammatory diseases can occur," Weese notes;
"Intestinal cancer such as lymphoma usually causes weight loss
more often than diarrhea, but always needs to be considered with
chronic disease," he adds; or
Many owners and farm managers know to avoid making
sudden changes to their charges' diets and to let the
gastrointestinal system "adapt" to a new diet gradually. (which can also be helped with Equine Zyme or EquineZyme
Plus for the most part! They put back the good bacteria and can
help to stop the runny manure!jl)
Constipation per se does not really occur in horses
and is more commonly referred to as an impaction, falling under the
colic category. Sometimes, however, a horse's manure does appear
drier than usual.
"Inadequate water access is probably the most
common cause of dry feces," says Weese.
The average horse drinks 5 to 10 gallons per day, but
this varies depending on the individual horse and the environment
(e.g., temperature, humidity). And the environment can dictate
water availability, particularly in northern climates where water
freezes in the winter. Other factors that can potentially
contribute to decreased water intake include shipping, stress, and
pain. Those same factors can negatively impact gut motility,
possibly leading to impactions.
"Adequate exercise is also important for gut
health, and restriction of horses to a stall can be associated with
decreased intestinal motility," Weese
Sand colic and impactions most commonly occur in areas
where horses graze on sandy soil pastures or eat off ground that is
predominantly sand or fine gravel. To help determine if a horse has
sand in his feces, owners can follow this simple recipe:
1. Place six fecal balls in a glass jar.
2. Fill the jar half full with water and shake well, then let it settle for 15 minutes.
3. If there is sand lining the jar, it might indicate
your horse is consuming sand but passing it easily.
4. If there is no sand, either your horse is not
consuming substantial amounts of sand, or he's not passing the sand
he's ingesting, putting him at risk for colic.
Still confused about your horse's sand intake? Call
your veterinarian. He or she can use a stethoscope to listen to
your horse's gastrointestinal tract. Intestines that contain sand,
despite little to no sand appearing following the "jar
test," sound like waves hitting an ocean shore. The
veterinarian can suggest management options for these horses, such
as increasing exercise or administering psyllium
or mineral oil.
Did you know that the carriage horses used in Prince
Charles and Lady Diana's wedding consumed pastel-colored dyes so
their manure would match the wedding's color scheme? While most of
us will never find Easter-egg-hued fecal balls in our horses'
paddocks or stalls, there are times when manure does come out an
interesting shade or texture.
assures us that many things--mostly benign---could cause colorful
Alfalfa generally results in very green fecal balls;
High beet pulp intake can lead to -reddish-brown fecal balls and a
sticky, clear film around the ball; For a horse unaccustomed to
vegetable oil, too much can make his feces appear loose, grayish,
and oily; and Mucus covering the fecal balls indicates delayed
passage (e.g., impaction).
Two colors that warrant a double take at your horse's
piles (and a call to your vet) are red and black. "Red feces
or feces with flecks of blood can indicate bleeding in the lower
gastrointestinal tract, such as (from a) rectal tear," Weese explains.
In contrast, black feces (with the exception of
neonate meconium--a newborn's near-black
and pelleted first manure) indicate the
horse could be bleeding from a higher point in the gastrointestinal
system and blood has been digested before being excreted.
"Black feces is something that we don't usually
see, even with significant bleeding, unlike in other species (such
as dogs and cats)," Weese assures.
Dental problems purportedly alter the appearance of a
horse's manure. For example, large or undigested feed particles
(such as whole grains) might be noticeable if a horse isn't chewing
his food -sufficiently.
Horses treated with antibiotics can develop diarrhea
even if the infectious agent itself does not cause diarrhea. As
discussed in more detail at TheHorse.com/27047, certain antibiotics
are more likely to cause diarrhea than others.
"Virtually any antibiotic has the potential to
cause diarrhea," says Scott
Weese, DVM, DVSc,
Dipl. ACVIM, a professor in the Department of Pathobiology
at the University of Guelph's Ontario
Veterinary College, in Canada. "The
overall incidence is low, and treatment should not be withheld due
to an owner's fear of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. The risk of
antibiotic-associated diarrhea is one of many reasons that we
should only use antibiotics when we need them. Using antibiotics
'just in case' might result in a complication that's much more
severe than the initial problem."
Stacey Oke, CVM, MSc
Poop and Parasites
Any article on poop must include at least a token
discussion of internal parasites; they can cause changes in manure
consistency, they spend time in feces as part of their life cycles
(though you might not be able to see them), and their population
numbers in your horse's poop can help you make smart deworming decisions to help prevent parasite
Roundworms, strongyles, and
tapeworms, among others, can cause myriad health issues such as
chronic diarrhea, poor coat, weight loss, and even colic. Thus,
managing internal parasites is an important consideration for all
Because these parasites are developing resistance to
multiple anthelmintic classes,
veterinarians have been urging owners to abandon traditional
calendar-based deworming protocols. No
new dewormer classes are likely to be
available in the near future, which means owners must consider
alternate deworming strategies to prolong
the life-span of the available anthelmintics.
This includes running routine fecal egg counts on horses to
determine which animals require deworming.
Critically assessing your horses' movements (and I
don't mean gaits) on a daily basis is essential.
What your horse eats can affect the color and
consistency of the feces, know what is
normal for your horse. To maintain the consistency of manure, be
sure to gradually adapt your horse to new feeds, hays, and pasture
turnout. When you do make a change to the diet, monitor your
horse's manure because it can be an indicator of digestive
think that being the head poop picker-upper is a pain, but if
we pay attention to our horses manure, the quality as well as the
quantity we can often head off a health crisis in the making, if
the manure is too dry then add salt to bucket feed to encourage
drinking, if there are long pieces of hay then maybe a dental is in
order, if you have loose or runny manure there is something up with
digestive health and adding some EquineZyme
may just be the trick, especially after using a chemical wormer or
antibiotics which can cause that as well - Equine Zyme is on special until the 14th and Herbal
Wormer is on special until the 10th! See details below!
With spring in full swing now many more fruits and veges are coming on the market and at the
farmers markets, so don't forget to purchase some extra for your
horses to chop up in to their bucket feeds, including dandelion,
spinach, and green leafy veges, also you
can add fruits as they come in to season but just a small amount!
The summer farmer's markets are coming, and I can't say
enough to encourage you to go to them in your area, get local and
organic produce for yourself and for your animals too!
Mix it up and enjoy the bounty!