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Treating Food-Related Causes of Diarrhea in Horses

Lucerne Farms

Treating Food-Related Causes of Diarrhea in Horses

An upset stomach is not fun for anyone. While humans can take a quick sip of Pepto-Bismol and get on with their day, horses have to work a bit harder to cure their discomfort. The first warning sign of an upset stomach in horses is sometimes diarrhea. Though it may not be the most polite topic to discuss over dinner, it’s an important subject to be aware of nonetheless, as diarrhea can be indicative of more substantial intestinal or digestive issues. Diarrhea can also be caused by a food-related issue. No matter the underlying reason, one thing remains the same: dealing with diarrhea is no fun for you or your horse. This guide explores several tips for treating food-related causes of diarrhea in horses to help get your four-legged friend back on a regular schedule.

Stay hydrated

It’s long been said that you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them drink. However, in instances of diarrhea, it’s imperative that you do make your horse drink. A lot of fluids are lost through diarrhea, which can cause your horse to become dehydrated quickly and may lead to other serious health conditions. Adding electrolytes to your horse’s water supply may help keep them hydrated and will ease some of the effects of diarrhea. Bear in mind that some horses may not like the taste of water with added electrolytes. Be sure to provide a secondary source of clean water without electrolytes as a backup option as well. After all, drinking water without electrolytes is better than not drinking any water at all. If your horse refuses to drink any water at all (and we know how stubborn some horses can be), fluids and electrolytes can also be administered by stomach tube or intravenous drip by your vet in more serious situations.

Fill up on fiber

Diarrhea in both horses and humans is often exacerbated by a lack of fiber in the diet. As such, one of the best tips for treating food-related causes of diarrhea in horses is to incorporate additional sources of fiber into their diet. It’s important to note, however, that because your horse is currently undergoing digestive discomfort, they may not be able to digest large amounts of fiber as they normally would. It’s therefore very important that you choose easily digestible fiber sources for your horse. Chopped alfalfa hay from Alfa Supreme is a prime choice in this scenario, as it provides a significant source of daily fiber yet is still easily digestible by horses of all ages. This will ensure that your horse receives their necessary daily nutrients without irritating their already sensitive digestive system. Be sure to incorporate new feed into your horse’s diet gradually. Introducing new feed too quickly or in too large amounts may in fact aggravate diarrhea even more or may cause more serious digestive upsets such as colic.

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