Chronic diarrhea in Horses - Anybody have a good remedy? Im at a loss!


Pantry Brook Farm
10 Years
Jun 13, 2009
I have 6 horses, from all over the country.

I have 2 QH's, one from New Mexico and the other from Texas. They were shipped here, and have been in Massachusetts for going on 6 years.

They both have terrible chronic diarrhea. We have tried everything. The vet has done blood work and taken samples. She doesnt find anything, other than she thinks they have a form of Irritiable Bowel like in humans.

One is a 22ish year old mare, and the other is a 19 year old Gelding.

They currently are on SmartDigest Ultra from SmartPak - which has probiotics, prebiotics, enzymes, soluble fiber, soothing herbs, oat beta glucan and amino acids. As well as Ration Plus which is a liquid lactobacillus fermentation product.

They have been on the Ration Plus since the spring and I added the SmartDigest this past fall. So they have been on it for month, it made a difference at first and now it seems to be slowly coming back. I m really at a loss of what to do for them, if there is anything I can do!

They eat Blue Seal Trotter, the mare gets 1/2 qt AM and PM, and about 6 flakes of really good local hay, and the gelding gets the same amount of hay and 2 qt of the same grain AM and PM. They are outside 24/7 with a undercover run.

If anyone has any suggestions or natural or anything to try! I just would really love to fix them up for good and stop cleaning poopy butts!


11 Years
Jun 29, 2008
New Hampshire
Have you been in phone contact with Tufts? they may have suggestions for you.
At first I though shipping stress but you said they have been there for 6 years.
Has this been an issue since you got them?
Is it something newly developed?
have they ever foundered?
coat rough and stiff, soft and bright?
Did the Vet check for Coccidiosis?
we need a little more infomation on the general health of these animals to help in depth.


9 Years
Feb 28, 2010
N/E of Richmond, VA
What is their water source? Have you checked it for possible contaminants and bacteria? Aquasafe makes a home water test kit that might give you an idea of possible water contamination. Their well water test kit includes tests for agricultural issues like nitrates and herbicides, also. It only costs around $20 and may be a good place to start.

Do those two have access to anything the other horses don't?

I don't know if it would work in horses, but pumpkin helps ease diarrhea symptoms in dogs. You might ask your vet if it would be ok to try it with the horses.


11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
I would get a different vet to check them. There has to be something going on with them that your vet hasn't thought of or tested for. If you have six horses and only two have it I would think that they brought whatever it is with them from out west. But maybe not because your other horses didn't get it. Hmmmm....interesting.


Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
Ontario, Canada
Hm. Have you tried taking them off EVERYTHING except just unlimited amounts of good grass or grass-alfalfa mix hay (not straight alfalfa)? If you haven't already, I think it would be worth trying that for a couple weeks and see what happens.

If you ahve already tried that with no success, what type of worming program are they on? (grasping at straws)



There is no "I" in Ameraucana
Jan 18, 2008
Newman Lake, WA
I had a horse that couldn't eat alfalfa at all, gave him the runs every time. He would get skinny over the winter and then put on weight during the spring and summer when he had access to pasture.


12 Years
Aug 30, 2007
I'd bet anything the problem is dietary. The grasses here are not nearly as green or rich as they are in the NE. The only solution I can think of is shipping hay, but obviously that's not practical.


Pantry Brook Farm
10 Years
Jun 13, 2009
Okay. The get a daily wormer of Strongid 2CX and then get wormed once in the spring and fall with Ivermection.

They are turned out with one of my other horses and he doesn't have any kind of issue at all. They don't have access to anything the other horses don't get as well.

We have had our water tested and its fine.

Our Vet is from Tufts so all of the bloodwork and samples have been processed at Tufts. I will ask her about testing for Coccidiosis.

I know the grass up here is not as rich, but they have been on it for 6 years, so I would think they would have gotten used to it by now, and we have 2 horses from FL, 1 from Canada and none of them are having issues.

A friend of ours has 2 horses that was kept with one of the horses we have that is having the issue and had never had that issue.

We don't feed our horses any kind of straight alphalfa, just the trace amount in their hay.

They were getting Bran Mash ( Sweet Feed(Blue Seal Pacer) and Bran) every Sunday and took them off that for 2 months, and it made no difference.

Its has been an issue for the past I would say 4 years. It was minor maybe not even noticable when they came, but now it has gotten to the point of where we need to clean butts atleast once or twice a month ( more when it is warm out- too darn cold to get them all wet this time of year) Always is worse when getting in the trailer or going anywhere.

Neither one have ever foundered being with us.

There coats, I would say are not as shiney as our other horses. And one is buckskin and he tends to me somewhat blochy in color. I don't think he has the best looking coat. But both have soft coats.

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