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Old 04-14-2008, 06:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Canned Pumpkin and Horses

Do any of you know if canned pumpkin would treat diarrhea in horses as it does for dogs? If so, how much should we give? The horse in question is between 1100 and 1200 pounds.
I've been looking around the net and have found only one mention of giving a horse canned pumpkin but that was to help her gain weight (it worked).
One of the horses at the barn, a 7yr old TB gelding, has chronic diarrhea. Sometimes it will clear up for a few weeks but never longer than that - there does not seem to be a pattern on when his stools will firm up and then turn loose again. His diet does not change - he eats oats, alfalfa cubes and alfalfa hay. I've been at the barn for almost 2 years and have always known him to have this problem.
Several months ago all the boys had their teeth floated, everyone (thank God) has gained weight except for Toshi Sky. In the US we'd call a vet but that is not an option here - there are no equine vets on this island. The owner relies on the members and staff to take care of pretty much all medical concerns - his philosophy is if one dies, he'll just buy another to replace him. Although there is a large animal vet the owner will only call him in over the most serious of matters and if he doesn't think it's serious, there is nothing we can do about it.
Thanks for any and all advice :-)
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Old 04-14-2008, 06:56 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know if pumpkin will help a horse, seems it wouldn't hurt. I have a friend that manages a stable though, I will email her and ask.
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Old 04-14-2008, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry, I canít answer your question about pumpkin for a horse. Why is the mare having diahrrea? What does the horseís vet say? Has the hay been checked for blister beetle?

Unless a horse is a working horse, I probably would not feed as much protein as it sounds like this mare is getting. Although I have fed straight Alfalfa with no known issues, I think mares in particular can be prone to having loose stools from a straight Alfalfa diet. I would check into a diet that includes a good grain such as Purina Strategy and a good grass hay such as Brome if itís available.

If this is a stalled mare, she might also enjoy having the additional grass hay to munch on during the day as opposed to the limited amount of Alfalfa sheís probably getting. (For instance two flakes of grass vs one flake of Alfalfa.)

I didnít realize you are a horse lover. Good luck with your friendís horse.


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Old 04-14-2008, 12:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Can you try plain bran? That helped my horse when he had the runs. Also, I would try feeding her just grass hay. Too much protein isn't good. Maybe some gatorade too. In a seperate bucket from her water.
Let us know how it goes.
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Old 04-14-2008, 12:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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My horse had this problem when we lived in CA and he lived on lots of alfalfa, and turn outs were limited to a sand paddock. I did lots of Kaopectate (he hated it), and it did not work very well. Our vet out there put him on probiotics and it cleared up. This horse only had one episode that lasted for 2 weeks, though....not a chronic problem that went on for quite a while.

I did give him some oat hay in addition to the alfalfa to add some fiber to his diet...he mainly peed on it and chewed a little of it!
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Old 04-14-2008, 01:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have not been in horses for many years, but remember that alfalfa hay is very rich and should not be the only source of hay - I would think it would be the same as a dog that got liver all the time and it gave them the runs..... too rich.

Even my kids guinea pigs only get a little bit of alfalfa for the same reason.
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:31 PM   #7 (permalink)
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here is the reply from my friend who works with horses-
We have a horse that has the same problem, We fed it a product called Bio Sponge. (The way the vet explains it is that its high class mud). All test were run to rule out parasites and viral enteritis. Loose stool can also acure on an animal that has been on antibiotics, if that is the case they could put it on pro-robotics to put the good and bad bacteria back into the digestive tract. The other thing that creates diarrhea is ulcer's (big in thoroughbreds, especially off the track)
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:32 PM   #8 (permalink)
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thats a ridiculously rich diet! thats probably the problem. Adding probiotics may help and reducing the protein in the diet probably will too. Also an electorlyte supplement might be a good idea!
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Old 04-14-2008, 03:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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checking for ulcers would also be a good idea, but with no equine vet, it would be an issue... how is the horse's weight? coat? eyes? energy level?
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Old 04-14-2008, 05:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your replies.

I know it's a crazy diet but changing that isn't an option either. We've tried getting Brian who has laminitis off of the alfalfa for years with no luck.
I think part of the problem is there are few choices on this island and then there is the owner who is very set in his ways on how he feels horses should be treated. With any issue we have, we can't change what he does but, sometimes, we can add to it.
We've finally got them convinced that Brian (laminitis boy) can not stand in his concrete stall with no bedding 24/7 - at first he (the owner, not Brian, who loved the idea) was upset and didn't like that we were keeping him in the round pen so much but we stuck to our guns and now, almost a year later he doesn't give us as many dirty looks.

Within just the past few months we got them all on an electrolyte supplement - I think what the manager orders is made by Finish Line. The whole barn gets so excited when I come through putting scoops in their water - they love their kool-aide :-)

I will look into Bio-Sponge. As far as giving him probiotics - would yogurt be okay? He's a big puppy with a sweet tooth, I've no doubt that he'd eat it.

I'm trying to see if there is something out there that can help him that will be easy to keep stocked, easy to get, and relatively inexpensive. If it's not too expensive or too hard to get, we will not get too much grief over trying it and they might even let us continue if it works...

It is so frustrating working at this barn. Our hands are tied by the owner in so many different ways. He wants them healthy, pretty and able to make him money but doesn't want to listen to suggestions that will help the animals stay healthy, pretty and able to make him money. We could care less about the money, we just love the guys and want to do everything we can for them.

Last Friday I went up to wash legs and scrub rainrot (which is yet another problem here but as long as "I" keep up with it, I can keep hair on everyones legs. heaven forbid I take a break for even a few days though). It was a beautiful day, nobody was riding and all 9 horses and 3 ponies were in their stalls. So I turned them all out into our arena (since we have no pasture of other place to turn them out). The guys loved being out, running around and socializing. Personally, I think this should happen daily but it doesn't. I got a very strong talking to (in broken English) for turning them out - afterall, they were going to be fed in 2 hours, now I'd have to just bring them all in. It's not a big deal bringing them back in to eat, they readily meet you at the gate and follow you right to their stall if they know food is in there. I got that the philosophy is 'why turn them out when we're just going to have to bring 'em back in'.

It's crazy - I will miss these guys so much when I leave, I can't imagine what my last day there saying good bye will be like (truthfully, I'm tearing up as I type this). But I will be so happy to be back in the US, able to get my own horse and care for him as he should be...
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Old 04-14-2008, 07:30 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I honestly don't know about yogurt for horses, but good feed store carries probiotics in a tube that resembles a caulking gun insert. We give probiotics and sometimes Cal gel to our cows.
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Old 04-20-2008, 08:51 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Update
**We decided to go ahead and try the pumpkin. He's getting just over 1/2 cup a day in his evening meal. We started him on it Thursday and I am very happy to report that I've not had to wash his butt since then!
I'm trying not to get too excited, it very well could just be a fluke but we're going to keep him on it and keep our fingers crossed!
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