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nekovet, Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20875
Experience:  I have extensive experience in all species.
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My horse has horrible diahrrea. He is about 20. I have had

Customer Question

My horse has horrible diahrrea. He is about 20. I have had him checked by a vet about 6 months ago for the same reason. They floated his teeth and did all kinds of bloodwork. They also checked him for parasites and that was fine. The vet said that from the blood tests they did he either had an intestinal infection or cancer. l believe they said lymphoma. He was treated with antibiotics for an intestinal infection. He had lost weight down to skin and bones, the diahrrea got better but never cleared completely up. He did gain back up to a healthy weight and is still at a healthy weight. However, his stool is not greenish brown balls. It is very black and looks more like a cow patty. I have observed some bowel movements and a large portion of it is pure water. I cannot even ride him because his back legs stay covered with BM. Can you tell me anything to treat him with and what I should do? He eats senior feed and orchard grass hay. His diet was never changed.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I need an answer
Expert:  nekovet replied 9 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today. I do apologize that your question was not answered before. Different experts come online at various times; I just came online, read about your wee one’s situation, and wanted to help.

Poor lad!

Now if he has chronic diarrhea, we would be wary of a chronic infection (bacteria, viral, protozoal, etc), inflammatory bowel issues, or even GI lymphoma (the most common gut tumor). Just to note if the stool is now black that can raise worries of gut bleeding though if the black stools are just since using the Pepto Bismol then that may just be the drug's effects.

With this all in mind and his lack of improvement with previous treatments, it would be ideal to have your local vet test a full fecal sample for those infectious agents if this has not been done already. As well, it just make sure the black discoloration isn't due to gut bleeds, it would be ideal to switch from Pepto to OTC Kaolin/Kaopectate (which is often sold in powder form in farm supply shops). As well, to further bulk up the stools, we'd want to increase his hay/fiber intake and it would be ideal to also start an equine probiotic to support the gut's digestion.

Finally, since we have chronic/cancer concerns, if a fecal sample is checked and negative for all those infectious differentials, then we'd want to consider having his vet ultrasound the gut +/- consider surgical biopsy of the gut (more invasive though). That way we can pinpoint which of those remaining concerns is present and start the appropriate immune modulating or chemo treatments based on which is found.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.


If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond.

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Expert:  nekovet replied 9 months ago.
Hi Yvonne,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Garth. How is everything going?