Watery stool

~ when your horse has “the trots” ~

Many horses come down with watery stool, some with quite stubborn cases, right around the time they growing their winter coats. Treatment usually takes a long time and is often unhelpful because of a number of factors. To name a few:            
  • Mental factors such as stress (change of stables, grief, undertraining, etc.)            
  • Faulty diet, for example too much concentrated feed or too little haylage or silage            
  • Parasites, such as worms, fungi or unwelcome microfauna in the large intestine (which in turn can be from a faulty diet)            
  • Medications, such as antibiotics or worming programmes            
  • Genetic factors: thoroughbreds often suffer from watery stool temporarily during stressful situations, after which the problem disappears again
  • A variety of other factors, for example insufficient chewing due to bad teeth, a change of weather, etc.
Treatment will only be successful if the cause is found and remedied.

But how does watery stool occur?
Watery stool is a sign of defective intestinal flora. The damage can occur in different ways, e.g. due to pH changes in the large intestine from disproportionately high amounts of concentrated feed, which cannot be fully broken down in the small intestine. The large intestine is where electrolytes and water are reabsorbed and where roughage is broken down; the breaking down of concentrated feed in the large intestine leads to an excessive formation of lactic acid, which lowers pH value. This now acidic environment kills off the bacteria that breaks down roughage and causes irritation of the intestinal mucosa. The endotoxins of the dying bacteria can now enter the bloodstream and trigger metabolic disorders, including EMS and laminitis.
Since the majority of the immune system is located in the intestine or intestinal mucosa, not only digestion is affected, but the entire organism becomes susceptible to infections. Prolonged watery stool or diarrhoea therefore should not be left untreated.

Once the cause has been found, the intestinal mucosa should be stabilised. Bitter substances and tannins, like those found in Bergsiegel’s herbal mixtures for the kidneys and the liver, help to detoxify the body and restore balance to the intestinal mucosa. Horses with watery stool can also be fed Bergsiegel herbs for the stomach. Its special herbal mixture can alleviate disturbances in the gastrointestinal tract and support the intestinal mucosa during regeneration.

However, there should always be plenty of good hay available to promote digestion. PRE ALPIN Aspero (cut grasses and herbs from the Alpine foothills) or Agrobs Grünhafer has proven very effective when added to concentrated feed, because the cut grass causes the horse to chew the concentrated feed slowly and intensively, which increases the feed’s saliva content. This creates the best conditions for the rest of the digestive process, because only well-salivated feed can be broken down without placing unnecessary strain on the organism. If a horse has been struggling with acute or chronic watery stool, PRE ALPIN Aspero or Agrobs Grünhafer can be substituted for part or all of the horse’s concentrated feed ration, temporarily or long-term. It helps to counteract the pH value reduction in the large intestine from excess concentrated feed and to prevent further damage to the mucous membrane. Agrobs AlpenGrün Muesli is cereal-free and rich in crude fibre, making it suitable as a concentrated feed for digestive disorders such as watery stool.

Agrobs AlpenGrün Mash is also recommended for horses with watery stool. Agrobs AlpenGrün Mash actively supports equine intestinal health through a digestive composition of prebiotic Prenatura fibres combined with linseed, fruit, psyllium, root vegetables and digestion-promoting herbs.

A balanced diet is essential!
A sufficient amount of high-quality hay is the most important building block for managing watery stool long-term. Make sure that there is sufficient additional supply of high-quality crude fibre if the hay quality in your stable fluctuates or if too little roughage is provided! PRE ALPIN Wiesencobs or PRE ALPIN Wiesenflakes serve this purpose especially well. Both products make an ideal high-fibre base feed that provides your horse with a unique composition of 60 different meadow herbs and grasses. PRE ALPIN Wiesencobs and Wiesenflakes are suitable as 100% hay substitutes and also make outstanding supplements to hay, silage and pasture. This will ensure a constant, high-quality feed throughout the year, and will noticeably improve digestion and thus the horse’s vitality.