Friday, October 16, 2009

Here's the Poop Scoop

Exciting stuff, I know. But I'm sure that any one of you reading this are horsey enough to know that good horse owners monitor feed intake and poops...

When I first met Hola in July in Baltimore, I noticed that he had very green, very loose poops. I asked about it and was told "grazing in a lush pasture."

When Hola arrived in August, not unexpectedly, he had very green, very loose poops. As time went on, these poops didn't seem to be getting any better and I can assure you we do not have lush pastures for the horses to graze in. They are well picked over with this crowd of gelding nose pickers (said with affection).

I was shaking my head over what to do. In the meantime, I had put him on GUT and was giving him supplements for his joints and a supplement for Vitamin E and selenium which northern Michigan soil is deficient in.

Betsy noticed the loose poops as well. Eventually, she mentioned the name of a girl who may be able to help out with Hola's poop issues. At this point he was still a mess. The poops were exceedingly wet, had no shape and very green in color. I always had to wash off his backside... I called this girl for help.

Gabriele is her name and she works for KAM Animal Services. Gabriele told me Hola is having some very expensive poops and to stop with all his supplements. She made a good point and so I stopped with the supplements. Based on my description to her of Hola's behavior, (nervous, didn't like to be brushed, a weaver) we both assumed he had an ulcer as well as having a strong need for probiotics to help his deep digestive tract. She recommended I get two items to treat for both. Hola is getting their UF-Formula to treat for ulcers as well as KLPP to bring back the good bacteria he seems to be missing in his gut. I won't lie - they cost me a fortune. In fact, I've never spent so much on supplements in my life and I wasn't happy about it. I grumbled about it to anyone that would listen to me. I was even prepared to chalk it up as a financial mistake. However, I'm dumbfounded by the results after a month!

His poops are brown, are taking on a "road apple" shape and weigh a heck of a lot less because they are not nearly so wet! He's much more calm to be around, tolerates being brushed almost to the point of not minding at all (he doesn't lift his leg to threaten to kick anymore), and will quietly stand in cross ties in the aisle! He's like a new horse!

The best news of all, is that once I run out of these (expensive) supplements I do not need to reorder them. He should be good to go with his digestive tract in good working order. He has at least another month worth of supplements to go, maybe more. But after a months worth of supplements, he's doing exceedingly well. His poops aren't right where I want them to be yet but they are very close and I have great faith that these supplements will get us there.

Only a mother would be this excited over a good poop... and only a mother would want to share a story of curing loose poops with the world. :)

Thanks Gabriele and KAM Animal Services for helping out!


  1. Great report (and I understand completely!)!

  2. My friend Number had the same thing and he's on SmartGut and other fancy things. His poopers are now normal horse poops, thank goodness. I'm going to tell my lady that she may be able to discontinue some of the expensive supplements Numsy is on.... She wants him to have everything he needs but it's getting hard to pay the bills!

  3. My guy only had runny poops during the time he colicked from receiving too much bute from the "Bute 'em and use 'em" veterinarian in the area, who has thankfully retired, married his long-time girlfriend and moved to Utah. The current vet said at the time that the soft piles might indicate ulcers--Huey did not mind brushing, but he is a worrier--so I did the Pepto-Bismal drench and he wore "pink lipstick" for the duration of the industrial-strength-sized bottle of "the pink stuff." I make sure he gets gut flora--lots of different supplements come with probiotics as part of their ingredients--and I have never had an issue since.

    Good to hear about horse apples! And you're right--we animal folks monitor poop a lot ;oD

  4. As a long time poop scooper, I understand both what's you're talking about and the excitement of it finally being right. Hooray for lighter poop!

  5. TBDancer - It'd be funny to see a picture of your guy with pink lips!

    I was giving Hola probiotics before along with GUT but it didn't do anything. What I have come to learn from both my vets and from Gabriele is that most probiotics in supplements have died by the time a horse ingests them, thereby losing their usefulness. I'm not sure what KLPP has in it but it sure is doing the trick. His poops look even better today than they did when I wrote the original post. Crazy!

    Now I need to work on his dry/itchy skin...

  6. So very interesting! My OTTB just coliced and had fever due to his bad GI and then got laminitis. We are healing him but wow, it's been an awful emotional rollercoaster..I'm sooo convinced that he had previous ulcers that may have triggered him not wanting to drink when weather went cooler and caused the colic. He is on gastrogaurd now for a couple weeks and I'm looking for something to keep his gut in good shape and he displayed some of Hola's traits; weaving, nervous chewing in crossties, doesn't love the grooming especially around his flank/belly area, etc. Hmmmm, I'll keep this info and do more research as he heals and talk to my vet about it too. Thanks for sharing!