What comes out is just as important as what goes in.

One of the first signs of ill health in horses is diarrhea. 

There are two types of diarrhea which can affect horses. They are acute and chronic diarrhea.

  • Acute diarrhea is very severe and should be treated as a medical emergency.
  • Diarrhea that lasts longer than two weeks is considered chronic.

Causes of diarrhea in horses

Causes of diarrhea in horses

What causes chronic diarrhea in horses?

Chronic diarrhea is characterized by the length of time it lasts. A diarrhea  that lasts longer than two weeks is considered chronic.  This type of diarrhea is normally accompanied by weight loss, rough coat, dull eyes and general lethargy. There is a range of causes for chronic diarrhea.

  • parasites
  • excessive sand
  • minor salmonella infection
  • neoplasia or an inflammatory bowel disease

Fortunately chronic diarrhea is manageable with preventative treatments and help from your vet.

Acute diarrhea in horses

Acute diarrhea in horses comes on suddenly and strongly. Your horse will likely spike a fever and have loud gut sounds. They will also suffer from abdominal pain. The abdominal pain is similar to that of colic pain.  Your horse will become very weak. The horse will be Dehydrated which must be treated to as soon as possible. 

Treatment for diarrhea in horses

You will need to consult your veterinarian for the correct treatment.  The type of treatement  will depend on the type of diarrhea. Firstly, treatment will typically start with electrolyte therapy and re hydrating your horse. Secondly, a deworming program and if antibiotics are prescribed you should administer probiotics

Probiotics will help restore the natural flora of the intestines.

Both types of diarrhea can have a range of causes. The good news is that there is also a range of treatments.