EQUUS - - Eq Handson -

Loose ma­nure seems to be an an­nual, messy rite of spring. Slightly soft to down­right wa­tery stool is typ­i­cally a sign that a horse has in­dulged in too much new pas­ture too quickly. Not only does spring grass have a higher wa­ter con­tent than the hay your horse ate all win­ter, but its higher car­bo­hy­drate lev­els pull more fluid into the gut, and some ends up in the stool.

Beyond the mess, runny spring ma­nure is a warn­ing sign that your horse’s sys­tem is hav­ing a hard time cop­ing with the sea­sonal di­etary change. This trou­ble, in some sus­cep­ti­ble horses, could lead to more se­ri­ous prob­lems such as lamini­tis 0 or colic.

If your horse has messy ma­nure in the spring, pull him off pas­ture un­til he re­turns to nor­mal and then slowly rein­tro­duce graz­ing. Given the

op­por­tu­nity, most equine guts will ad­just over sev­eral days. If your horse still has trou­ble af­ter grad­ual rein­tro­duc­tion to pas­ture grass, con­sult with your vet­eri­nar­ian to rule out an un­der­ly­ing prob­lem.

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