|There are many causes of diarrhoea in horses. Acute diarrhoea is often caused by the development of particularly aggressive bacteria in the digestive tract. Infection usually occurs through the oral route, for example after drinking water contaminated by excrement (droppings, cow pats etc.). The introduction of certain parasites into the intestine, such as small strongyles, may also cause acute diarrhoea, as may other factors modifying the intestinal flora, such as stress, illness, transportation and medical treatments.|
|The vet will first examine the appearance and quantity of the stools expelled. He or she will then carry out a general examination in order to assess the horse's condition. In particular, the vet will assess the extent of the dehydration and seek to identify any signs of endotoxemia (red gums, signs of laminitis etc.). Depending on the severity of the condition, he or she may finish off the consultation with a blood test, which will provide essential information on the most appropriate treatment.|
In the case of acute diarrhoea, it may be useful to test the droppings to identify the cause:
To treat a horse with acute diarrhoea, the vet will first seek to re-establish the horse's natural balance:
He or she will then seek to treat the cause in an appropriate manner (vermifuges or other medicinal products, as relevant).
If the horse still has an appetite, it is best to let it eat: give it highly digestible food, such as very high quality hay.
Preventing horses from drinking contaminated water is an excellent way to minimise the risk of diarrhoea. To do this, we strongly recommend:
It is also advisable to worm regularly for small strongyles.