Tag Archives: Smartpak

Fecal Water Syndrome

My senior Belgian Draft mare has a chronic condition where her stools are relatively solid but after having a stool, she passes fecal liquid separately, Her tail and hind end, and legs are covered. Initially when she came to me she had loose stools and the vet did a fecal and we put her on Biosponge. Her Fecal Sample showed minimal infestation and the Biosponge did not do much. Over time, her stools became more solid but the liquid continued. Now, after being with me for about 6 months we are still having this issue.

So, I did some research and came across an article on something I had never heard of before- Fecal Water Syndrome. According to an article on SmartPak.com, Fecal Water Syndrome is typically caused by the following;

The underlying cause of FWS in horses is not known at this time and there are many theories as to why some horses develop it. A group of researchers in Germany set out to explore some of the proposed theories and discovered that neither dental disease nor a heavy parasite burden seemed to be associated with FWS. However, it was found to be more likely to occur:

  • in horses of low rank or “pecking order” in the social hierarchy of a herd
  • in winter when subordinate horses were confined to a smaller space, leading to anxiety
  • in geldings vs mares, which are usually more dominant than geldings
  • in paint horses

However, the article also noted that due to FWS being a relatively new diagnosis, more studies are needed to look at the role stress, nutrition, and potentially, other factors in the development and management of FWS.

Diagnosis of FWS

Most veterinarians approach the diagnosis of a horse with FWS similar to one with diarrhea or loose stool. That is, they start by taking a thorough history from the owner, then perform a complete physical examination with special emphasis on the digestive system, and finally may recommend specific tests to evaluate the health of the horse in general and the GI tract in particular. It can be helpful to confirm the presence of soiled hind limbs and tail as well as dirty stall walls and bedding. While on the farm, the vet may want to walk through the regular feeding and management programs including turnout and herd status.

Treatment and Management of FWS

Although there is no standard treatment or set of recommendations for the care and feeding of horse suffering from FWS, all potential causes for disruption in the GI system should be addressed, including social stress.

  1. Making adjustments to the horse’s turn-out time and group.
  2. Making adjustments to the diet (with the input of a veterinarian and nutritionist.)
  3. Trying out various medications and supplements one at a time on the passage of fecal water. For example, adding omega 3 fatty acids for a normal inflammatory response in the gut, and to the stabilizing effects of “baker’s yeast” or Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
  4. Make sure to keep the hindquarters clean and dry to prevent any sores for forming.

Recommended Equine Professionals and Services

 True North Equine Vets  www.truenorthequinevets.com   540-364-9111

Genesis Farriers: Dave Giza www.genesisfarriers.com   571-921-5822

Ken Pankow  www.horsedentistvirginia.com  540-675-3815

Full Circle Equine www.fullcircleequine.com  540-937-1754

Farriers Depot:  (Farrier related supplies) www.farriersdepot.com 352-840-0106

StemVet (Stem cell acquisition and storage) www.vet-stem.com

SmartPak Equine Supplements  www.smartpakequine.com

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“You Are What You Eat…”

Chance has gained almost 1000 lbs in over a year and he could still use a few pounds.  He lost wait quickly when he became sick.

Chance also has some factors that put him at a higher rate of weight loss and an increased difficulty maintaining and gaining weight.

  • he is a senior horse
  • a thoroughbred
  • a cribber
  • had an injury which caused him to not run around as much thus losing muscle mass

I slowly upped over the last year, with advisement from a nutritional specialist (her information is at the end of the post along with the name of her book which I found extremely helpful) and my vet, his feed from 3qt twice a day to 11qt twice a day.

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Chance’s current regiment includes:

AM:

  • Two 4qt scoops of Nutrina Safe Choice Senior feed
  • One 3qt scoop of Timothy and Alfalfa pelleted mix
  • I add his supplements
    • 2 scoops of Body Sore (All natural supplement)
    • 2 scoops of Cervical Formula (All natural supplement)
  • I mix it all together with warm water so that it is sloppy (this makes it easier for him to eat at his age and lessens the chance of choking.  Plus, it helps keep him hydrated especially in the winter when he is less inclined to drink as much water).

PM:

  • Two 4qt scoops of Nutrina Safe Choice Senior feed
  • One 3qt scoop of Timothy and Alfalfa pelleted mix
  • I add his supplements
    • 1 Smartpak (Senior Formula, Immune Booster, and Vitamin C)
    • 2 scoops of DuraLactin (All natural anti-inflammatory and pain reducer derived from cow’s milk also called MicroLactin)
    • 2 scoops of Body Sore (All natural supplement)
    • 2 scoops of Cervical Formula (All natural supplement)
  • I add about 5 flakes of hay (Alfalfa mix)
  • Two 3qt scoops of hay stretcher in a separate feed bucket for snacking through the night

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(Chance’s feed before adding water)

I also make sure that he eats his feed from a bucket on the ground.  According to my vet it is the best way for a horse to eat.


Here are Some Nutrition Resources



Horse Feeding Blog

Fox Den Equine

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Santa Is Coming To Town!

ChristmasHorse(In order from top left to right) SmartPak monthly supplements- A New Waterproof Blanket- Professional Horseman Boots- A bright orange halter to keep him safe during hunting season- DuraLactin an all natural anti-inflammatory and pain medication- Equine Edibles Candy Can Bran Mash- Epson Salt Poultice for sore muscles- Transfer Factor to boost your horse’s immune system during the winter months- Acupuncture- A massage- Kinesio Tape for sore muscles or stiffness-  a complete first aid kit because you can never be overly prepared!

Pump, Pump, Pump It Up!

The vet came out to give Chance and Lucky their fall shots and do some follow up acupuncture on Chance.  The vet said that Chance has increased flexibility especially in his cervical spine and has gained weight and muscle mass!!!!!!

His feeding regiment is as follows:

AM:

  1. 6 quarts of Nutrina Safe Choice Senior Feed
  2. 3 quarts hay stretcher
  3. Alfalfa hay mix (as much as he wants through out the day)

PM:

  1. 6 quarts of Nutrina Safe Choice Senior Feed
  2. 3 quarts hay stretcher
  3. Alfalfa hay mix (as much as he wants through out the day)
  4. 1 Scoops of DuraLactin (Natural anti-inflammatory and pain supplement)
  5. 1 SmartPak (Senior Flex, Immune Boost)

He is out all day when it is cool and all night when it is hot during the day. So he has tons of green grass to eat.  He walks constantly- up and down the hills- and runs around with Lucky.  We also walk ground poles and do stretches and massage every time I come out to the barn.

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We still need to continue upping his weight and muscle mass preferably before winter.  Fingers crossed.

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The Luckiest Unlucky Day Ever

Today was not the greatest of days….but I will say that we had the luckiest unlucky day ever!  And, of course, it was a full moon tonight which means I should just stay inside.

Today we met with a new farrier.  I have been doing some research on shoes that provide comfort, support, and do not mess up Chance’s hooves like nails tend to especially when a horse is on rockier terrain.  I spoke with my vet who suggested to,   “put shoes on all 4 hooves with a 1 degree wedge pad on both hind shoes.  Set all 4 shoes back from the toe of the foot by at least a 1/4th an inch.”

I went to the farm a bit early and gave Chance a bath, some Equinox for pain, and got ready for the farrier.  The farrier arrived and Chance was great!  He stood on the cross ties and ate hay like a champ.  For some reason I decided to lengthen the cross ties.  I am not sure why exactly but thank God I did.

My dad and the farrier were with Chance while I went to feed Lucky his dinner.  Well, after I fed Luck, I turned the corner and saw that Chance was on the ground!  Yes, you read correctly, he was on the freaking ground…all 17.1 hands of him!  The moment I saw him our eyes met- I know it sounds like the beginning of a love story- and he immediately took a deep breath and calmed down.  I walked up to him and he slowly got up and stood there right in front of me with his head resting under my arm- breathing heavily and he had the beginnings of sweat covering his body.

I stood there and just spoke to him- calmly- telling him he was okay.  Once a few minutes had passed, and he was calm, I walked him forward to make sure he was okay.  Sure enough, he was fine…aside from some surface scrapes.  I cleaned his scrapes up and walked him outside to eat some grass.  After about ten minutes, I walked him back into the aisle for the farrier to finish up.

According to both my dad and the farrier, Chance was having his back left shoe nailed in when the nail hit a nerve and he flinched.  I guess the farrier didn’t realize this because he hit the nail once more.  That was when Chance reacted and went down.  Thankfully, the farrier got out of the way & removed the nail midair (so that Chance wouldn’t go down on the foot with the nail and drive it deeper).  Think of a splinter going under your nail…and then hitting it again, deeper under your nail….ouch!

However, he landed somewhat gracefully, but due to the cross ties not being break away and the concrete not allowing Chance to gain any “grip” with his newly shod feet, he began to panic.  Upon seeing me, he calmed down, and he was able to get back up.  I can’t help but thank my lucky stars that I had lengthened the cross ties so that he had some slack, and that I came back inside when I did…had I not, he would have kept flailing.  Had I been in there when the nail hit the nerve it may not have happened because I would have said something to the farrier.  However, had I been in there when it occurred, things may have also been far worse…since my dog, Sadie, is always right by Chance’s or my side at all times.

We ended up deciding to forgo putting hind shoes on until later (a few weeks) and the farrier removed the one evil hind shoe and trimmed up the other hoof.  Chance stood quietly and allowed him to complete his job.  I was so impressed with my old guy!

I have emailed my vet to see if she is able to come check on Chance tomorrow just in case…hopefully, Chance will just be a bit sore in the morning and nothing worse….:(

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Packing On The Pounds!

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Chance is now on 6 quarts of Nutria Senior Feed with 2 quarts of Hay Stretcher and 2 cups of Rice Bran TWICE A DAY! That is 12 quarts of feed a day and 4 quarts of Hay Stretcher plus his alfalfa mixed hay!

At night he also receives his SmartPak (Senior Flex, Immune Boost, and Vitamin C) & DuraLactin (for inflammation and swelling).  He is no longer skin and bones or on daily pain medication!

Hannibal. 

Today Chance got his teeth floated by his very first dentist from 2000!  Due to his cribbing history his front teeth were significantly worn down.  His molars were not in bad shape but were a bit jagged.  The dentist noticed that Chance’s left side was more sensitive to the filing and put a jaw opening device in C’s mouth to keep it open (see below right photo). The molars all looked like they were holding strong and there was no smell that would be indicative of an infection or decay. The dentist indicated that Chance was missing three back molars and that he felt that he was about 24 years old.

The dentist asked me about the nutritional care Chance was receiving due to his age, and I gave him the run down- 2 quarts twice a day of hay stretcher, hay/alfalfa mix throughout the day, 4 quarts of Nutrina Smart Feed Senior twice a day, 2 cups of Rice Bran twice a day in feed, SmartPak Senior Flex and Immune Boost, DuraLactin once a day for arthritic pain and inflammation, Vitamin E once a day, and Transfer Factor for an immune system booster. He continued to explain that when he asks the owners of most of the older horses he goes to sees, they do not have them on the proper diet. I explained that we are still trying to get more weight on Chance but that he has put on a good amount of weight since last summer. He suggested that our next appointment be this December before Chance has the opportunity to go into the winter and lose any weight, which is common in older horses, especially cribbers and thoroughbreds, in the winter months.

Later that day, Chance seemed to have some difficulty eating his hay; wads of hay were scattered around his stall. This is something that I have seen intermittently, maybe once or twice, but not to this extreme.  I decided to give him alfalfa cubes to substitute the hay until the next day when, hopefully, he would be able to eat more easily.  Sure enough the next morning there were no wads of hay!

Our Regiment


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Chance receives the following:



AM:

1. Protazil 50mls

2. Vitamin E 4 scoops (Watch for loose stools.  This would indicate that his VitE should be cut down)

PM:

1. SmartPak: Immune Boost

2. SmartPak: Senior Flex

3. Equinyl 2 scoops first two weeks, 1 scoop after

OTHER:

If Chance’s symptoms are worse, he can receive Equinox and UlcerGuard.