Senior horse cow patty manure

My 21 year old gelding has developed cow patty manure coinciding with the heat wave we’ve had recently. He’s always had intermittent loose manure, but the past couple of weeks it has been pretty much constant.

Absolutely nothing has changed feed-wise. He’s out on pasture half the day, same hay, same, supplements, same grain for years. Eating, drinking, acting normal. Perhaps drinking more than usual due to the heat.

Could the heat be influencing this?

A change in poop is never good, and can lead to dehydration. Drinking more water means peeing more, not diarrhea. But horses can get loose poop from stress for sure. As you say he’s always been susceptible to this.

It’s possible the grass has changed.

I don’t like to see loose poop. My first go to is a good probiotic for 2 weeks, then add on Yeassac if the probiotics aren’t enough . I feel that as with humans, if you run loose poop for a while you disrupt the gut biome and it can become chronic.

My Paint gelding turned 28 a few weeks ago. He had some significant problems with care, primarily not enough hay. That’s why I moved to a new barn which changed ownership 3 months later. He started having significant problems with Fecal Water Syndrome, also known as Free Fecal Water, last summer. You can google now and get infomation beyond the usual few sentences: they don’t know what causes it and they don’t know how to fix it. My horse always squirts between poops. Some horses do it with the poop. Some horses have a short episode when they start a new load of hay. I started givng him SandTrap from It is psyilliulm with probiotics, ground into a meal, not pelleted. It is made for sand colic, but I tried it because it helps the digestive system. It looks like it worked, not 100%, but I dion’t have to clean him up every day. His poop is wetter but still formed. We have retirerd from riding but he still has the energy level of a horse half his age and his teeth are still okay.

Forgot to mention he’s already on a daily probiotic! We’ve dealt with this type of issue for years, off and on. It typically happens in the winter though, when he’s only eating hay and not grass. It usually disappears as suddenly as it comes on. A few years ago my vet did a blood panel, fecal, scoped him for ulcers (all clear), etc and couldn’t find a reason and finally came to the conclusion the long stem fiber probably irritated his gut.

I just don’t recall him having this happen in the summer, at least not this consistently…I will put a call in to my vet. Thank you!

ETA: Have never heard of Yeassac…but have tried Assure Guard, Smart Digest Ultra, Platinum Performance GI, and others I’m sure I’m forgetting in the past and nothing helped. So frustrating! Poor dude gets a butt bath every day.

Get some wheat bran at the grocery - box - in the baking section - add some to his diet. FIBER !
Grass is very rich - rains. IMHO

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You might find this thread useful (and might get more help for your specific situation if you post in Horse Care :slight_smile: )
Fecal Water Syndrome/Stemmy Hay/Laminitis Risk - Horse Care - Chronicle Forums (

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Thank you so much! Yes, that was an accident…meant to post in horse care but apparently needed more coffee this morning :joy:

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Maybe try night turmout to reduce heat stress.

Yeah, I think it definitely correlates with the heat. He has normal manure when he comes in in the morning after being out all night, and looser manure in the afternoon. After today, we have a few days of cooler weather so I’ll see if my theory is correct!

He’s already on night turnout, FYI. He comes in during the hottest parts of the day :slight_smile:

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Maybe he’s hitting the salt harder in the heat?

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That’s a possibility too.

It was in the 50’s the past two nights with highs in the low 80’s, and manure has returned to normal! Might just have to start keeping him in more on those hot summer days.