scours can be one of the scary issues that can arise in yournewborn foals development. With the
warm spring and summerweather
found in most parts of Arizona, the loss of fluids causedby
the diarrhea can cause dehydration. Foal diarrhea starts inmost
foals around day (at about the same time themare
begins her foal heat although the timing of the two eventsis
diarrhea can be caused by many things including:
The natural process of the foal starting to eat hay/grain that it's
system is not yet equipped to process.
The natural process of eating the dam's manure in order to transfer
necessary digestive bacteria into its own gut.
can be a symptom of an illness.
Threadworm eggs or other parasites can come through the mare's
may want to try:
Deworm the mare 4-6
weeks before foaling and again within 12hours
following foaling using an Ivermectin product.
Give Equine Endotox to prevent diarrhea caused by E-Coli. This
is a gel and is available through your veterinarian. Give 10ml
orally to foals less than 12 hours old.
Use a tube of pro-biotic gel to introduce beneficial microbial bacteria into the
gut. This is also available from your veterinarian. FoIlow the directions on the
This is often give at a few hours after birth so read your label and have a tube
Yogurt can be used before or during the onset of diarrhea symptoms.
give them about a half a cup or more of yogurt from a dose syringeor
in a small bucket hanging on the fence. Boysenberry and Strawberry seem to be
the favorite flavors at our farm. Make sure theyogurt
is labeled as "Live Active Culture."This can be given frequently.
It would be very hard to overdose the yogurt so give lots! Yogurt from a
health food store will have the best active culture.
your foal's temperature for several days so you have a baseline
of what is a normal temperature for your foal. Foal temps usually run about
to 1.5 degrees higher than an adult.
Consult with your vet at the onset or even earlier during the post foaling
about medication or any other advice he may have for youabout
it. Write what she
says down so you will have it handy IF you need it.
Observe your foal carefully. Call your vet immediately if your foal
a temperature, is depressed, lacks appetite or seems dehydrated. Foals can go
down fast especially in summer.
mare's udder, if full or overflowing, this could be the Istsign
you have a sick foal.
Keep a supply of Pepto Bismol or Kaopectate (or the generic
available and ready. We use both but found that foals prefer the taste of the
Kaopectate. To save money, we use the genericversions
of both. Generic Kaopectate is available at Walgreen's under the brand
name of"Walgreen's Concentrated Anti-Diarrheal". Pepto Bismol or its
generic brands can be found inmost
grocery stores. At our breeding farm,we buy the "maximumstrength"
version under the Top Care line at Fry's. There are manyother
similar products out there on the market.
Your vet can advise you as to the dose. Not a bad idea to ask the vet
during the after foaling exam so you have the dose in case you need it.
Keep in mind that you need to watch for the firming up so you do not create constipation by over treating.
Pepto and Kaopectate can all be introduced to the foalif diarrhea is severe.
You can give as much as you like of the yogurt. It helps to establish
friendly flora and bacteria to the intestinal tract.
teach our foals to lick the "medicine" out or a small bucket.Our
foals usually meet us at the bucket and lick up the contentswhile
we are performing other chores. The mares normally leavethe
bucket alone although we do have one
mare with a strong taste
for Strawberry Yogurt.
using yogurt, consider adding activated charcoal to theyogurt.
Crush the tablets or open the capsules obtained at thelocal
pharmacy, and dump the contents into the yogurt. It looksterrible
but tastes the same. This helps absorb toxins that maybe
produced in the gut.
shade. Even if the foal won't use it and insists on bakingon
the hot dirt/sand/grass, you’ll feel better.
Shade cloth stretched between two pieces of PVC will work if you need quick
is very liquid make sure that foal stays cool in the shade as a foal can
dehydrate very quickly.
your foal to see whether the treatment is working. Continuing treatment after
the problem is solved can cause constipation.
foal scours can turn into a sick foal when too muchof
the normal intestinal flora is lost and opportunistic bacteriatake
over. Watch to see that the foal stays bright, alert, playfuland
the foal's legs and "buns" with warm water and Ivorysoap.
Then apply a zinc-oxide ointment to cover affected area.It
keeps the diarrhea from sticking so much and protects the skinfrom
irritation. If you prefer Vaseline apply it only at night or ona
foal living in an enclosed stall. The Vaseline can cause"sunburned
the zinc-oxide ointment will act as a sunblock. There are zinc-oxide
ointments on the market now that are easier to clean off. Read the labels
to as you select the product.
your foal won't tolerate washing process. Try the "automaticcleaning
system" of applying a liberal amount of baby oil to thefoal's
tail. This will help loosen the residual gunk on the tail aswell
as the areas touched by the tail. This can only be used atnight or
on enclosed stall foals due to the potential for sunburn on the exposed oiled
foal scours can be a normal and natural part yourfoal's
development, it needs watching and treatment and should not be ignored. I hope that this information will
help you and your foal
through what can be an uncomfortable and scary time.