Troubleshooting Amelia’s stomach problems has been an ongoing struggle since we got her. She’s only had one minor colic episode, but she has had off and on loose stool from the get go. We’ve tried all sorts of things. She’s been on different probiotics, elimination diets, metronidazole, allergy medication, and we’ve had all the recommended bloodwork and fecal tests done.Sometimes we think we’ve found the answer when her stool goes back to normal for a while. But then the diarrhea comes back and we’re back to square one.
The most recent suggestion from our vets was to haul her to the clinic for a gastroscope to check for stomach ulcers. Since this is a bit of an expense, we try to exhaust other options before scoping a horse. But our options were exhausted with Amelia. She spent a night at Rainland last week and was scoped the following day.
The good news for Amelia is that she does not have a diagnosis of gastric ulcers. No major issues were found. But Dr. Fleck did find some mild irritation on her stomach lining. It was recommended that we take Amelia off of forage completely for 2 weeks to see if that calms her GI tract down, so she has been started on a diet of equine senior feed. We tried this before at the recommendation of Dr. Renner the last time she was examined, but equine senior has ingredients in it that Amelia’s allergy panel showed as possible allergens. When we started the equine senior diet before, she began to get itchy again. She was on metronidazole at that same time and that cured the diarrhea, so we opted to put her back on hay in case her immune system was reacting to the senior feed. After consulting with Dr. Fleck after the scope last week, we learned that the reaction we had seen before might just have been coincidental and not truly related to diet. Amelia has now been on the senior diet for several days and we have seen no new scratching from her. Hopefully this diet plan works. If it does, we’ll keep her on the senior feed for a couple of months then potentially try to slowly add hay back in. If this current plan doesn’t keep the loose stool at bay, then we’ll start Amelia on a low dose of oral prednisolone to calm the inflammation down.
In other news, the allergy shots that Amelia has been receiving are doing the trick! The bugs have not seemed to bother her at all now that she’s worked her way up to close to maintenance dose for the injections. Her tail hair has grown back in and her coat looks better. Things are looking up! Now if it turns out that we have the answer to her GI problems, she’ll be a happy camper all around. We’ll know soon!