What Causes Loose Stools or Diarrhea in a Horse

A horse will get a natural feed from grazingLoose stools in a horse or pony, if they are infrequent,  are usually due to stress or nervousness.

Loose or 'squittery' droppings often occur when a horse is asked to do something that causes it anxiety such as being loaded into a trailer or anticipation when being prepared for travelling to a horse show. 

However  loose stools in a horse can also be caused by factors other than anxiety or stress:

  • The horse or pony could have eaten a poisonous plant. There are common trees and plants that are poisonous to horses. Some of these are only mildly poisonous - but others can be fatal. Check your grazing for plants, or call in an expert to check the pasture for you.
  • Straw bedding can cause irritation of the horse's intestinal tract if it is eaten. If you know that your horse eats straw it may be best to change to a different type of bedding.
  • A sudden change of diet - such as feeding a bran mash.
  • Giving your horse too many treats such as apples can also cause loose stools.
  • Loose stools can also be a symptom of sand colic.
  • A diet too rich or high in protein can also be a cause of  'squittery' droppings.


If the loose stools are not related to the horse becoming nervous and are occuring every day then you will need to call your vet who will give a proper diagnosis and recommend appropriate treatment.

The vet will give advice on medicine and how to treat the horse for diarrhea.


If the problem is due to stress or anxiety try giving you horse a magnesium calmer or add calming herbs to his feed. 

Adding equine probiotics to your horse's feed will help to maintain a healthy gut and lessen the chances that he will suffer from diarrhea.

 Loose stools in horses, treatment, medicine, treat causes of diarrhea in a horse or pony