Diarrhoea in Foals

Diarrhoea in Foals

Up to 40% of diarrhoea cases in foals are due to Rotavirus infection. Other common causes of diarrhoea in foals include Foal Heat Scours.

In addition to compromising the health, vitality, growth and immune function of the foal, Rotavirus has been associated with gastrointestinal ulceration in foals.

This is likely due to nutritional and systemic stress, interruption of suckling in foals and the direct damage the virus causes to the epithelial cells which line the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

In addition to appropriate veterinary treatment (where required), strategic use of appropriate nutritional supplements and herbal medicines can help restore integrity to the digestive system, support immune function, and optimise the health and growth rate of the foal.

It is worth keeping in mind that commonly prescribed ulcer medications (those containing omeprazole or ranitidine) can adversely impact nutrient availability- including key nutrients needed for both immune function and proper restoration of the GI epithelial lining. To learn more about the effects of ulcer medications visit Ulcers in Horses: The importance of understanding how medications work.

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