Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Manure is Slimy, has Mucus, Pale Colored

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If you notice signs of colic, along with this sign.

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If you notice this more than occasionally.
  • To discuss your equine's general health and management.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

Stringy viscous or rubbery pale material on the surface of a horse’s manure is a sign that the manure has been in one location within the small colon for longer than normal.

The normal lower intestinal (colon) lining constantly secretes mucus to protect itself from irritation and to prevent adherence of manure to its surface. When the movement of the intestinal contents slows or stops and the mucus production continues, mucus accumulates on the surface of manure. This is a sign of abnormally reduced intestinal movement that may result from a variety of disease processes. This is a sign that we often see in horses that have had other conditions causing abdominal pain (colic).

WHAT TO DO

If a horse seems otherwise healthy, finding a single pile of manure with mucus on it may not be cause for concern. Evaluate your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and pay particular attention to their attitude and appetite. Look for signs of colic and other signs of illness, and share your findings and concerns with your vet.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Mucus on manure may be seen in conjunction with (or following resolution of) conditions causing colic. Our exam is therefore directed at ruling out any other signs that the horse may have had or be experiencing intestinal problems.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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