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Pitter Patter

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HELP!! I am in a panic because of acorns. I didn't know they were toxic until after I saw one of my minis munching away. Looked it up and....oh boy! This is probably why my Pepper looks to be 12 months pregnant and with diarrhea and my oldster, Cotton Tail suddenly showing signs of diarrhea. I have a pregnant mini as well and read it can lead to aborted fetus! I have a call into my vet and have read some old threads on this forum about them, but no clear direction on treatment. I spent most of last night hand picking acorns! We have three young oaks that for the very first time have dropped acorns. I only have 4 oak trees on my 20 acres, and wouldn't you know, 3 of them are in or branch out over the paddocks and provide shade. I am so worried! Is there anything I can do before they get any sicker?!!
 

Taz

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I don't know if there's anything to do after they've eaten them, your vet will know, but I'd put a lot of hay out so they have something better to eat instead if you can't move them. Please let us know how they're doing?
 

Pitter Patter

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Hi Taz! Thanks for the response! So in thinking I was treating hay belly in Pepper, I now think it's probably related to acorns because she's definitely a HOOVER! Still waiting for vet. So I had decreased hay and increased pelleted feed with no results. When I push in on Pepper's belly it feels like a hard balloon (and I don't think I've ever seen a dirtier look on her face!). Now Cotton Tail has diarrhea as well. Still no call from vet. So will be putting out more hay like I used to. Have been walking Pepper lately to help with the gas and it only helps a little bit. Hopefully more hay will help. I just hope I am not too late. I can't tell if Snickers has developed a taste for them yet (Am picking up every acorn I can see). The trees provide shade, but I think they will have to go. I'm a wreck just praying there will be no lasting effects. Unfortunately, I have not seen baby movement for a couple of days now. Cross your fingers!
 

Dragon Hill

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Hey, sorry to hear about your acorn problem. Garden Weasel makes a nut gatherer (picker upper) that you just roll across them. They have a size small that is perfect for acorns. I work at an Ace Hardware and we sell them. I would think you could find one any place that sells lawn and garden stuff.
Acorns are bitter, especially the red ones. I think if you provide tastier stuff to eat and keep them picked up as best you can your horses will be ok. I don't think there are long term effects, but your vet will be able to tell you.
 

Cayuse

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Did the vet get back to you? I have had a pony colic from acorns, we have a tree the hangs over the paddock. It took several episodes for me to figure out what the problem was.
 

MaryFlora

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Hello Pitter Patter!

I’m sorry to read that your mares are having problems and hope you hear back soon from your vet!

Like you, we have oak trees that drop acorns into the paddocks, some years quite a few and some years almost none. (They don’t produce an equal harvest every year.)

Dragon Hill is correct, in my opinion, about providing an alternative. Our 6 minis are feed pelleted feed twice a day but also “graze” on hay in a large paddock ( 60’ x 300’). Is it possible to scatter a flake or two of hay around their paddock?

As Taz says, keep us posted!

Mary Flora
 

Pitter Patter

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Hey, sorry to hear about your acorn problem. Garden Weasel makes a nut gatherer (picker upper) that you just roll across them. They have a size small that is perfect for acorns. I work at an Ace Hardware and we sell them. I would think you could find one any place that sells lawn and garden stuff.
Acorns are bitter, especially the red ones. I think if you provide tastier stuff to eat and keep them picked up as best you can your horses will be ok. I don't think there are long term effects, but your vet will be able to tell you.
Thanks for the advice! I will look for one of those! In the meantime, my boyfriend and son are supposed to be cutting down the main oak tree culprit today. Still no word from the vet. I am getting very irritated with him lately. I don't know why he didn't suspect anything else other than pregnancy when he said Pepper was not pregnant and we were in the paddock with acorns. I have gone from thinking my mare, Pepper was pregnant, to having hay belly, and now I really believe it's a case of acorn toxicity as all the mares are now sick! Pepper, my Hoover, is losing interest in food today. The others have pretty severe looking diarrhea. My oldest is just like a garden hose of water coming out of her. She's about 25 yrs old. I am hoping they all come out of this ok. Pepper has been this way for a long time now so am really worried about her for that. Elderly one is starting to bloat now. My pregnant girl, Snickers, now has the diarrhea. I have been researching this and it's very possible she may spontaneously abort her foal. Yikes. They have so much hay in their paddock all the time. I think it was more of "monkey see, monkey do" with these girls. Only the stallion so far seems unaffected. They are still so loving and sweet. I was upset and was sitting in their paddock just watching them. They all came up to provide comfort too. After researching, it seems not just horses are prone to this, but sheep, goats, etc.
 

Pitter Patter

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I am off work for a few days. Will be trying a vet who has limited his practice to specialize in Equine Dentistry. He has great manners. I think I am going to give him a call tomorrow. My farrier's wife also is really into holistic stuff for horses and may give her a call as well. So far they are all holding their own but from what I've read, it could be up to 60 days before they are out of the woods.
 

Dragon Hill

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Wow, sorry to hear about the severity of things and your vet not being available. They do make something for horses similar to Pepto Bismal, maybe you could Google it, or the vet's office help might tell you something. Make sure they are drinking water and if you have electrolytes and probiotics I would start them on those if you haven't already.
 

Pitter Patter

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Wow, sorry to hear about the severity of things and your vet not being available. They do make something for horses similar to Pepto Bismal, maybe you could Google it, or the vet's office help might tell you something. Make sure they are drinking water and if you have electrolytes and probiotics I would start them on those if you haven't already.
Do you know what electrolytes I should try? Been thinking on this and was afraid to use anything with sugar, sorbitol, etc. Would pedialyte work? Our regular stores don't carry much of anything on horse electrolytes, just mostly chickens...ugh! Ya, my regular vet IS his office. It is only him. Farm vet on the road most of the time. Thankfully I already had probiotic horse treats! :)
 
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Taz

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If you can't get any electrolytes maybe just a teaspoon of salt? It will help keep them drinking too. When I can't find horse electrolytes I use gatorade with sugar, not the sugar free. I've dumped the liquid in their water buckets or the powder in grain or most will just lock it out of my hand. It does have sugar but they aren't being fed tons of it. How are they doing today?
 

Dragon Hill

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Pedialyte should work if they'll drink it. They make paste ones in tube like wormer if you can't get them to eat or drink one. Tractor Supply usually has some if you have one near you. What Taz suggests is good too. I hope your babies are feeling better.
 

Pitter Patter

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Pedialyte should work if they'll drink it. They make paste ones in tube like wormer if you can't get them to eat or drink one. Tractor Supply usually has some if you have one near you. What Taz suggests is good too. I hope your babies are feeling better.
We cut down the tree. So sore from days of picking up acorns! Must have been a bumper crop year! Took four of years to bring the tree down and get all the branches, leaves, etc out of the paddock. They aren't happy about the loss of their tree though. Better the tree than them! Pepper's belly has gone down some. Still no observable baby movement with Snickers but it's position has changed and is now more sideways. Not sure if that was due to Snicker's rolling or baby though. Cottontail is more bloated and we are not sure if we can keep her healthy but trying! Volt is the only one that doesn't seem affected so far. The other vet is out of the area now unfortunately. I wonder if Sand Clear would help or hurt in picking up anything left in their guts. Any thoughts?
 

Taz

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I would think you're dealing with anything left being systemic at this point, I don't think sand clear would do anything for them, I don't think it would hurt them either though. Correct me if I'm wrong but it's not absorbed at all, picks up sand as it goes through the gut. I'd be focusing on supportive therapy. Make sure they aren't dehydrated and are eating as much as they're willing, blankets if they're cold etc.
 

Pitter Patter

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Update on my acorn addicts...So far so good. Still some lingering diarrhea but that seems to be slowly improving. Have seen some fetal movement in Snickers, but not very much at all. Hopefully her baby is ok. Pepper's belly has shrunk a very small amount but not significantly. No one appears colicky so that's a plus. Volt is the only one who shows no symptoms, thank God. But when we first suspected the acorns and I was trying to gather all I could see, he tried to challenge me.(I think I scared him off that area. (had to act like a horse, stomped my feet as he came near the acorn area and snorted and growled, "These are MINE!"-that was for my benefit by the way, not his-kept me in the right frame of mind in the moment!). Anyway, seemed to have worked--LOL. Pretty sure neighbors think I have lost my mind. Just hoping now that Snickers won't have a winter baby or abort. Her udder has shrunk to almost normal now.
 

Dragon Hill

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Don't feel bad about using animal tactics when dealing with horses, especially stallions! I had a young Dartmoor stallion bite me after I fed him and was leaving the pen. I spun around, roared and lunged at him. Scared him so bad he jumped out of the pen. He never offered to bite me again.
 

Pitter Patter

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Don't feel bad about using animal tactics when dealing with horses, especially stallions! I had a young Dartmoor stallion bite me after I fed him and was leaving the pen. I spun around, roared and lunged at him. Scared him so bad he jumped out of the pen. He never offered to bite me again.
Love it!! That's great!! I must look totally looney tunes to any passers by because I have to act differently around the goat, the llamas, Welsh cobb, minis, and dogs! In a very short time, if some of them are having a bad day, I might find myself growling, making myself look big, doing hand gestures, turning my back, gargling next to a llama, chasing and making feet move, stomping feet, deep sighs/breaths, etc. But it is always a learning experience!
 

Pitter Patter

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My vet FINALLY called me back last night!! He said he thinks I just worry too much (UGH!). Maybe I do, but isn't that what pet parents are supposed to do? He thinks they have sand. He just told me when he was out that they didn't have sand. I am still pretty sure it's the acorns, or possibly a combination. So I am adding Sand Clear to their daily routine twice a day now.
 

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