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What is That Smell
 By Winniefield Park   •   1st Jan 2019   •   478 views   •   0 comments
What is That Smell

Iíve been looking after my daughterís horses for the last ten days while she is on vacation. It has reminded me how much I miss having a horse to look after on my own yard. Just before she left, she brought home an off-the-track Thoroughbred mare. Walking across the pasture, I noticed that someone had made a very stinky poop. I suspected it might be the mareís, even though I didnít see her deposit it, because it wouldnít be unusual for OTTBs to have EGUS and that can cause stinky poops. But ulcers arenít the only reason a horseís normally innocuous smelling poop can smell really bad. In fact, a bad smell coming from your horse is something to take note of, because it can mean the horse has a health problem of some sort.

Poop
Smelly poop means there is something going on in your horseís gastrointestinal system. Ulcers are often a cause. Horses that live in stressful environments, and this includes performance horses of all types, can have the horse equivalent of inflammatory disease even if they donít have ulcers. Internal parasites and bacteria like salmonella can also cause smelly poop. And, a quick change of feeds or feeds that are too high in fats or proteins can make a horseís poop smell worse than usual too. Almost all the reasons for smelly poop may also cause runny poop. So, while you might be inclined to ignore what is coming out of your horse, itís important to pay attention as itís an important indicator of health.

Ears
Your horseís ears usually smells like the rest of the horse, with a waxy odor. If there is a foul odor, itís probably a sign of Otitis Externa. This can be caused by allergies, ticks and other biting insects, an injury, a foreign object or injury like a scrape. Your horse might also scratch or rub its head, shake its head, and you may be able see the inflammation and pus. Itís important to treat this infection as quickly as possible, because it can spread deeper into the ear canal.

Wounds
Wounds, especially puncture wounds, may become infected and smell bad. While this wonít happen to most surface bumps and scrapes, it's worth checking them to be sure they are healing and not getting infected. Infections due to injury or bacteria can also cause a geldingís or stallionís sheath to smell bad.

Hooves
If you clean out your horseís hooves and find they smell really bad, with almost a metal twang, you probably have pulled out some thrush. Thrush looks like black, wet ashes. But other infections, such as foreign objects stuck in the sole, or white line disease that allows bacteria to grow between the hoof wall and inner parts of the hoof, or in old nail holes can also smell bad. Thatís why itís important to clean and check your horseís hooves often.

Nose
Bad smells emanating from your horseís nose indicate a sinus infection of some type. But it can also indicate infections rooted in the teeth or upper palate.

Mouth
Injuries to the mouth, tooth infections, sinus infections, upper respiratory tract infections and foreign objects piercing the gums, tongue or palate can all cause your horse to have bad breath. Mints may cover the smell, but itís important to have the cause checked out by a vet.

Gas
If there is smelly poop, there is likely to be smelly gas. Horses pass a lot of gas and while it doesnít smell great, it shouldnít smell foul. The causes for smelly gas are the same as smelly poop: diet, bacterial infection, ulcers, and parasites.
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