Fecal Impaction







If a miniature horse shows symptoms of
progressive, nonresponsive abdominal pain,
fecalith  impaction needs to be considered.  



What is Fecalith Impaction in a Mini Horse?  
Fecaliths are fiberous dry materials that ball up and block the small intestine in the mini horse.   
They are usually composed of tough fiberous food that either does not have enough water to allow  
it to pass through the small intestines, or is composed of such a hard content that it is not able to  
be mechanically broken down during digestion.  

Other components of fecaliths include hair, sand or  foreign objects that the mini horse ingests.    
Any breed of horse can get fecaliths, but it occurs more commonly in minis.  In addition, younger  
horses are also more prone to it with the greatest risk being to weanlings who are adjusting to  
solid feed.  Another predisposing factor is springtime when the hair on horses is usually longest and
 they are shedding.  

During this time self grooming or mutual grooming that occur in minis can lead  to ingestion of balls
of hair.  Thus, it is prudent to make sure your mini horse is regularly groomed  and hair trimmed if
needed.  Only a vet can definitively diagnose fecalith impaction in the mini horse, but common
symptoms  that must be paid attention to are colic, bloating and no production of stools.  If these
signs occur  in your mini horse, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately. Surgical
correction is  sometimes required.  

Prevention of fecaliths include providing high-quality immature forages and regular grooming of  
your mini horse's hair to prevent excess ingestion of hair balls.  In a miniature horse that has had a
 recent fecalith, a low bulk diet should be given for several weeks after treatment.  This diet can  
include either "complete feed pellets" or access to pasture.  However, a mini horse that has had  
more than one fecalith should be kept on this low bulk diet for life
Cruz Mountain Miniature Horses- Home Page
Small intestine becomes blocked.
Horse may kick at his belly or stand
stretched out.