Topic Options
#225925 - 11/26/09 12:17 PM Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI
perpetual_novice Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1673
Does anyone have experience in dealing with this?

Mare is having problems with diarrhea -- not all out health threatening symptoms but enough to leave her less than April fresh smelling and with occasional equine diaper rash.

She has had blood work and fecal check done and it shows nothing out of the ordinary. We switched her hay (actually was from the barn she had boarded at previously) but without success. Symptoms will resolve on dex but would prefer not to use that as a long term solution.

The mystery is that the water is treated with all the bells and whistles to deal with the sulphur. Most horses at the barn seem unaffected (the Plough Beast is still producing firm elephant sized piles and I would have expected if any of the horses would have problems he would be the one).

I believe that the treatment process may leave the water with a high sulfate level but I don’t know if this if this is definitely the case nor am I sure if this has any implications for equine digestive symptoms.

If anyone has any experience with this I’d appreciate any input. Has anyone tried Biosponge? Would a probiotic be helpful?

Thanks.


_________________________
“When I was a kid I did horse riding. Really what we experienced was horses doing child wearing."
Top
#225926 - 11/26/09 12:22 PM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: perpetual_novice]
Shuffle Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 6085
Loc: Ontario
Just because she is a mare, I would ask the vet if she'd recommend an intrauterine culture. Even maiden mares can get infected.

We've used biosponge on foals with good results.
Top
#226142 - 11/26/09 08:37 PM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: perpetual_novice]
Dusty's Mom Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 01/05/05
Posts: 1691
Loc: On the Black River, Washago, O...
I have no helpful advice in the matter, however!

Originally Posted By: perpetual_novice
the Plough Beast is still producing firm elephant sized piles and ...


LOL - This lovely little tidbit caused me to snort Dr Pepper up my nose. Ouch!

Jingles to your mare!

- S
Top
#226263 - 11/27/09 06:55 AM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: Shuffle]
perpetual_novice Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1673
Originally Posted By: Shuffle
Just because she is a mare, I would ask the vet if she'd recommend an intrauterine culture.


Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. She didn't show an elevated white count but do you think is it possible that this could still have looked normal if it was early in the infection? I had her tested during her first bout that cleared up with dex.

Originally Posted By: Dusty's Mom

LOL - This lovely little tidbit caused me to snort Dr Pepper up my nose. Ouch!

Jingles to your mare!

- S


wink Sorry about your nose
_________________________
“When I was a kid I did horse riding. Really what we experienced was horses doing child wearing."
Top
#226271 - 11/27/09 07:17 AM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: perpetual_novice]
Shuffle Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 6085
Loc: Ontario
Originally Posted By: perpetual_novice
Originally Posted By: Shuffle
Just because she is a mare, I would ask the vet if she'd recommend an intrauterine culture.


Thanks, I hadn't thought of that. She didn't show an elevated white count but do you think is it possible that this could still have looked normal if it was early in the infection? I had her tested during her first bout that cleared up with dex.


I believe that infection could be there localized and not elevate the white blood cell count. If you can tell when she is in heat so her cervix is open, have an internal swab done then, if your vet thinks that is a possibility. Usually a mare who has never been bred gets this kind of infection from drawing in air when racing, but I have seen unraced mares get them when only exercising. It is just a matter of slightly different conformation under the tail of some mares.

I swab all mares before breeding. Sometimes after they have a foal you will see discharge, but the swab comes back clean. The next one looks pristine, and needs treatment. The good news is it only takes about 3 days to treat most.

Top
#226295 - 11/27/09 09:01 AM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: Shuffle]
Hickory Lane Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 03/25/03
Posts: 1217
Loc: Lynden, Ontario, Canada
I can help with the water part. Sulphur is a gas, that is dissolved in water. When oxygen hits it, then it will release into the air, and that is why you smell it. So you really don't injest any when you drink the water. Sometimes there can be a lot if sulphur, and it could cause the water to look yellow.

Do you know what they are treating the water for?

Top
#226297 - 11/27/09 09:12 AM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: Hickory Lane]
Queenrider Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 1422
Loc: Brampton, Ontario
I can help with the water part. I do water microbiology for Brita water filters. Sulphur is a naturally occuring mineral that dissolves in water and can give off tastes and smells and can cause a host of problems including diarrhea in young livestock.

Sulfates and Hydrogen Sulfide
Sulfates are a combination of sulfur and oxygen and are a part of naturally occurring minerals in some soil and rock formations that contain groundwater. The mineral dissolves over time and is released into groundwater.

Sulfur-reducing bacteria, which use sulfur as an energy source, are the primary producers of large quantities of hydrogen sulfide. These bacteria chemically change natural sulfates in water to hydrogen sulfide. Sulfur-reducing bacteria live in oxygen-deficient environments such as deep wells, plumbing systems, water softeners and water heaters. These bacteria usually flourish on the hot water side of a water distribution system.

Hydrogen sulfide gas also occurs naturally in some groundwater. It is formed from decomposing underground deposits of organic matter such as decaying plant material. It is found in deep or shallow wells and also can enter surface water through springs, although it quickly escapes to the atmosphere. Hydrogen sulfide often is present in wells drilled in shale or sandstone, or near coal or peat deposits or oil fields.

Occasionally, a hot water heater is a source of hydrogen sulfide odor. The magnesium corrosion control rod present in many hot water heaters can chemically reduce naturally occurring sulfates to hydrogen sulfide.

Indications of Sulfate and Hydrogen Sulfide
Sulfate
Sulfate minerals can cause scale buildup in water pipes similar to other minerals and may be associated with a bitter taste in water that can have a laxative effect on humans and young livestock. Elevated sulfate levels in combination with chlorine bleach can make cleaning clothes difficult. Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria produce effects similar to those of iron bacteria. They convert sulfide into sulfate, producing a dark slime that can clog plumbing and/or stain clothing. Blackening of water or dark slime coating the inside of toilet tanks may indicate a sulfur-oxidizing bacteria problem. Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria are less common than sulfur-reducing bacteria.

Hydrogen Sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide gas produces an offensive "rotten egg" or "sulfur water" odor and taste in the water. In some cases, the odor may be noticeable only when the water is initially turned on or when hot water is run. Heat forces the gas into the air which may cause the odor to be especially offensive in a shower. Occasionally, a hot water heater is a source of hydrogen sulfide odor. The magnesium corrosion control rod present in many hot water heaters can chemically reduce naturally occurring sulfates to hydrogen sulfide.

A nuisance associated with hydrogen sulfide includes its corrosiveness to metals such as iron, steel, copper and brass. It can tarnish silverware and discolor copper and brass utensils. Hydrogen sulfide also can cause yellow or black stains on kitchen and bathroom fixtures. Coffee, tea and other beverages made with water containing hydrogen sulfide may be discolored and the appearance and taste of cooked foods can be affected.

High concentrations of dissolved hydrogen sulfide also can foul the resin bed of an ion exchange water softener. When a hydrogen sulfide odor occurs in treated water (softened or filtered) and no hydrogen sulfide is detected in the non-treated water, it usually indicates the presence of some form of sulfate-reducing bacteria in the system. Water softeners provide a convenient environment for these bacteria to grow. A "salt-loving" bacteria, that uses sulfates as an energy source, may produce a black slime inside water softeners.


Potential Health Effects
Sulfate
Sulfate may have a laxative effect that can lead to dehydration and is of special concern for infants. With time, people and young livestock will become acclimated to the sulfate and the symptoms disappear. Sulfur-oxidizing bacteria pose no known human health risk. The Maximum contaminate level is 250 mg/L.


Hydrogen Sulfide
Hydrogen sulfide is flammable and poisonous. Usually it is not a health risk at concentrations present in household water, except in very high concentrations. While such concentrations are rare, hydrogen sulfide's presence in drinking water when released in confined areas has been known to cause nausea, illness and, in extreme cases, death. Water with hydrogen sulfide alone does not cause disease. In rare cases, however, hydrogen sulfide odor may be from sewage pollution which can contain disease-producing contaminants. Therefore, testing for bacterial contamination and Sulfate Reducing Bacteria is highly recommended.


Water Testing
Sulfate
The Option 1 testing kit includes the sulfate test, but for sulfur problems the laboratory must be notified to provide a special container that has a chemical preservative. The testing kits include the sampling instructions, a questionnaire, and information on returning the sample. Hydrogen Sulfide- If this is a problem that laboratory must be told in advance to provide the necessary sampling container with preservatives.

http://www.water-research.net/sulfate.htm#health
Top
#226409 - 11/27/09 01:32 PM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: Hickory Lane]
perpetual_novice Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1673
Originally Posted By: Hickory Lane
I can help with the water part. Sulphur is a gas, that is dissolved in water. When oxygen hits it, then it will release into the air, and that is why you smell it. So you really don't injest any when you drink the water. Sometimes there can be a lot if sulphur, and it could cause the water to look yellow.

Do you know what they are treating the water for?



Thanks, but just for future reference sulphur naturally does appear as a solid wink

"...Sulfur is a bright yellow solid that can exist in many allotropic forms with slightly different melting points, all around 239°F (115°C). The two main forms are called rhombic sulfur and monoclinic sulfur. There is also a rubbery, non-crystalline form, called plastic or amorphous—without shape—sulfur. An ancient name for sulfur is brimstone, meaning burning stone. It does indeed burn in air with a blue flame, producing sulfur dioxide."

They are treating the water for removal of sulphur.
_________________________
“When I was a kid I did horse riding. Really what we experienced was horses doing child wearing."
Top
#226417 - 11/27/09 01:48 PM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: Shuffle]
perpetual_novice Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1673
Originally Posted By: Shuffle

I swab all mares before breeding. Sometimes after they have a foal you will see discharge, but the swab comes back clean. The next one looks pristine, and needs treatment. The good news is it only takes about 3 days to treat most.



Thanks. She was bred regularly until summer 2007 and has been open since.

Originally Posted By: Queenrider
I can help with the water part. I do water microbiology for Brita water filters. Sulphur is a naturally occuring mineral that dissolves in water and can give off tastes and smells and can cause a host of problems including diarrhea in young livestock.


Thank you so much for all the information.
_________________________
“When I was a kid I did horse riding. Really what we experienced was horses doing child wearing."
Top
#226420 - 11/27/09 01:57 PM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: perpetual_novice]
Hickory Lane Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 03/25/03
Posts: 1217
Loc: Lynden, Ontario, Canada
As mentioned from the post with the text book info, it occurs in different forms.

The most common is dissolved as a gas(H2S), I guess I shouldn't have jumped to that conclusion.

I guess I'm confused about your post. You say the water has sulphur, but the water is being treated. So I guess the treatment isn't working?

If you choose to sample the water, and send it to a lab. Read the instructions, because sulphur has a specific hold up time.



Top
#226446 - 11/27/09 02:59 PM Re: Sulphur (sulfur) water & a horse w/a delicate GI [Re: Hickory Lane]
perpetual_novice Offline
Grand Prix Member
Registered: 05/04/04
Posts: 1673
Originally Posted By: Hickory Lane


I guess I'm confused about your post. You say the water has sulphur, but the water is being treated. So I guess the treatment isn't working?



That is why I asked the question. I think the treatment must be working for the most part as most of the barn is unaffected. I suspect that this mare may just be susceptible to it. She comes from a family with a tendency to experience digestive issues including colic. I wondered if some horses might be affected by what remains even after the water is treated.

(I know my daughter and I are more affected by sulphur in the water than are my are my son and husband.)

The incidence amongst the few other horses affected does not support that the problem is viral.

_________________________
“When I was a kid I did horse riding. Really what we experienced was horses doing child wearing."
Top



Moderator:  Tandy, tbowner 
Sponsors
Connect with us on:
Visit EMG on Facebook

Please Support our Gracious Sponsors.
RAM Equestrian Greenhawk
Horseware Ireland  Henry Equestrian Plan  Synoil
Albion Golf Cars  Alberta Premium  Bahr Saddlery
Best Western  Brooks Performance Feeds  Cairns
Champion Shavings  Coldwell Banker  CDW
Equestrian Factory Outlet  Equine Canada  Green Tractors    
HFH Inc.  Horse Sport  HorseSmart International    
IQ Footing  McKee Pownall  OHJA
Omega Alpha  PDI  Running Fox
Sierra Excavating  Stonewood Management  System Fence
 
Town of Caledon  Ampot Portable Toilets  Anteres Sellier France
Bucas  Richvale Saddlery  Long Run Thoroughbred Retirement
Nobleton Feed Mill  Bolton Electric  Monitoring Center
First Tier Medical Service
   
Ads By Google 1