Dramatic and sudden weight loss ~ help!

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Dramatic and sudden weight loss ~ help!

This is a discussion on Dramatic and sudden weight loss ~ help! within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Topline weight loss on horses
  • Abrupt weight loss in older horse

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    02-05-2010, 08:24 AM
Dramatic and sudden weight loss ~ help!

Since the show in Ohio two weeks ago, Buzz has lost what looks to me over 50lbs. I felt like something had been off but last night when I took his blanket off it was confirmed. He now has lines in his rump and his topline has reduced.

His diet hasn't changed, nor his appetite. His teeth were floated in October. He was wormed about 4 weeks ago. He gets blanketed for turnout.

The only thing I can put my finger on is the four hour round trip to the show two weeks ago. His gums look good, his temp his fine, gut sounds are good.

So what I do? I'm at a loss. He's on Nutrena Safe Choice, gets hay in the morning and night and free choice during the day.
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    02-05-2010, 10:21 AM
What did you deworm him with 4 weeks ago? (Just to cover all bases)

It's very possible that gastric ulcers are part of the problem. Trailering and showing are both big factors in causing ulcers and they can affect body conditionn, appetite, attitude, etc. However, there could also be other issues here so it would be a good idea to assess exactly what he is getting to eat---type and amount by weight--and to have a vet exam to rule medical issues in or out.
    02-05-2010, 11:00 AM
If the show was two weeks ago - I would not think the weight loss is related to the trailering. That type of loss is mainly water and quickly gained back.

Did he pick up a bug at the show? Respitory infections

It would not hurt to check his teeth again. Could have a sharp point, broken tooth, etc.

50 pounds on a horse is not a *lot*. Out of 1000 pounds it is only .05 percent. That small of a loss should not show readily in a conditioned horse. If his top line and rump have reduced, are you sure it's only 50 pounds?
    02-05-2010, 11:47 AM
After measuring him with a weight tape it looks to be more like 150lbs.

He's getting 8lbs of Nutrena Safe Choice, 30lbs of good hay plus free choice hay (good quality round bales) in the pasture. I also supplement him with free choice salt, an ounce of MSM twice a day.

I wormed him with Safeguard.

I'm worried about ulcers and such though.

Think it's appropriate to call a vet??
    02-05-2010, 11:49 AM
Has the weather there been as funky as it has been every where else?

The combination of the show stress and the funky temperature changes might just have been a little too much stress.
    02-05-2010, 12:07 PM
Yeh it has been pretty awful. But I've kept him in a blanket when he's turned out. His barn is insulated and is generally a good 15 degrees warmer than outside.
    02-05-2010, 01:03 PM
I agree ulcers. My gelding lost about that much weight in a matter of 2 weeks. He was on some medication for about 2 months and then we started him on alfalfa to reduce the stomach acid and he has been fine since. I would call the vet.
    02-05-2010, 01:08 PM
Yep... put a call in to the vet already. Waiting for him to call me back.
    02-05-2010, 03:17 PM
Originally Posted by mls    
50 pounds on a horse is not a *lot*. Out of 1000 pounds it is only .05 percent. That small of a loss should not show readily in a conditioned horse. If his top line and rump have reduced, are you sure it's only 50 pounds?
Yep, when horse owners start saying "I think he lost 50 lbs" it's usually pretty safe to assume it's quite a bit more. We estimate based upon perception of weight on a human frame generally because we don't have a good solid reference for weight on a horse.
    02-05-2010, 11:21 PM
Also, it can take time to notice weight loss because of the larger frame of reference. It is likely he's been dropping for a few weeks and it is finally getting to the point that it is discernible to your eyes.

On a side note, weight tapes are only an estimate and are best used for judging weight gain or loss, not actual weight. If the same person uses the same tape every time, you can get a fairly accurate guess, but the margin of error is usually + or - 25 pounds.

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