Easy keeper became hard keeper
   

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Easy keeper became hard keeper

This is a discussion on Easy keeper became hard keeper within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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  • 1 Post By albertaeventer
  • 1 Post By Spotted

 
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    02-20-2013, 07:58 PM
  #1
Foal
Easy keeper became hard keeper

My 14-15 year old QH had always been pretty easy to keep. Hay and oats. About 1/4 of a bail of hay a day and oats morning and evening.

He was awful skinny when I got him in 2008, but he packed on weight just fine with oats and hay and has always been fine with that until the winter of 2011 - 2012. He want to a stable that winter cause I had surgery and could not care for him at home, but I provided his oats and hay, and it was the same I have always used at home.

He suddenly started losing weight about a month after being there. I had my regular equine vet check him out They couldn't find anything wrong with him and she had us switch over to Equine Senior. He did put weight back on.

Once back home (March of 2012) he was fine on that. Then about July of 2012, he once again started dropping weight. Again, I had him checked out and they could not find a reason.

I added beet pulp pellets and he put on weight again. He will only keep on weight as long as I feed him Equine Senior and beet pulp pellets, twice a day. One - two pounds of soaked beet pulp pellets each feeding.

Oh, he does get regular rotational wormer. I use the ultra yearly worming package from Valley Vet.

What would have happened that he suddenly went from an easy keeper to one that has to have a lot of special foods?

As I said, he has been checked out be equine vets, (all kinds of blood work, scoped, x-rays, etc) and is on a good rotational worming.
     
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    02-21-2013, 12:18 PM
  #2
Foal
Has he had his teeth floated lately?
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    02-21-2013, 12:50 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Setting aside the usual culprits of ulcers and teeth (I'd give both of those a second look, regardless of the fact that he's been checked), my guess is the possibility of metabolic issues; specifically Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

Exactly what does "all kinds of blood work" mean?

Were his insulin and cortisol levels checked and if so, was a diet protocol followed before they drew blood to check his ACTH levels (cortisol)? If not, I would have another blood draw specifically for those two things (insulin and cortisol levels).

He's old enough to be developing those types of issues, even if he isn't a breed that is on the Predisposed List.

My now 25 yo TWH was diagnosed with EMS in May, 2007. He went from being an air fern to a hard keeper, just about over night. He lost a much-needed 80 lbs in six weeks but he lost it the wrong way

He is, indeed, on a special diet that consists of rice bran, grass hay, flax (Omega-3 Horseshine), chastetree, and well-soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes.

EPSM (Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy) is another possibility. I am not very familiar with this disease but I know horses can either become obese or a hardkeeper as a result. They also require a very strict diet but that diet is slightly different than that of a horse with Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

I hope this helps and you get things figured out soon
     
    02-21-2013, 12:58 PM
  #4
Yearling
Have you weighed his feed ? One bale may be lighter than the next.
He should be getting 1.5 to 2% of his weight in feed.
I would start by weighing and up it if he needs more.
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    02-21-2013, 02:10 PM
  #5
Foal
Yes, his teeth were done. Equine vet said they checked blood for anything that would cause weight loss or hard to maintain to weight. Both times. They kept him at their equine vet clinic for the tests.

I don't know if they did the specific things you mentioned, Walknthewalk. I just trusted them to know what to do for anything horse related. They specialize in only equines. They have four vets at this time (one retired so they don't have five anymore) and two of them even specialize in not just equine care, but specific areas of care and health.

About the only thing that has not been done, is having an equine chiropractor see him. That was last done winter of 2010.
     
    02-21-2013, 04:13 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsjustme    
I don't know if they did the specific things you mentioned, Walknthewalk. I just trusted them to know what to do for anything horse related. They specialize in only equines.
Sometimes even the best vets in the field can mis-diagnose or not run tests for something weird.

I love love love my equine vet, who also happens to be a leg specialist. Everyone in this entire area (from poor retired folks like me to the owners of expensive show horses to his peers) recognize he is tops in his field and how privileged we were the day he moved into our county

My foundered horse ended up with torn ligaments and sesamoiditis in both front legs because the expensive and well-schooled rehab farrier cut his heels too low in one strike. My Walk-on-water vet took X-rays and ultrasounds to prove all that.

The torn ligaments happened in July, 2012. By December, 2012 my vet said my horse's legs had completely healed, he was not in pain but he healed crooked and would never walk without a limp again. You can imagine the tears I shed over that one There were no X-rays or ultrasounds this time, the diagnosis was purely visual and included watching the horse walk.

I sent pics of the legs and hooves to someone on this forum who quickly e-mailed back, stating my horse's legs were NOT crooked, he had healed properly on both sides. I was told what I needed to do with the hooves in-between Trimmer visits, which are at 4-week intervals.

My horse was just trimmed on 02-15-13, this video was taken 02-16-13. He is a Tennessee Walker, therefore gaited. He was foundered 8-9 degrees on the LF and 5 degrees on the RF.

Thanks to the help I received from someone on this forum, this horse has gone from me thinking I may have to put him down to now being very very close to being ridable. MEANING, he did NOT heal one leg shorter than the other as the best vet in the area said he would.

It was all in his heels and thanks to me being instructed, from afar, on what to do with his hooves until the Trimmers came again, he is more sound than anybody would have ever imagined.

The proof is in this video He still needs a chiro for some adjusting on his fractured sacrum (another story:( but she's still on pregnancy leave. He is licking/chewing because he's asking permission from the strong Alpha horse to go ahead of him into the main pasture who is also my 25 yo TWH with EMS:)


I burned up your reading time with this to say, don't take the specialists words. If you have the option, get another vet, from another facility, and ask for blood draws to check for any sort of metabolic issues, EPSM, and any other off-the-wall disease that might cause this horse to not want to hold his weight.

Another thought is hind gut ulcers. I know he was scoped but that was for gastric stomach ulcers. Find out if they also checked him for hind gut ulcers.

Unless he's colicked on you, I sort of doubt he has hind gut ulcers but each horse reacts different to things.

I doubt that needing chiropractic help would be a cause of constantly losing weight but it is possible. It certainly wouldn't hurt to have a chiro look at him because the stress of pain anywhere in the body is capable of producing strange side effects

And, as Spotted commented, it could be something as simple as not getting enough hay - wouldn't that be a terrific and simple fix

Most horses need 1.5% - 2% of their desired body weight. I feed my hard keeper, with EMS, a lot more than that when he comes in at night. He comes in around 6:30 PM durig the winter and gets a mixed grass hay, so I load him up. He always has some hay when I get to the barn at 7:00 AM. I also feed him soaked timothy pellets this time of year since, even on 22 acres, pasture quality isn't that great.
     
    02-21-2013, 04:17 PM
  #7
Showing
Your horse could be deficient in something, or the quality of feed could have decreased. Or workload may have increased and conditioning isn't there.

There are many reasons for this to happen.
     
    02-21-2013, 08:13 PM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk    
Setting aside the usual culprits of ulcers and teeth (I'd give both of those a second look, regardless of the fact that he's been checked), my guess is the possibility of metabolic issues; specifically Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

Exactly what does "all kinds of blood work" mean?

Were his insulin and cortisol levels checked and if so, was a diet protocol followed before they drew blood to check his ACTH levels (cortisol)? If not, I would have another blood draw specifically for those two things (insulin and cortisol levels).

He's old enough to be developing those types of issues, even if he isn't a breed that is on the Predisposed List.

My now 25 yo TWH was diagnosed with EMS in May, 2007. He went from being an air fern to a hard keeper, just about over night. He lost a much-needed 80 lbs in six weeks but he lost it the wrong way

He is, indeed, on a special diet that consists of rice bran, grass hay, flax (Omega-3 Horseshine), chastetree, and well-soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes.

EPSM (Equine Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy) is another possibility. I am not very familiar with this disease but I know horses can either become obese or a hardkeeper as a result. They also require a very strict diet but that diet is slightly different than that of a horse with Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

I hope this helps and you get things figured out soon
When I googled EMS it doesn't sound like my horse. What I read kept talking about the horse being over weight and often referred to as an easy keeper.

When I read about the EPSM, that did have symptoms that might fit Buddy.The one test they mentioned that is done to check for it, I think is part of the blood work. I remember they lunged him for a set time, and drew blood and I remember they mentioned something about what they did with his food for the test.

Thank you for the ideas and suggestions. I will check with the doctor about those.
     

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