Fast Metabolism?

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Fast Metabolism?

This is a discussion on Fast Metabolism? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    09-30-2007, 04:50 PM
Fast Metabolism?

I don't know if you've read my posts about Blu but, anyways, its so hard to get him to gain weight! We have had him for a year and he contiuously loses weight. He's 16.1hh and I don't think he has ever gone over 1,200lbs. Or so. He is back on beet pulp and calf-mana and he has gained a good fifteen pounds in two weeks. I are giving it on and off to him, afraid that the high fat content of the calf-mana might cause a heart-attack if given too much too often. He gets beet pulp regularly and he is given alfalfa twice a day(a flake about five or six inches wide, three string bale, not sure exactly how to explain). Any suggestions? He's a naturally thin horse and I plan on posting pics soon! All comments welcome!
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    10-01-2007, 12:22 AM
All I can think of is to weight your feed instead of visually gauging on how much feed he actually gets out of each flake.

Any worm issues? That also can play a part in horses weight.
    10-01-2007, 02:47 PM
First, horses do not have the health issues with high fat diets that humans do. Horses can be fed up to 15% of their diet as fat without problems. Also the body takes a couple of weeks to adjust to a higher fat content in the diet or a higher protein content in the diet, so constantly switching your diet from high fat to not high fat doesn't really allow you to get all the benefit of a high fat diet. Calf Manna is not really that high in fat but it is high in protein which is a less effective source of digestible energy for weight gain. You would be better off adding straight corn or vegetable oil to his diet and cutting out the Calf-Manna as far as weight gain is concerned.

Ok, you say he's 16h and has never gone over 1200lbs--this may or may not be too little weight for your horse. What breed? Can you describe the way he looks? Pictures would be extremely helpful. (If you've already posted pictures, point me to the thread.)
How old is he? EXACTLY what are you feeding him--hay by weight, is he on good pasture, concentrate feed other than beet pulp and calf-manna? Has he had his teeth checked recently? How often do you deworm and with what?

Cindy D.
Registered Veterinary Technician
    10-01-2007, 04:36 PM
I'm not sure of the weight of his alfalfa right now but I will check on that. He willl be going to pasture where a garden was grown over the summer so he will have lots to eat along with his regular feed. Its time for him to be dewormed and shod again. I have been deworming him with Ivermectin ever four to six weeks, so its usually every five weeks. Blu has always been thin. He has a long, thin body type. I might be able to get pics this week. I have sports and school going on. Grrr... I have posted pics but they are not full body pics and they are from June of this year and he has dropped in weight. We tried the corn oil trick, putting corn oil in his grain, and about three days after we started it he got colic, thankfully it was only a 24 hour severly upset-stomach. That's what the vet said....Thanks!
    10-01-2007, 07:51 PM
I'm looking forward to seeing some pictures.

As for the pasture situation, is he not on pasture at all right now? Is he stalled or in a dry lot?

Corn oil shouldn't cause colic, it is easily and highly digestible and doesn't add strain to the GI tract. I would bet that it was coincidental that it occured a few days after starting on the oil.

You don't need to deworm every 4-6 weeks with ivermectin. If your horse is on pasture and you are looking at preventing more eggs from getting shed into your pasture, then you need to deworm every 8 weeks. If your horse is dry-lotted and fed hay or stalled and fed hay, then you probably don't even need to deworm that often because your risk of exposure to new parasites is low. If that is the case, you can have your vet run fecal egg counts and deworm only when you get a result above 125 eggs per sample.
    10-01-2007, 08:17 PM
Well, Blu is around a lot of other horses at the fairgrounds. He will be leaving to pasture befor the end of this month. I like to keep him up to date with worming because sometimes the other horses look sick. Plus, Pigeon Fever was going around and thank goodness he didn't catch it!
    10-01-2007, 08:25 PM
Unless he is grazing on pastures with the horses at the fair grounds, he's not going to pick up worms from them. If you are attending fairs in Arizona (as well as living in Arizona) you really don't have much of a parasite burden on pastures anyway just because of the environmental conditions. Deworming isn't needed nearly as often there and it's only recommended every 6-8 weeks generally in places where parasite contamination of pastures is heavy.

Cindy D.
Registered Veterinary Technician
    10-01-2007, 09:22 PM
He is still ready for another deworming. I wasn't keeping good track and I think he is overdue....

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