Fat pony. - The Horse Forum

 
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-08-2007, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Fat pony.

I have a extremely fat pony and I'm at a loss at what else I can do. She is a 6 year old 14.1 hh qh and weighs a little over 950 pounds (now wearing a size 50 girth). She gets worked every day, is in a grassless paddock, and is currently on two handfuls of feed twice a day along with her electrolytes. Because of her size she has developed a sore back, again. I have no idea what else I can do, any suggestions?

Oh, I tried using a grazing muzzle last year but she got so upset she foundered.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-08-2007, 02:49 PM
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What sort of feed? And has your vet had a look at her for a hormonal imbalance?

Ed. Also, I'd get her on some sort of forage, if she's not getting any...from your description, its sounds like she's not. They really need a constant small intake of forage to maintain a healthy digestive system.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-08-2007, 10:42 PM Thread Starter
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She has a tiny bit of grass, but not much.
We haven't checked for a hormonal imbalance, but she is on a strong mare medication... but, she was super fat last year too.
And... right now she gets complete.
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-08-2007, 10:52 PM
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Getting upset doesn't founder a horse, but the history of super easy keeper and founder points to Insulin Resistance which is known to predispose horses to founder. You need to have your vet draw blood and send off a resting serum insulin test on her--this means no feed for 12 hours prior to blood draw.

For her diet, you are setting her up for gastric ulcers and poor dental wear with what you are feeding. You would be better off to keep her dry lotted but feed her a grass hay that is low in non-structural carbs (you can have it tested or just soak your hay for 30 minutes prior to feeding) and then give a ration balancer to ensure that all of her nutrient requirements are met because soaking the hay can leach some of the nutrient content. Horses NEED plenty of forage to ensure good digestive health and they don't NEED feed. So go for hay rather than a complete feed---it's better for her both physically and mentally. Whatever you are feeding needs to be low in sugars and low in carbs---no grains, no molasses, etc.

And daily exercise is really important.

Here is a link to a really good article:
www.thehorse.com/pdf/aaep/obese.pdf

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 12:11 AM
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I'd get her checked for a thyroid imbalance, if you haven't. If she's constantly fat and can't lose weight, even on an excercise program, that is a possible issue. She wouldn't necessarily act sickly with such an imbalance either.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 10:25 AM
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Thyroid imbalances that aren't caused by some other condition (most commonly IR or Cushings for hypothyroidism) are rare in horses. That's why I recommended testing for IR and Cushing's.
Too many people just do the thyroid testing and miss the main problem---just treat one of the symptoms.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 11:23 AM
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Good to know. My friend's parents had a broodmare with this problem...I'll mention it to them. I don't believe they ever actually had her tested for IR or Cushing's. They have since sold the mare, who is working mainly as a trail and harness horse now. Maybe they can pass it on to the new owners.
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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And nope, she is completely healthy, just obese. We actually got her completely checked a few weeks ago.
Also, I did forget to mention that she is given hay.

And wow, I meant to put colic not founder.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-09-2007, 09:45 PM
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Just cut down on her feed, work her harder. If you can't ride her lunge her. Or buy this product, its called founder guard. It just balances out everything.
Cheers
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-11-2007, 08:36 AM
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my best suggestion is no grain/feed at all. Just hay. If he/she throws a super-fit about not getting "feed" ignore it the way you would a naughty child's tantrum, or give her half a handful of whole dry oats. Half the oats you give will not get digested, and thus she wont get any of the fat/nutrients but will still feel like she ate "feed".
We've always had at least one easy keeper and that was our very first attack.
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