Hay Belly questions - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 01-29-2011, 02:29 PM Thread Starter
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Hay Belly questions

There seem to be a lot of opinions on Hay Belly an its cause. . .
I have an 9 yr old Arab mare with a fairly long back and no condition along her topline (never foaled). She has never been put under saddle and is fairly lazy, so NO muscle. She stands by the round bale all day and night, like all the horses, cows and goats, etc. She gets whole oats twice a day in small quantity in the winter.

She is really the only one that has a hay belly. One rescue had a faint, faint one and could slightly feel ribs along the topline; however, he was low in the pecking order, and that is the reason for the the slightly lower weight. We had 7, counting our rescues until 2 were adopted on Tuesday, and everyone lookes great except this mare. Her belly is really big and hangs low. Remember though, her topline is a mess . . . no condition at all and her back is overly long, but you can feel ribs. . . She was in gorgeous condition over the summer/spring/fall.

Am I looking at a nutrition problem? I will say, I know the hay isn't great quality, BUT it is fairy good as the other horses (even those on no concentrate), the dairy heifer, the dairy goats and donkeys all look good. This mare does need her teeth done if I can ever get our equine dentist to call me back and get out here. . .

The photo doesn't show how prominent her spin is. . .and though the ribs are faint, they are easily felt around the top line. . .not so much further down. The belly sticks out pretty far on each side, as well.

The chance of her being wormy is fairly slim. Wormed in fall, wormed 2 weeks ago with Quest, as a precaution. The belly changed not at all from that.

I'm going to take her off 24/7 hay and start a complete feed with hay supplemented and see how that does. . .

Just curious about opinions.

Last edited by deineria; 01-29-2011 at 02:32 PM.
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-29-2011, 03:12 PM
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Are her teeth preventing her from getting correct nutrition from the amount of food she chews? My first impression was "she's got a gut full of worms", but you said she was wormed. Do a fecal egg count.

BTW, topline conditioning really comes from conditioning of the abdominal mucsles , not back muscles.
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-29-2011, 03:35 PM
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Besides adding bulk it doesn't look like that hay is adding much in way of nutrition. I would go with your individual feeding plan.
She's very pretty. What's her story?
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post #4 of 24 Old 01-29-2011, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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While we do a lot of rescue, this one isn't a rescue. I purchased her from a breeder in Lexington, Ky in 2009. She is a Desperado V granddaughter:
Lady Ann

I would think the hay isn't adding much nutrition, but we have a lot of animals on the same hay, and everyone else is a good weight.

I haven't done a fecal on her, but I can't imagine the wormer not working on her. The vet says Quest is still very effective here. I will do that if the change of feeding doesn't help.

I suppose her teeth might be preventing her from getting the nutrition from the hay that they others are getting.

She does nothing to get muscle anywhere - lol.
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post #5 of 24 Old 01-29-2011, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by deineria View Post
Her belly is really big and hangs low. Remember though, her topline is a mess . . .

The chance of her being wormy is fairly slim. Wormed in fall, wormed 2 weeks ago with Quest, as a precaution. The belly changed not at all from that.

Just curious about opinions.

I have seen worse. Some people will mistakenly think the horse is pregnant but the sides are all wrong for that.

Do look again into the worms. Sometimes the wormers don't target the right offending worms and rotating the wormers is a good idea.
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post #6 of 24 Old 01-30-2011, 06:50 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks. I might run a fecal down to the vet.
She definitely isn't pregnant, thank goodness.
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post #7 of 24 Old 01-30-2011, 10:48 PM
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Yeh i would have a fecal done,she does look wormy i always worm with equimax in late fall.
Equimax takes care of tape worms along with all the other worms. I do fecals two too three times a year my horses have very low egg counts. I only worm in the spring and fall and some times in the middle of summer,i always use equimax spring and fall then ivermectin in summer.Sometimes the horses do get hay bellies but it depends on the hay i have,this year i have really good hay. So my horses dont seem to have hay bellies.
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post #8 of 24 Old 01-30-2011, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
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My vet recommends Quest plus in this area, but Quest plus isn't on the market right now, so I used Zimectrin gold in October and Quest a few weeks ago. Zimectrin gold and Equimax have the same ingredients. I am concerned if she is wormy and those wormers did not take care of it. . . well, I am not sure what could be done. . .
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post #9 of 24 Old 01-31-2011, 09:33 AM
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The equimax has 14.3% of praziquantel and zimectrin gold only has 7.75% praziquantel so
i think equimax is better.I dont use zimectrin gold it has blistered the mouths of my horses,it happened about two hours after treament. Her coat doesnt look healthy not much shine to it my horses have winter hair and they have shine to there coats.So something is going on with her maybe have her checked for gastric ulcers just a thought.
My gelding gets gastric ulcers in the summer his coat gets dull and he gets grumpy and very cinchy when saddleing. Shes been wormed so it shouldnt be worms but who knows,a fecal will tell what going on,i have one horse that tends too be more wormy so he needs to be wormed more often. Hope this helps spirit88
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post #10 of 24 Old 01-31-2011, 12:46 PM Thread Starter
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The differences in Zim gold and Equimax is something I want to look further into.
I'd thought the same thing . 14.3 praziquantel and Zim gold 7.7% but in this month's issue of Equus, it stated:
Active Ingredients: Equimax: 0.2/kg Ivermectin Zim Gold 0.2/kg Ivermectin
1.5mg/kg pranziquantel 1.5mg/kg pranziquantel
(compared then to Quest PLUS which was: 0.4mg/kg moxidectin
2.5.g/kg praziquantel
It is on page 28 in Equus this month. . .

But I think I WILL try the Equimax, in case. Also, I think Ulcers are potentially something to consider. You can see her condition in early Oct though was a very good:
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