Help with a skinny horse!

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Help with a skinny horse!

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  • What could make a healthy horse go from 1500 lbs. To skin and bones in a matter of two to three months
  • Zimectrin gold for skinny poor keeper

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    06-07-2013, 12:52 PM
Help with a skinny horse!

My QH gelding is around 15.3hh and is the sweetest guy! When I rescued him, he wasn't terribly thin, but we were told he was a hard keeper. Recently, however, he dropped a massive amount of weight in a matter of two weeks or so, showing hip bones, spine, and tailbone now. He is wormed regularly (every 3 months) with ivermectin. We rushed him to the vet thinking his teeth were bad. His teeth did need floating so we had that done, but he was also full of worms. We did a treatment to rid him of worms and two weeks later, used a one time dose of deworming grain on his feed. He has 24/7 access to Bermuda/fescue grass and hay, and we are feeding him senior feed with probiotics and weight builder. The vet didn't seem worried about his weight drop at all and said the dewormer would fix him. It has been three weeks now and he's showed no signs of gain. We've tried corn oil (no inflammation issues) and beet pulp as well. His feet are in good shape, his coat has never been shiny but it doesn't look any worse, and he still acts like he's feeling good. He's off work for now but likes to run the fence line playing and runs to you in the pasture. The vet confirmed his age was accurate (10) just to be sure. I may just be impatient to see results as this guy is my baby. Thoughts are welcome, negativity is not.
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    06-07-2013, 01:02 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
If he was loaded with worms, that was likely the reason for his weight loss. Do a fecal on him in a week or so to make sure they're all gone, and get him on a good worming regiment. It sounds like you're feeding him the right things, so he'll probably start gaining again soon. Don't ride him until he has gained weight though. You might look into a supplement for his skin and coat health if you want him to be shinier, but other than that just give him time. Its a good sign that he still acts like he feels good.
    06-07-2013, 01:16 PM
We do have him on a regular worming schedule but is it possible worms can become resistant to ivermectin?
    06-07-2013, 01:24 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
He could have had a different type of worms too. Ivermectrin only kills certain life stages of specific types of worms.
    06-07-2013, 02:00 PM
Yes, Quest plus will kill everything pretty much but you never give it to a debilitated animal or one with a possibility of an infestation. A power pack would be my choice to get encysted strongyles and then Id treat him for ulcers as well. Some worms don't show on a fecal.

What Sr feed are you using? They are not all equal.
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    06-07-2013, 02:02 PM
We did the power pack. We feed Purina
    06-07-2013, 02:27 PM
After the PowerPac I'd do him with Equimax or Zimecterin Gold, to make sure there is no tapeworm. Then do fecals and worm according to what is present, if any.
Since you have access to Purina, switch him to Strategy Healthy Edge. It's the overall better feed.
Running the he by himself? He could be running off all the calories you try to get into him, fretting.
    06-07-2013, 02:30 PM
Green Broke
I highly suggest doing a power pack one month followed by equimax the next month. Vet suggested this to me for my guy when I bought him as he was very wormy and it helped tremendously. I'm not sure why you worm with ivermectin every time but I was told never to do that. You are only killing certain worms and then they become immune to that wormer
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    06-07-2013, 06:10 PM
Yes ditto on the next dewormer. If you power packed you need to follow up with a tape dewormer.

Also IMO Purina Sr is crap. I spent so much money for a year feeding that stuff and never got my horses to gain weight. They were eating scads of it and beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, oils, weight gainers everything I could throw at them after awhile with no change. Switched to Triple Crown Sr at about 6 to 8 lbs a day with alfalfa added on top of free choice medium quality grass hay and voila. Fat.

Also Alfalfa in whatever form can't be beat for putting weight on a horse. 5 to 10 lbs a day adds between 5000 and 10000 calories. That is significant. Weight it and feed hay over pellets or cubes if you can.
    06-07-2013, 07:19 PM
Forgot all about the alfalfa, shame on me
Alfalfa, hay or pellets, has around 1100 calories,Purina Senior 1200( like most senior feeds, it has lots of roughage, because it's meant to be feed to horses with few teeth, which obviously cannot chew hay well. If you check the amount to feed, 12-15 lbs, it tells you right there why it has not much effect). The Healthy Edge has 1300, the normal Strategy 1500.
So, feeding alfalfa, together with a few lbs of " normal" feed should show results.
If you could get Nutrena, their Life Design line has worked well for me.

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