horse loosing weight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 06-28-2012, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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horse loosing weight

A friend at the barn has an older mustang and he has been dropping weight pretty quick. They have upped his food and are going to worm him. His teeth were done 4 months ago and they are going to get them checked again. Is there anything else that they could try/check? I know they are going to have the vet out probably next week. They also were going to get beet pulp too.

I know he is a mustang and about 15 to 20 years old, but not much more than that.
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post #2 of 20 Old 06-28-2012, 08:58 PM
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Maybe think about adding a probiotic to his diet

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #3 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 01:52 PM
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If they could give him few choice hay, that would help get weight on him too. I agree with Sky, try a probiotic supplement. The probiotic helps so the hind gut can absorb nutrients from feed better. Also, does he have access to a salt block?
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post #4 of 20 Old 06-29-2012, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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I believe they have a salt lick and mineral block but they cannot feed free choice hay because of their 3 other horses in the same paddock.
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post #5 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 01:34 AM
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So they don't all have a round bale to munch on throughout the day?

Is there a way you could add one in? It's important that they're constantly eating something while not working.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #6 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 02:31 AM Thread Starter
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There is no way to get a round bale. None of the horses munch on hay through out the day. My horse will get fed 3 times a day when I move next month, but nobody else would be willing to do that.
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post #7 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 02:59 AM
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Well keep an eye on him, and do what you can.

Have they had a chance to worm him yet as per your OP?

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #8 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 07:38 AM
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<sigh> Someone needs to help me understand how the horse world has evolved into the "the horse is losing weight so we're going to worm him" before they do anything else.

Even if the horse is not UTD on worming, that is the last thing I'd do without asking the vet first.

My two mid-20's fellas have a very hard time holding weight and it isn't because of worm load. It's because one has gastric ulcers and the other has hind gut ulcers and Equine Metabolic Syndrome.

Hopefully the vet really is coming out sooner than later. I would discuss the possibility of ulcers -- both gastric and hind gut. Hind gut ulcers can be checked thru a fecal so there's the prime opportunity to have the worm load also checked on the horse before worming.

Hopefully the vet will thoroughly check his teeth. Horses don't always have to be dropping their feed to have bad teeth.

And in the end, hopefully all that is wrong is the horse isn't getting enough hay.

Some horses reach a point in their life where they need more forage - maybe some alfalfa to give them more protein and amino acids, they didn't need when they were younger.

Unless it hasn't been done for a year or two, worming, worming, worming is not the "go to" answer when a horse suddenly starts dropping weight. Should the horse happen to have ulcers, worming can really compound the issue with a good case of colic. Get the vet involved:)
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post #9 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 08:48 AM
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The others may be chasing him away from his hay. Horses will do that to older horses. Can he not be put somewhere else or in the barn so he can eat undisturbed? A horse needs hay for the fiber almost all day, except during snooze times otherwise he develops ulcers. If the hay is put in small mesh hay nets, one for each horse plus one extra, it slows down consumption and the hay will last longer. This alone can help a horse put on weight. With horses, the faster in, the faster out with barely lingering long enough to digest.
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post #10 of 20 Old 06-30-2012, 08:55 AM
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Is the grass in their field really eaten down? If it is, the hay net idea is a pretty good one. The hay will encourage them to be eating constantly, maintining body heat and encouraging weight gain. Or is there any way to separate the horse in question from his buddies with an electric tape so he gets any hay and grass all to his self without having to worry about being cahsed off his food.

Do you know what the horses bucket feed consists of and how many times he's being fed a day?

We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too ~Kristen Martz
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