Horse losing weight...thoughts? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 12-29-2011, 02:18 PM Thread Starter
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Horse losing weight...thoughts?

I bought this horse in October, brought him to a new stable. After a few weeks I realized they were not feeding enough hay to the amount of horses they had and refused to feed more so I switched stables.
I know my new stable is feeding him more (they're more like family), we've upped his grain, but he's still dropping weight, his coat looks dull, and he tilts his head when being haltered/bridled, he also has problems picking up the canter, and he drops a lot of grain/half eaten hay. I have read this is all signs of dental problems so I'm having the vet out in a couple days to check out his teeth, float them, and possibly have his wolf teeth removed if he still has those. He has never ridden in a bit before and rides in a bitless bridle... I bought him from what I thought was a trusted source (a friend) she said he had his teeth floated this past year but my new stable owner actually felt his teeth and said he had sharp points. So much for trying to trust people....Could he be losing from stress from new owner/stables/feed, and teeth problems or could it be something else? He seems to be in good spirits and has a healthy appetite, just losing weight/muscling and dull coat. What are your opinions?
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post #2 of 9 Old 12-29-2011, 02:24 PM
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I would definitely say its his teeth. Every symptom you mentioned points to his teeth. Once they are taken care of he should be good to go :)
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post #3 of 9 Old 12-29-2011, 02:33 PM
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I agree sounds like the teeth...The coat could be dull because he isn't the nutrients out of his food... it isn't being chewed up well and is just passing threw him. Once his teeth are floated he just pick up weight.
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post #4 of 9 Old 12-29-2011, 06:47 PM
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I too would get his teeth attended to well first. I'd also worm him really well - if you're getting the vet for teeth anyway, ask him about worming. Sharp teeth doesn't necessarily mean your friend was lying about getting teeth done. You don't tell how old he is but age & diet, as well as conformation of his jaw/head can have a bearing on how frequently a horse needs floating. Seems that on average they need them done between 6-monthly & a year or so.

Stress could also play a part, as of course as does what & how much he's fed. How he's fed & managed can be important too, as if you're feeding grain or other starchy, hard to digest ingredients, it's even more important to feed little & often, rather than only 2 square meals a day for eg, to minimise potential probs such as ulcers, hind gut acidosis, etc. Especially if he only gets fed infrequently, I would go for a safer, healthier alternative, such as beet pulp, rice bran, soy hulls or such. It may be that he's getting enough calories but imbalanced nutrition is what is preventing him from thriving. Good nutritonal supplementation may be important. Among other health & wellbeing reasons, horses need free movement for proper digestion. Especially if it's winter wherever you are, perhaps he's being cooped up in a stable too much & this is contributing. Especially if he's come from elsewhere, especially if he lived out with company & has come to a new place & been locked up, stress could also be a problem there, as could mourning for past friends.

Cantering problems could be to do with teeth or such or could be a totally unrelated issue.
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post #5 of 9 Old 12-29-2011, 08:09 PM
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And many horses need their teeth floated at least once a year, so he may well be due again. In the meantime try wetting his grain and add some rice bran.
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post #6 of 9 Old 12-29-2011, 08:20 PM
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My arab had the same problem...his teeth werent touched until I got him when he was 3...soon as I got them floated and his wolf teeth pulled...he really started to put the weight back on...Hope this works for your boy! far as the canter issue...he may be feeling a little uncomfortable due to his teeth and just may not be up to giving his 100%..

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post #7 of 9 Old 12-29-2011, 08:22 PM
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We have had horses that had to be floated every 6 months, so I wouldn't be so quick to say your friend can't be trusted.
I got a horse that had just came back from the vet when I picked him up from being floated, he was still a bit groggy. I saw the vet bill, and talked to the vet myself about this teeth. When I got him home, I took him to my vet for a check up. He looked at his mouth and said, we need to fix his teeth pretty quickly. . When we sedated him, one of his top molars had grown completely down into the missing space below it in the bottom jaw, yet the vet that had just done his teeth did nothing about it. We fixed it up, but this horse had to have his teeth floated every 5-6 months because the overgrown tooth, even ground down to almost normal, always overgrew since it had the space below it, so it threw off the rest of his mouth.
So, one vet didn't do anything about it, my vet, and myself immediately saw a problem. Maybe the vet who floated this guys teeth missed something, or this horse might have a mouth issue that requires more dental work than normal.
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post #8 of 9 Old 12-30-2011, 02:37 AM
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Originally Posted by wyominggrandma View Post
I saw the vet bill, and talked to the vet myself about this teeth. When I got him home, I took him to my vet for a check up. He looked at his mouth and said, we need to fix his teeth pretty quickly.
Yeah and as with any walk of life, there are 'experts' & 'experts' too. Perhaps your friend just had a lousy equine dentist. When I used a new dentist a couple of years ago for the first time, he had a go at me for neglecting their teeth, even tho I'd had them done yearly....
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post #9 of 9 Old 12-30-2011, 08:45 AM
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Exactly loosie, that is why I said just because the previous owner said she had the teeth done and the OP's BO said the teeth had points doesn't make the previous owner untrustworthy. Could be the previous owner's vet isn't good at doing teeth, some vets arent'.
Thats why I used my experience for an example, the horse had just had its teeth done, I brought the horse home to my vet whom I work for and found out what a total mess the mouth was.
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