Horse not interested in his grain... ??

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Horse not interested in his grain... ??

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    12-27-2012, 12:57 PM
Horse not interested in his grain... ??

This morning when I went to feed my two geldings my older gelding (16, will be "17" in Jan. As I don't know his exact birthdate) was not interested in his food. He was off a little bit by himself (my 3 year old was by the fence waiting, he was by the roundbale so nothing odd there). When I set his bucket in front of him he stuck his nose in it, and then wandered a few steps away from it. I scraped the supplements on the top to the side and gave a handfull of the grain and after that he started slowly nibbling at it. He normally is either right at the fence or atleast coming up to me when he sees me. He also is a bit of a gobbler, he takes really big mouthfulls.

He gets:

4 lbs. Of SafeChoice Performance (Soaked in warm water)
8 oz. Whole flax seed
SmartFlex Senior
Source Focus WT (He doesn't get a full dose, about .75 oz.)
A dose of salt (cheaper than electrolytes)
SafeChoice and flax are split into two meals and he gets his supplements in his morning feed. I haven't changed anything recently, so he shouldn't be turning up his nose at anything...
He currently has free choice hay. It's okay quality, but we haven't been able find good hay with the drought that happened over the summer. 24/7 turnout, unless it's really bad weather then he is stalled. They've actually been using the trailer (stock) for shelter.. totally unintentional, but the door has been open and haven't seen anything wrong with them going in there.
In the summer we barrel race locally (I'd say a show bi-weekly June to Sept.). He hasn't been doing much of anything except for roundpenning, lunging, and groundwork here and there since Sept. He did about the last two-three weeks of our show "season" he started acting a little out of character. (Taking the bit and running off, a touch girthy... I'd assumed he needed to get adjusted (chiro.), but I haven't found anyone in my area yet.)

So, these are the things I'm thinking could be a problem...

Ulcers - Poor appetite, mood change, but I thought I would of seen more changed over such a long period of time. (and treatment's expensive)

Teeth need floating - They were done last March, which was awhile ago. It just surprises me that his appetite was so sudden, unless he got a sore.

Dehydration (sp?) - The water tank is cold, and ice forms over it during the night. We break it every morning/night when we feed, but the coldness itself could prevent him from drinking as much as he should.

Or I'm overeacting. I've just had my mare colic around three times so whenever a slight thing changes with appetite I start to panic...

Sorry, that got long reaaaally fast xD
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    12-27-2012, 01:16 PM
Green Broke
Why not have a tank heater to prevent the ice? Yes cold water can be an issue, I just delt with that. Or colic is the first thing I think of when a horse won't eat. Is he eating hay?
    12-27-2012, 01:17 PM
Green Broke
Our gelding did that and two hours later he was showing signs of colic: shaking, high heart rate, etc. Our vet thought he caught some sort of "bug" that caused him to stop drinking, which led to an impaction.

Check his heart rate and his temperature, as well as his respirations. I'd call my vet to see if she wanted me to do anything else.

While I know it can be difficult, getting him some warmer water would be a good idea for all the horses. If you can't run an electric tank heater, try looking into the solar ones.
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    12-27-2012, 01:44 PM
Could have the beginning of an impaction colic on your hands.

Any time a horse goes off their feed, there's a reason.
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    12-27-2012, 01:57 PM
Could be the start of colic id be watching him closley. The girthyness and additude change scream ulcers. Id be hauling warm water too him so he drinks more or get a tank heater to keep trough ice free.Wouldnt hurt to put a call into the vet so vet knows whats going on if he gets worse later today.
themacpack likes this.
    12-28-2012, 10:28 AM
Thanks for the responses!

Regarding the water heater thing- I've never used one, nor do I know anyone who uses one. The problem here is their water tank is metal, I should've changed it out with a plastic one as soon as it started getting cold and I feel stupid for not doing it, so that's all my fault.

I had to work until seven yesterdy... I would've taken off, but the other girl I work with was sick, so I couldn't :/ Made me a nervous wreck all day! Luckily my dad could atleast check on him.

When I came home I mixed up his normal grain ration, but added some mineral oil and prune juice. (Anything to get everything moving) He started out a bit more interested in his food, but only ate about 1/4 of it and then I had to encourage him to eat another 1/4. I moved my three year old out of the field with him so that I could moniter how much water/hay he was taking in. I also changed out the water tank with a plastic one, which didn't freeze at all through the night. I gave him some hay different from his roundbale aswell. Set my alarm for 1:00 AM to check on him.

At 1:00 I mixed up some apples with some mineral oil, prune juice, and electrolytes. He wasn't interested whatsoever. He had ate all the hay I gave him, but hadn't drank any water. (If he had, it wasn't enough to make it noticeable) I walked him a lap around our feild to get help everything move. I put some maple syrup (no molasses on hand... I thought I had some, but couldn't find it) in his water to make it sweet to encourage him to drink. I got probably about half a bottle of mineral oil in him (I had like 3/4, but some dropped out of his mouth). Gave him more hay, and set my alarm to check on him early in the morning.

This morning he had drank some water, not a lot, but some. (which is better than none!) He had eaten all his hay, the majority of the apples, and the bit of grain leftover from lastnight. I gave him a bit of grain, not a lot, with mineral oil and prune juice. Gave him more hay as well. Still not as eager as normal, but he's definitely looking better. Going to check on him in a little bit and I'll probably try and get some more mineral oil in him aswell.

Also- I listed to his belly several times throughout the night. At 7:00 and 1:00 there were no noises, but this morning he was a little gurgly. Which is normal for him, he's a very gurgly and, uh, "gassy" horse all the time, so I'm taking that as a good sign!
    12-28-2012, 10:44 AM
Green Broke
Bring him warm water from the house and put some apple juice in it. He might not want the cold water even if it doesn't have ice. If he wont even eat apples I would be a little concerned.
    12-28-2012, 11:23 AM
I would be careful on how much grain you give him and would try the warm water might drink more if its warm. Sounds like he a bit colicy if not interested in grain and apples. Keep us posted on how he's doing sounds like you doing a good job and keeping a close eye on him. Hope he's back to normal real soon.
    12-28-2012, 12:50 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by 3Barrels    
Regarding the water heater thing- I've never used one, nor do I know anyone who uses one. The problem here is their water tank is metal, I should've changed it out with a plastic one as soon as it started getting cold and I feel stupid for not doing it, so that's all my fault.
Not sure what being metal has to do with using a heater...? You can get a submersible or floating heater for those tanks (in fact, it's easier to use heaters in metal tanks than in plastic ones). I lived in NW MO for years and year and always used a heater for my horse's water; are you in southern MO?

It's dangerous to feed a colicky horse anything until the problem has been determined. If you are hearing gut sounds that's a good thing, but that doesn't necessarily mean the problem has resolved itself.

Sure hope he's on the mend!

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