Horse underweight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Horse underweight

I recently bought a 14yr old 15.2hh Thoroughbred/Quarter horse and she is underweight a little bit. Some of the other people at the stables where she is kept told me to just continue feeding her as I have been but she hasn't gained anything. Her ribs continue to show and she continues to stay in one place when she is put in the arena with our other two horses. And even when she is by herself she stays in one place. (right by the entrance gate). The guy I bought her from kept her in his arena on rocks and very rough and uneven surfaces in the hot Hawaiian Summer sun with no shade and fed her very dry hay. She rarely had water to drink and now she drinks water like there is no tomorrow. But I am wondering if there is anything else I can do to help her gain the weight. I feed her alfalfa cubes with Purina senior feed and two sheets of hay.
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post #2 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 04:49 PM
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maybe more heavy duty grain and hay stretcher just a guess thoughh

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post #3 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 04:55 PM
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You probably know this already but make sure she's not wormy, doesn't have any dental problems, yada yada yada. Maybe call up the vet and tell him about her diet plan she is on now and ask if that's a good combination for her, and if it is ask him if adding corn oil would benefit her. 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup twice a day with her grain is good. I know how hard it is keeping weight on a naturally thin horse. Mine is 15.3 hh and an Appendix QH as well.

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post #4 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 06:38 PM
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You might want to have the vet check her liver enzymes. My daughter's colt was eating his fool head off and losing weight until he really was emaciated. We were feeding "Paddock" which is a mare/foal/perfomance horse type of formula with lots of vitamins and mineral (produced locally, which is why you've never heard of it), alfalfa pellets and soaked beet pulp - in addition to all the hay and grass he could want.

Turns out he's got a sensitivity to the alfalfa - it caused toxins to build up in his system and it nearly killed him! We've taken him off of alfalfa and hopefully he will recover.

I still use alfalfa pellets for our other horses - it's wonderful stuff - just not for Junior...

You also mentioned that she pretty much stands in one place, and that she had been on rocky ground previously. This would indicate you think it's significant, and you could well be right - you might want to have her feet checked. She could have a stone bruise or something of that sort - she sounds like she might be uncomfortable...

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Last edited by dee; 07-22-2010 at 06:40 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 07-22-2010, 08:44 PM
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have you thought maybe ulcers??

Might get some generic Ranitidine at walmart/CVS type place and give her 3mg per lb of body weight every 8 hours if possible for at least 4 days ... if her appetitie increases that is a good sign she has them...

in the mean time remove all grains from her diet... replace those with alfalfa pellets/beet pulp and/or rice bran ... also find a good vitamin/mineral supplement with added protiens ... free choice hay right where she stands if you have too

I have been called the NSC Nazi more then once ... I hate traditional feed methods of loading our horses up on grains and junk food :)
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post #6 of 6 Old 07-27-2010, 05:13 PM
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I agree with Pennysue, just until she gets her weight up she should have free-choice hay. Also consider beet pulp.

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