Horse wont drink

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Horse wont drink

This is a discussion on Horse wont drink within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    05-21-2013, 07:57 AM
Question Horse wont drink

I brought a horse home two weeks ago. She did not drink at first, but drank a lot after three days. She drank well for two days, but for 1.5 weeks she is only taking sips. I have partially compensated by giving her an alfalfa mash with lots of water mixed with a little grain. She is not constipated, and does urinate. I tried the dry alfalfa cubes, but she won't eat them. She constantly moves her tongue in and out of her mouth, looking like she has a dry mouth. I am waiting for the vet to come out later this week. She passed the pinch test. Any ideas?
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    05-21-2013, 08:36 AM
Give her some electrolights. I use a big syringe and add enough water to be able to shoot it in like a wormer. Vet advised this for my old man in the summer on trail rides as he would not drink at creeks.
    05-21-2013, 09:41 AM
Super Moderator
Powdered Gatorade works very well. We just cut the end out of a 35cc disposable syringe, fill it half full of powdered Gatorade, add enough corn syrup to fill it almost up, stir it up with a nail and put it in the corner of the horse's mouth. It is sticky enough that most horses do not spit it out.

Once you give them a dose or two, you can add a tablespoon of it mixed in a tiny bit of grain and most horses will scarf it down. Some horses need this when it gets hot and others don't drink enough in the really cold weather.
    05-21-2013, 10:22 AM
Green Broke
Add gatoraid or apple juice to the water.

Sometimes different water tastes "funny" to them. I.e. More chlorination, etc. The gatoraid or apple juice will mask the small difference and entice her to drink.

I wouldn't try feeding dry alfalfa cubes. I've had a few incidents of choke with dry so always soak mine. Nothing wrong with making a really soupy mixture of alfalfa cubes and water for her to slurp up to increase water intake.
    05-21-2013, 02:36 PM
Have you actually measured how much she is drinking?
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    05-21-2013, 10:05 PM
I knew a big black percheron that was born with a hole inside the roof of his mouth which made him have problems with drinking. There could be a problem inside her mouth?
    05-21-2013, 10:50 PM
Are you offering her any salt? Put a cup of household salt in a container and see if that's what she needs. Don't rely on a lick to provide an adequate amount of salt. If she is in need of salt this will change her water consumption.
    05-21-2013, 11:14 PM
Super Moderator
You can lead a horse to water. But you can't make it drink...

Mwhahahaha! I crack myself up!

Seriously though, I'd actually measure what her water intake is if you can and all of the above suggestions have been good ones. What kind of water do you have? Well? Tap?
    05-22-2013, 12:41 AM
I can usually get a horse to drink by putting about a foot of water in the pail then throwing carrot chunks in. They sink. It takes the horse a little while but it figures out that retrieving the carrots is easier with less water.
    05-22-2013, 01:53 AM
If my horse wasn't drinking, I'd call the vet to find out what the problem is.

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