Horse Won't Eat Grain . . . - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Horse Won't Eat Grain . . .

I posted a couple weeks ago about my hussy mare and my gelding who had gone nuts. A week ago, my gelding suffered a serious eye injury. We think the mare or my other gelding kicked him in the head. His eye still looks terrible despite steroids, antibiotics and bute. Anyway, he did not eat grain the day after the injury occurred. His head was swollen and he seemed to be in pain when he ate. He would eat hay. He then went back to eating grain for a couple of days and we had to put aspirin in it. I drizzled it with molassis to hide the taste. He refused to eat it and still won't. He has not eated grain (sweet feed) for 4 days now. He will eat hay and some horse apple-flavored treats. I think he's afraid we have laced it. He can eat the apple treats so I don't know if he still has soreness of not. Does anybody have any ideas for what I can do to get him to eat the feed? This horse has always eaten grain twice a day and I'm afraid he'll get malnourished on just hay.
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post #2 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 12:56 PM
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call the vet...
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post #3 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 01:09 PM
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He could have an abscess in his mouth, maybe he bit the inside of his mouth when he got kicked. You can look around in there...or if you don't feel comfortable doing that, call your vet
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post #4 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 01:14 PM
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I don't believe horses are smart enough or stubborn enough to refuse food because they think it is laced. Dogs and cats maybe but horses not so much.

How long was he on bute and at what dosage? Could be stomach ulcers. I would call a vet to get them to assess.

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post #5 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 01:18 PM
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I agree with Sarah.


I suggest you make sure his grain bucket is clean and free of med smells.
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post #6 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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He only took bute for 3 or 4 days. He eats hay and the apple treats which are way thicker and harder than feed. The smell of meds in his trough may be an idea though. I'll try that. I don't guess he thinks the feed is laced, but he probably does know if there is something out of the ordinary that tastes or smells bad.
As far as calling a vet, I can call, but all of the horse people in my area do alot of their own vet work. The nearest vet in any direction that will see large animals is 50 miles away so it's no so easy to get one to come out. They all say to bring the horse to them and when a horse is hurt or sore or truly sick it's not always possible.
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post #7 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 03:15 PM
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Has the vet not seen the eye injury?
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-13-2011, 09:02 PM Thread Starter
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Yes. The vet will come for emergencies, but if they know you well and know you are capable of caring for your horse, they do as much as possible on the phone.

Since I posted this thread, the horse has actually eaten a few mouthfuls of grain, so hopefully he's on his way back.

If anyone wants to become a horse vet in eastern KY, they could get plenty of work.
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-14-2011, 07:46 AM
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Still confused, probably because I did not word my question very well.

Did the vet come out? Or did you do over the phone vetting on this eye injury?
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post #10 of 17 Old 04-15-2011, 12:06 AM
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Sweet feed isn't good for them anyway. Try alfalfa pellets or soaked alfalfa cubes. If he'll eat that, then just add a vitamin/mineral supplement and a little fat (like flax meal or Empower) and he'll be getting all of the nutrition he needs without all the junk that he doesn't. If he's on free choice hay, he should only need 1-4 lbs of alfalfa and 2-6 oz of fat to keep up his weight, even in moderate to heavy riding/training.

I agree, though, ask your vet. You want to rule out any injury related issues or possible mouth or stomach ulcers.
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