malnourished weanling - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 03:10 PM Thread Starter
bjb
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malnourished weanling

Ok so some of you already know that I recently bought a 6 month old filly who has not been cared for properly. We only had her a week when she coliced and found out she had a severe infection (that had obviously been going on for a while). She was on two antibiotics. We have de-wormed her and taken proper steps to better her health. We have had her two weeks now and she is already starting to look a bit better. However her weight is a huge concern to me she only weighs 230lbs. She has free choice hay, a mineral block, and I have been giving her two hand fulls of mare and foal grain a day. I know the weight will not come back over night but is there anything else I should be doing to help her? Also what is a reasonable amount of time for her to start gaining?

This is my first experience with a sickly foal so I want to make sure I give her the best chances possible
Thanks!
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post #2 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 03:26 PM
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Two hand fulls is like two spoon fulls..I'd be upping her on that and maybe moving her over to a junior feed.
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post #3 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 03:28 PM
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Usually at the feed store you can find some supplements for yearlings to give them a little extra boost they need at that age. When I got my 2 paints at 6 months I gave them a supplement and they always were hard to put weight on until they reached about 3...everytime there weight would match their structure, they would grow again and I would have to start again. Mama probably didnt get the extra care she needed when she was pregnant either so that probably didnt help any. And you don't want to put weight on quickly, a gradual improvement is recommended so not to shock her body too much. If your not seeing any improvement in a about 2-3 weeks then re-access her diet, but again slow is better.
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post #4 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 03:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by MangoRoX87 View Post
Two hand fulls is like two spoon fulls..I'd be upping her on that and maybe moving her over to a junior feed.
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yeah I figured someone would say that .. I was afraid to give too much and cause her to colic again
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post #5 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by hhadavis View Post
Usually at the feed store you can find some supplements for yearlings to give them a little extra boost they need at that age. When I got my 2 paints at 6 months I gave them a supplement and they always were hard to put weight on until they reached about 3...everytime there weight would match their structure, they would grow again and I would have to start again. Mama probably didnt get the extra care she needed when she was pregnant either so that probably didnt help any. And you don't want to put weight on quickly, a gradual improvement is recommended so not to shock her body too much. If your not seeing any improvement in a about 2-3 weeks then re-access her diet, but again slow is better.
yes I understand what your saying. I believe there are a few different factors going into why she looks like she does. For one I know she was weaned early but im not sure why. Also when I say she's thin I mean really thin like you can see ribs and her spine is clearly visible. I would be satisfied if she were just mildy thin because I do know young ones are terribly hard to put weight on. This is obviously beyond just a growning foal stage
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post #6 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 03:53 PM
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Some foals lose weight after being weaned and how much they lose depends a lot on how badly they go off their feed.As to what to feed, your vet is the best one to ask since he's familiar with her condition.
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post #7 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 03:58 PM
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I take it you have had a vet check her? What did they recommend for feed? I would up the grain but very slowly, I don't know what to recommend as a grain but if you can get a pelleted grain made for yearlings then you can soak it and get more water into the gut. Maybe you can add some hay cubes that could also be soaked. When there is colic I alway want to make sure the horse is getting enough water. I love beet pulp but I know that's not a good food choice for a growing horse.

Again I stress do any food changes slowly

Last edited by Tiamo; 10-25-2012 at 04:01 PM.
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post #8 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Tiamo View Post
I take it you have had a vet check her? What did they recommend for feed? I would up the grain but very slowly, I don't know what to recommend as a grain but if you can get a pelleted grain made for yearlings then you can soak it and get more water into the gut. Maybe you can add some hay cubes that could also be soaked. When there is colic I alway want to make sure the horse is getting enough water. I love beet pulp but I know that's not a good food choice for a growing horse.

Again I stress do any food changes slowly

Thank you. Yes she was vet checked and they didnt mention anything about feeding and I was so wrapped up in the colic bit that I stupidly didnt ask. So I figured that I would try by just making sure she is actually being fed and if that didnt help I would get more vet advice. I honestly don't think she was being fed all that well before. The previous owner had a few skinny horses so she wasnt the only one and she had cuts and scrapes all over her face. Im certain her health was a simple case of neglect
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post #9 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 04:09 PM
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I think you were right to start off small with two handfulls, especially after a case of colic. Now you can start gradually upping it, I like the idea of soaking it (if she will eat it like that) because her tummy might still be sensitive- the extra water will help keep things lubricated and moving, and soaking it takes a step of breaking it down for nutrients so that her poor abused insides can absorb it easily.

You could talk to your vet about adding a fat supplement like ricebran to help with the initial gain.

Good luck! You should take before and after pictures!

"Riding: the art of keeping the horse between you and the ground."
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post #10 of 12 Old 10-25-2012, 04:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjb View Post
Thank you. Yes she was vet checked and they didnt mention anything about feeding and I was so wrapped up in the colic bit that I stupidly didnt ask. So I figured that I would try by just making sure she is actually being fed and if that didnt help I would get more vet advice. I honestly don't think she was being fed all that well before. The previous owner had a few skinny horses so she wasnt the only one and she had cuts and scrapes all over her face. Im certain her health was a simple case of neglect
I would start by slowly upping what you are feeding and/or at least call the vet to get their opinion if not have them come back out. If you don't see improvement in another few weeks by upping her feed I would defiantly have the vet out again to look at her
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