My 33 year old Palomino loosing Weight and Muscle what to do. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 09-15-2012, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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My 33 year old Palomino loosing Weight and Muscle what to do.

Hello I'm worried about my 33 year old palomino I have had him for 19 years, he has held his weight up untill February 2012 . During the cold months he started with diarrhea and it has been very hard to keep it under control. I have to keep him on probiotics every day ,if i stop the probiotics then start with diarrhea again .I don't know what to do winter is coming he has no body fat to keep him warm I know he is not ready to give up on life yet, but i don't want him to suffer he get plenty of hay and alfalfa cubes,and plenty of grain. he has a good bellie on him lost to much muscle. Please help me with an answer. I hate to see him skinny he has been great weight till now,this will be hard for me if i have to put him down but I don't want him to suffer. What would you do
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post #2 of 14 Old 09-15-2012, 12:10 PM
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I would call the vet and have him checked out over all, worming, sand teeth and then I'd have the vet give me a feeding program.

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post #3 of 14 Old 09-15-2012, 12:33 PM
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Have you had his teeth checked?
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post #4 of 14 Old 09-15-2012, 12:37 PM
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Teeth, bloodwork, ulcers, worms. All or more could be the cause. Work with you vet(s) to find the problem.

Perhaps it's something intestinal, being that you give probiotics to help with the diarrhea.
His bacteria levels could be out of wack and arent allowing for proper digestion of his food.
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post #5 of 14 Old 09-15-2012, 01:15 PM
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Same thing happened to our 32yr old paint. No worms no colic... Still had an appetite. Sometimes with old age they get malabsorption problems. Troubleshooted feed, supplements... Finally diarreah ceased and she began to gain weight slowly but then went backward again. I wish I had an answer or a better outcome but she finally passed this summer. What a fighter she was, and I miss her terribly. Good luck to you and your baby, I hope he pulls through!!! Xoxo
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post #6 of 14 Old 09-15-2012, 07:29 PM
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Looks like you've been getting some good tips. It definitely wouldn't hurt to get your vet involved and at least ask what to do. I have a 30 year old Tennessee Walker and I worry about him in the winter. I started feeding him soaked beet pulp along with his Senior feed last winter. You really can't overfeed it since it falls more into the forage class instead of grain. You want to start by keeping them warm from the inside out and hay is what you would normally do that with, but my guy can't eat hay anymore so soaked beet bulp it is. And in the winter you can use warm water to soak which helps. I also add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil to each feeding for extra calories. And then if you're not already, definitely blanket him. They burn a lot of calories just to keep warm so blanketing can help them out with that. I used to not believe in blanketing much but my senior changed my mind. :) Finally, and this isn't an option for many since not everyone has their own property, but we planted winter rye on our fields last winter since hay was sooooooo sparse and expensive last year, and wow, what a difference it made in keeping weight on my crew. There's nothing better than fresh green grass in the winter. It did wonders for our old man. But like I said, if that's not an option, the other things I mentioned in addition to what the previous folks suggested might help turn things around for ya. Good luck!
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post #7 of 14 Old 09-16-2012, 05:42 AM
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Can I ask what his diet is, more specifically?

How much hay (by estimated weight and how much you estimate the horse ideally weighs)

What type of hay

How often are the feedings

Are the alfalfa cubes soaked?

Is the grain soaked, and what type of grain is being used

I'm presuming the horses upper and/or lower molars are well worn. Is he wadding hay or dropping grain at all?

Beet pulp is a safe additive, and it needs to be soaked and fed by weight. I would not offer him any corn, vegetable or other oils at all.

Is there salt and minerals available?

If you can offer him some Pedialyte and mix it in with a mash that will help with the diarrhea. You can get electolyte powder and mix it into mash meals too.

I don't know how often he is dewormed and with what products, and how often he's vaccinated, but I would cease both until and unless he's gained back some weight, and if you vaccinate I would reconsider it at his age.

Something else which I would consider adding to some mashed feed is apple cider vinegar.

Does he have shelter and a good waterproof winter turnout for Winter? That will help keep his sweet old bones warm too and keep his weight on.

If you're able to provide 24/7 feed for him, having hay in front of them so they can also stay warm is critical to maintain weight and body warmth too.
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post #8 of 14 Old 09-16-2012, 11:50 AM
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I agree with the above, having your vet on board will help rule out potential causes, and will also help in the event that something happens, he knows what is going on with your horse, so you don't have to go over everything when he comes out. If he's not on a complete senior feed, I'd put him on one.

Our gelding at 35 didn't have any problems eating hay, but its a common problem in older horses, so the pellets should be soaked. Beet pulp is a good additive to help put on weight as well, and you could also potentially use some sort of weight gain supplement, though I'd be cautious about that until you get a vet out to rule out any causes.

I would start blanketing anytime the temp is under 60, and adjust the blanket weight as it gets colder, to help add an extra layer of protection. I never blanketed my younger mare unless I had body shaved her, but we blanketed my dad's horse every winter, and it doesn't get too cold here in southern CA, but I believe it made a huge difference in him keeping on weight, and being less stiff, and overall happier.

At the very least, I'd talk with your vet over the phone, and just ask what he/she thinks, if you absolutely can't afford to have him/her come out. Good luck, hope that he gets better.
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post #9 of 14 Old 09-16-2012, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the info.The vet will be out to check him out this old guy has been in good health for the 19 years that I owned him I think his system is starting to shut down a little I deworm him every 2 months he has a good appetite and still has all his teeth chew his food well . I do blanket him at night hopefully when the vet comes out they can find out why he has lost muscle he seems to be holding his weight but for how long .I love my old 33 year old palomino.
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post #10 of 14 Old 09-16-2012, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hello DRichmond
His diet he gets Grain twice a day 4lbs each time i feed dumor senior horse 14% and netrena -empower boost high -fat rice bran 12% he is out to pasture all day and later he comes out and has hay in front of him at all times ,Alfalfa cubes are soaked I have a 3 cup scoop and I give him up to 2 cups when its dry not sure if that is enough but he seems to do real good with it he loves it soaked. His teeth has always been pretty great his molars are wearing but not that bad for his age he chews his hay and grain good he don't drop much unless he trys to get the flys off him, his diarrhea has pretty much gone but february was tough it didn't matter what i did he just could get rid of it so I put him on the probiaotic and the powder electolyle and that help but he lost alot of weight and muscle and that just killed me I don't like to have skinny horses I like it when they have plenty of meat on them I know he is getting old and I have to just deal with that and I know at some point I will have to put him down not sure if I can do that you know. Anyway I deworm every 2 months I use Zimecterin gold and Ivermectin . So this is his diet let me know what you think.
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