Is my horse too thin and does he have a worm belly?
 
 

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Is my horse too thin and does he have a worm belly?

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  • Besides worms why else is my horse so skinny
  • Why is my horse so thin/

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    11-10-2011, 10:20 PM
  #1
Foal
Is my horse too thin and does he have a worm belly?

Hi everyone,
About a week ago, I noticed that my horse had lost some weight. Soon after, the owner of the stable approached me and told me how good my horse is looking. She said he was overweight when I got him. His former owner admitted to me that she liked her horses slightly overweight.

I went on a trailride with his former owner and she was appalled at how thin he was. So much so that she threatened to take him back! My friend, agreed that he was a bit thin going into winter.

Since then, I've asked five people at my barn what they think and all have said that they think he looks good (including a horse trainer/coach).

My opinion is that he is a bit thin so I've talked to the barn and they have agreed to help me plump him up. I also talked to a knowledgeable man at a feed mill who sold me a mixture of grain that he thought would help him gain weight. The man also suggested that I worm him as he could be loosing weight due to worms.

My question to you is, is he thin or not and how thin is he? Too thin to survive the winter on pasture board with a very warm (and expensive) winter blanket? Will the grain make a difference? He was just eating hay before. Does his stomach look full of worms? It looks bigger than it was.

Last question...lol. The barn said to wait to worm him until the rest of the heard gets done. Shall I wait or do it now? I happen to have two wormers. Will it hurt him to get wormed now and in a few weeks?

Thanks so much and sorry for the novel. He is my first horse so I'm still learning.

His is a quarter horse and is 15 years old.







Last pic is when I got him.
     
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    11-10-2011, 10:37 PM
  #2
Foal
When I went through this exact same thing I had the vet out so she could body score him, and made a feeding plan for us. I think he looks good in the bottom pic, a little thin in the others...especially for going into winter. I have heard that a horses belly is not an accurate indication of their weight.
     
    11-10-2011, 10:43 PM
  #3
Started
He looks a little lean going into winter, not horrible, but he should probably not lose any more weight.
     
    11-10-2011, 10:48 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I was taught a horses ribs should never be able to be seen, but with slight pressure should be able to be felt. I think he looks great in the last picture, to skinny in the first 2.
     
    11-10-2011, 10:58 PM
  #5
Foal
He looks thin in the first two and great in the last. You always want your horses a little plump. Ribs should always have a thin layer of fat over them and you should be able to feel them without seeing them. :)

Beautiful horse btw.
     
    11-10-2011, 11:21 PM
  #6
Green Broke
I agree with everyone else. A little thin now, looked great before (not too fat in my opinion).

But yes, if he were mine I would deworm him now, and then again in a few weeks. It should not hurt to do him twice. Might be good in fact if worms could be the problem.
     
    11-11-2011, 12:42 AM
  #7
Banned
IMO, your horse looked perfect in the last pic, which is how he looked when you got him you say.

The other pics show him looking much more ribby, and with a distended belly.....

How did he go from the last pic to the top two pics?

Have you wormed him regularly? Has there been a change in his appetite? What do you feed him?

I don't know the time frame from the last pic to the others, but it seems as if his body condition and overall healthy appearance has declined from the pic taken when you got him.

IMO, you need to have a vet check him out physically, and then have the vet help you devise a feeding plan designed just for him.
     
    11-11-2011, 12:44 AM
  #8
Foal
Great. Thank you very much for your opinions. I will deworm his asap and continue with the grain. If he doesn't put on a bit of weight in a month, I will reassess my plan.

Laura

P.S. I'm so relieved that no one said that I should panic cause he's not going to last through the winter.
     
    11-11-2011, 12:50 AM
  #9
Banned
Agree with others' assessments. Too thin now, perfect before. I would deworm him. And free choice quality hay is better than grain for putting on weight. Adding a fat supplement to his feed can also help, but he may not need it.
     
    11-11-2011, 01:02 AM
  #10
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beauseant    
IMO, your horse looked perfect in the last pic, which is how he looked when you got him you say.

The other pics show him looking much more ribby, and with a distended belly.....

How did he go from the last pic to the top two pics?

Have you wormed him regularly? Has there been a change in his appetite? What do you feed him?

I don't know the time frame from the last pic to the others, but it seems as if his body condition and overall healthy appearance has declined from the pic taken when you got him.

IMO, you need to have a vet check him out physically, and then have the vet help you devise a feeding plan designed just for him.
The last pic was taken when he arrived at the new barn at the beginning of August. He was on quarantine for almost three weeks and then it took him a while to make friends with the new herd. I had him in a coat that was too warm for the temperature for a couple of weeks (by accident). He used to be ridden very rarely so he's being worked a lot more now...not hard tho. Perhaps all of these things could have caused weight loss.

He went from grazing and hay to just freechoice hay. However, every once in a while, I've noticed that there is no round bail in the paddock and when that happens, they feed them twice a day. I only started his grain this week and I've been doing it on my way to work (around 3pm). I don't know what's exactly in the grain...sorry. It's a mixture.

No, I haven't wormed him since I got him in August.

Ok...I'm going to give it a month and then get a vet.
     

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