Some one please help!! My mare has lost an IMMENSE amount of weight and I feel like I have tried almost everything besides taking her in for detailed testing. I am having her teeth checked today though I have watched her eat and she seems fine, we are seperating her from my gelding (which is in perfect condition) because he picks on her a little, and I have even taken her out so she can eat on her own and upped her food intake but she has just consistantly lost weight. One of the horses we sold apparently had bot flies, as the new owners told us, and said that they can spread to my mare, which I have never heard of. I don't know what else to do. I am NOT neglecting her, she is getting fed more than my gelding, but than again he has always been an easy keeper. PLEASE HELP!!!
De-worming, checking teeth, and checking her stool are the first things I would do. I know in the south east the winters are hard and my gelding has alwasy dropped weight through the winter. Definitely have her teeth checked...even though she's not dropping feed she could still have issues with her "grinding" which will decrease her digestibility. Also talk to the vet about a deworming schedule (there's monthly pastes or everyday pellets) worms can basically eat a horse alive! Anyways, good luck.
If she's lost tons of weight in a short amount of time and for no obvious reason then I'd have the vet out to do blood work. It sounds a little like what happened to my mare and she ended up having a tumor on her thyroid.
Bot flies lay eggs on the horse, and the horse licks the larvae, and get infested with the bot fly's larvae. It does NOT spread from horse to horse, but a new fly has to be born and lay new eggs.
Dramatic weight loss in the spring is a lot of times tape worm. If you haven't dewormed against tapes for a long time, that would be my first thing to do. Get something that has praziquantel in it. You should se results in just a few weeks.
Just before you read what I say. Im not a vet,trainer,anything. I grewup around horses and we deal with alot of stuff. Im 14.
I bought a mare from a lady that was just looking to get rid of her daughters horse. When I saw XO she was 200 pound under weight and 19 years old. I thought she was going to be one of are beginner lesson horses. Well was I wrong.When the vet came out to help us figure out why she was so skinny we could find anything wrong. She had a stall,lots of feed and hay,and blankets at are barn and we still could figue out why she wasn't gaining weight. We had tryed a supplement called Boby Builder on some of are expensive german horses and it worked really nice. From what I can tell it helps gain weight and help them muscle up. After 2 weeks on body builder(and riding to get her built up) I could already tell a difference in her appearance and attitude. Now after being on body builder for 2 months(we are taking her off it slowy now) a 19 year old 15.2 hand dutch warmblood is jumping 3'6 and is it fatter and alot happyer. She is my new Jumper and is loving it. Now I will say it it sort of pricey for a 32oz bottle its like $84. But it has worked wonders for our horses that need to gain some weight.
I agree with the others that bloodwork and a fecal are indicated. What are you feeding and how much? How old is your mare?There are many things that can be added to a feed program to help a horse gain weight. We have rescued many horses over the past years so I am very experienced in getting a horse to gain weight. Once you know by bloodwork that she is healthy, just underweight and worming is done, you can do several things to increase a horses weight. Some things work better than others. It depends on the particular horse. I would really like to see a picture of your mare to get a better idea how bad she really is. Let me preface this by saying that I am not a vet, and you should always get a vets opinion before starting/changing a feeding program.
First off, they need to have access to quality free choice hay. An underweight horse can never have too much hay. You should divide up her grain feedings to at least twice a day. 3x a day is better. (personally, it's difficult for me to do 3 times a day because of my work schedule, so I only do two, but 3 is better if you can do it.)
A good quality grain is important too. Buy the best quality that you can afford. We use a 12/8 pellet that is my M-G feeds. (a local distributor) Stragedy is a good feed, so is omolene. I would have to know how much you are currently feeding before I could suggest an amount. Be sure to increase the amount of grain slowly. You don't want her to founder.
Additives. There are several things you can add to grain to help them gain weight. You could use a weight builder. We like to use one called Moorglo. You can also add corn oil to their feed, BOSS, or soaked beetpulp. Often products such as probiotics help, especially if they are older. You can use a paste, but I prefer topical. Probiotics are microorganisms that help a horse to fully digest and absorb their food. (similar to the cultures in yogert.)
If everything checks out to coinside with all the good advice you have gotten here I would start feeding her some Calf Manna. This is a very high protien feed and I've known of some horses that it was the only thing that would keep weight on them. Beet Pulp is good also but you must be carefull with it and soak it first as it swells so much and if you feed it you have to feed plenty of roughage with it. All these animals should be wormed every 90 days at the least.