Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Seattle area, WA
• Horses: 0
Need Some New Ideas - Chronic weight loss on rescue horse
My first post and I guess it's a doozie...I'm trying to gather some new ideas on something I missed with this rescue horse I have. The plan was to rehome him after his health improved, but, you know how that goes. Can't imagine the big guy being anywhere else.
He's 12-15 year old Percheron cross gelding (lighter build for a draft), came home in late July. 16.3+hh. Farrier came the next day, vet the day after that for fever and upper respiratory stuff going on, got put on antibiotics for 10 days (don't remember what kind - but that was a ton of pill crushing!). That cleared up. Dewormed him with Equimax per vet suggestion. His condition at this time was: dull nasty coat, bloated/distended belly, no topline, underweight. After the Equimax, we gave him a bucket of Sand Clear. Also started probiotics as soon as we got him.
Had his teeth floated first week of September, wolf teeth were yanked out, had a couple of nasty hooks that were taken care of. Per vet recommendation, we did that 5-day panacur purge (power pak or whatever it's called). Right before his teeth were done, I noticed the vein running along his belly was distended. Vet was concerned about his overall condition, and we decided to wait 4-6 weeks from that point to see how he was doing before diving in for more diagnostics (suspecting malabsorption due to teeth problems and internal parasites).
It's now 7 weeks later. His coat looks better, shiny and softer. Barely any weight gain. There is some - there's a little more over his ribs and his spine is not so jagged looking. But nothing of the weight gain I'd expect. He still looks like a starved broodmare about to give birth.
What am I missing? What have I not done? I don't want to sound like a cheap-o, but I want to do everything I can myself before spending a ton on the diagnostics we're about to cover. To top it off - I saw lumpies in his eyelid last night. Had a horse with the same kind of thing years ago and it ended up being squamous cell carcinoma. I am trying not to think about this horse having GIT tumors or something, or lymphoma, or the eye thing being secondary to all else that could be going on.
Oops - almost forgot - this is what he eats...
This is one meal:
2 quarts beet pulp shreds (measured DRY then soaked)
5 quarts Strategy Healthy Edge
3 scoops Cool Calorie
1 scoops (1oz) Horseguard supplement
1/2 cup corn oil
(couple carrots, couple sugar cubes, an apple, whatever else he can mooch)
And he gets fed twice a day (I board, can't feed more often like I would like to). As much hay as he will eat - usually 3-4 flakes of fine stemmed grass hay (also twice a day). Also gets a small amount of alfalfa hay. I didn't think he "needed" the alfalfa since he should be getting adequate protein otherwise, but it had been suggested to me on top of what I feed so I do it.
All this just under 3 months. I knew putting weight on a draft cross wouldn't be an easy feat, but I expected some better results by now. The bloated belly and distended veins freak me out more than anything.
Sorry for the long post - any ideas on what else I should have done? I expect the next step will be doing more bloodwork, ultrasound, and heaven knows what else, lol.
Last edited by jagen; 10-24-2012 at 06:13 AM.