Rebel is skinny, dull, and wormy =/

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Rebel is skinny, dull, and wormy =/

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    03-19-2010, 06:05 PM
Rebel is skinny, dull, and wormy =/

So I brought home my new gelding yesterday, and he is very much underweight. He needs about another 50-100 pounds slapped on his ribs. His coat is a ball of fluff, falling out everytime you touh him, and he is so dull it's not even funny. I'm going to put him on our weight gain supplement and some performance horse grain, along with about four flakes of grass hay every day and two flakes alfalfa if he's not out on the pasture. Since the pasture is very overgrown as it is, he'll only get the grain if he's out there.

I was also thinking should drive down and pick him up some Ivermectin for worming. That lady we bought him from had absolutely no money to feed her horses and she was scared to death that if she put him out on the field out front someone would call animal control he's so bad-looking. But it kills me, because it was cold so she could've blanketed him and he would've gotten so fat out there, really fast.

So I guess my question is, is there anything else I can do to get him back up to speed? I wanna start taking him out to the expo ASAP so I can get him schooled and used to me before we doing any competition, and obviously I'm not going to compete until he's ready. He needs to get a bit fatter, shed out, and be just a bit more supple in his mouth.
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    03-19-2010, 06:58 PM
Green Broke
My horse was about 100lbs under weight when I bought her last Oct. At the time she was eating half a bucket of sweet feed "whenever they rode her" (which I am guessing was NOT often) and whatever grass/weeds she could find in a barren pasture. Winter coat was very dull and basically non-existent.

Consulted with the vet and her diet was 4 flakes of grass hay (2 each AM & PM), rice bran in the AM and Senior Feed AM & PM. Vet said no alfalfa, she would most likely founder going from an inadequate diet to getting alfalfa (we asked since we have alfalfa for another horse).

Within a month, she had a good, shiny winter coat and by January I think? She was a decent weight. She's now slightly chubby and we're working on converting that to muscle, she's still getting Senior Feed since she's getting worked pretty hard. I ride her 2x per week and my Sister-in-law either rides or lunges her 3-4x per week. We can't work her for very long (she tires easily due to previous poor nutrition and no exercise) so we go for short sessions as often as we can (or the dang snow allows).

She's looking great, gone from slow, aimless wandering around the pasture to racing my SIL's TB down the fence line turnout and shocked us all by having the energy to go bucking across the arena when asked for a canter this week.
    03-19-2010, 07:58 PM
I would say still give him maybe two flakes of the grass hay even if he goes out to an overgrown pasture. If he doesn't eat it after a few days of offering it, no problem, but IMO its better to bring back a chubby horse than bring back a skinny one.

The one thing I would recommend for a really nice coat really fast would be Super 14. It takes 3-4 weeks to start seeing results. I fed it to my gelding for two months while we adjusted his feed and got him eating better, and then as we weaned him off of it his coat stayed shiny and nice.
    03-19-2010, 08:27 PM
Oh, awesome! I completely forgot about the Super 14. We have a giant thing of the stuff somewhere...I just gotta find it in our cluttered tack room of horror
    03-19-2010, 09:16 PM
Rice Bran would do wonders for improving his coat. As for weight gain, hay, hay and more hay. I moved my TB to a barn where they feed hay 24/7. He gained 300lbs at least over the winter. It's an amazing change, and I'm very convinced the secret's in the forage.
    03-19-2010, 09:32 PM
Omegatin or Cocosoya syrup are the best weight gainers we've used on rescued horses at the ranch. You have to order the cocosoya, TSC has Omegatin at a reasonable price.

If you have no worming history, I would lean towards hitting him with a five day panacur power pac...see what your vet says first, but I just went through a whole mess trying to figure out why my gelding was colicing. Hauled him up to the OSU vet school, the whole nine yards...turned out he had a massive infestation of strongyles and just needed the power pac. The guy who had him hadn't wormed him in about three years, and the worms just laughed at ivermectin.
    03-19-2010, 11:08 PM
No, he's been wormed regularly :)

But I'll keep that in mind for the next time I get a horse in with worms xD
    03-20-2010, 11:18 AM
If he is so thin she was afraid of having the authorities called on her then he's likely in need for more than 100 lbs. You would be better off to start with just adding hay and getting up to giving it at a rate of around 3% of his body weight per day. In these starved horses, there is a very real risk of gastric ulcers and grain-based feeds can cause pain and colic in a horse with GI ulcers.

As for deworming, if he hasn't been dewormed in who knows how long then you may feel better starting slowly but do not make the mistake of attempting to give 1/2 doses of dewormer. If you want to start slowly, start with fenbendazole (a single normal dose) and then use and ivermectin/praziquantel in a week. I would most definitely not start with a 5 day powerpac. This deworming regimen is not as safe or easy on the horse as people believe. There was a study done in 2006 that studied the results of this type of larval dosing of fenbendazole and showed that it causes SEVERE GI inflammation and can even cause ulceration that is visible on necropsy at about 10-14 days after dosing. The reaction actually mimics the severe damage that you are trying to prevent by killing the encysted strongyles. In a horse with an unknown deworming history and a possibility of a heavy encysted strongyle load, this type of reaction could be extreme.
    03-21-2010, 01:17 AM
Ryle- what would be a gentler way of dealing with the strongyles? The vets at OSU ordered the powerpac, because he had what they termed "a gross overload." But he does still blow up a little when he eats, and gets pretty gassy...did I hurt him more? : /
    03-21-2010, 01:26 PM
A single dose of fenbendazole would be "milder" way to start deworming a horse with an unknown parasite load. With the widespread resistance to it, it's likely that it will not kill the majority of strongyles in the GI tract but just reduce the load. And it won't affect the encysted strongyles so won't cause the severe GI inflammation. Then follow up in a week with ivermectin to do a better job of killing adults and migrating larval stages.

This is just my opinion after going through the research and information available on the drugs and parasites of horses. You should of course ask the vets who are recommending the powerpac about the study that showed that is was damaging in the way it kills encysted strongyles. See if they have read it or if they have a different view the results. (Deworming isn't one of those things that most vets keep up with the news on. ;) It's not cool enough. )

As for the blowing up when he eats, you should really consider the possibility of gastric ulcers.

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