Ribs Showing, but she is eating enough for 2 horses? HELP

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Ribs Showing, but she is eating enough for 2 horses? HELP

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  • How to tell a horses health from the ribs showing
  • My horse's ribs are showing

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    02-10-2013, 12:02 AM
Exclamation Ribs Showing, but she is eating enough for 2 horses? HELP

Hi everyone, Im new on here. Never thought of joining a forum so this is neat to have alot of experienced people to ask as well. I have been riding and raising horses my whole life. However I have never come across what is happening to my mare right now.

She is 7 years old. Very well built and in great shape all summer. She has all open pastures to graze on and keeps well. Untill winter, she was great for the first month and then she became extremely ribby and even started showing on her back bone and in her face it seemed even skinny.

At the beginning of the winter I was feeding her 5-6 flakes in the morning and a few in the evening when I got home from work along with a scoop of complete feed. *Her hay is THE BEST I could find anywhere so that is not the issue* I seen her starting to drop wieght extremely fast. I dewormed her again just to be sure. But with no change.
I uped her feed to a full bale a day plus 2 scoops of complete feed with no difference in her body apperance.
My farrier and other friend which is a vet tech said it could possibly be her teeth bothering her? I am taking her to the vet for a check up and to have her teeth floated, just wondering if this has every happened to anyone else?

She has improved I can no longer see a back bone*which was minimal to start with* but I can still see about 3 - 4 of her back ribs. Even through her winter coat.
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    02-10-2013, 12:04 AM
Water? Water weight can really fill out a dry horse.
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    02-10-2013, 12:05 AM
Getting teeth done will help. As well I think you are in a Selenium deficient area, feeding a good quality, high fat ration balancer with added selenium will help her gain back the weight.
I am a fan of Hoffman's.
If she is still not gaining, then it is time for blood tests.

Good luck!
    02-10-2013, 12:15 AM
Thank you

I am going to the vet in a few days for the check up and floating so im hoping they will figure out what is wrong with her.

She is supplied with 2 150gallon water troughs at all times.

She is very well taken care of that is why im so worried im just not sure what is going on is all.

Thank you guys very much for the insite atleast I know a few things to expect when I go to the vet.
    02-10-2013, 12:30 AM
What kind of hay and how much does it actually weight? What brand of feed and what s the weight of the scoops? You need to start by weighing everything and figuring out the amount of calories she is getting in a day to start with.

Also, You might think about hind gut acidosis. It can be a problem leading to poor doers and horses that wont seem to gain no matter what they eat.

Also, you want to be absolutely positive your horse has been dewormed for tapeworms and encysted strongyles which can be problems that most dewormers do not take care of. Quest plus is the top bar for both of those together.
    02-10-2013, 12:37 AM
Green Broke
Also check for ulcers.
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    02-10-2013, 08:49 AM
Green Broke
Mom and dad have a horse they've tried to put weight on for years without much success. Had the Chiro come out this fall to take a look at him for another issue and he's suddenly started putting on weight after an adjustment. Probably not your problem but something to keep in mind.
    02-10-2013, 09:01 AM
Green Broke
If she is eating all her food then I would say it probably isn't her teeth. When its in, its in. Regardless of how painful or difficult it was so get back there. Are you finding chewed hay balls laying around?

I'd have them draw blood on her. My friend horse came to us VERY skinny. Over a year later she was looking ok, got great. She was on a lot of high quality feed just like your horse. Turns out she was depleted in vitamin E. She was using it faster then she could take it with her feed. Within 2 weeks on supps she filled right out! No more hip bones, back bone and scrawny shoulders.

Of course there are tons of other things that could be "out of wack". Protein being another keep component!
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    02-10-2013, 09:02 AM
Green Broke
Your hay could be just no good too.

Have vet test it, and you also may need to go to different brand of feed.
    02-10-2013, 09:14 AM
Green Broke
Test your hay for neutral detergent fiber and energy, protein and Total Digestible Nutrients. Great looking hay (to us) can have very little feed value. Feed companies and the Cooperative Extensions here in the US will test hay (or tell you where to send it to be tested). You take a core sample from several bales and send it out.

Also, you say you are feeding a bale of hay a day. How many POUNDS and is it going into the horse or being stomped into the ground and mixed with the bedding?

Do you find any wads around her feed area? These look like wet mouse nests and are indicative of teeth issues.

Last, what does her poop look like? Does it have a lot of long hay fibers in it compared to other horses doing well on the same feed?

This horse may not be drinking enough water (too). Having it available does not mean drinking it. Try offfering her a bucket of tepid water.. some horses in cold climates will really drink tepid water much better.

Last, but not least, she most certainly could have something wrong with her. It could be disease, tape worms (I know you are worming), a tumor, ulcers.. so the vet check is in order (which you are doing).

Have you taken her temperature? That could be very revealing...

Good luck!

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