We have a very sad case today, a lovely little one year old Thoroughbred filly who we originally had as a foster from a local rescue. We had her from a little over a month old until she was about 5 months old, and in that time we noticed that she just really wasn't growing the way she should be. Her half brother, our now adopted colt Peppin- is 15.2hh and growing, while only about 15 months old. But in the time he was growing like a weed, she wasn't growing at all. In fact, from a month old until when she was adopted, she only grew 2 inches. Now we don't know a whole lot about this filly other than that she came from a breeder who had a bunch of sorry looking horses crammed into two small stalls at the racetrack, eating moldy hay. They were rescued when she was 3 weeks old (she was born in a stall with her dam and another large mare) and brought to us. We nursed her and her dam to good health, but her dam had a lot of problems with her hooves and had a massive stroke suddenly one day, killing her instantly and leaving Kenzie orphaned at 2 months old. We bucket fed her until she was 4 months old, put her on Nutrena, and she was adopted at 5 months.
She was adopted by a family that sounded great. They werent going to push her very fast and were ok if she never was sound enough to be more than a lead line horse for their children as she grew. However, when the rescue came to check on her last month, they found her in a pasture with no hay and minimal grass, all alone, and absolutely FULL of worms. She's skin and bones. Most shockingly though...she still has no grown. At one year and 3 months old, Kenzie (what we named her. She is now 'boom' according to the owner) is only 12.2hh, the same height as she was at 5 months old, which is the same as what she had been at four months old. The rescue ofcourse immediately took her back, and asked us to take her in again as a foster. She is horrifying to look at. She was seized two weeks ago and has since been wormed thoroughly, so her giant belly has gotten much smaller. She is still unloading worms however and is in quarentine with us. The more she lets go of, the more bones we can see. I'm disgusted. What I can't believe is her height though. Its very obviouse to me that she has been stunted...but I didnt even realize that a horse could be stunted so badly. And what I don't understand is why she was already showing signs of being stunted even when we had her...though she was on high quality food? Her dam was in poor shape when we got her...and I'm sure she was in even worse shape while pregnant, so maybe she was stunted then, and stunted again when her new owners didnt feed her right?
The rescue is having the vet doing a complete fecal and bloodwork done on her this week and she's going to be put on another round of wormer next week. I gave her half a tube of probios today, and we'll slowly introduce her to our feed schedual and unlimited Jiggs Costal hay and alfalfa. If we can't figure something out or if she'll never be anything but a pasture buddy, the rescue is seriously considering euthing her. At this point I don't think she'll be even close to riding sound and she just looks pathetic. Do you guys think there is any hope for her? Or will she stay this small the rest of her life? Its so sad, she looks so lost and like she feels terrible... :/ I don't see how someone could do this.
Add to that the fact that she's a conformational wreck and I wonder if its just cruel to let her keep living. She's had a horrible time of it.
Pictured this morning, right before we bought her home. IMO she looks much worse in person. According to the rescue they clipped her (we're blanketing her) because she was covered in matted fur and feces that appeared to be leftovers from her foal coat that did not shed. She has a nasty cut on her left shoulder as well, which is too old to be stitched but on the mend. The halter she's wearing fits my 34" miniature horse.
Pictures of her before she was adopted while she was still with us at 5 months old. She was healthy but very small in these pictures. Same height as she is now.
And as a 1 month old, 11.3 hh again, healthy looking but small.