SEVERLY starved horse, need help with food ASAP - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:07 PM Thread Starter
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SEVERLY starved horse, need help with food ASAP

I have aquired a horse that has been starved. I am feeding him a working horse food right now. I feed him 2lbs a day plus one bale of hay per day, plus some alfalfa cubes.

I was wondering what else i Could give him to make him gain weight? He is VERY bad. But better than he was 2 weeks ago.

I am in Canada so most american brands arn't available here. Thank you.
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post #2 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:18 PM
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Call the vet. What does the vet say?

Are you absolutely sure you wanna mess with my carrots?
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post #3 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:19 PM
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Well, first of all, you should contact a local rescue organization to see what they recommend - they deal with this often and will offer the best advice. However, I would probably continue what you're feeding and not worry about it (since it sounds like he's gaining weight). If he plateaus, then add more feed. You don't want to overwhelm his system. Make SURE he has plenty of water, or else you'll be dealing with colic. Horses have a very sensitive system and a sudden jolt (such as a lot of food after not being fed for a long time) could kill him. I might even cut back on the "working horse food" and just make sure he has constant access to grass hay. But that's just MHO. Good on you for taking this challenge! Good luck!

~Steph~

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post #4 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:20 PM
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Sorry for the double post - you should also do this under the eye of a vet.

~Steph~

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post #5 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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The vet says that he will gain weight. Just give him as much hay as he wants. He believes in the hay and minerals and a horse will do just fine. I have offered a small amount of food over a week then increased it to a little more and a little more in the last two weeks. I do know that a shock to the system is easy to achieve in horses. He has as much fresh water as he wants to drink also salt licks or blocks are there as well.

The winters get pretty cold and snowy here so I wanted him to gain weight before that.
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post #6 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:27 PM
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I would Feed him beet pulp. I have also had good luck with a supplement call Hard Keeper. It has worked great for us and it not expensive?
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post #7 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:44 PM
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Stick with hay and alfalfa cubes right now...small, frequent meals. Slowly increase the amount of hay available to free choice over the next few weeks.
It is important to stay away from grains at the beginning of refeeding to reduce the risk of refeeding syndrome which can lead to organ failure and death.

Here is a good article for you:
Nutrition for Rehabilitating the Starved Horse

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #8 of 26 Old 11-09-2008, 11:57 PM Thread Starter
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the re feeding has commenced its 3rd week already. The horse was fed where he was just not enough to sustain what his body needed to survive. So his weight gradually dwindled down. The first week I offered him half a bail a day. The second week I did half a bail of hay with a small amount of bagged feed. Third week 3/4 of a bail of hay (these are the larger square bales probably around 50lbs) and I increased the bagged feed a bit more. I was leaning towards the beet pulp and I think I will offer that. He doesn't care for the alfalfa cubes very much but will eat them. I mix them in with his bagged feed. I started off with a small amount and increase it every day. He only started getting the cubes this week. He has always had access to salt and fresh water as well. But was kept out in the sun all the time. No shelter. He is all up to date with his shots to, and I wormed him recently as well. He only took half the wormer and spit the other half out, so I will re do in 15 days. OH and now we are going onto the 4th week and I offered him one bail of hay today and kept the bagged feed & alfalfa the same.
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post #9 of 26 Old 11-10-2008, 12:10 AM
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Sounds like you are doing well.
Have you had a vet exam? If he doesn't like the alfalfa cubes I would be worried that there are some dental issues.
And you should get your vet to show you how to dose dewormers without loosing any on the ground. This is very very important both for getting rid of the parasites and to help prevent the development of resistance to the drug you are using.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #10 of 26 Old 11-10-2008, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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he is 6 and just saw the vet 3 months ago. His teeth and all of his other health minus his weight loss from not being fed by an *ss*o*e owner. He also had all his shots then. I know how to deworm properly but I was doing it alone and he pulled his head down fast and I couldn't hold it up. Next time not something I will be doing alone :)

TY for the quick replies. I posted on another place and its been a few days and I'm getting the run around. No definate advice.
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