Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: knee deep in spring mud
• Horses: 0
I can only suggest as I have not seen the horse.
If he is in truely bad shape, you might consider starting him out with just free choice hay for a few day or so, to wean him back onto eating food instead of himself. Too many nutrients at once can cause a load of problems, including shocking his system, colic and laminitis. Keep his diet simple and in small doses with thre or four tiny feedings a day for a couple weeks or so. It won't be overnight that you see a weight change but you wouldn't want to put the weight on too fast anyway, not good for their heart or other organs.
IF he is significantly under weight and has been like that for some time, it is likely that he has been sustaining himself by absorbing his own body. Muscle will waste and atrophe slowly breaking down to support the body where no other nutrients are present. Food feeds all body parts: no food, the fight to survive begins. To offer a loaded food stuff to a straining body will cause the body to grab at all the goods and potentially clog up the absorption mechanism. This in turn can start a whole list of problems.
I know how hard it is to look at a too thin horse and NOT want to feed them everything under the sun but don't. Slow re-introduction of proper foods will be your best friend, and the horse's, too. Once the horse is in better weight, THEN consider what supplements he might NEED. At that point, he might NOT need any anyway, saving you a fair amount of cash for other things : )
Once he is steadily eating and showing at least maintenence of current weight, talk to a VET about a de-worming plan. That, too, can be an adventure if not done carefully and in a limited way the first few times on a horse that is compromised.
Take him for short walks, graze when/if you can, and groomgroomgroom with soft brushes : )
This post is based on a horse that is significantly low on the BMI scale. I have not seen the horse so this please to be taken with much consideration to the actual circumstances.
Last edited by foreignmusic; 03-10-2010 at 07:09 AM.