Three year old with no appeitite? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-17-2010, 06:21 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Sundre, Alberta, Canada
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Three year old with no appeitite?

My 3yr filly, Rem, has always had a small appeitite. Eating only enough to substain a somewhat normal weight. She always has hay in front of her (Really good quality, nutrient tested, alfalfa/timothy mix) and since being in training she also gets a small amount of complete feed, whole flax seed and powdered vits and minerals every night. She hardly cleans up her hay and the barn owner said she actually eats less than half of what the other coming 3yr olds do.

I've noticed that with the warmer weather she's been eating less and less. She is otherwise a very healthy horse, with a good amount of energy and good work ethic. She is happy and waits and the gate for you and has bright shiny eyes. The vet saw her last month and did all her dental work, so her teeth are not the problem.

I've attached a picture of her that I took today. She isn't really skinny but can't afford to lose anymore and we are desperatly trying to get more weight on her (We like our horses to be borderline chubby )
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File Type: jpg Rem01.jpg (53.1 KB, 64 views)
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-17-2010, 07:52 PM
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Is she slightly parrot-mouthed or is she just tense in that pic? I wonder if that could be a contributing factor? Also, I know you said that dental was just looked at, but is there any chance at all that she still has some baby teeth? I know she is old for it, but still...

If it's not teeth, check the other end -- does she poop regularly? Good poop? How often does she pee? Maybe she isn't drinking enough? She looks kind of "down" in the picture -- maybe from slight dehydration?

You could try salting her hay with iodine free (pickling) salt also. Preferably a month or so in advance of feeding. I used to know horses that would pig out on salted hay, but would eat only the bare minimum of non-salted. I always salt the hay in layers (small squares) before I store it for the winter; this year I missed about half and I definitely notice that my horses prefer the salted, but will eat either.

Or go the other way and wet her hay?

My horses are eating less this time of year too. It will pickup when the grass shoots start to appear! Plus she will soon be hitting another growing spurt by the look of her butt, so she may eat more again when that starts.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-17-2010, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Well since she isn't at home, she's at a bordering stable, so wetting and salting her hay are out of the question. But thanks for that suggestion, that will definatly come in handy when she comes home in the fall.

To tell you the truth we have not been watching her poop or pee because we were not really worried about the problem until now.

As for her mouth...goodness that has been a long drama. She broke her jaw as a young horse and had surgery to fix it in the early spring of her two year old year (just about a year ago now) when the jaw was fixed it was not reset properly and as a result she is slightly parrot mouthed. However, not as bad as the pictures make it out to be, she's also very This spring (less than a month ago) we had the dental surgon and the surgon to some more work on her jaw/mouth. They both agree, along with my regular vet that she doesn't have any issues eating, it's just a choice. Could it possibly be that her jaw was left broken for so long (The vet figures at least a year) that she has become used to eating only what she needs?

I heard once that you can give them a vitamin to increase their appeitite...anyone else heard this?
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-17-2010, 09:45 PM
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There are things you can do to with naturopathy to encourage eating. Blessed thistle is a good place to start. I'll look for some articles and post links if you would like.
My first thought with this filly is ulcers. Research suggests that at least 93% of racehorses have gastric ulcers. It makes sense that a good number of pleasure horses would have them too - especially if they are in training as your filly is. If you gon't want to have her scoped, maybe try treatment as a diagnosis. While Gastro Guard is the most effective treatment, there are other WAY less expensive ways to treat ulcers. You are already doing the preventative things I think, like lots of turnout, fresh water, freechoice hay, concentrates in small meals etc.
As for the issue with the jaw, have you had a chiropractor look at her? Chiros can do amazing things with jaws! Almost every horse I have ever seen adjusted has needed the jaw done, and after what she went through, it makes sense. We had a horse with almost the exact injury you are describing, complete with surgery.
She looks, good, BTW! And I'm with you - I like them a little on the chubby side!

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-17-2010, 11:18 PM
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I agree with having her checked for ulcers.. also give her probiotics. If nothing else, it will help her utilize the feed and hay she is eating

.// \\
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-17-2010, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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I never even thougth of ulcers *Smakes head* Going to call and talk to my vet about that in the morning.

Do you buy gastro gaurd thru your vet your feed store?

Yep, she has seem the chiro regualrily, and I'm a message therapist and work on her monthly as well.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-18-2010, 01:46 PM
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It looks to me like he could use to gain some weight. When they are babies it is hard for them to keep weight. This product is great for weight gain and it touts that it stimulates the appetite and also helps your horse digest his food better. I use it on my horses and worse case scenario they get fat and shiny. So its a win win situation.

Cocosoya Oil (Uckele Animal Health) - All Products -
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-18-2010, 07:28 PM
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My experience with ulcers is that the horse will eat well enough, but can't digest properly, so they don't keep weight on. Sounds to me like she plainly doesn't eat enough volume. Not to say it couldn't be ulcers. Try aloe vera juice and slippery elm bark. Also, no grain -- even in the feed supplements; check the ingredients. It's much cheaper and does work. I turned my ex-race horse around on it.

I doubt she would develop a habit of only eating just enough due to previous pain issues. Doesn't make "horse sense" to me. If she is not eating sufficient volume now it is a current choice issue -- due to pain, discomfort, taste, fear... something NOW, not from months ago. Though you could try giving her some mash/beet pulp and see how she does on that. It might help narrow down whether it's digestive or masticative. (Is that a word?)
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