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Weight loss, loss of appetite in old horse

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  • Succeed digestive conditioning program
  • Old horse with loss of appetite and weight loss

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    07-25-2012, 10:22 AM
  #11
Started
First off {{{{HUGS}}}} I read your post but don't recall right now if you mentioned if any blood work has been done or any testing that would show cancer etc. I had to make the decision to let my 33 yr old Appy go last spring. I am so glad I did as the summer was killer hot and dry. He would have been miserable. My only other suggestion is some worm that is not being killed by your wormer.. Or parasite damage has been bad enough at some point that it won't matter. :(

Strength to you as it sounds like her time may be very near.
     
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    07-25-2012, 11:45 AM
  #12
Foal
She is not grey, a bay.

This morning is back on food and eating hay (!). Has not ever touched the hay in couple weeks. No quibbing hay, actually going down. Not sure what is up with that. Wondering if antibiotic helped w something or if vet tubing her yesterday opened things up a bit to get food down. Worried she may colic, but just going to let her eat.

Wyoming is warm this year, but a 'hot' day is 80s/90s and 10% humidity, so heat stress is not the issue.
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    07-25-2012, 11:49 AM
  #13
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appyt    
First off {{{{HUGS}}}} I read your post but don't recall right now if you mentioned if any blood work has been done or any testing that would show cancer etc. I had to make the decision to let my 33 yr old Appy go last spring. I am so glad I did as the summer was killer hot and dry. He would have been miserable. My only other suggestion is some worm that is not being killed by your wormer.. Or parasite damage has been bad enough at some point that it won't matter. :(

Strength to you as it sounds like her time may be very near.
Yes, blood work 3x, normal each time. But could still be cancer.
     
    07-25-2012, 12:23 PM
  #14
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by EasterBunny    
She is not grey, a bay.

This morning is back on food and eating hay (!). Has not ever touched the hay in couple weeks. No quibbing hay, actually going down. Not sure what is up with that. Wondering if antibiotic helped w something or if vet tubing her yesterday opened things up a bit to get food down. Worried she may colic, but just going to let her eat.

Wyoming is warm this year, but a 'hot' day is 80s/90s and 10% humidity, so heat stress is not the issue.
There could be something going on with her digestive tract. It's a long shot and expensive but here's the link to Succeed. It might be worthwhile to talk to your vet about it. Might not be the "cure-all" but it might help alleviate some of the discomforts.

SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program Equine Supplement

Succeed has also developed a test kit whereby a horse can be checked for hind gut ulcers with a fecal sample.

It comes in paste and pellets. Both are around $90/month

My 25 yr old, with EMS, has hind gut ulcers and is the one the vet is suspicious of lipomas. He gets a tube of Succeed every day. In this instance I prefer the tube because he really looks forward to it and I am trying to keep his feed pan supplements at a minimum because he can't eat too much at one feeding in this heat anymore.

Speedracer, gosh I am so sorry for you. You're right, that our time with them is never enough. Yet we continue to set ourselves up for hurt. This is my second group of Keeper Horses.

I am old enough that, as each one passes on, there's no replacing anyone. I need to make it to 75 just to get the 17 yr old to 27 - lollol
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    07-25-2012, 12:30 PM
  #15
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk    
Speedracer, gosh I am so sorry for you. You're right, that our time with them is never enough. Yet we continue to set ourselves up for hurt. This is my second group of Keeper Horses.
Thank you, wild.

My heart horse was laid to rest 5 years ago. There's not a day goes by that I don't miss him, and thank God that I had him for 21 years. 21 years more wouldn't have been enough time, but I'm grateful for what I did have.

We know going in that 99.99% of the time we're going to have to make end of life decisions for our animals, but that doesn't make it any easier when that time comes, does it?

Easter, I'm glad to hear your girl is eating. If she crashes again, I know you'll do what's best for her.
     
    07-25-2012, 12:31 PM
  #16
Foal
Wormer

Thank you all for ideas. I know she is likely just old with LOTS of things going on/shutting down. But good to think through things.

Recap of worm history to address some of the comments/suggestions:

She was regularly wormed, but found round worms late winter/spring on first investigation of weight loss. My understanding is the round worms are actually common in old and immune-compromised horses. We had been doing Ivermectin so switched to Strongid when we wormed at that point. Did stop weight loss for a little bit, but she did not start gaining weight.

Checked fecal in late April, was clean. Did worm again with Strongid (same as all other horses) just to be sure.

Found some eggs in check few weeks back in fecal (but not huge number and no adults observed). Switched again and wormed with Pyrantel. She was in same paddock, so not really too surprising that she was reinfected. Other horse in there has never been wormy (although obviously exposed). Vet thinks (and makes sense to me) that worms are a symptom and not cause of problems.

Between that and antibiotics, also concerned about what this is doing to her gut flora. Have also been doing probios after worming and will again after round of antibiotics are done.

Frustrating.
     
    07-25-2012, 12:35 PM
  #17
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by walkinthewalk    
There could be something going on with her digestive tract. It's a long shot and expensive but here's the link to Succeed. It might be worthwhile to talk to your vet about it. Might not be the "cure-all" but it might help alleviate some of the discomforts.

SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program Equine Supplement
Considering cushings meds are $150/month and feed is $150/month... $90 is not too bad. Thanks for the lead and will look into it.
     
    07-25-2012, 01:09 PM
  #18
Foal
Wyoming girl here who quietly moved to Colorado. Lets start with I applaud you and admire you for all you are doing to care for your horse. I had a 29 yr old QH mare (she left me one month to the day before her 30th birthday) who started to have same issues. Have you tried beet pulp? I had to add some molasses to it to get her to start but it sure helped get her thru the winter without dropping more weight and she gained a little. The sugar is extracted from the beets so it is just fiber and since you soak it, it also gives them more water to help keep that gut moving. Sadly, we were buying time with her and it didn't solve the overall issues but at least she was not hungry and she chatted me up each morning when she saw me coming with her breakfast, she would just smack her lips...precious moments with my Jackie mare. Sounds to me that maybe time is taking its toll with your friend. Hugs to you and your horse.
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    07-25-2012, 01:29 PM
  #19
Foal
Beet Pulp

She has been willing to eat beet pulp in past and plan to add to her hay pellets over time. Right now, she has been rejecting mash, but may try again as she is eating hay (!) today. Would rather give her soaked feed, but she has not been willing to eat it (unusual). Beet pulp would give her some bulk and extra fiber.
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    07-25-2012, 04:37 PM
  #20
Started
The good thing about beet pulp is they can eat all they want once they get started on it. I used to feed my elderly appy almost a bucketful along with alfalfa pellets, all soaked.. My bp was shreded... You can feed it dry on demand if you are ok with that also.
     

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