You don't need a weight builder. You need a good low starch/sugar feed and free choice hay. For a horse coming back from starvation, less is more. Personally, I feed Triple crown Sr, free choice mixed grass hay and a 2-4lbs of alfalfa pellets (depending on the animal) to my abuse cases.
Second thing I do is have their teeth done. Usually, if a horse has been starved, then they have def never had their teeth done. My last TB rescue had HUGE hooks in the back that had to be cut out. Poor girl.
I have rehabbed quite a few starved horses and one thing I have found is that treating them for stomach ulcers is a good idea. Being starved like that almost always causes ulcers bc of the acid to "buffer" ratio. No forage in the stomach, nothing to buffer the stomach acid, therefore causing ulcers. Horses stomachs produce acid all the time. This is why it is best if they do not go with out forage for more than 4ish hrs at a time.
I use the cheap ulcer treatment, but it's a pain. I use equate brand ranitidine (cheap zantac) 3x a day for 30-60 days to treat. It works just as well as the ulcer guard and is much cheaper. I just throw the pills right on the feed and they generally eat them. If they don't, I pull the plunger out of a large syringe, drop the pills in, put the plunger back in and fill it with water and leave sit. The pills dissolve and you can give it orally in liquid form via the syringe. This has worked for me as well when horses have went off feed bc of ulcers. I dosed for 1-2 weeks via the syringe until they started eating their feed, and then just put the whole pills on the feed. The pills are tiny so it usually works unless you have a suuuuper picky eater.
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Last edited by OneFastHorse; 12-21-2012 at 08:31 PM.