Don't know what else to do...Another weight thread...
   

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Don't know what else to do...Another weight thread...

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  • 30 years old horse keeps losing weight horse forum
  • Topline deteriorating in cushings horse

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    08-30-2012, 10:24 PM
  #1
Trained
Don't know what else to do...Another weight thread...

I have a 13 year old Curly gelding.

We owned him from 1 year to 7 years, sold him, got him back at 10 years old. All the time we owned him previously, we had NO issues what-so-ever with his weight. He was well muscled, thick and stocky, and had a nice topline. He was always an easy keeper.

Flash forward. We got him back and he's never been the same body wise. He's a hard keeper now. His topline is non-existent. I just don't know what to do.

Coming out of winter, he was about 50 pounds under weight. No big deal. Grass comes in, he starts looking really good. And then, he stops and start losing weight. He's no emaciated looking. He's not ribby. But his butt and topline are horrendous. I can feel every rib, can't see them, even at a trot, but I do not like the way he looks. Compared to what he was before...This is pitiful.

We had the vet look at his teeth, they look really good. We had the vet draw bloodwork. It came back clean and 100% healthy.

His diet includes...
Approximately 25 pounds of hay per day. We have nice alfalfa we give him when he's stalled, and we have a grass hay/alfalfa hay mix we feed to him and the others when they are out. He is dominant in the herd so he's not getting pushed around. They are fed morning and night.

8 #'s of Nutrena LifeDesign Senior.

8 scoops of Cool Calories.

He has access to a salt block and mineral block at all times.

I called and talked to my vet today about the possibility of ulcers. She said if he had ulcers, he would have had a low hemoglobin level and high WBC count. His bloodwork was clean though so she wasn't concerned.

He eats all his grain, eats all the alfalfa hay, but will walk away from the grass hay mix right now because we have some pasture he'd prefer. So he's obviously not starving if he's walking away from hay but gosh. Why is he skinny?

I'd like another 100 pounds on him. And winter is coming and I do NOT want him going into winter like this. Vet said we should blanket him when it drops into the teens to help keep weight on him. But make sure his winter coat is fully in before blanketing.

I don't know what else to do. Vet suggested Cocosoya Oil. I stopped at TSC and they were out so I'll pick some up Saturday.

He's completely up to date on regular deworming.

Does anyone have any ideas other then what I'm doing. 24/7 hay is my only option, and the hay that that'd be is the hay he is walking away from and not finishing because it's not "good enough" for him... He'd also need to be separated from my other horses because none of my other ones need that much hay. That may have the adverse effect and stress him out and make him loose weight. *sigh*

Pictures: First 2 are from this spring when our grass was really good.
Last picture is from about 1 month ago. He's lost approximately 30 pounds since that picture. Hip bones are starting to show and butt has a weight "point" to it.
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    08-30-2012, 10:29 PM
  #2
Weanling
He looks just fine in the pictures? I wouldn't want to put 100 lbs on him. Maybe try for different angles to show us what you're seeing?
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    08-30-2012, 10:33 PM
  #3
Trained
I'll get some new pictures tomorrow. He was looking good for awhile. But then started losing again.

This is from when we just got him back a few years ago...This is what he looks like now too...Look at that butt! Yuck! He's not ribby like that tough, just hippy and pointy booty.
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    08-30-2012, 10:47 PM
  #4
Trained
Here are hind end shots at 10 years old when we got him back, and 4 years old before we sold him.
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    08-30-2012, 11:48 PM
  #5
Trained
Firstly, while perhaps the pics don't give an accurate idea, I agree with Calico - he looks fine & doesn't need to gain. In the last pic he looks possibly a bit under, but not terribly at all. (ed to say 3rd last as I didn't see the 'at 10yo & at 4yo', of which 10yo looks fine, weight-wise)

Quote:
Originally Posted by CLaPorte432    
We owned him from 1 year to 7 years, sold him, got him back at 10 years old. All the time we owned him previously, we had NO issues what-so-ever with his weight. He was well muscled, thick and stocky, and had a nice topline. He was always an easy keeper. ...Grass comes in, he starts looking really good. And then, he stops and start losing weight.
First thing that comes to mind is IR due to him being a long term 'easy keeper'. I'm guessing if this is what he looks like when 'skinny', he must have been quite tubby before. Did the vet test for IR &/or Cushings?

Quote:
He's not ribby. But his butt and topline are horrendous. I can feel every rib, can't see them, even at a trot, but I do not like the way he looks.
Agree he doesn't have much of a 'topline', hind quarters look weedy, but I'd be considering it's a body/muscle issue rather than weight. Muscle loss can also be a symptom of metabolic probs & nutrition. Have you had a bodyworker/chiro or such to come check/treat him? Also what kind of work does he do & how much? Also saddle fit?

Quote:
We had the vet draw bloodwork. It came back clean and 100% healthy.
What did they test for? Nutrient levels?

Quote:
They are fed morning and night. ...
8 #'s of Nutrena LifeDesign Senior.
Does he have enough hay to keep him going without being hungry for any length of time? If not, I'd feed more, or put the hay into a 'slow feeder' or hay net or such, to ensure he's got constant access to small amounts. I'm not a fan of feeds without fixed ingredients, such as Nutrena & Purina feeds, and the ingredients lists I have found for that feed shows 'wheat middlings' as the biggest ingredient, peanut hulls and molasses also high in the list. Therefore I'd personally change that, especially if there's a chance he's IR. But whether or not you do, feeding the ration over a number of small feeds daily rather than only a couple of larger meals is a good idea. A good nutritional supp *that's appropriate for his diet* is also a good move. Unfortunately they don't get much from salt/min blocks.

Quote:
I called and talked to my vet today about the possibility of ulcers. She said if he had ulcers, he would have had a low hemoglobin level and high WBC count.
That's interesting to hear - I have been told in the past by vets(haven't asked anyone recently tho) that the only way to really know is to have them scoped. Which can also be very expensive & not fool proof. I've also been told by vets that ulcer treatment is safe even if the horse doesn't have them, so I've always gone with the 'if in doubt, treat for ulcers' approach. Also feeding a pre/probiotic can be beneficial.

Quote:
He's completely up to date on regular deworming.
Did the vet check that he was *effectively* wormed? Sometimes you can be diligent but the worms are immune to the chemical or such. Did you mention if he'd had his teeth attended in the last year?
     
    08-31-2012, 12:09 AM
  #6
Trained
Geeze oh peets Loosie, way to make this complicated.

Yes he's been *effectively dewormed* and his teeth have been looked at. They are very good.

I always thought that horses needed to be scoped for ulcers as well, and I mentioned to my mom about treating him and she called the vet to run it by her. Which is when the vet told her that his bloodwork would have came back with a low hemoglobin count and high WBC count. High WBC count would indicate infection but nothing was out of the ordinary. I believe he has a CBC panel done.

He has not been tested for IR or Cushings. I'd almost guarantee that he doesn't have Cushings. He has no other symptoms of it. He always sheds out very well each year.

Honestly, maybe it is more along the lines of muscle deterioration as opposed to an actual weight issue. He is more or less a pasture buddy now. He's sound and rideable, we just don't use him the way we used to. But I'm also concerned that if I put him into work to build muscle, he'll lose more weight. *sigh* He currently is ridden a few times a month on trails or if a 12 year old borrows him to play around at a show.

When our pasture was very dry, we put hay out multiple times a day to keep them munching. Our pasture is now growing good and he always has grass to munch on and we fed hay morning and night as well. When he's in his stall, I give him plenty of hay to keep him occupied. Sometimes he doesn't eat it all I stuff it so full.

I will research IR and bring it up to my vet.

Loosie, is there another grain you would recommend? I have been happy with Nutrena products as I feel my other horses are doing well on it. Nutrena LifeDesign Senior really helped this guy too...at first.

Forgot to add, I give him 3 pounds of Timothy/Alfalfa pellets as well.
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    08-31-2012, 12:40 AM
  #7
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by CLaPorte432    
Geeze oh peets Loosie, way to make this complicated.
Just trying to cover all bases!

Quote:
I will research IR and bring it up to my vet.
look up ecirhorse.com as one good online recource.

Quote:
Loosie, is there another grain you would recommend?
I wouldn't recommend grain as a rule at all. Especially if he is IR. Instead I'd go for a low starch alternative if he really does need the extra high energy feed, such as beet pulp, soy hulls, rice bran, etc.
     
    08-31-2012, 12:45 AM
  #8
Trained
I appreciate your help.

I did try beet pulp, he'll have no part of it. LoL. I now have 24 pounds that no-one will eat that I don't know what to do with. LMAO.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
     
    08-31-2012, 01:49 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Maybe he needs a bit of riding to build muscle in those areas, like his butt.. I've had hard keepers, Nikki, that just need a bit more work to build muscle and put on weight. She seems to eat more and appreciate her feed more when she's working..She's also a happier horse when she's working consistently.
     
    08-31-2012, 03:01 AM
  #10
Green Broke
Our gelding red is a pretty hard keeper...well a. He's part TB but sameish issues....very had to keep weight on him and he hwas vurtually NO topline or butt muscle if he's not worked EVERY day....

He doesnt really like beetpulp...but the best thing we found for him was ricebran...he gets it year round and he gets double during winter...it has really helped to keep his weight up. And has helped with his coat, and muscle tone as well

I would definitely look into rice bran...im not saying its a cure all but it was for sure a factor in Reds health.
     

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