Dropping weight :(
 
 

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Dropping weight :(

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  • Starved horse watery diarehha
  • Horse is dropping weight after being wormed and has feed

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    05-25-2012, 02:24 PM
  #1
Weanling
Dropping weight :(

So many of you already know that I have struggled with Junior's weight issues for a long, long time. Well he was doing marvelous and was gaining weight nicely until just recently.

We know that he pulled a muscle in his back a couple weeks ago and have been massaging him since then. His back is doing great now but this is when we noticed his weight loss. We attributed it to the fact that he was sore and didn't like the new grain we had gotten.

We went back to the old grain and that solved the issues. He started to gain weight back again. But now the last week or so he has been losing weight again. He seems perfectly happy, no soreness or anything. He is not being worked at all, hasn't been ridden in over two weeks so I know he isn't burning calories that way.

He is being fed more now than he has ever been fed and he is losing weight...

He is on around 6lbs of senior grain, beet pulp, high fat rice bran, 100 cool calories and he also gets an msm supplement, this amount is fed TWICE a day so he is getting a total of around 15-20lbs of feed per day. On top of this he is on free choice hay and has grass in his pasture. He has been wormed on schedule and eats all of his feed that is given him. There is only one other horse in the pasture but it is a miniature and he can't reach the feed bucket so we know he is stealing grain.

Junior is 23 now and has always had weight issues. He was starved when he was 17-18 but has since then been doing alright. Usually we struggle with his weight the most in fall/winter. He isn't horribly thin or anything, he doesn't actually look that bad. The problem is that with all the feed he is on he shouldn't be dropping weight at all, he should be gaining it. That is what worries me. He is thinner than he was last week but he isn't starving thin. His ribs can just barely be seen but he has lost definition through his back and withers as well. He is current on vet, farrier, everything.

He is also getting probiotics.

I am calling a vet to come out but wanted to get suggestions from you guys as well. Any ideas? I am completely baffled. Usually at this time of the year we are cutting back his feed because with the warm weather and spring grass he holds weight, this year he won't hold weight at all.


^^ That was him a couple weeks ago. He now is ribby and the muscle and filled out area of his withers is no longer there. He has also lost some of the definition around his spine. I know topline is attributed to exercise but he shouldn't have lost it that fast.

I will try to get some more recent pictures.
     
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    05-26-2012, 01:25 AM
  #2
Foal
I say this to just about everyone, do you think he has ulcers? If so he might be in such pain that no amount of feed can make up for it. Ulcer guard works I've been told. You or the vet might want the to check him for tumors as well. A friend's horse had tumors on her tail and legs(the horse is in her 30's now I think) and she wouldn't gain any weight until that was taken care of. Now she weighs more then their other horses. I hope he gets better soon.
He looks like a sweet boy. Good luck.
     
    05-26-2012, 09:49 PM
  #3
Weanling
Thanks I am going to have the vet check him for ulcers. I am having a full physical work up done on him. Just wanted to ask around for ideas on what it could be so that I am more educated when I talk to the vet about the possibilities :]
     
    05-26-2012, 10:39 PM
  #4
Trained
While the vet is there, request that he takes some bloods as well. Something may well show up that way, that would be missed in a physical
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    05-27-2012, 01:28 AM
  #5
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayty    
While the vet is there, request that he takes some bloods as well. Something may well show up that way, that would be missed in a physical
Thank you, I definitely will. Someone suggested that it may be cancer because of the sudden weight drop. I really hope it isn't that severe.

Just wish I could get the vet out sooner but she won't be able to call me back till Tuesday because of the holiday, grr. Waiting is horrible.
     
    05-27-2012, 06:00 AM
  #6
Trained
It could just be that he is lacking something, with the change of season ;)
     
    05-28-2012, 04:38 AM
  #7
Trained
It sounds like what you're seeing is more a loss of muscle. But those are hefty high starch feeds he's getting & if you're going to feed grain especially it's important to feed it little & often. Large, infrequent starchy feeds are common cause of ulcers, colic & ultimately weightloss.

Also you've changed feeds twice in 2 weeks, which will cut down on how much he can get out of it, as their system needs time for *gradual* diet change. You need to start/change feed with small amounts, building up to the desired amount over at least a week.

When was the last time he had his teeth done? They should be seen to yearly on average, but more often for oldies. If his teeth aren't in good nick, that's a big factor in digesting their feed too.
     
    05-28-2012, 08:32 AM
  #8
Weanling
Ulcers is a strong possibility because of all the starchy feeds he is getting. Ulcers are *really* expensive to treat and often horses have relapses but reducing starch intake is one proven way to reduce the severity. Fibre based feeds do exist that are designed to put on condition, and oils with omega 3 in them are good for condition and the stomach's health too.

Hope you get to the bottom of this soon x
loosie likes this.
     
    05-28-2012, 10:13 PM
  #9
Weanling
Loosie, he hasn't actually had a feed change. The brands changed but the feed itself did not. He has always been on senior feed. Same ingredients in the feeds just different brands. Also he is being fed 2-3 times per day depending and sometimes even gets snacks throughout the day. He has always been fed like this and always done great. The reason I worry if because all of the sudden he is doing bad. Nothing is new about his diet and the feeding schedule is the same it has always been. He is just dropping weight. But I am taking him to the vet tomorrow so will get my answers then.

Thanks OwnedByAlli. I will talk to the vet about dietary changes that may need to be addressed. This is what was suggested to us that we feed him by another vet, his farrier and a trainer. I am getting a second opinion from the vet I am taking him to tomorrow. It may be an ulcer but it may be something else completely. He isn't exhibiting any of the other signs of an ulcer, just the weight loss.

Glad I was able to get him into the vet so quickly, hopefully some answers will come tomorrow.
     
    05-29-2012, 02:29 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by NordicJuniper    
Loosie, he hasn't actually had a feed change. The brands changed but the feed itself did not.
OK, that's one possibility down maybe... but if it's the same feed, perhaps you can explain why you changed back & why your horse appeared to do better on it? Are you absolutely sure all ingredients are the same?

Quote:
Also he is being fed 2-3 times per day depending and sometimes even gets snacks throughout the day. He has always been fed like this and always done great. The reason I worry if because all of the sudden he is doing bad.
Great if you can feed him more often, in smaller meals. Just because he's always been fed & managed like this & always been OK till recently doesn't mean it's necessarily good & fine. For eg. Type 2 diabetes doesn't happen when people start eating too much sugar & put on too much weight. It's a long term thing that usually 'suddenly' happens after a person's been eating that sort of diet and been 'fine' for some time. Of course, it *may* be nothing of the sort, but that sort of feed & regime commonly causes troubles, so don't rule it out.

Quote:
It may be an ulcer but it may be something else completely. He isn't exhibiting any of the other signs of an ulcer, just the weight loss.
Yes, of course & great to hear you're getting the vet. Be interested to hear the results. Is the vet particularly knowledgeable in equine nutrition? I'd be inclined to speak to a nutritionist if he were mine, but hopefully you can kill 2 birds. Interested to know what other signs you expect to see from ulcers?
     

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