Feeding an old rescue horse - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-24-2012, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Feeding an old rescue horse

I have a 35 yr old rescued QH mare without any teeth. I got her about 6 weeks ago. She was skin and bones and probably had about a week or two(maybe) before she would have gone down. She was very dehydrated and lethargic. After a few days she perked up and was feeling so much better. She now has a ravenous appetite. She has put on quite a bit of weight in the last 6 weeks. The problem is I'm pretty sure she is hyperthyroid. Maybe even tumors. I feel them along her trachea. She lactates and has a very dull coat especially on her neck. That has really improved in the last few weeks but still dull. She had long hairs all over her legs and chest when I got her. I shaved them off and they haven't grown back. I know at that age she will have some of these problems. But in my years with horses I have never had a neglected horse and one of this age. The problem I'm having is in the last week or so she has developed a cresty neck. I don't know if it's from too much feed or her possible thyroid problem. I have fallen in love with this girl, she is so sweet and acts so grateful that i have taken her. She really likes me too. I was told she was a very talented cutting horse and I want her to have a great last part of her life with dignity and love. She deserves it. I want to do the right things for her. This is what she is eating.......

AM feeding: about 2 1/2lbs of safe choice for metabolic problems (hard keepers) and a scoop of horse guard vit. min. supplement with a half cup of olive/canola oil
7-8 lbs. of alfalfa pellets and timothy/orchard grass pellets (soaked to a mash)
sometimes if I'm home I feed the alfalfa mix again in the afternoon.

PM: I feed the alfalfa pellet mix and safechoice in the same AM amounts (excluding the horse gaurd wich is just in the am)
She gets grass hay but it's mostly to give her something to do as she can't eat enough of it to do much. She has only her front teeth. She was gaining pretty impressively but has plateaued this last week. What I'm concerned with is that her neck is getting cresty and I don't want it to be from what I'm feeding her. Does this sound ok or is it too much? it doesn't seem to be but not sure. She is not lame at all (just creeky joints from being old) and acts like she is feeling great. She does drink a good amount of water but doesn't seem to urinate excessively. Any extra advice would be appreciated! Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-24-2012, 11:36 PM
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Have you not considered feeding her Senior's as it is a complete feed for senior horses, even those with no teeth, if soaked to a wet grass consistancy. Your vet is the best judge of what you should be feeding and her condition. Her diet sounds pretty rich and may be a case of too much too soon.
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post #3 of 6 Old 06-24-2012, 11:48 PM
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I agree you should make sure with your vet. I feed a Prigrow from ADM. It is forage based and they do have a feed for seniors. You can also call them and get their toughts on what to feed. I am very happy with this feed and I feel it is safe feeding it because it is not grain base.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-25-2012, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I know about equine senior. This feed is better at this point to help with her to gain weight. Equine senior is good for maintenance. Thanks for all the advice.
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-26-2012, 07:56 AM
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The cresty neck is a good sign of insulin resistance or equine metabolic syndrome

Her ravenous appetite can possibly be driven not only by having been starved to near death but also by insulin issues. My 17 yr old with true IR needs his jaw wired shut because he can't stop eating; he wears a grazing muzzle every day. The 25 yr old with EMS is not at all like that; just depends on the chemistry of each horse.

I agree with what you're feeding her for now. It may have to change or e cut back if she's gaining too much weight.

Now that you're getting her back on track, more forage is better than more in the feed pan, except for the soaked tim/alfalfa cubes. She's 32 and needs the extra protein & amino acids the alfalfa provides her.

Also, can you afford to buy Succeed or EquiOtic?

They are both designed to support the entire digestive tract, including hind gut issues.

Point-being, at her age and all she's been thru, if she doesn't have ulcers thrown into the mix, it would be a miracle.

My 25 yo TWH has Equine Metabolic Syndrome, a/k/a peripheral cushings. He also has enlarged glands, along with melanomas in both ears

I've just changed his diet for the umpteenth time since 2007 because metabolic issues never let you keep a horse "status quo" in the feed department.

The diet change came after I almost lost him to a big colic in early March. Then he colicked again in early May. He colicked because he has hind-gut ulcers and yes that was verified by the vet using Succeed's stool sample kit to check for such things.

I can't tell how you well this horse has come around and how fantastic he is now doing.

He wasn't shedding his coat, the blood tests showed low thyroid, and I was scared to death he was in early stages of cushings because he'd never had such a dull coat and that didn't want to let go.

After the second colic the vet left me with five days of EquiOtic, which is by prescription only. The ER vet recommended Succeed as she was leaving my farm, so I then put him on Succeed and he continued to do fantastic.

Succeed is $90/month. I think EquiOtic is a bit cheaper and also better quality, so I got a month's supply of EquiOtic in powder form from my vet. The office gals didn't know how much to charge so just handed me the bag of good and said "we'll bill you".

This horse went from being way off and lethargic to having the silkiest and tighest coat of any horse in the barn. His 25 yr old precious self honestly has the look of a ten year old again. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop while at the same time enjoying every moment of "re-birth" these microbial products have given him.

I hope there's some way you can afford even a month's supply of either product; if they're going to help your mare, you will see a marked difference in less than ten days.

SUCCEED Digestive Conditioning Program Equine Supplement

Equiotic- Live Equine Sourced Microbial Probiotic- Bluegrass Equine

Once you get her digestive system back on track, Brewer's Yeast may help maintain her gut flora. At the vet's recommendation, I put my other three horses on Diamond V-YC at two tablespoons, twice daily.

They don't do anything, we're all pretty much retired but, the youngest of my four is 17 and also has metabolic issues, so the vet felt that, as cheap as a bag of Diamond V-YC is ($19), it wouldn't hurt to feed it to all of them.

I hope this helps and good luck with this gal - thank you for giving her a great home
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-30-2012, 09:22 AM
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Thumbs up Succeed and Equiotic Probiotics

A couple of things: Equiotic is only sold through vets but does not require a prescription. You can buy it direct at Bluegrass Equine or through Wickliffe Pharmacy ( like I do) but, you will pay a bit more than going through your vet.

The next thing is both products are very high quality but there is MASSIVE difference in the technology. Succeed uses as its principle ingredient, the outer shell/cell wall of the yeast to bind toxins and then also uses oat oil and some other ingredients that make it very effective in binding toxins, and lubricating the hind gut and helping get some inflammation down. In the end, it binds toxins, helps sooth but leaves no live reaction to the problem.

Equiotic is very different. It is the only horse sourced LIVE bacteria available and it uses Equine LactoBacillus reuteri which is found in all mammals but MUSt BE COMMENSAL with the species to work to its capacity. The Equine LR will grow and coat the mucosal surface of the intestines keeping toxins from entering. Next, it will secrete reuterin which is a natural very powerful anti-microbial of toxins such as salmonella. and last, Lactobacillus reuteri when it grows secretes metabolites which stimulate the receptors in the mucosa. Thus nutrients, and other supplements are absorbed better.

The last part of Equiotic is Live S. Boulardi. While not a equine sourced bacteria, it is live and has proven toxin binding properties. Both, bacterias have a minimum dosage of 20 billion (not million) combined CFU's. or 40 billion gross. (they start out with 40 billion to guarantee 20 billion)

The "Shepards Corner" in Ohio Thorough bred rescue put me onto it after my vet mentioned it. So, I read the papers on the Equiotic site and watched the video about 6 times and took notes.

Every horse I have put on Equiotic, has had to have the feed backed off cause they get fat as pigs.

I have been a horseman for many many years and been lucky enough to had a ton of experience with some world class horses and vets. (Living near Lexington helps!) There is so much BS in supplements these days, you have to really read ALL the research you can. Succeed is solid in their approach but, is really just a refined approach to what is out there already. Equiotic, is a LIVE refined approach which accomplishes what you are trying to do all along,.....put healthy EQUINE bacteria back into the hind gut.
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