Hay Belly?

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Hay Belly?

This is a discussion on Hay Belly? within the Horse Nutrition forums, part of the Horse Health category
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    02-24-2012, 09:31 AM
Question Hay Belly?

My miniatures have big bellies. However, while I was deworming them on saturday, I realized that while they have a big belly, I can feel there ribs quite easily. I can't see them but I can feel them. So, why do they look fat, if I can feel their ribs? Is it a "hay belly"? If so, what does that mean? What should I do to get them back to a healthy weight? I am only down there for an hour or two every week or so right now, but I am moving in August/September so then I will have them at my house.
Thank you very much in advance!
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    02-24-2012, 09:46 AM
Can you post pictures? Also, how old are they and exactly what and how much are they eating?
    02-24-2012, 09:58 AM
The one who is the worst is..i think 7 or 8 and Misty is 3, she isnt as bad. They get free choice hay and they are in a small pasture that is pretty much just a dry lot. I don't have any pics on my computer but I will be sure to get some next time I go down!
    02-24-2012, 12:53 PM
Have a vet do a fecal egg test, they could very easily have worms, even if you regularly worm 'em.
    02-24-2012, 01:10 PM
What's the quality of the hay? If it's poor quality, that can explain the hay belly. I would also get a fecal test done, you might not be deworming for the correct parasite.
    02-24-2012, 01:21 PM
I will talk to the vet about a fecal egg test, I need to schedual their spring vaccinations anyway :). Im not sure about the quality, we just grow it ourselves. I think we cut it in June/July and so it's from summer. We just give them round bales.
    02-24-2012, 01:25 PM
Green Broke
I agree, it does sound like worm gut to me. You may have some resistent parasites going on which may require a change of de-wormers.
    02-24-2012, 01:30 PM
Thanks everyone! I will def try to get the fecal egg count done :) My usual worming rotation is February: oxybendazole, April: Ivermectin, June: Pyrantel, August: Fenbendazole, October: Ivermectin/praziquantel, December: Pyrantel.
    02-24-2012, 01:34 PM
Also, when you de-worm, keep them off of food (and if you can water) for at least 18 hours prior to the process. This will keep the horses bellies and intestinal tract empty enough so the de-wormer does its job as well as possible.
    02-24-2012, 01:39 PM
Thanks cowgirl, I had no idea about that!

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