Losing condition? Lactating miniature. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 10-21-2012, 08:57 PM Thread Starter
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Losing condition? Lactating miniature.

Alright guys, you'll have to excuse me, I'm being a bit of an overprotective 'horse mommy' and worrying my head off...hopefully for no reason at all.

Sour is a 4 1/2 year old miniature horse mare who just foaled a miniature mule filly on 9-11-12. Baby is healthy, happy, and keeping mama on her toes which is great, but I've been watching Sour closely and she's just not where I want her to be.

She isn't necessarily thin...but she's not in the condition that I want her to be. I can't see or feel ribs at all but her hips have lost some of their 'fullness' and she seems to of lost all of her mass around her heart girth so that her elbows seem to stick out strangely. Now I'm aware that this could be because of muscle loss- she was in top condition up until about two months before foaling, then went stationary and is just now being put back into work (she's a driving pony) 2-3 hours a week. I wouldn't be overly worried except for that her coat isn't looking too hot either. She's rarely 'shiny' this time a year- she's a miniature after all, and they get THICK winter coats (she's no exception) but its just really dull and course, as is her mane and tail. She's shedding too which I find really strange...

What am I missing in her diet? She's fed twice a day, morning and evening. I have her on SafeChoice Special Care Horse Feed by Nutrena. She's getting a little more than half a scoop (one pound) of feed twice a day, and is getting two flakes of 1/3 alfalfa 2/3 timothy hay. Like I said, her weight isn't all that bad, just her overall condition, so I dont want to just add more food. Theres obviously something she isn't getting that I'm not thinking of. Should I switch feeds? Add a suppliment?

Yet another problem, she started having loose stool yesterday morning. It isn't diahrrea, just not at its normal consistancy, and its light. Do I call the vet? Wait it out? She might be a bit stressed because I just moved her to a different pen away from another broodmare that was being agressive with her, so I dont know if that has something to do with it?

She's up to date on vaccinations and worming.

Thanks so much guys.

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post #2 of 13 Old 10-21-2012, 11:45 PM
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What about adding some rice bran or beet pulp?
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post #3 of 13 Old 10-21-2012, 11:49 PM
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I'd take away the alfalfa and give her some beet pulp. Can you give a mini some SandClear? Just in case she's been eating dirt? Once you get her poo back to normal, I'd try adding some fat into her diet and see if that helps her coat and overall condition. Just remember, nothing works overnight, it will take at least a month if not 2 to really see a difference.

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post #4 of 13 Old 10-22-2012, 01:17 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys. Rice bran is one thing that I was wondering about, but I wasn't sure about whether or not it was 'safe' to give to miniatures. We have some already for our OTTBs so I could easily add that to her diet. How much do you think I should give her? Maybe 1/2 a pound at first? I'm personally not a fan of beet pulp. We've had a few cases of choking when giving that to the little guys because of the size of their throats, even when it is prepared correctly.

As for the hay, my only other choice besides alfalfa is Jiggs Costal hay, which we're getting a load of next week. Should I give her that in the same quantity as the alfalfa?

She's already on a maitenence dose of psyllium (same ingredient as SandClear, just cheaper) but it HAS been rather dusty out here lately and she's in a dry lot, so that very well could be causing a problem. She tends to spill her feed (she paws it >.> I havent been able to break her of that little quirk) and eats it off of the ground too. I'll go ahead and give her another starter dose this evening, just in case. Maybe I can find an old stall mat or something to put her food on too, to limit dirt intake.

Any recommendations for something that can add some fat to her diet later? I try to stay away from anything with much sugar because I don't want her to founder, and I'm hesitant to use Corn Oil after reading a few threads on here about it. Perhaps some canola or if there is a suppliment that I can buy?

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Last edited by Endiku; 10-22-2012 at 01:19 PM.
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post #5 of 13 Old 10-22-2012, 01:45 PM
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Flax seed oil is what I used. Worked great and rather quickly. Or fish oil but that is expensive.

Rice bran I believe is a max of 2lbs per day for a full grown horse and I only give my girl 1lb per day so I would give much less to a mini. But I think this has something to do with ratios of something so maybe it could be more, not sure.
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post #6 of 13 Old 10-22-2012, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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I'll look into that :) would I get flax seed oil at a whole foods store?

I'll try the 1/2 pound of rice bran, divided up into 1/4 pounds per meal and see how that goes. Hopefully that won't be too much.

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post #7 of 13 Old 10-22-2012, 02:54 PM
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I got the flax oil at the feed store in the horse health section. It comes in a gallon jug.

Here's a link to one brand of it. I can't remember what brand I used, could have been this one. But my horse turned out to be intolerant of flax grrrrr, it worked so well.

AniMed Flax Seed Oil - Statelinetack.com
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post #8 of 13 Old 10-22-2012, 03:35 PM
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BTW, check the ingredient label on the flax seed oil you buy. The AniMed one lists soybean Oil before flax seed oil, which means that it's more soybean than flax, even though they call it flax seed oil!

In terms of their omega-3:omega-6 ratio, soybean oil is better than some oils (1:7), but not nearly as good as flax (3:1)
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post #9 of 13 Old 10-22-2012, 03:50 PM
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Well then I didn't buy that brand haha. I remember checking the lables and it did not have soy in it.
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post #10 of 13 Old 10-22-2012, 04:20 PM
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About flax - I just buy the whole seeds in bulk at my local grocery store ($.60/lb) and they get digested just fine. It's MUCH cheaper to do it that way and, ime, nutritional value is absorbed whether they're whole, ground, or oil.

I know nothing about mini's and I've never fed a lactating mare (aka, I'm sticking my nose where it doesn't belong so feel free to disregard everything I say, ) but since you cannot feel ribs, I would not think she really needs to put on a lot of weight. Unless mini's are vastly different than big horses in that way, you always want to be able to feel some rib... I would bet it's just a whole bunch of muscle-loss that you're seeing and not so much weight loss - before this baby, you had her at a darn high level of fitness! And the only thing that's going to put on muscle is proper work, not feed.
Anyway, if you're REALLY concerned, I might give her even less than half a pound of rice bran/day (also, the "worrisome" thing about RB is the Ca:P ratio, for the record, :) ). I mean, I had Lady on one pound of it a day and she put on over 50lbs in one week! And she was a 14hh, 850lb, neglect case!
Of course, Lady wasn't nursing but, due to that, I'm inclined to think even half a pound/day might be too much for Sour, given that she's not actually ribby or anything....

But, I know absolute nothing about mini's so correct me if I'm wrong! :)

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Last edited by Wallaby; 10-22-2012 at 04:24 PM.
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