Losing weight without a real cause?....

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Losing weight without a real cause?....

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  • My horse is losing wieght and eating poop
  • Horse loosing weight without a real cause

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    06-13-2012, 05:06 PM
Super Moderator
Losing weight without a real cause?....

Miss Lacey is losing weight. I'm both very happy about this and also mildly concerned.

I'm happy because she's constantly trying to be as fat as she can and keeping her on the "safe" of the obesity scale is a constant concern of mine.

But, I'm also concerned because she's currently in a 2 acre+ pasture of nice long lush grass and is she eating it really at all? No.
She has one area near the gate of that field where she's eaten it down to the ground and she grazes there for a couple of hours everyday but she's not really actively grazing...
I'm sure it's partially due to the fact that this pasture is rather steep and she's mostly blind so therefore she's uncomfortable exploring... I think it's getting mowed either today or tomorrow so hopefully that'll help (more sure footing because the ground isn't super obscured by grass...?). I'm also getting a foster horse/buddy for her this weekend/early next week which I'm sure will increase her confidence moving around.
In the other pastures, she seemed fine. Even the other steep one - she had no problem cantering around, even cantering downhill, without even investigating anything anything about it first. Both the fields she's comfortable in are about 1.5 acres each and the fences are pretty visible, unlike the field she's uncomfortable with...

I also am not feeding her Enrich 32 right now. I got a free bag of Nutrena's Safe Choice "Special Care" and decided to just feed her about 3/4lb of that per day to get her supplements in her. I figure with the grass she's eating, her vitamins are probably taken pretty good care of, for now, since the grass appears to be really quality (I know that doesn't necessarily mean much and of course, I'm going back to Enrich 32 after this free bag is done).
She's just on pasture, her supplements, and 3/4lb of Safe Choice. She does have grass hay available in her shelter but she's not having anything to do with it. Really though, who'd prefer stale wheat bread over fresh, home baked bread? Not me!! Haha

She's not in imminent danger of starving or anything, just when she's working I can see a rib or two which is very unusual for her, ESPECIALLY given that she's only ridden enough to break a sweat about once a week (I briefly hop on a couple days a week and she has 2 lesson kids who ride her once a week each for about 15 minutes, at the walk, but nothing strenuous).

Anyway, I guess I'm just posting this to make sure there isn't something I've overlooked that guy guys can see. The vet will come out if this is a sign of a major issue, of course!

It could also be an issue of getting older, this year she's been seeming much more susceptible to chills and getting REALLY hot even when it's not that hot out... However, being old is never a good excuse for being thin (hahaha my 27 year old horse's version of "thin" is two ribs showing when she stretches out, take that! Haha) so that argument is not valid here.
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    06-14-2012, 12:50 PM
Our horse is losing weight also even though she is being fed enough to make a pig fat and has been wormed, I'm thinking she might need her teeth floated again.
Have you had your horses teeth floated latley?
    06-14-2012, 12:54 PM
Hmm maybe the grass is low in omega 3s and she needs some probiotic help for awhile so what she does eat can be properly digested. That's what I did for Sky last year and this winter and it helped him a lot.

Also check FeedXL.. you can put in any feed and the amount you're feeding.. and it'll let you know if anything is missing from the diet or you're working too hard for what you are feeding, etc.
    06-14-2012, 01:16 PM
Super Moderator
She got her teeth floated about a year ago. The vet did check them this year and said that while there were things that could be done (she has a wave happening which was noted last year when she was floated, no points though) taking care of the entire issue (removing the wave) would remove currently viable chewing surfaces and possibly create more issues than benefits.
According to the vet, Lacey does have fantastic teeth for a 27 year old (still has them all!!) and the vet felt that she could probably easily go at least a year more before getting another float. I guess that's her preferred protocol with seniors, floats every 24 months -if possible- instead of 12 to help save as much chewing surface as possible.

Sky, I have noticed a lot of roughage in her poop, maybe that's a sign of needing something like you're saying? Like, if the roughage in the poo were clean grass, it'd look like meadow-y sort of lawn clippings. Lawn clipping length, but definitely pasture grass...
That's another thing, she is pooping enough, I think. There are at least 4-5 new piles in her self mandated "manure pile" everyday and a couple in her little grazing circle.
I also wonder if she's drinking enough/likes her water tub. Her poop looks moist enough (well formed moist lil' balls), and she usually pees while I'm there so she must be peeing more, but there's a rubbermaid bin I have in her pasture (nothing in it yet) that kinda looks like a water tub and she investigates it and licks it every single day, like she's hoping there will be something in it...
Maybe I'll fill that bin up with water and stick it where she seems to want a water bin, just to see what she does....
Now that I think about it, her current water tub is black and I have never seen her really happily drink out of a black tub. She really likes drinking out of light colored buckets (like this bin I'm referencing)...maybe it has to do with her eyes... Anyway, I'll give that a try.

I'd love to try FeedXL but it's soooo expensive for just a month. One day when I get some extra cash I'll try it but right now I'm still trying to rebuild the emergency vet fund so the limited extra horse money I get is going straight there. :/
    06-14-2012, 01:21 PM
Oh, I'm a member. MSG me what she gets and I'll send you back a report (it's downloadable so I'll just c&p it)

Pasture type (grass, grass mix, wheat, etc.) and how long she's out there lol
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    06-14-2012, 01:24 PM
She has access to salt, right?
    06-14-2012, 01:32 PM
Super Moderator
Aw thanks! :) I'll do that now.

GOOD POINT. She had a mineral block in her other pasture but definitely does not have one in this new pasture. O.o
I could easily get her a bag of loose salt (I could also get her another mineral block), I think I remember loose salt being preferable to a block... I'll look that up and get her something asap.
    06-14-2012, 01:35 PM
Yeah deficiencies cause serious problems.

Also need her approx. Weight too
    06-14-2012, 01:43 PM
Your right about the salt block we need to get one ASAP, with our 90 + heat I am ashamed I should have thought of it. Thank you for the reminder. I bet she is dehydrated
    06-14-2012, 01:47 PM
Green Broke
Oh Lacey and Lizzy must be related. Lizzy is also losing weight without an obvious cause. So I really have nothing for advice as I have no idea. My vet is coming out tomorrow to take blood.

Good luck, I hope she picks up weight.

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