10-29-2012, 07:05 PM
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Mule suddenly won't eat alfalfa.
Hey all! New here & signed up specifically because I'm stumped. I've had equines all my life, and have had my appx 15 year old molly mule, Ellie, for 4 years. Three days ago she decided she didn't feel like eating, so she skipped breakfast. We keep our animals @ our house & normally I would notice but I've had a family member in the hospital two hours away & my husband told me when I got home that night. She looked listless on saturday but was still drinking & interested in eating grass but not the alfalfa pellets she's been eating for 4 years without problem. This is my girl who LIVES to eat! I decided maybe she had a sore one her mouth or her teeth need to be floated, so I soaked the pellets well and tried to feed them, still not interested. I mixed them with syrup, still not interested. Made a bran mash with syrup & apple flavored psyllium pellets (which smelled delightful even for me!) The horse thought it was them best thing he ever tasted but Ellie ate 10 or 12 bites and walked away. Thought maybe it was that particular bag of pellets so I gave her scoops out of a different bag, no change! I've been keeping her in a pen by herself so I know she's urinating & she's still pooping, but only maybe twice a day. She no longer looks listless, her ears are perky and her eyes are bright, she acts hungry, drinks well, licks from the salt block, and eats some bran. She has also been eating bran once a day for 4 years and normally loves it. Thinking maybe we had a light case of colic I started walking her for long stretches two days ago & when in them meadow behind my house she eats grass like its going out of style. No signs of difficulty chewing or swallowing. Just got back from another hour long walk. I would call the vet if she stopped drinking or wouldn't eat a thing, or especially if she continued to look pitiful, but this doesn't seem like a medical emergency. She also is not rolling, laying down, biting at or kicking her stomach. Hubby says she's just being picky. I keep telling hubby there has to be a reason! A healthy, happy, normally chow-hound animal doesn't just stop eating. She just suddenly doesn't like her normal food! We haven't made any feed changes & have bought pellets from them same supplier for over 25 years with no nutrition problems in our animals. Any ideas?