My 27 year old gelding, is getting really thin. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-29-2012, 09:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Sweden/London
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My 27 year old gelding, is getting really thin.

I have a 27 year old gelding, that is starting to become very skinny around the back. You can't see or feel the ribs or anything like that but he looks very thin over his bum. And I don't know what to do. He's on summer bait at the moment and is out 24/7, he gets crushed oats, b-vitamins, and linseed oil and there is alot of grass in his paddock. He has no problem wit his teeth or anything like that. But I don't know why is getting so thin? Should I give him hay now in the summer too?

I ride about a couple times a week mostly in walk, because he gets so "old" otherwise. But he likes to gallop across the fields too. He is really spirited, happy and heathy otherwise. People never thinks he is 27, he looks really good for his age. Any suggestions of what I should do? Help is mutch appriciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-29-2012, 09:24 AM
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Older animals, like older people, have trouble digesting certain things. Their digestive tracts just aren't as efficient as they used to be.

If his teeth are in good shape and he can still eat hay, I'd be giving him free choice if at all possible.

He could also just be losing condition. Again, like older humans, animals lose the elasticity of their skin as they older, and muscle starts to waste away. Our bodies aren't meant to last forever.

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post #3 of 4 Old 06-29-2012, 12:56 PM
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Can you get a vet out to examine him and have that include talking about stomach ulcers and hind gut ulcers.

It doesn't matter how a cushy a life he might be living, he's lived long enough for his digestive tract to possibly have run amuk and maybe developed ulcers, which prevent him from utilizing his food. I would especially worry about that if you see a lot of whole grains or hay in his manure.

I would also talk to the vet about upping his protein and his amino acids; something most older horses can benefit from.

I see you are in Sweden so I have no idea of the things available to you.

My Arab never did have a lot of muscle. He's now 26 and has even less.

I feed him 1 to 2 pounds of well soaked timothy/alfalfa cubes daily. Soaked because he has four molars missing and the alfalfa is a great source of protein and amino acids.

He deals with mild gastric ulcers. He doesn't get any sort of grain but is on a vitamin/mineral supplement that has a pre-probiotic in it to help with digestion. There's some rice bran mixed in to help with fat calories

He gets two teaspoons of Brewer's yeast daily to also help with digestion. I buy equine Brewer's Yeast in the form of Diamond V-YC.

He's only 13.3H but gets as much hay as my Walking Horses when he comes in each night and he eats all of it.

With all of that, he is still what I call "racehorse ribby" and his hip bones are a tad higher than I want to see. His coat is slick, and his hooves shine. The vet gives him a physical twice a year and says he's doing great.

Anything can happen and diseases can develop at any age but when a horse reaches their mid-20's, they become more susceptible to things and are wearing out, just as we do in old age. Some at different rates than others, just like people.

That's why I think it's important for the vet to give your horse a good physical and maybe add a blood work up to that. Although if he passes his physical with flying colors, it would be yours and your vet's discretion whether or not to do a CBC on him

Hope this helps
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-29-2012, 05:46 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alberta, Canada
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Other then getting a vet's opinion, sounds like you're doing good.
Could be he's just had his life and is coming near the end. 27 is old for a horse.

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