07-04-2012, 03:29 PM
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He's not getting enough hay, IMO, IF that's all he's getting. If he is on good pasture and also getting that amount of hay, then I wouldn't worry about the amount he's being fed.
Especially at his age, he needs all the hay and grass (if he's not dealing with metabolic issues) that can be shoved into him. Those acidic digestive juices inside a horse work 24/7 whether there's hay to digest or not. Not enough hay to "soak up" those juices might result in ulcers.
My question is aimed at the vet. Sooooo okaaay, you think he's too thin, what's next on your list of things to check on him?
1. CBC (complete blood workup).
2. What about ulcers? Hind gut or gastric ulcers might be an issue.
3. What about doing some blood work to check for insulin resistance, equine metabolic syndrome (which certainly does cause muscle waste), or cushings?
Just because he's thin doesn't mean he might not have metabolic issues. EMS caused one of my horses to lose weight, muscle mass, and it's now difficult to keep weight on his 25 yr old self.
My horse has a coat slicker than a peeled onion, just like this Fella. He's had three colics in six months when he's never had any before. First off, he has hind-gut ulcers for which he's on EquiOtic. Second, the vet is suspicious of either adhesions from the first colic or benign lipomas which are fatty tumors.
Point being healthy shiny coat and hooves, my horse is not healthy inside and that may very well be the case with this handsome Gent.
Unless the vet has run some tests on this horse that the OP hasn't mentioned, I am doing smack-down on the vet. Don't say the horse is "starting to get thin", then ask for the check and roll out the drive. Do some "possibilities talking" with the owner.