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Please help- Horse losing weight, need advice

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  • Horse loosing weight and tired

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    04-11-2013, 12:18 PM
  #11
Trained
I second the Nutrena LifeDesign Senior. Its great stuff.

I might do 5-6oz of Cool Calories too.

Has he been scoped for ulcers?

I had a horse like this. She would not gain weight and was anemic. We never found out why. But after a week on Red Cell, she started gaining weight and never had a problem after that.

It would be a wise choice to have a CBC on him and see what his WBCs are. With all that food he's getting, he should NOT look like this.

Im glad you are working closely with your vet to figure out whats going on.
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    04-11-2013, 12:20 PM
  #12
Super Moderator
Its good to see the improvement in him and I agree with the advice given by other posts
Many TB's (and other breeds too) can't cope with cold weather at all and you just can't feed them enough to keep them warm and maintain weight.
I've found with these types that using good blankets and neck covers too in really wet weather is the biggest factor in the weight thing - and stabling at night if it can be done, having a warm dry place to lie down and relax & eat in comfort also seems to help.
Good luck with his progress
     
    04-11-2013, 12:48 PM
  #13
Banned
Walkinthewalk- I will look into succeed. 90/month scares my college budget a little but I can manage. I like ramen so it will be fine :)

Desert- he is fed inside. He never bolts food. He eats slow and steady. He is however extremely picky. The cool calories is the only thing I could get him to eat. He hates his beet pulp. No matter how little I put in order to wean him onto it, he would dump his entire food out and just not eat it. The purina senior is the only senior feed I have access too that he will tolerate. He is will not very convinced that he likes it. I will change him to 4 feedings a day. That is do able.

As far as everything else he has has ulcers previously and we scoped him again recently and he is all clear. We also did a fecal and blood count. All was normal.

My vet from Mississippi state keeps assuring me it was due to the cold weather and that I just wasn't appropriately prepared on how to manage him. He said he sees no sign of cancer or other such thing.

Thanks for all the information and advice! As soon as I get home I'm going to look at everything and start some more research.
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    04-11-2013, 01:43 PM
  #14
Trained
Okay, skinny, hard keeper AND picky....beautiful combination....
To stay warm he needs hay. Being a picky eater, he might not eat enough if the hay out on pasture. Best bet in that case would be stall him at night and give him high quality hay, free choice as a base. Then all the extras during the day. I'd ditch the beetpulp and give more alfalfa pellet. No need to just throw it away. 4 meals is great. Look into flax. Either whole flax and grind it yourself, or Omegatin( contains also ricebran, and is pelleted, or, my favourite, Omega Horseshine. That has probiotics and other goodies and I absolutely swear by it. Start out with just a pinch in the soaked alfalfa, and up it ever so slowly.
I just found my list if calorie content of feeds...yeah
Equine senior has 1225, Strategy 1500. So maybe ditch the senior and give more strategy? Purina Ultium is a fat supplement, gives 1900 calories/lb. So is Amplify/2000 calories or Athlete/1900 calories. The last three being low in sugars....well, not the Athlete, but the other two.
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    04-11-2013, 01:58 PM
  #15
Trained
If you have access to the Purina line of feeds, I'd feed him Strategy in the morning and Sr. In the PM or 2 meals out of 4, and I'd add Ultium to each feeding, about 1/2 lb at a meal. I've used both Amplify and Ultium and had better results with the Ultium. If the horse doesn't like the Sr, then I'd ditch it and go to Strategy and add some Clovite or another multivitamin.

Main thing to remember is, when he's this skinny and he's the hard keeper, picky eater, etc etc, then he's going to feel cold faster than my fat QH easy keeper, air fern types. I had a mare like that and anytime it got around 60 F, I'd toss a wind sheet on her, then below 50 a mid weight blanket and below 40 I would put on a heavy blanket. If it got down to 20 or less, I'd toss a sheet over the blanket and when we got really cold (thank God, not often here) like single digits or less, I'd put a blanket liner under the heavy blanket and put her up in the barn. She also never grew a winter coat and would drop weight over night. Doing all that and feeding her enough calories for 4 horses and she kept her weight right up until the day she died of old age.
     
    04-11-2013, 02:46 PM
  #16
Green Broke
Have you checked him for sand? In addition to everything you're already doing my Vet had me do 30 days of SandClear when my horse dropped 200lbs for no good reason even though he isn't on sand and we didn't see any sand in his poop during a float test. I consulted with 2 other Vets at the time and they all suggested the sand clear as well.

I have no idea if Sand Clear "fixed" him but he got so fat afterwards I had to stop his alfalfa!
     
    04-11-2013, 04:46 PM
  #17
Banned
Desert- He had access to a round bale at the barn he was at, but it was disgusting. My BO did not put it under any kind of shelter, and it was covered in black, moldy dust. Ihad no idea it looked like that because it was in the back of his pasture. I got into a huge argument with my BO over it once I saw it and it made perfect sense to me while he was not eating the roundbale in the pasture. The grass in the pasture was doing nothing nutritionally for him either. He burns calories so fast that my vet has him completely in private turnout/stall until the end of June so that he has more fat to burn.

Dreamcatcher- I will look into some Ultium. Would I feed that in addition to Strategy if I ditched the Senior? Or is it an either/or kind of thing? Your blanketing practices for your mare sound exactly like what my vet outlined for Drifter at our last talk. I just had never considered that in his case. He is still fairly young and was in great shape heading into winter. I will NOT be making the no blanketing mistake again. Poor guy.

Delfina- I will call my vet and ask about the sand clear! We did do a float test last Friday when he was out and we discussed it a little. He said sand was not a big thing in our area, and that it looked like Drifter was not a likely canidate for a sand impaction. I think he was trying to help me come up with cost effective treatments at the time but I will discuss it with him again. I will gladly buy a thing of sand clear if he think it is an issue.

For all who have suggested no grain at all, we tried that right after he was diagnosed with ulcers last semester and he dropped weight fast. He would eat his alfalfa and such for about 2 days and then go off feed for a day. Then it would start back up. He gets tired of eating forage, and will go off feed completely if not given some amounts of grain. I am not sure why, but I feel like he likes making my life as hard as possible ha. I understand that this might be a way of pouting and requesting his "junk food" but when he looks like this- I don't really feel like letting him starve it out and such.

Thank you for all the help and advice!It helps just having support from other knowledgeable people and having a group I can run things by.
     
    04-11-2013, 05:34 PM
  #18
Trained
That's what I thought....lack of good hay. No matter how much grain you pour into them, they just don't get anywhere without good, and enough, hay. Im also right there with you with some type of grain for TB's. They just don't thrive on a no grain diet. At least the one's I had, and know.
I would do a round of SandClear, just in case, or, again, consider flax. Research shows enough hay and flaxseed work the same way as psyllium seeds( I.e.SandClear).

As DC also said, ditch the Senior ans add the Ultium.

Oh, consider yourself on the luckier side.....try to feed an air fern properly without having to tape his mouth shut.........stuffing it in is much easier than having to dose by the gram, trust me....
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    04-11-2013, 06:45 PM
  #19
Trained
Dreamcatcher- I will look into some Ultium. Would I feed that in addition to Strategy if I ditched the Senior? Or is it an either/or kind of thing? Your blanketing practices for your mare sound exactly like what my vet outlined for Drifter at our last talk. I just had never considered that in his case. He is still fairly young and was in great shape heading into winter. I will NOT be making the no blanketing mistake again. Poor guy.

Yep, you just add the Ultium to the Strategy, I started with 1/2 lb per feeding, maybe in your case just do it at 2 feedings to start and then go to 3 and then 4. I worked my way up to about 5 lbs total per day, in addition to free choice grass hay and Strategy. If your horse's desired weight is 1250 lbs, then I'd feed him for 1500 lbs to start. At 1/2% of body weight, that would be 7.5 lbs per day, plus 1-2 lbs of Ultium per day.

Most vets are not nutritionists, and I'm not either so take my advice with a grain of salt. I have had MUCH better luck when feeding up a skinny horse if I keep it simple. I give free choice grass hay, Strategy and Ultium. If your vet was afraid he might not be getting all the vits and minerals he needs, you can add something like Clovite or Moorman's Gro Strong. I found it was counter productive to feed too many things, I.e. Alfalfa pellets, cubes, Sr, Strategy, Ultium, etc etc.

Another feed I've had good luck with is Purina's Omolene 400, it's designed to be a complete feed and would solve any vitamin and mineral issues, but it's a high percentage of beet pulp, so he might not care for it. It's worked wonders on hard keepers and the odd really thin horse I've taken in to rehab.

I also use Fastrak or Probios to help with digestion, and since he's had a history of ulcers, that might be a good thing to add. He may be having trouble getting the nutrients out of the feed, rather than not enough feed or getting run off of it. Just brainstorming here, not trying to 2nd guess your vet.
     
    04-11-2013, 11:17 PM
  #20
Banned
Thanks Desert and Dreamcatcher!

I was told by two "friends" tonight that I was stupid for keeping him because I've spent too much money on his this last year. My response was, he may be a money pit but he's MY money pit. Their comments really irked me.

Drifter is my dream come true. So what if he has weight issues? Don't we all! Haha. Sorry. I just had to vent a little bit.

Desert- I will look into the flaxseed!! Thanks! And that's refreshing to hear that someone understands about me needing to feed grain. I feel like a lot of people get so ticked off by it, but the no grain just didn't work for Drifter. It is what it is.

Dreamcatcher- My vet was all for taking the more minimalist approach as well! He will probably be glad when I call him to discuss the feeding plan you mentioned. He was under the impression I didn't need to be stressing over the different things I fed either, but I was just so worried about upping his grain causing his ulcers to return. I will ditch the senior and get him started on some Ultium. As far as that omolene 400 goes .. we have tried it. Drifter hated it. I tried to feed it to him for 3 days straight and he would paw his bucket and get it everywhere, but never ate a mouthful. I also mixed some omolene 100 with some beetpulp hoping he would eat it, nope. He has a huge aversion to beetpulp. I am probably just going to give up on trying to feed that ha. Thank you again! You have been a huge help.
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