Recomendations/Advise for underweight geriatric - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 03-26-2011, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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Recomendations/Advise for underweight geriatric

Our girl Molly is a 25-30 year old grade mare. We purchased her last summer as my daughters first horse. Over the winter she lost alot of weight/muscle mass. When she eats a considerable amount of food falls back out. Teeth were checked the end of Feb. and were fine.

Vet's recomendation was to switch her to a higher fat grain feed, Purina Strategy to be exact. As well as a fat supplement. She's getting free choice hay.

Would you recomend Nutrena feeds over Purina?
The Nutrena Safe Choice is 7% vs the 6% in the Strategy, and about $2 cheeper a bag here.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 8 Old 03-26-2011, 12:53 AM
Green Broke
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Both are not good quality feeds. If you can't get a better brand of senior feed, like Triple Crown, Buckeye, Progressive, etc., then I would make your own senior feed. Twice daily make up the following into a thick mush, drain off the excess water. Feed free choice quality grass or timothy hay.
  • 2 lb shredded beet pulp, soaked for 20-45 minutes until soft.
  • 3 lbs of alfalfa pellets or cubes, also soaked.
  • 1 cup ground flax or 4-8 oz of flax meal product/supplement (good fat)
Once a day add in a vitamin/mineral supplement like Grand Vite, Uckele's Equi-Base Grass, or SmartPak's SmartVite Maintenence Grass. Also add in a digestive aid like Fastrack or SmartGut.

This diet is "all natural," very healthy, and easy to digest.
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post #3 of 8 Old 03-26-2011, 12:54 AM
Green Broke
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I would also get a second opinion on her teeth.
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post #4 of 8 Old 03-27-2011, 11:55 AM
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Watch her chew her hay. Is she slow and deliberate? Is she moving the wad from one side over to the other? Does she rinse her mouth out in the water tank and leaves wads of hay (quid). Those are signs she needs her teeth done. Horses with good occlusion do not drop alot of feed either. Alot of vets are terrible with teeth and don't do them well. I would insist on one that uses hand tools (expecially on one her age), sedation and a full mouth speculum.

An easy to chew soft diet is pretty typical for a horse in her condition for the rest of her life. I would also add a quality protein for the muscle wasting, roasted soybeans are great, and veg oil for extra calories. Both are cheap. Still give her access to hay just for the chew factor and to fill time but don't count on it contributing much to her daily caloric intake.
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post #5 of 8 Old 03-27-2011, 01:42 PM
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I would feed Purina over Nutrena, and in horse feed, Purina is actually pretty good, but Pennfield, and Triple Crown are the best, and so far every where I've been, they sell Triple Crown. Pennfield I don't think is nearly as common. I would have an actual equine dentist come out and look at her teeth, as they can give you a much better opinion than a vet, and the one in my area actually charges a bit less for a general teeth "floating" session than the vet. I would also suggest adding something like Farnum Weight Builder, or weight building supplement as well. I have a hard time believing that her teeth are fine if she's dropping a lot of feed, and not keeping weight on. I haven't ever heard of Buckeye or Progressive, so I'll have to ask my equine nutritionist friend of mine for my own curiosity, but I would definitely go with a senior feed over a general sweet feed type of feed. For my dads 30 some odd year old horse, we fed equine senior, rice bran, 4-flex, and cob, and we soaked it so it was nice and mushy for him. Knowing what I do now, I would have changed a few things, but that kept him in good weight up until the day we put him down, and he was still running barrels and jumping small fences.
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post #6 of 8 Old 03-27-2011, 02:30 PM
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Purina strategy is very high in sugar, all my horses get very hot on that feed, and weight wise i didn't achieve good results, my vet recommended Purina senior soaked for my old gelding(33-38) with no teeth, he also dropped a ton of weight(he was on strategy) after talking to PeggySue on here i switched all my horses to triple crown senior, they have only been on it for 2 weeks and i can already see a slight improvement in their weight, given your horses age and weight loss i would put her on senior, Nutrena senior is better then Purina, but if you can get triple crown that would be best, hopefully Peggysue will hop on and be able to give you better advice then i is the link to triple crown senior feed and at the top where it says dealer locator you can see if anywhere nearby sells it Triple Crown Senior Formula |

also as for a fat supplement i had great luck with hard keeper solution Hard Keeper Solution - Horse Weight Gain Supplements from SmartPak Equine
I'm a little broke this year tho, so i put my OTTB and my old gelding on this they haven't been on it long enough to see any real difference
also rice bran pellets or granules are great for putting weight on

Last edited by Rachel1786; 03-27-2011 at 02:33 PM.
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post #7 of 8 Old 03-28-2011, 01:58 PM
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The Gleam and Gain Supreme 60 is great. I've had my horse on it for a month and he's got a great coat. He isn't getting enough to put weight on though, to do that you need to feed an extra scoop. I'm going to switch him over to just flax instead of the G&G to save a little more money though. Whatever fat supplement you decide to put your horse on, Molly, make sure it has more Omega 3s than Omega 6s in it. Omega 3s are anti-inflammatory while Omega 6s are pro-inflammatory. Ground flax is a great source of Omega 3s. Luvs made up a great diet plan.

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail...
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post #8 of 8 Old 03-30-2011, 12:57 PM
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hey I would check their front teeth, a lot of times a vet will only file down their back teeth, but it could be like Mooney's were and her back teeth would wear down to quickly leaving her front to long. You just push their top and bottom jaws together than move them back and forth. You should hear a grinding noise, if you hear a smooth sound like it is sliding easily her front teeth might need to be checked.
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