Horse loosing weight after worming...Normal?

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Horse loosing weight after worming...Normal?

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    10-14-2008, 09:33 AM
Horse loosing weight after worming...Normal?

We have a horse boarder who is boarding two old horses (Tenn. Walkers) with us (one 26+ years old, one 13+ years old). Per contract, the boarder is responsible for his own vet care, wormer, etc. We only provide hay, grain, water, turn out to pasture and a clean stall. This boarder has been with us for 5 years and has never had a vet to see his horses. He had not been to see his horses in nearly 3 years (he was 2 years behind in boarding fees). In the spring of 2008 while we were worming our herd, we put his horses on a worming program with ours (we noticed the coat on his horses were dull and we thought the horses may have a bad case of worms). Our other horses seemed to do well with the wormer, however his horses seemed to loose appitite and lost a considerable amount of weight, We even began to give his older horses expensive senior food and special weight gain.... is it normal for a horse that has not been wormed recently to stop eating or loose weight after going on a worming program? The older horse seemed to loose the most weight. We also noticed the older horse when in her stall there seemed to be a considerable amount of unground/undigested food in her stool... Could the lack of vet care (teeth care) be causing this weight problem... We were finally able to contact this boarder after sending multiple certified letters... This boarder came up to get his hourse and feels he should not pay back board since he is convinced we have not feed his horses, and that is why they are thin. We were so concirned that we contacted our local Animal Control Officer to inspect our horses as well as his. He said that the boarders were a little thin, however he saw no problem that would warrent him even filling out a report. This boarder says he is considering taking us to court to get back the prior board he has paid us. NOTE: He is still nearly 1 year behind in board and we are considering taking him to court to collect the back board. His last conversation was that if we could convince him that there may be other reasons for his horses being thin he would avoid taking us to court and pay the back board. Any help/suggestions any of you can provide is appreciated.
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    10-14-2008, 09:46 AM
Green Broke
I'm not sure about the legal issues, but yes - if a horse was really wormy, the wormer would clear them out, resulting in some weight loss issues.

Do you have pictures of them from before you wormed them?
    10-14-2008, 02:37 PM
What a mess. I would suggest having a vet go out to inspect his horses and let his evaluation be your defense. I would certainly do it before he has a chance to retify any problem - such as dental.

I hope you kept a log of everything - including his non payment and lack of proper medical/dental care being his responsibility as per his contract.

You didn't mention farrier care, how has that been paid for?
    10-14-2008, 03:09 PM
This is one of those unfortunate cases where I would call a vet out at your expense and have a thorough exam done. It sure stinks but documentation and doing the right thing on your part (even though it's going to cost some money) will protect you in the long run.
    10-14-2008, 04:07 PM
I agree get a vet out, then take him to court for back payments and the pay for vet, extra feed...ect. And then ask for the horses. Because he could take the horses and just put them in a back yard to die. I mean if he hadnt been out for that long he dosent care about them.
Or you can "buy" both horses for 500 and take it out of what he ows, that way he feels that he is getting something for them. Actually I would have the horses on lock down after you take action. Speaking from experiance...He could come back and take the horses from the property and get away so he never has to pay or go to court.
    10-14-2008, 06:22 PM
So ...... no vaccinations for years? DEMAND that they vaccinate their horses or the horses will have to go. The lack of worming affects your horses too - that's wormy manure going right back on your pasture. Routinely worm them, and charge them for it.
    10-15-2008, 11:12 AM
Clearing worms out won't often result in weight loss in adult horses---they don't generally have the numbers of ascarids that produce that pot-bellied look in foals. However, the chemical in the dewormer could have caused a problem especially depending on the kind used and any age-related health issues this horse might have. What product did you use and how did you dose it?

Having said that, the undigested food in the feces is most likely a HUGE clue to the reason this horse is loosing weight. Senior horses require more careful dental care than adult horses because there is more risk of fractured or lost teeth which leads to uneven growth and lack of chewing ability. Senior horses already tend to have less efficient digestion --just like senior humans tend to have digestive changes--and add in that chewing may be poor and you are feeding grains which are hard to digest to begin with. It is time to go to a complete senior feed and probably even moisten it to make it softer and easier to chew.

You should first off look into your state/local laws on animal abandonment and theft of service since the owner isn't coming out and caring for their horses and is overdue on payment. It may be a legal option to place a lein on the horses or even take over ownership to recover the money you are owed. Then be sure that you #1 attempt to contact them to inform them of the change in their horse's condition and their overdue payment status--I would do this via phone as well as certified letter in case you do end up persuing legal recourse. And be sure you state that if they don't respond within X number of days you will have the vet out and add the charge to their current bill as the horse needs some care. Then if/when they don't do anything, have the vet out---but at least your butt is covered legally because you contacted them and because you are not allowing an animal in your care to go untreated.

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