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Rowzy 02-03-2012 06:09 PM

Rapid Weight Loss
So I moved in December and now I live 2 hours away from my horses. I was home on the 14th, and spent some time grooming both horses and changing blankets. Weight wise, Roma was fairly normal looking. I could just see the shadow of his ribs, but nothing alarming at any rate, especially because he has absolutely no muscle.

Today, I came home again and because the weather is nice all the horses blankets were taken off. Gypsy is at a normal weight, maybe a bit heavier than last time, and my friends horse had gained some weight as well. But Roma has dropped what I would call a fairly significant amount of weight. His topline is especially bad. Some of his ribs can be easily seen, even under all that winter coat.

I know that they are getting fed twice a day, 4 flakes total each (around 20-25 lbs maybe). Nothing that he is getting fed has changed since I was last home. He is eating normally and is the one that bosses the other horses around, so I know he isn't getting chased away from his food. There was a big snow/ice storm right after I left last time but he had a fairly heavy blanket and shelter the entire time.

What could cause this? I plan on getting some sort of grain/feed for him, but I'm not sure what I should get and how much to feed? I'm not used to him dropping this much weight.

If he doesn't start to gain weight, or continues to drop weight or starts to show any other issues I will find the money -somewhere- to take him to the vet (please don't get after me about this, I am a college student living off of student loans, and my parents can't help out right now).

I will post pictures soon.

CLaPorte432 02-03-2012 06:13 PM

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He could have any number of problems. Could be his teeth, he could have a infection, or the other horses could be keeping him away from the feed. You obviously know something is wrong. The other horses are fit and he is skinny. Does he act lethargic? Is he drinking? How old is he?

He should see a vet...

Rowzy 02-03-2012 06:22 PM

He is acting normal and drinking normal (as far as I can tell). He is 14ish (no papers, so not 100% sure). He isn't getting chased away from his food, if anything he is chasing the others away.

Tianimalz 02-03-2012 06:37 PM

Has he been wormed? Parasites could eat away most of his food before he even gets it digested. Just an idea.

Skyseternalangel 02-03-2012 06:44 PM

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Even the "chasers" are experiencing stress, and stress can munch at weight so fast before you know it you can spot ribs away at a grand distance.

My horse used to lose weight because he thought I was going to abandon him like everyone else. Took months and months and months for there to be a huge difference, and slowly I went from seeing him everyday to seeing him every other day, now 3 times a week and he's happy and healthy.

It can be a number of things.. it's best to check with a vet.

Rowzy 02-03-2012 07:46 PM

I was hoping I could get some ideas on what to feed him, grain/concentrated feed wise? I don't really know what would be the best in this situation.

He was wormed early December, same as Gypsy. I was going to pick up wormer when I go to get grain though.

I know he probably needs to go to the vet, but I was hoping maybe you guys could give me some ideas about what could be wrong, and maybe some ideas to get weight on him until I can get him into the vet.

Rowzy 02-03-2012 07:59 PM

Pictures! Keep in mind he has a super long winter coat so its hiding some things, but most of the pictures are pretty accurate. What I am seeing is a lot of weight loss along the topline. His ribs are also most visible more towards the top than anywhere else.

Also the feeding situation hasn't changed in months (since this summer) so why would him being the "chaser" sudden cause enough stress to make him drop weight? (Not trying to be argumentative, just curious).

I also have more, or can take more if they are needed.

Skyseternalangel 02-03-2012 08:05 PM

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Poor guy.... :( what's going on with his hind end? (Near the base of his tail) ?

And you've had the vet check for everything that could cause weight loss?

I'd definitely consider talking to your vet about putting him on Probiotics and upping the hay..

Rowzy 02-03-2012 08:09 PM

No, I haven't had a vet check. Like I've said, I'm hoping he will put enough weight on that I can wait a few weeks for him to go to the vet. Money is tight right now, as I just moved out, and am living off of loans but haven't been able to get a job yet.

I think what your seeing is just dirt, or something. I didn't groom him well (or really at all), and his winter blanket is a little long in the back so he tends to get extra dirty back there with that blanket.

Also, obviously he hasn't been worked in awhile so no muscle tone, but I feel like I've been having harder time keeping muscle on him than usual in the last 6 months or so (I mean, usually there some muscle just from running in the pasture or whatever even if he sits for months, but before he lost weight he didn't have any either.)

Skyseternalangel 02-03-2012 08:16 PM

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Base as in the top, not the bottom, sorry.

Yeah he needs more fat and some kind of work as he's also losing muscle tone. Is there a way you could feed them differently? You say he chases the other horses off at dinner time.. is there a way to reduce that stress?

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