Need some advice from the nutrition/feed stuffs gurus, please.
A little history...
Zorro is about 11 yrs old. We bought him a couple of years ago when he came up for sale from a rodeo company my husband used to work for. He was used for roping bucking bulls and ranch work. Has a tendency to be very nervous under pressure. At this point his work load is very light. I may lope him to keep him and shape and my husband comes home and rides him maybe to help a friend work/rope calves. All the horses are turned out on pasture 24/7 and fed Strategy GX according to body condition/work load.
My other horse look beautiful since switching to Strategy. Zorro does not.
Zorro has a bad case of Sweet Itch which I had taken him to the vet for. He was placed on Tucuprim for the skin infection, given a fast acting steriod shot and a slow one. Also prescribed Dex powder to give as needed. The hives are down but he still is itching.
His weight is low and his coat looks horrible. I expressed my concerns to the vet. He wanted to get the Sweet Itch under control, then do an allergy test. Maybe he thinks the weight issue is related to the Sweet Itch but he didn't seem to want to address it at this time.
Making an appt. Soon for allergy test and address the weight issue again.
So this is what he is getting....
Strategy GX 4.5 lbs divided into 2 feedings.
Light work, 1100 lb horse. Working him up to maybe 5.5 or 6 lbs?
I am concerned about his gut, in the case that is the issue and feeding a lot of grain.
TractGard 1 oz. Per feeding
Digestive aid and electrolyte
HistAll 1oz. Per feeding
Antihistimine for the itching associated with the Sweet Itch
Dexamethasone as needed for hives and extreme itching.
So I was thinking of adding or replacing some of that grain with a stabilized rice bran. I bought some MaxE Glo and was thinking of feeding that, .5 - 1 lb. Given his work load. Do you cut back on the grain when adding rice bran or do you simply add it to his ration?
I am confused! I have never been much on feeding grain other than to get the horses to come up from pasture to check on them so I just don't know enough about it. I don't want to make things worse by feeding him wrong.
Opinions please :)
The first pic was taken today, the second was taken in April when he looked good.
Could he perhaps be allergic to something in Strategy?
If that's the case, it could be exacerbating his Sweet Itch... I'd try switching him to rice bran for a couple of weeks, to see if he gets better.
Good question, I was feeding the Life Design Compete until the end of May....hmmmm and that was about the time the Sweet Itch got bad. I just assumed bugs.
Well I'm still figuring all this stuff out too but I would switch him to the rice bran. Histall did nothing for my friends mare who was terribly allergic to bugs. This summer was her worst. She broke out in sores and rubbed her hair off. Histall did nothing. I use Antihist on my girl. Seems to work pretty good. But this seems like it's beyond the simple feed through allergy meds.
Before I took him to the vet I just had him on the Histall which slightly helped but not much, I will try the AntiHist instead.
Also will try the rice bran instaed of the Stategy and see what happens.
I'm not any type of "feed guru", but my vet told me that rice bran can lead to brittle bones. She suggested senior feed (no matter what age the horse is) with beet pulp (for weight) I know that corn oil is really good for weight and it also makes their coat shiney, but it sounds like you're having a different kind of coat problem. My mare had some sort of skin problem (could've been sweet itch) and we put Eucerin cream on it every day untill it got better. My gelding had an itchy tail and we sprayed him with a water and Listerine mixture. Just don't use the sweet mint Listerine becasue It attracts flies and other horses!
Good Luck :)
I've never seen a horse change colors so drastically........so. I assume the little dark spots all over his front end are from the sweet itch? Where else does he have them? Im thinking neck thread worm here.....
To rule out feed allergy I'd switch him back to the life design. If it's really sweet itch the only thing you can do is keep him indoors at the times the gnats fly, dusk and dawn. Or try using Avon-skin-so-soft as a repellent, which works really well, btw. But it also has to be applied before dusk and dawn.
I don't see much difference weight- wise between the two pics I must say, but losing weight due to sweet itch is more than likely, he spends probably more time scratching than eating. That could make him nervous too. Im slightly aggravated when I itch......
If he was my horse, I'd have bloodwork done to see if there is something missing.
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Never heard that about Rice Bran, always heard good things! LOL
Yes the dark spots are either bare skin or where the new hair is growing in. There are a few more on his midline of the belly/sternum. The vet was suprised that he had no hair loss on the tailhead and that it was so concentrated on the neck shoulder area.
What made me assume bugs was that the skin that the mane protects on the neck has no sores. It is still slightly bleached but not as bad as the rest of his body. Obviously some of that is from being turned out all day but not all.
The vet also suggested penning him up out of the sun then turning him out at night. I don't have a barn. All I have are some working pens that happen to be in the shade. He was very aggravated for the few days I penned him. Which normally I wouldn't care but I figured it wasn't helping his situation by stressing him.
I also apply flyspray morning and evening to keep the bugs off. As much as he itches and the humidity here I don't think a fly sheet would be a good investment.
I guess I should of mentioned that he has been wormed twice for Threadworms per the vets advice. And he will be wormed again next week.
He has a bonier build naturally but he has lost weight compared to everyone else, even my other hard keeper has been gaining and looking well. I was thinking, like you, the allergies causing stress/weight loss. ...or kinda hoping rather than something more serious.
No matter what I will be making an appointment for an allergy test or/and blood panel, just wanted to get some opinions from folks that know more than I :)
Whoah, just thought about something regarding the spots...my QH mare is highly sensitive to bug bites, has hairless spots all over her face, neck, chest and the girth area. Nothing on her belly....she is a chestnut tho and an oldtimer told me once that they have very sensitive skin. She is also not rubbing mane or tail.
I keep her well sprayed and got Omega Horseshine for her, since it says it makes for healthy skin. And there is a difference. Way less spots, the ones who do show up are much smaller too. Plus she is now super shiny and dappled.
It is a weightbuilder too among some other things. You might want to look into it. It for sure wouldn't hurt him, its flaxseed, yeast and vitamins/minerals.
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Ok thanks, will definitely be checking into that :)
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