Please Help With Moose
This is Moose, a 10 month old rescue colt I brought to the farm last month. He was under weight - the vet scored him a 2-2.5 - he had rain rot on about 80% of his body, his feet had never been done and he was very weak in the hind quarters. We started him on mare & foal feed and he is up to 3# twice a day now and unlimited hay. He was wormed the 2nd night here and again 2 weeks later. We have the rain rot under control and almost cleared up. Its been too cold to bath him so we've been working on it with anticeptic wipes. His feet were trimmed and his is looking and acting so much better. My problem is the muscle in the hips just doesn't seem to be developing. He is still very weak and uncoordinated. Last night he tripped, fell over and landed in the water trough.
Be advised that he does have discomfort - maybe slight pain - in his hips if you rub or pat him with slight downward pressure. We are fairly sure the problem was caused by malnutrition before and after birth but aren't sure how perminant the damage is. The vet and I have discussed that if he doesn't start showing improvement in the next 30 to 45 days, it may be more humane to euthanize him. I have gotten very atached to this little s**t and really don't want to take that route.
That brings me to the needing help. Does anyone have any ideas on a "physical therapy" workout to help develope his back end. The vet advised against lungeing due to his age and condition. Hand walking might help but I don't know duration or intensity. Any ideas would be appreciated.
Please help me give Moose a chance at a normal life.
Does he have access to a turnout area - I mean an acre or more?
He still looks very wormy - have you had him checked for encysted worms?
He's likely to be anaemic and poor blood supply/circulation always effects the back end more as further from the heart
He's likely to have calcium deficiency too
Lunging is a real NO NO, if no other way for him to exercise then short frequent handwalks at his own pace and massage therapy
Judging from the photo, there appears to be something wrong with his back legs. There appears to be a visible bend to them, and not just in the hocks.
Do you have more photos? He certainly has not developed properly.
As for exercise, is it possible for you to pony him off of another horse? This would make taking him for longer walks alot easier on yourself
It is hard to tell from the picture but he looks long and weak in the pastern, as if he is walking on his heels rather than the sole of his feet.
I would like to see a picture of him sideways on standing on a hard level surface.
I would just allow him turn out if possible and would not do more than 10 minutes walking in hand - certainly I would not pony him from another horse, he looks far to weak for that.
You could set up small calvalettis in an arena and walk him over them.
I wouldn't begin to work him at anything more than a hand walk until his condition improves overall. He appears to still be underweight, and I too think he looks wormy, but it could be a hay belly. A fecal count is inexpensive and could help with deworming strategy. It also looks like there is something wonky with his bone structure in his hind end. His rump is very steep and he looks camped under in the back? Hard to tell for sure from that picture. Is the pain in the hips from an injury maybe? Have any x-rays be done? Ultrasounds? Can they be done? If it was me, I would be focusing on feed, maintaining safe behavior and trying to find out exactly what the problem is in the hips. Then you can start making some decisions about care or his future in general.
His back legs look almost coon footed =\
Idk if I would do with without a vets approval for those legs but here is a simple exercise...Lay out 5-10 raised poles, about 1 foot or so off the ground. Space them about 3 feet apart. Walk him over those poles several times a day and build the reps over the line. This will force him to lift up his legs and also teach him a bit about where his feet are. It's good exercise for you too!! :P
Also, he is only 10 months... There is plenty of time for his butt go fill in!
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I think the term you might be looking for to describe the condition of his back end is "wind swept".
His belly looks really large......either still wormy .......or it could be a hay belly........which means he needs higher protein hay and or grain. Do you know the protein levels in the hay you are feeding.....he should be getting about 14% overall protein.
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