okay, so i have two horses and i have been boarding them at the same place for the last 3 years and my filly in the last few weeks has droped ALOT of weight! and i just dont know what to do! i had the vet come out and look at her but she didnt find anything wrong with her. so we uped her feed to see if it would help and last night i went out to check on her and she's fondering in her feet and still hasn't gained any weight. can anyone help me? what should i feed her that will help her gain weight without fondering? she's one of those horses that has a really sesitive digestive system and any time we change her feed or move her she does this. but her feed hasn't been changed yet she losing weight for no reason? should i just move her or what? she's being fed alfalfa so i wonder if thats the problem? but she been being fed that for the last 4 months for winter and there hasn't been an issue tell now?! she's also in her own stall by her self. can anyone give me some advise? im at my wits end...
First, if your horse is foundering it's time to get your vet out ASAP. If she has a history of founder, then you need to discuss the possibility of metabolic disease such as insulin resistance with your vet and probably go ahead and get a resting serum insulin test run.
Randomly making feeding recommendations on a horse that is loosing weight but foundering is a poor poor idea. By doing lots of the common things done to increase weight you may be in fact increasing the likelihood of repeat occurances of laminitis/founder.
What breed of horse is she? What is she currently eating? How old is she? Where on her body is the weight loss occuring? How many times has she foundered before?
the vets coming out again on wednesday to look at her. she's 3. seams to be manly her top line and butt, but she's so fuzzy its hard to tell really. she's founder twice before, the first time was when i first got her and again when i had her out at pasture last summer.
oh also she's eat Alfalfa hay and 2 cups of cob grain. i haven't changed her feed yet becuase im afraid by doing so ill make it worse.
When the vet comes out ask her/him to advise you on a change of diet. Sounds rich for a horse that's subject to founder. You are after protein, not carbs to get that weight on.
although shes been eating alfalfa for the past 4 months, the seasons can affect whether or not she founders if shes subject to foundering. is it spring or summer over where you are? i work at stables and my bosses pony cant get any green because she founders easy so she is fed grassy hay and a hard feed called speedy-beet. its specially formulated for horses prone to laminitis...although I don't know if the 2 are similar?
weather has pretty much been the same. it snowed really had about a month ago and she was fine. its been nice and warm latly but we still have a foot or so of snow. i just wormed her 2 weeks ago and she looked fine then, would that matter? we worm every 90 days
Remove the COB from her diet ASAP and replace it with a forage based prouct,, topline on a three year old is NORAMLLY Growth spurt...
I would also remove the alfalfa hay from the diet but that is me I don't like to feed any horse straight alfalfa
She needs turnout time, lots of it, and as much hay as she can eat, preferably grass hay or alfalfa/grass mixed hay. Some Alfalfa is fine, but it shouldn't be the sole source of forage in her diet. I don't like feeding more than 7 lbs of Alfalfa a day (about 1 heavy flake or 3 two qt feed scoops of Alfalfa pellets).
Cut out the grain completely. I would feed her a vitamin supplement or a ration balancer (pelleted feed that only need to be fed at the rate of 1-3 lbs TOTAL per day) mixed with beet pulp (that has NO molasses), 1-2 lbs of stabilized rice bran, and a probiotic (digestive aid, like Probios Powder, Fastrack, or Source Focus WT).
OMG You've got a 3 year old with a history of repeat founder on COB...and your vet hasn't discussed diet with you? I find that hard to believe.
If she is foundering again, you don't need to wait until Wednesday to have the vet out. You need to have them out today for immediate treatment.
You need to remove all grains from the diet just to be on the safe side. Insulin Resistance might be a factor and if so then feeding COB or grains and allowing free-choice pasture are the LAST things you want to do because you send the risk of repeat founder right through the roof. If you can get your hands on Bermuda grass hay, that would be a better choice for forage though it could still have too many non-structural carbs. If you don't have bermuda grass hay, go ahead and soak your hay for 30 minutes prior to feed. And supplement with a simple ration balancer designed to go along with grass hays. Feeding COB is actually likely to be making even the "weight" issue worse because you are throwing the metabolism into disarray and causing muscle wasting.
Please read this article:
www.thehorse.com/pdf/aaep/obese.pf Note, not all horses with insulin resistance are fat.....in uncontrolled disease there can be significant muscle wasting leading to a very thin appearing horse.
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