I just rescued Sadie-(mini) & took her to my BB where my 1/4 horse is. She has:a fractured leg that healed incorrectly. Every bone is sticking out--ribs-chest-legs-especially HIPS. Kept in a horse stall that she could not see out of.(If I can post a pic I will try.) I have a challenge on my hands. Owner was going to put her down- it's that bad. BUT, when I got her to my BB she can run in a funky way- she can roll. I need help to put on weight. She can now eat grass- had only bad hay & 1 scoop of average grain. I don't want to overload her on grass, would I do it at a little at a time??
Aww i have no advice except poor pony! I am glad you rescued her and hopefully she can make a full recovery. She's cute! :(
Oh that poor dear...I hope she's savable. Has she had a vet yet? If not, get one ASAP, as in...within the next day or two. A reputable farrier too. Here is what you need to do to help her.
1. Call the vet, explain the situation. Ask him to do a fecal and give her the full check up. When he comes, ask him to look at her teeth. Chances are they're bad and will need floated so be prepared to set up an appointment for him to do that. Better teeth will help her eat better and put on weight. Tell him about her leg.
2. Call the farrier. Get as good of one as you can, but you need to get one fast too, so keep that in mind. The farrier can tell you if she has foundered in the past, if her hooves are fixable (it looks like they are to me, but they are VERY slippered) She may need support for that bad leg (I'm assuming its the back right one?) if it IS going to be sound.
3. Don't give her any grass at all if you can, at least for now. Miniature horses can't handle grass like other horses can and you could accidently cause her to founder which, in her condition, will likely kill her. Put her in a dry lot with average quality timothy or costal hay. Not super high quality, but not low quality either. If she wads the hay or can't chew it well and you see pieces of it in her manure, she DEFINITELY needs to be floated, but until then buy hay pellets (orchard or timothy is fine) and give her 2 lbs 3 times a day. If you really want her to have grass, give her no more than one hour of grazing per day. If she cant have a dry lot and must be in the pasture, put a grazing muzzle on her. She can drink with it on. If you want to grain her (I wouldn't yet, because you don't know what she's dealing with. If she foundered at all you will have to be VERY careful with what you feed her) I'd give her some Purina Enrich 32 which is a ration balancer, or 1/2 a pound to a pound (start with only a handful) of Triple Crown Lite. You can add a little bit of alfalfa hay or pellets to help her gain weight as well.
Her back appears to be severely roached to me. Chances are she feels AWFUL right now so make sure your horse doesn't chase her or anything. The fact that she still wants to run is a good sign but her odds aren't great. With care and money though, you can get her back to health. She sure is cute and I'm sure she's SO thankful to you. WHAT was her owner thinking?!
What Endiku said!
Good for you, for taking on this little girl. I hope the former owner has been charged accordingly.
We recently rescued a mini...baby about 1 or 1.5 years old...skinny...I'm not sure if he was as skinny as your girl, he had a lot of baby fuzz, but his backbone and hips looked like your girl.
Vet advice was:
worm him wkly with strongdid (I never get that right, but you may know what I'm talking about) for 3 weeks at 100 pounds. put him on a regular worming schedule unless we suspect worms
He had lice, so we did, and are continuing the lice treatment....looks like that may not be an issue for yours.
good quality hay at all times
he could have half a cup of sweet feed twice per day
started him out on 2 hours of grass per day...lengthening a little each day, 24/7 grass in 2 weeks.
plenty of fresh, clean water
we've had him 5 weeks today and he is looking really good, we've had no problems. We took a little longer than 2 weeks to get him on full time grass just because the area he is in so lush....it's a barn lot that we've never used for pasture and it just looked like too much to put him in.
Also, vet warned us to watch for him getting too fat...warned that it happens very quickly in minis.
Good luck...she is beautiful!!
^ I'm really not sure why your vet was advocating both 24/7 grazing AND sweet feed. I think both are a very bad idea. Maybe a little supervised grazing on short grass, but never 24/7. I don't like the idea of so much repetition in one wormer either. Why not get a fecal done, figure out what kind of worms he had, give him one good dose and another 2 weeks later, then be done with it?
Also PinkPony, just in case no one has told you yet, do NOT worm with Quest wormer.
She is an equine vet that takes good care of all our horses...he is doing great so I guess it was good advice. I'm sure there is more than one successful approach to this issue...
I was just trying to be helpful since we are in the same process with our little guy.
I apologize, I didn't mean to make it sound like you weren't trying to do right by him. I'm sure he's in MUCH better health than he was!
This is why I say what I do. Although equine vets do all go through the same schooling, they are not equal. Yours is not necessarily bad or any worse than mine (my vet would probably tell me to do the same thing with grazing and such, to be honest...) BUT many, many equine vets do not deal with miniature horses enough to realize just how different they are from full sized horses.
As a breed that is 'made' to not just live but THRIVE in poor conditions, miniature horses and shetlands can typically get along just fine on mediocre hay and a ration balancer or something similar. That is why I asked about the rescued mare in question's teeth. When a mini is given more protein, sugars, or fat than it's body needs, its body goes on overload and all kinds of health problems occure. They may just start out as being 'pudgy' but if you aren't careful they can become obese, and with obesity comes terrible things such as cushing disease, insulin resistance, and laminitis/founder.
All three are incurable, though for the first and last a horse CAN obtain remission from what I understand. The crazy thing is though, that even if a miniature horse is not overly fat looking or dead lame, it may have foundered and have coffin bone rotation. And it doesn't always take a lot to push them over into foundering, either. Many people associate founder with excessive feedings of grain all at one time, or a TON of grass after never having it before, but like with other health problems, there are varying degrees of founder. In one case the horse may be fine one hour then laying on the ground with swollen, bloody feet from founder and have to be put to sleep. In another the founder attack may only be enough to cause light sensitivity, but slowly corrode away at the hoof bones and walls... and even cause rotation.
I will use my mare as an example. She has been at optimal weight most of her life, but received poor hoof care and poor nutrition for most of it, before I got her. At 7 months old, just before coming to the farm where I worked, she was on pasture because it was assumed that she needed it while growing, and she was fed all stock Sweet Feed. Here is a picture of her a month ago, at perfect condition with decent feet.
At a glance would you think she has foundered? I wouldn't. In fact I never even knew she foundered until last year when I had a great barefoot trimmer look at her and tell me that her hooves had founder signs. I asked her previous owner and sure enough, she foundered as a weanling. Not severely, and not to the point of her not being usable not (she's a driving pony) but it was enough to deform her hooves slightly and make her MUCH more susceptible to foundering later. I have to be VERY careful about how much sugar she gets to keep her from foundering again if I want her to stay sound, so she is currently eating 2 flakes (8 lbs) of costal hay and one pound of alfalfa daily, plus probiotics for gut health. And she does great on it!
Her sire isn't so lucky though. He foundered last year after eating 4 lbs of sweet feed (broke into a bin) and it was severe enough that they ended up putting him down again due to very bad rotation in three feet.
All of that being said, I think a low sugar, all hay diet will best benefit this particular rescued mare at this time because we know nothing about whether or not she foundered in the past, how easy it would be for her to founder, or why she lost weight in the first place. Its easy to say she wasn't fed enough but teeth problems are such an issue in minis that I'd be very surprised if she wasn't in need of a float.
Grass, IF its nutritional value has been tested to be low, in moderation , can be fine for some miniatures but there is always the risk if it spiking in sugar ratios and the mini foundering. Sweet feed, I'd say its just horse candy and founder waiting to happen. It could easily be replaced (or even taken away completely) by a lower protein, lower sugar feed to eliminate the chance of founder completely.
As for the wormer, that one is a bit more flexible. I just don't really see a point in refilling a malnourished horse with toxins every week for a few weeks hoping to kill the worms when you can do one dose and know what you're killing, then be done with it :)
Hope you can get her fed up and happy. Short Grass = Higher sugar and Tall grass= Lower sugar. Every time some says to reduce sugar let them graze short grass it is incorrect.
The sugar content decreases as the grass gets taller .
Grass should not be grazed when it is shorter than 3 inches. Ideal is 8 inches.
Just like in alfalfa hay, the protien is lower after it blooms..
I don't know what to tell you on the worming...my stepdaughter was there on the day that she made her visit, so I didn't get any info on the worming issue, just followed her directions. I do know that after those 3 wormings, he did not pass any so maybe what she suggested was more precautionary? I know from personal experience that worming can cause diarrhea in any animal...with him being so small and so underweight, maybe she was concerned about dehydrating him with a big dose at one time?
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