I know of a horse that is about 15. We think she has worms because her hair is curling, becoming very fine and is losing it in patches. The hair on the inside and towards the back of her back legs is completely gone. She has lost a lot of weight over about the last 2 months. It looks like she is not getting any nutriants from the food she is getting. I believe she is getting a scoup of sweet feed twice a day, plus feeding off of a pasture. She doesnt act like anything is wrong or sick just her appearence seems to be bad. She has a big belly like she is getting enough food and still has a lot of muscle but you can still count her ribs.
Is there a problem here?
The big belly is not from food the way you are describing it. If all is limited to what you say here, she likely has a severe worm infestation. Have her wormed UNDER A VETS CARE if at all possible. If she is so underweight, the wrong wormer in the wrong dosage could at the worst kill her or just be completely ineffective.
There are other things that could be going on as well, so if you just flat out worm her and that's not the (only) trouble, again you may be doing harm and no good. Or doing good that won't go anywhere else because her teeth need to be done, she has a medical condition, or whatever else...
Hair loss and a big belly are not signs of a worm problem in adult horses. Pot-bellies are seen in foals with worms because you are dealing with Ascarids (not an issue in adult horses) which grow up to several inches long each and can be found in large numbers in foals. She could still have worms (and likely does) but they won't be the cause of what you are seeing on the outside. When was she last dewormed and what with? What is the weather like where you are?
A pot belly on an adult horse tends to be from poor muscling along the topline-not enough muscle to support all of the "guts" which are suspended from the back.
At 15 with a curly hair coat and odd shedding, you should be thinking more along the lines of possibly Cushing's disease. Talk to your vet about the issue and have him examine your horse.
Sounds like cushings to me too!
Well i just read some info on Cushings n it says that they get a growth of heavy course hair, Her hair is Really fine and thinning very much!! it also says that they have increased thirst and she actually has not been drinking as much water lately. It says they have a loss of muscle but she is still very muscular. So im not quite sure thats it?
Horses with Cushing's don't usually show all the symptoms that can be attributed to Cushings--they generally show a few of them. So even if you don't think she fits the description you could still be dealing with Cushing's or Insulin Resistance.
Loss of muscle mass in horses with IR or Cushing's tends to be along the topline--they often have plenty of muscle elsewhere--and that loss of topline leads to a pot-bellied appearance.
Anyway, it is something for you to consider and keep in mind to bring up with your vet if you see problems.
www.thehorse.com/pdf/aaep/obese.pdf Is a good article for you to read
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