I know what I suspect, what would you think?
Just going to keep it simple, I know what I think, but I wanted to know if others would think the same thing or if I'm wrong.
Question: Horse is boarded, full board. has been at this place for a little over 5 months. Horse was not obese at all. Was thin when I got him and had been steady on putting weight back on. When Vet checked him 4 months ago, he still needed a little bit more. Horse has lost 40 pounds in 4 months. My understanding for feed was the same amount he had always been getting since I got him. Horse in same amount of work as always.Thorough Vet check, Vet found no condition or problem to explain it. Teeth are floated 2x a year. Fecal for worms is negative too.
If if was you and your horse, what would you think? Thanks.
It could be that he is not working the food right anymore. Some horses have this problem. There body finds ways to use the food then were it needs to be. Its like some supplements. They say to feed only for a week or so, once a month. So the horses body cant find a way to use it in ways that it should not be used.
Not sure where you are located, but it's not *uncommon* for horses to lose weight in the summer. Especially if the bugs are bad. Also, he could be being harassed during turnout or run off of any hay that is being fed in pasture.
My first step would be to speak with the BO (feeding/turnout/bug issues) and your vet (bloodwork and/or fecal).
Did the barn recently change the type of feed? A change of feed brand could be lower in calorie/fat content and could cause the weight loss. At the very least go out around evening feeding time on some pretext or another and just observe. As Tiger indicated it could be the summer heat, being run off by other more dominant horses etc.
Personally I wouldn't feel funny going to the barn manager and asking the question you are trying not to ask here :). You don't have to be accusatory in your manner, just let them know you are concerned, vet is indicating no medical reason for the weight loss, that you think you need to increase the amount of feed etc. Sometimes just letting them get a clue that yes you have noticed may, if the cause is they are NOT feeding the agreed upon amount, to switch tactics and make sure your horse is getting the amount of feed he needs. Some owners are clueless and will trust without question..me, I keep a hard eye on things and will bring up an issue if I see it especially if it affects my horse's health/well being.
Could be any number of things from stress, to a change in the feed type, to growth, poor quality hay, etc... I'd up his feed if the vet found nothing wrong...
I'd be hanging around at feed time so I could see how he's being fed, but so that who ever feeds couldn't see me.
All the horses are fed alone, separate areas. Summer weather hasn't been that hot here except for a 2 week span in June, can a horse lose as much as 40 pounds in Summer? And there are bugs, he stays inside most of the time, he has the option to go out whenever he wants, but chooses to avoid bugs in his stall. He is also fly sprayed but as we all know, the bugs are still around. He doesn't act stressed but I guess he could be and it doesn't show.
Told BO about his weight loss, I was brushed off, said she didn't believe it, I said it was noticeable especially at topline and hip and I was with Vet and saw measurement for myself as I have at every Vet call (He is checked about every 4 months). I said Vet didn't find any illness or condition to explain it and I was very polite, just really opening a discussion so we could talk about it. Basically, BO smiled and said uh huh, with a little laugh, and said he looked fine and walked away. Oh boy, I wish I had my own barn.
Since you are boarding she should have acknowledged your concern about your horse. Ask what feed your horse is being fed and how much,look at what the foid contents are,if the problem persists bring it up again,maybe with the vet present to give their professional input.it could be the bugs and heat... so id monitor the situation.the important thing is for you not to brush it off.if it gets worse be persistant
I am not sure the 40 lbs is all that drastic for a horse that weighs 1000+.
But, I am just a bit curious, and this is maybe a bit off topic, but you say the bet comes every 4 months and you float his teeth twice a year. That seems like a lot of vet time. Not critisizing, just curious as to why so much?
I bought him from a feed lot auction. He was not in the best of condition. I have had him for almost a year now. He has an eye condition (scar tissue) and since he needed to gain back weight, I have the Vet come that often to monitor his eye and to check his weight and such to make sure I am doing all that is necessary. I wouldn't think I will have Vet come as often once I am satisfied I have done everything necessary and he is where he should be.
His teeth were terrible when I got him, probably hadn't been done in a long time and he had ulcers in back of mouth. So they were done then of course and then 6 months later as he has a bit of a wavy mouth (one side grows a little faster) to even them out again. I want to make sure he is utilizing all the feed he gets. He is a work in progress and may not need to be done that often in future.
Perhaps I am overreacting to the weightloss, but you do hear stories, and then people always say why didn't they do something if their horse was losing weight, so I want to make sure that I keep on top of everything. That's why I asked on here, to see what others would think, thanks everyone for your responses!
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