some people have no right....
Sorry guys, have to rant! Yesterday I noticed there was a new horse at the farm, a cute, but very undersized draft mix...I asked the barn girls about her. Apparently, her "family" had pulled up to the farm with her in tow, said "if you don't take her we are sending her to auction." Of course they took her, and man, is she in sorry shape. She is about half the size of a normal 2 year old draft. She is thin, wormy, miserable and her face is full of lumps (allergic reaction maybe?)
What makes people think treating animals like this is ok? And when you finally decide you "can't keep her anymore" you take her to a random place you know they have horses and dump her on the doorstep? I find it hideously upsetting, knowing this little mare might not make it because of their neglect. Any advice on how we can bring her around? She obviously needs to see the vet pronto and is in quarantine until she does...the worst part is the is a really sweet baby under all of that and we can see it coming through in her already. jingles appreciated!
As upsetting as it is, at least they did have the decency to seek a place other than auction to dump her. It doesn't make what they did "right", but if they were that desperate to be rid of her/unable to provide for her, I am grateful that they did this rather than the auction barn or, as has happened before, just set her loose to fend for herself (aka end up being hit by a car, getting herself hurt, etc).
As for rehab - as tempting as it is, DO NOT stuff her full of feed. Her system needs to come around slowly and gently to having something to digest again. Start with frequent small meals - and nothing rich. The vet will be able to best assess her condition, any underlying issues and guide on her rehab process.
You are absolutley right about bringing her to the farm...the first thought in my head was "thank god they did not just turn her loose somewhere." It's sad that they let her get that bad, but at least we can hope they can bring her around.
I think the vet is out today, so let's hope it's good news. I am told that lumps on the face can also mean liver/kidney damage. I think right now they are feeding good quality hay in small meals as you say, she just seems really grateful for the forrage right now. Thanks for the advice, maybe I will post pics this week.
Poor girl! At least they took her somewhere, and didn't leave her in a pasture to die... That's what usually happens around here. That or someone shoots the horse.
I would give her free access to grass hay only right now, no grains or feed. Feed 2 or 3 small meals of soaked alfalfa pellets with a probiotic in it (just 2 cups dry measure). Deworm her with Pyrantel now (half dose). In 7 days, give her a full dose or Pyrantel. After that, she should be able to go on a regular deworming schedule.
I'd also give her a good bath using betadine scrub and treat any bumps or wounds. Look for lice or any other skin issues and treat as needed. Have the vet pull blood and check her teeth.
After a week on the all-hay with small meals alfalfa pellets diet, increase the alfalfa pellets to double for a few days, increasing every few days until she's up to one full 3-qt feed scoop twice a day (no need to soak now, just add a little water to make all the "goodies" stick together). Add to that a fat supplement (like stabilized rice bran or flax, working your way up to 1 cup a day) and a vitamin supplement (like GrandVite or Select II). Keep feeding the probiotic too.
To avoid using 3 different supplements, you can have a blend of each plus added flax done by horsetech.com. That's what I use for mine (on a grain-free diet). They're relatively affordable and their products are very good.
Studies done by UC Davis showed that thin or emaciated hores gained weight and condition better with less incidence of colic when fed alfalfa than on hay and grain diets. Drafts also do better on grain-free diets with added fat, due to the threat of EPSM.
Good luck with her!
I agree with luvs2ride1979 - she said the word "probiotic." This is a great word!!! There was a recent study done on children that found those on a probiotic had healthier immune systems - I would bet this goes for horses as well. It is such an inexpensive way to treat and prevent illness.
You have gotten GREAT advice - I would just ad brush her, spend some time with her, clean her up, and maybe start to hand walk her or introduce light exercise - IF SHE IS UP TO IT. (I am sure you are probably doing all this.) If she is not too weak, do little fun games and teach her something. Give her positive reinforcement and let her settle into her new home. They know when they have been abandoned, like us they can get abandonment issues as well. Tell her she is a good girl, tell her she is beautiful, and she is safe. They know the "vibe" - so make it a good one for her;) Let her know you are her angel - because you certainly are! Good luck.
wow that is great advice....question about the scrub, does that sting? She has a few good lacerations and I don't want to cause her further stress by making her more ouchie.
I know they've hit her with the de worm because it is fairly obvious she is very wormy....might be adding to her skinniness. Having her teeth checked is brilliant and a for sure, since I am willing to bet she has never had them done (although shows no difficulty eating.)
I didn't know about the grain free thing for a draft, thanks for letting me know. I'll have to ask the BO what the next steps are in her feeding program, and I'll let her know about the alfalfa cubes.
Hand walking for sure, I think exercise will have to wait until she is feeling better. We don't know her history, but being that she is young, I am willing to bet not much was done with her. We have her in an isolated paddock where she can visit with other horses (but no nose to nose contact until we get the ok from the vet!) She is just enjoying being fussed over and fed, her demands are so few it's heartbreaking. She sighs over and over while being brushed or patted. Her face makes me cringe, I really hope it's just an allergic reaction.
Poor girl!!! The others are right that it's a good thing they dropped her there and not let her loose or take her to auction, but it's terrible that they let her get that bad before they made a move! Shame on people like that for not being more responsible, that makes me SO angry esp. since my horse was also a rescue who was being starved to death and not cared for :-(
I think everything you've been doing is the right way to go...do let us know about the bumps on her face, I hope allergic reaction is all that is too! Has the vet come to see her yet?
She's so lucky that she has you in her life now, no wonder she's sighing contently when you groom her! You are very lucky too that she maintained her trust of humans, some horses never get over that once they've been mistreated. I got lucky with mine as well, she is the same way, and it just breaks my heart to think how she was treated before she came into my life.
Good luck and God bless! :-)
If you feed cubes, wet them down to make them easier to chew. Same with pellets. Once she's gaining, you won't need to wet them.
thank you so much, I will look into that and hopefully it will make her feel better, poor beast has already been through so much....
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