Bloated belly? - The Horse Forum
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  • 5 Post By JCnGrace
  • 1 Post By QtrBel
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-31-2020, 10:09 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Outer Island
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Bloated belly?

Hey there.

Sorry I only stop in when I am in need—but you guys have often been really helpful in all my horse-health endeavors.

Quick update: I bought my little man Louie last year, and have been super happy . He’s a great, healthy little guy.

So, of course—my kid and I are now trying to “help” a new horse with problems. LOL. It’s not a “lease” per se, but we have an agreement with the owner, who is a very sweet guy but doesnt really have the time to care for her.

We call her “Pie.” Here is her deal:

She is a 7 year old paint, pony-sized horse with blue eyes, and very pale patches. Her patches are more like “gold.”

She has a massive belly, dry, lifeless coat, and What I now thinks is a very bad sunburn in front of her withers. Very little muscle tone on her top line. You can feel every vertebra of her spine.

Everyone at the ranch thinks her belly is because she is “fat.” But I dont see that at all. I think she is malnourished, Which is likely because most of the horses at that ranch are malnourished. And she’s lived there for at least 2 years, without anyone really feeding her, as far as I know. There is very little grass there.

So, I started by putting cortisone on her burn. (I thought it was something else at first.) Ive treated it with a bunch of lotions and potions, and it seem to be getting better. I’m also feeding her actual horse feed, plus a vitamin/mineral supplement, and now a coat supplement. Oh, and I wormed her with ivermectin.

She smells a lot better.

As in—when we first started to take care of her, she smelled off-putting. Like, unhealthy. Now, 4-5 days later, she doesnt smell as glorious as my horse, but you no longer wrinkle your nose when you smell her.

So here is my question—would you say I’m right to assume this is just a basic neglect, and she will get better with some feed and TLC?

Or should I be worried about liver failure?

She eats fine, has okay energy, and this is Hawaii—so a lot of horses have sunburn this time of year.

She’s the only one with EXTENSIVE sunburn. But...she’s also one of the paler horses. Like, the blue eyes make her seem albino.

I don’t *think* she has jaundice. Though I admit, I havent really looked too carefully.

So anyway—what say you?

Liver failure seems a little far-fetched....right? Or should that be something I’m considering?

(If she has liver failure, I’d at the very least try to feed her lower protein than I currently am.)

Thanks again and always for your help, horse people!

Daisy
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-31-2020, 10:24 PM
Green Broke
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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I can't offer any advice re her belly, but I have some experience with bad sunburn. The best treatment (and protection) I have found effective and affordable is zinc oxide, as in diaper rash cream/ointment (40% is very thick and sticks very well to skin and fur). I have used it on a horse's muzzle and shoulders that were basically burned to a crisp. It provided sun protection and kept the scabs soft and pliable and the burns healed within a week...
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-31-2020, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: Outer Island
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This is helpful, actually. If you’ve seen burnt shoulders on a horse, that means that she’s not displaying an unusual level of photosensitivity. (I was worried because that could be caused by liver failure.)

So—just normal sunburn. That’s good.

Realizing her belly may just *look* big because her top line is so saggy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SwissMiss View Post
I can't offer any advice re her belly, but I have some experience with bad sunburn. The best treatment (and protection) I have found effective and affordable is zinc oxide, as in diaper rash cream/ointment (40% is very thick and sticks very well to skin and fur). I have used it on a horse's muzzle and shoulders that were basically burned to a crisp. It provided sun protection and kept the scabs soft and pliable and the burns healed within a week...
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-01-2020, 12:18 AM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
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Being that you're on sandy ground I would give her a round of psyllium, worm her again a week after the first dose you gave her and again a month later. Lack of nutrition, worms or sand would be my top picks for why she's bloated. You've taken care of the nutrition part so now on to the sand and worms.

R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-01-2020, 08:04 AM
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Poor quality forage also causes the big belly. Better forage and quality protein make a difference as the body(belly) doesn't hold on to it so long to try to extract what it needs. The weight of it can pull down but you shouldn't be seeing or feeling the spine like you describe.

Desitin or other diaper rash cream is the go to here in the south to both prevent and relieve sun burn. Once healed a mineral based sunscreen works. Paint horses with white patterns have pink skin under the white areas. Pink skin burns. Some horses are worse than others and it can also depend on exposure. Is this a horse that doesn't seek shade? If she has a preference for full sun all day then protection is needed.
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Some horse people change their horse, they change their tack and discipline, they change their instructor; they never change themselves.
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-01-2020, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
Weanling
 
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Location: Outer Island
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Thanks. Should I use a different wormer each time? I have a few different ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCnGrace View Post
Being that you're on sandy ground I would give her a round of psyllium, worm her again a week after the first dose you gave her and again a month later. Lack of nutrition, worms or sand would be my top picks for why she's bloated. You've taken care of the nutrition part so now on to the sand and worms.
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-01-2020, 07:36 PM
Trained
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Southern Indiana
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Yes, stick with the ivermectin for those 1st three doses. Then I'd use something like Quest for the next worming which I wouldn't do until at least 3 months after the last dose of ivermectin.
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R.I.P. JC 5/19/85 - 12/9/14. You made my life better.
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