losing weight - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 02-04-2008, 09:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2007
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losing weight

okay not good with explaining things but here i go.
My moms 4yr old TWH is losing weight and we don't know why.
She is feeding him 3lbs in tho morning and 3lbs in th evening of
14% feed and has just started giving him some corn for the extra fat.In the last couple of days she has noticed him not eating all of his hay now.He is still drinking good though.She is going to call the vet tomorrow but just thought maybe you guys would have some ideas of what could be wrong with him.I thought maybe bad teeth but should a 4 yr old have teeth problems already?!Please any thoughts on this would be helpful!Also we are going to try a new vet in town since we aren't very happy with our old one. He was the only one around here for years and the new one is hard to get we did try today but he was out. Guess everyone else is wanting to try him out too!
Tammy is offline  
post #2 of 7 Old 02-04-2008, 10:24 PM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
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Unless he is being fed huge amounts of hay, that fact that he is not eating it all is a little concerning. His teeth could be bothering him at that age...it really depends on the horse...is he dropping the grain or doing anything else weird with his food?

There are so many possibilities...I would at least call a vet for some advice for now, and keep watching him closely.
AKPaintLover is offline  
post #3 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 12:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Montrose, CO
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Just go to this website. She is our equine nutritionist and results are amazing. Go check it out. If you have questions about anything, ask me. Everything they offer we're using it at our barn so I'd be happy to help with any questions.From the knowledge I have gained from her, it sounds like your guy is having a tough time digesting all that "junk food" as she would call it. No offense, of course. Somewhere in your horse's digestive system is disabling him to absorb the nutrition he is recieving. Could be his teeth, yes, but having teeth issues wouldn't impair his appetite. Lack of absorption and messy meals could go hand-in-hand with teeth issues, but your guy should still be hungry.
Hope this website really help. It's done wonders for our guys.


Good luck!!
koomy56 is offline  
post #4 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 08:19 AM Thread Starter
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No he is not dropping feed but she said he will hold his head sideways when he chews. I just thought he should be to young to
have teeth problems.And thanks for the artical koomy56
Tammy is offline  
post #5 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 12:35 PM
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If he is tilting his head while he chews it really sounds like it could be a tooth problem. Has he had his wolf teeth removed? There is also something called blind wolf teeth. Blind wolf teeth are wolf teeth that are present but have not come through the gum and never do. They can be extremely painful but hard to detect without prior knowledge. I would check for it if he is 4 years old he is about that age. If he hasn't had his wolf teeth done and there still aren't any, I would suspect blind wolf teeth.
Abby is offline  
post #6 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 12:49 PM
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Could be any number of things. Your best bet would be to have a Vet look your horse over.

My two slowed way down on their hay recently also.
In my case, it was a combination of not being able to find any first-class hay this time of year and my feeding them too much feed.
Once I cut their feed back a little, they decided that the hay I was throwing them wasn't too bad after all. .

DGW1949 is offline  
post #7 of 7 Old 02-05-2008, 04:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Kansas, USA
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I'm with the others. The vet is your best bet, and the tilted head could defintitly indicate a tooth problem.

Is he turned out with other horses? He could have gotten kicked, banged is head on something, and somehow broken a tooth that has abscessed. Or if any of his teeth just need a good floating and cut his cheek and that has become infected. even a wolf tooth that the bit clanks on can make them sore.

Your vet should also check for an obstruction at the back of the mouth. He could have stick somehow lodged sidewaysit's not likely though, (yes, it has happened) and it will cut the soft tissues and cause infection and make chewing and swallowing hard to do. Sometime there can be little thorns or stickers in your hay, that can stick in the soft tissues and get infected. There is a plant back in AR that we always called "Cheet" and it has been known to cause problems in the horses mouths. It's the seed heads that have a sharp point on them at maturity. It's a weed that is hard to keep out of hay sometimes.

Also, it's even possible he's got strangles and his lymph nodes are irritating him when eating hay (think strep throat--you'd eat the grain but stop on the scratchy hay first, right?) The vet should check his glands and his temp and make sure there isn't any snotty discharge.

And if vet finds nothing wrong, could be he's just getting picky about the feed and likes grain better than hay. Grain should always be a supplement if hay isn't providing enough energy for weight maitenance. Cut back on the grain, esp the corn!!! And see if his appetite for hay doesn't come back.
barefoothooves is offline  

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