Underweight Percheron - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 07-25-2014, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Underweight Percheron

Hi all.. I just rescued this horse from kill buyers. He's an approximate 12 year old, 16.2 Percheron cross. He is REALLY under weight at his topline to the point where you can feel where the ribs stop, and you can see his spine all the way down. He is currently barefoot, and overall besides the weight, seems to be doing okay. He has so far, been wormed, had his teeth done, his feet, and of course his coggins/shots.

I've ordered Smart Gain from Smartpak, as well as other supplements to help boost his health. He will be on turn out with a large round bale to munch on, and daily grain. I also called the vet this morning to have her come out and give me an assessment.

Besides what I'm already doing, is there anything else I can try? Is there anything I should ask the vet? (He came to my barn last night) I know weight doesn't come on over night, and it's a slow process. I just want to get him on the right path to success.

Thanks in advance.
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post #2 of 29 Old 07-25-2014, 10:55 AM
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Easy on the grain. Non-working drafties have a low tolerance to a lot of carbs. Alfalfa pellets would be a better choice with the hay.
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post #3 of 29 Old 07-25-2014, 11:04 AM
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Subbing. He's a sweet looking guy (: How is he settling in so far?

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #4 of 29 Old 07-25-2014, 03:16 PM
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Agree - go easy on the grain and introduce whatever you give him over a gradual period of time
Free choice hay, alfalfa and grass pellets and sugar beet pulp are safe options. Since you'll be feeding dry hay (not soaked) then be sure he's always drinking plenty
Its sometimes cheaper to feed a complete pelleted feed at the recommended amount that's got all the essential vitamins and minerals in it than it is to add supplements like Smartgain - look for the ones that are aimed at horses at risk of IRS and laminitis to be safe
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post #5 of 29 Old 07-25-2014, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply. So far, he's settling in well. He hasn't been wanting to eat the hay though. He kinda just pushes it around in other piles. It's great hay. And I checked to make sure it's not old or anything. Hopefully he grasps onto the idea that it's a good thing. He's drinking plenty of water and he has no issues eating the grain we've fed him. I also started soaking some alfalfa and he seems to be okay eating that. Overall, he's doing well. He's a gentle boy. I found out the hard way he really doesn't like his back legs touched. I can only imagine as to why. I got a nice kick on my calf. Lol. We'll work on it slowly.
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post #6 of 29 Old 07-25-2014, 10:36 PM
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Thanks for the reply. So far, he's settling in well. He hasn't been wanting to eat the hay though. He kinda just pushes it around in other piles. It's great hay. And I checked to make sure it's not old or anything. Hopefully he grasps onto the idea that it's a good thing. He's drinking plenty of water and he has no issues eating the grain we've fed him. I also started soaking some alfalfa and he seems to be okay eating that. Overall, he's doing well. He's a gentle boy. I found out the hard way he really doesn't like his back legs touched. I can only imagine as to why. I got a nice kick on my calf. Lol. We'll work on it slowly.
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I've always been told a horse that refuses good hay and doesn't gush over it, is a horse with ulcers. I wouldn't doubt that he has some ulcers with his condition, I would get him scoped if I were you.
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post #7 of 29 Old 07-26-2014, 12:04 AM Thread Starter
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I've always been told a horse that refuses good hay and doesn't gush over it, is a horse with ulcers. I wouldn't doubt that he has some ulcers with his condition, I would get him scoped if I were you.
Hmm.. Thank you. I'll let the vet know.
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post #8 of 29 Old 07-26-2014, 12:09 AM
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I would do a fecal as you don't know his past "wormed" may not cover it..fecals are cheap anyway.

Probiotic. Agree ask about ulcers.

Have the vet look him over thoroughly and honestly I'd just ask the vet for a feed plan.
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post #9 of 29 Old 07-26-2014, 06:25 AM
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They're not good enough pics to be sure(can make out that atrophy along spine), but he doesn't look skinny generally. Can't tell how much he may need, but looking at him overall, I'd be inclined to suspect his back problem was not for lack of 'weight' - that doesn't fit the rest of the picture. Perhaps long term heavy rider/bad saddle, perhaps body issues... etc.

I would not feed grain to a horse without good reason. There are generally healthier, low starch alternatives for putting on condition, and unless he's in heavy work, shouldn't need it generally. A good nutritional supp wouldn't go astray though.
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post #10 of 29 Old 07-26-2014, 11:37 AM
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He doesn't look that bad but does look older than 12. Some of the lack of desire to eat is probably from being in a stall. If he's been outside 24/7 up to now, being confined in a stall is stressful and the first thing to go is eating. I would work on getting him outside fulltime with a round bale.
He looks like a nice size for farming.
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