Young gelding, huge belly!! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 08:47 PM
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He may still have worms, but it looks more like a hay belly than anything.

He's a cutie!!!
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post #12 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you! These pictures make him look much better than he is... You can always see his ribs, but these pics make it look like he's a decent weight. And his belly (pics from today) is much less "bloated" looking than it was when I got him two weeks ago!! yay! :) the vet did a visual check on him last week and said I should probably do a power pack dewormer on him, but I'll have a fecal done to make sure what parasites he has! Thanks everyone!!
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post #13 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 09:44 PM
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What a cute little guy!!! Good luck with him!!!
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post #14 of 27 Old 08-18-2013, 11:18 PM
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He looks good. If you are worried about worming, don't be. Generic ivermectin never hurt my horses. I only give it once a year as they are not on infected land. He might have well sprung ribs but he has nice medium weight bone structure. Don't worry. He will grow up to be a great looking horse.
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post #15 of 27 Old 08-19-2013, 08:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you cenproweb! I did give him a dose of avermectin when I first brought him to the farm, however I didn't think it worked because when we deworm our Standardbred yearlings, you can actually see the huge worms that come out of them. It's quite disgusting. I'm guessing we could see them because the manager that was/is here while I'm in training didn't worm often enough and our pastures are infected. But I'm relieved you and others don't think he looks as bad as I do!! :)
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post #16 of 27 Old 08-19-2013, 11:51 AM
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Just because you don't see worms in the manure after deworming doesn't mean he didn't have a load. His belly is probably just as much a result of his prior diet than a worm load. Changing to a more easily digested forage (alfalfa) is going to reduce the belly.

DE is useless as an effective dewormer. The principle of how it works, the sharp edges puncturing the larvae, is groundless as the DE softens when wet and the edges get rounded. It also wouldn't address the larvae and worms that are not in the small and large intestine. There are plenty of migrating larvae in the bloodstream, lung and heart that need to be delt with.

Last edited by Left Hand Percherons; 08-19-2013 at 11:54 AM.
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post #17 of 27 Old 08-19-2013, 12:47 PM
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Oh my gosh, he's an absolute doll. Let us know the outcome of what the vet says!
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post #18 of 27 Old 08-19-2013, 02:51 PM
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What a gorgeous little gelding! He's going to be a real stunner once you get that belly in check. I actually think the alfalfa is a good idea, and some high quality grass hay. The higher quality the hay, the better he can use it, and the less chance he has of acquiring a big belly like that.

Once he has been wormed appropriately (the power packs work great) make sure you watch him closely for signs of colic. My filly had some minor colic symptoms from the sheer mass of the worms dying inside of her body after being wormed also, and the last thing you want is for him to have impaction colic. From there just keep offering him good food and as much hay as he'll eat. Its possible that as someone else mentioned, he may just have that belly from the crazy diet he had before. My filly had a rather large belly for a long time while she was rehabilitation (though she was only half the weight she should have been when I got her), even after she came back with a clean fecal test and was eating very nutritious feed. Once her body started functioning well again, the belly tucked up nicely and she looked great.

One thing you could try is buying ProBios for him. They aren't very expensive, and I found that they help a LOT when you're trying to get them back on track after a worm load, lack of food, poor food, or stress. You can get it in gel form (more expensive) as two or three doses, or in powders that last one month. It costs $13 where I live and you just feed 10g for about a week, then go down to a maintenance dose of 5g until its gone. Another possibility is going ahead and getting him flushed out for sand using generic Psyllium or SandClear if his old pasture (or current one) had a lot of loose sand or dirt.
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post #19 of 27 Old 08-19-2013, 05:13 PM
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He doesn't look bad at all in the pics.

We have a yearling colt too. He goes through stages of a big belly then he has a growth spurt. During the fall last year, we gave him beet pulp, like we do for all our horses, to help put a little extra weight on and it seems to help reduce hay bellies, which he seemed to have. After a while, he started having issues with his back legs. He was walking on his toes and looked like he was in pain because his legs were shaking. We rushed him to the vet and told them all this. They said it is normal for foals to have large bellies like hay bellies from time to time and to take him off the beet pulp. The extra nutrients was causing his bones to grow faster than his tendons.

The first two or three years of a horses life, they grow in height. Then they start growing in width. Foals and yearlings do look ribby because of this. It is normal too.

Edit: When we took our colt to the vet, we had a fecal count done because we thought that might be causing his big belly. The test came back that he was clean.
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Last edited by usandpets; 08-19-2013 at 05:16 PM.
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post #20 of 27 Old 08-19-2013, 05:27 PM
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I'm glad you brought him home, he needs a good owner. He doesn't look quite as rugged as your description, but I'm sure that your Vet will recommend all of the worming, etc. that he needs.
Throw as much good quality hay at him as he will consume. Most people don't like to talk about their mistakes, but one of the first two horses I bought at auction, back in 1985, was an OTTB mare. At that time I had no idea what a "hard keeper" was, and she was losing weight while everybody else in my herd was gaining. The Vet recommended one full bale/day for her, or, as much hay as she wanted. They need the fiber to move the gut and the horse's gut is always moving. OBVIOUSLY, the seller has no idea that a horse eats ~8 small meals/day, unlike a dog, who COULD go without a meal and still do okay.
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