Hip bones prominent - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 03-31-2020, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Hip bones prominent

I have a 20 year old gelding paso I just got in Dec. My goal was to put weight on him. He had been in a pin with lots of mud little to no good nutrition. I have done everything I know and his hip bones still stick out! His teeth were floated, I’ve tried corn oil, amplify, rice bran, He gets plenty of good quality hay and senior grain. Adding beet pulp and soaking alfalfa! I’m literally trying to not get disheartened looking at him. I’ve looked online to try to research new things to try. Any suggestions would be appreciated! He does get worked as well to try to gain muscle, just not worked to hard.
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post #2 of 10 Old 03-31-2020, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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post #3 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 01:14 AM
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He is very thin and if he has been this way for a while everything he's eating is repairing the damage on the inside. Then he will start getting some meat on his bones and then you can start work building some muscle. His body just doesn't have enough resources at this time. Slow and steady gain is what you want not immediate improvement. Be careful of how much feed he's getting because he certainly isn't used to it and you don't want to compound the problem with colic or laminitis.

I got a very emaciated 2 year old colt several years ago and he spent the first year just putting on some weight and didn't start building muscle until the second year. As much as we want them to look better RIGHT NOW, it doesn't happen that way. With an older horse it will probably take even longer.

In the meantime work at getting him healthy and it sounds like you're doing a good job. Regular worming, good food slowly introduced, and extremely light exercise in the form of hand walking or even what he gets wandering around a decent sized pasture is plenty. You don't want to be burning calories faster than you put them in.

Good luck and bless you for giving him a better home.
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post #4 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 06:20 AM
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He is in very poor condition....
Being so poor a condition he needs much healing of his insides before you will see one bit of change outside.
This animal will not spring back to looking ravishing in a month, but more like 6 - 12 months of continuous good feeding of the right foods in the right amounts.
Sounds you were doing the right things feeding, but honestly...stop working the animal.
No riding, no round pen work, nothing...he can't take it right now.
This animal needs every calorie of food fed to be used to heal himself. He doesn't have the ability to make muscle right now as he is just trying to heal damages unseen inside.
You might want to double-check his gut for sand accumulation... a coating of the intestinal tract of sand will hamper the body from absorbing nutrients and you can easily get what you have. https://www.drgarfinkel.com/client-e...horse-for-sand
I hope you have vet working with you for guidance on a animal in such condition.
You don't mention worming, but a fecal needs done and based on those results have the vet do the worming as is appropriate cause if he is worm-laden and you do a large kill-off to fast you could kill him!

My other thought is does the horse have any tumors internal that could be creating such a wasted look...
He is Gray, and they are prone to them and is of the age where if he has them they can cause issues.

Don't be disheartened...
Rescuing and rehabbing is a long process when they look like this and I bet anything he was worse when he came to you...
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post #5 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 06:34 AM
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PLEASE listen to the previous posters.

Rehabbing this horse is not going to happen quickly.

Years ago I rescued a horse that took a year to get him to the point where he might be rideable. It ended up he had injured vertebra.

While he did turn out to be an excellent lesson horse for children under 100#, he was not able to be seriously ridden by an adult. He saw a chiropractor the rest of his life, which he was with me 22 years until I laid him to rest when he was 29.

If your horse has not seen a vet, it NEEDS to see one “yesterday”. Hopefully that vet also does chiropractics so an evaluation of the bone structure can be made.

Rescuing a horse is always a generous effort but, more often than not, “rescue” goes way beyond a bag of horse feed and often means having a big checkbook. It is by no means a way to get a free or cheap horse:)

Also, when you say the horse “does get worked”. By no means should this horse be ridden and by no means should it be doing any more than being lightly led. It doesn’t need work of any sort, it needs to still be in rehab mode — for many months.

Get a vet involved:)
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post #6 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 08:46 AM Thread Starter
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By worked I do mean lightly, not ran just enough to get his muscles moving and such. And only for a small amount daily. Has been wormed by vet and on regular worming schedule... I appreciate your replies! Just seems patience and a loving new home is what he needs. Just trying to not get discouraged! That’s my hardest obstacle 😩 I will keep up my routine and hopefully the weight will come on! Thank you!!
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post #7 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 09:14 AM
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If it's still cold where you are, you can put a blanket on him so he won't lose calories from having to regulate his body temperature.
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post #8 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 09:19 AM
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What are you feeding- exactly in pounds and how often?

Has your vet run any bloodwork? Particularly for cushings/liver/kidney?
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post #9 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 09:26 AM
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My general go to is Triple crown senior because it is high fat, low NSCs and can be a complete feed if their teeth need it. IF the horse is eating free choice hay well and no Quidding - i build up to 3lbs twice a day over 7-10 days and then I re-evaluate in 2-3 weeks to add a lunch and perhaps and mid snack to get to about a total of 8-9lbs a day split into a many small (3-4lbs ideally) meals as possible. Feed ALONE.

Feeding a senior who is not able to eat hay will mean a total of 12-18 lbs of complete grain typically for the average 1000lbs horse.

I don’t like to add additional beer pulp or other bulky supplements because I often find it is empty calories compared to quality second cut hay and a QUALITY senior feed.
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post #10 of 10 Old 04-01-2020, 11:24 AM
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Putting weight on a horse isn't all about putting a fat layer to add padding and soften the angles. They'll put the fat layer internally before externally. You want him putting all his resources to building muscle and that means a quality feed and good forage. Alfalfa, grass hay a senior feed with the needed vitamins and minerals. An amino acid supplement if any part of his diet is lacking in those necessary building blocks.That then needs to be balanced with carbs and fat for overall needs met.

If the pen is large enough for him to move around and get some walking in on his own then no need to add any work. Best is to let him exercise himself. Now if the pen is not of a size he can stretch and move around then hand walking him lightly is something that needs done.

Total vet work should be considered if it hasn't been done. 6-12 months is a good estimate but don't be surprised if at his age it takes longer. I had one so poor it was a full 5 years before she recovered and was a shining example of a healthy, happy mare that was able to be ridden and worked normally. It took three years just to get her muscle built up and a light fat layer on her. You could lose your fingers between her ribs and count every bone. Long, slow work building her up. And she was less than half your horses age.

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