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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Novas been going through a lot recently.. between lyme, anoplasma, ulcers, colic, and up and down level of muscle enzymes. Diets been changed multiple times by the advice of a vet. Shes finally on the route to recovery by during all this she lost quite a bit of weight due to being sick. :( She looked at though she started to gain weight but it seems as though we are at a stand still! You cant see more then 3 ribs at a distance but can feel just about all of them.. I taped her and shes 1,100lbs.. when I taped her last year she was 1,200.. she doesnt look 100lbs under weight but during her sickness shes also lost a lot of muscle.. I need to take a picture of her but I cant tell if its FAT that shes lacking or if shes really lost that much muscle during all this. :( Shes looking great other then that.. her personality and everything is back which is great..had been approved to start work by the vet... hope you guys can help me out! This is what shes getting.

The vet suggested not a lot of feed due to her ulcers/colic episode.. I think I may start uping it again...
Shes also not aloud a 'normal' grain due to her muscle enzymes.. no carbs/sugars aloud... :\

AM: 3flakes hay
1/2qt beet pulp
1/2 qt Rice bran
1 scoop Calm/Cool
1 scoop Neigh-lox

Turned out at least 9 hrs.. on grass/round bale. If I work her lightly I give her an extra quart of Beet pulp and hay stretcher afterwards. Also 30 mins of in hand grazing before putting her back out...

PM: 4flake hay
1/2qt beet pulp
1/2 qt Rice bran
1 scoop Calm/Cool
1 scoop Neigh-lox
1 scoop Vit e, selenium, and magnesium [its all 1 supplement]


I was thinking about adding corn oil.
 

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Check with your vet first.. she could still be fighting some stuff. Maybe talk to him about adding a probiotic? Since she's getting so much already it could be that she isn't absorbing it all.
 

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In my experience wheat germ oil is far better than corn oil. It doesn't take much and it adds a lot of fat.
 

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The vet suggested not a lot of feed due to her ulcers/colic episode.. I think I may start uping it again...
Shes also not aloud a 'normal' grain due to her muscle enzymes.. no carbs/sugars aloud... :\
Your vet knows best. With all of the issues this poor mare has had (and your check book), please do not second guess your vet.

Ask the vet again. There are many good feeds out there with carb and sugar balances made especially for this type of horse. Nutrena has a new line of SafeChoice.
 

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Flakes is not a good measurement for hay....especially when dealing with trying to add or lose weight on a horse. The same is true of volume measurements for the other feeds you are using. You need actual weights for each feed you are using.
Free choice quality hay should be the primary ingredient for any weight gain attempt. Beyond that it is not really possible to advise without weights of the feeds you are using.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
So the vet thinks its a good idea to start her on a senior feed with a high fat..since its easier to digest with her stomache issues.. she just suggested nutrena.. does anyone know any good senior feeds by them??
 

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It sounds like you are on the right track. Senior feeds are great for a horse that has been having trouble. I don't know specific kinds, but I am sure the local feed store will have a plethora of different ones to utterly confuse you.

A note on oil. I have had a draft horse who had EDPM and could not have any sugar/carbs. She was on oil at a ratio of one cup per 500 pounds of horse per day - which for this mare meant four full cups a day - she cost me a forture to feed. But during that time, I learned a LOT about feeding oil. This was on vets orders.

One thing is that most horses don't like the taste of corn oil. Olive oil they love, but is very costly. I found that Canola oil can be bought at Costco in a five quart container for like $5 and every hores I have fed it to loves the taste of it.

The horses, at least at first, prefer to have the oil mixed in with enough stuff to just be a thin layer - then you build up the volume of oil slowly. Soon they get a taste for the oil and could care less if there is anything else in the feed bucket, but will just slurp up the oil out of a pan - the bad part is that they get so happy they like to snuggle with you while they eat it. Which means they cover you in it. Yuk.

I have also read somewhere that one should not feed rice bran and oil at the same time. I was never able to find out why or for what reason, but it bears research - but take it with a grain of salt.

I love feeding canola oil for weight gain (and it makes thier coat look GREAT), but rice bran is less messy.
 

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Nutrene makes on Senior's feed. I think it's extruded looking more like dog food while others make a pelleted feed. It contains extra oils, probiotics, beet pulp and can make up the entire diet of a horse.
 

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I really like my mare on corn oil, I have her on 2 oz per day and it makes a pretty big difference, as far as senior feed goes, I like nutrenas extruded senior, it is very easy for them to digest and you don't have to worry about all the molasses and crazy sugar fluke some other senior feeds, if anything tho, up the beet pulp is it won't bother her, I feed 6 qts of it per horse per day.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Very very helpful replies keep them coming.. more advice the better :)

Im deffinately upping the beet pulp to at least 1 1/2 qts 2 times a day then add a senior feed, and either Corn or Canola oil.
 

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Yeah a high fat % senior feed would do wonders if she can absorb it properly.. did you ask your vet about a probiotic?

But yeah go ahead and try it. I use Triple Crown Senior for my horse.. he's a REALLY hard keeper. And he's flourishing on it :)
 

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Rather than using corn or canola oil, I'd use coconut or cocosoya oil. I've noticed GREAT improvement with it. Not only weight wise, but coat, skin, and hoof quality as well. Started with 6oz a day and have now reduced to 4oz. I'll have to look again to check ingredients for sugars, but Missing Link is also really good for healthy fats. Flax, rice bran, etc. I love Missing Link. I do also suggest probiotics. Fastrack is great but expensive. Manna Pro makes a probiotic that works well, too. Check with your vet before starting them, though. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
She use to be on cocosoya oil.. and to think about it thats the one thing ive taken her off of.... that could be the problem...

Novas now on
1qt senior
1 1/2qt beet pulp
1/2qt rice bran..

plus all the supplements mentioned before two times a day.. sometimes an extra quart or two.. in teh middle of the day of I do any light work.
and now unlimited hay and pasture.

STILL losing.. all vet are stumpted because everything is checking out 100% normal.. anoplasma showed but shes been treated.. Going to up the senior grain another quart.. im just at a complete loss. :( Shes never been a hard keeper! Last spring/summer she was just on hay/pasture.. no grain and she was 1,200 lbs.. right now shes at a whopping 1,075!

What else can I do?!?!
 
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