Tummy, GI and weightgain issues in a OTTB

This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by cruisecontrol cruisecontrol 4 years, 4 months ago.

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  • luvhorses79 Original Poster luvhorses79
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 0

    I adopted a severely skinny 10 year old, 16.2 hand OTTB (rehabilitated into an eventing horse) The owner moved away and put him into a boarding facility where he was grossly neglected. I am struggling to add weight and improve his condition. He is bony, wiry coat, acts sensitive when you touch his sides, and I am concerned over ulcers?
    I started him out slowly per the vets recommendations and he is now on 6 pounds of of Seminole Senior wellness, 2 pounds Seminole Ultra Bloom (rice bran weight builder) divided into two feedings. Plus a lunch of Alfalfa cube mash and all he can eat coastal GA hay.
    Two weeks ago my gelding started to show severe colic pains and we administered Banamine paste and called the vet. Upon evaluation the Vet said that he was dehydrated and constipated. There was NO food or hay blockage, he was just all dry manure. He was tubed for fluids and then gave wet mashes every four hours around the clock for three days to hydrate him. Then we re-started from scratch on the feed, reintroducing over a couple weeks.
    Now he is getting electrolytes and I am doing a sand clear. He is flat refusing to drink any water on his own, and I caught him having another episode yesterday. I quickly made warm “tea” for him and he guzzled 6 gallons over an hour. Now I am feeding warm mashes, and warm teas, as he will not drink the water regularly as it is cold. I have had the vet out three times, and several thousand dollars later, and not getting answers other than treat the symptoms. I am looking for prevention and to heal the issues.
    My question is, I bouncing trying to decide where to go from here, I am contemplating three products: “Smartdigest Ultra” in hope that it will assist in his digestion, absorption and overall hind gut. I was also debating if “Smartgut” would be the way to go, as I have concern for ulcers (finicky on feed if tummy is upset, not drinking, sensitive to touch during tummy upset, wiry coat etc). Lastly, should I have him on “Smart Gain”, would its ingredients alone be enough to cover the array of symptoms plus help him with weight gain, tummy and GI? Does anyone have recommendations on what to do? Please help?

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 477

    I would definitely trust a vet before my own knowledge, as you should, but this SOUNDS like just too much stuff too soon on an already compromised body/system. Trying to combat and minimize ALL signs/symptoms can get overdone quickly in a weakened body and eventually it can (doesn’t mean WILL) all back up on him (colic, systemic shock, absorption difficulties, laminitis, abscesses, etcetcetc). Consider going back to the most basic feed programme (limited sugars, NO corn, moderate protein, moderate carbs/ starch and free choice hay) and let him settle. I would add only SmartDigest for now, maybe an antacid, and PLENTY of plain ol’ warm water in his grain, his water bucket, any way you can offer it. Until he puts some weight on, SLOWLY and is showing more energy and interest in his options, I would be inclined to keep his diet simple with multiple small meals thru-out the day (Senior feeds are usually pretty nutrient-dense even tho easier to digest so small doses more often might be a little easier for him to take on till he RECONDITIONS his gut).

    Dietary results can take up to three to six weeks to be seen in a normally working system (dealing with a large and intricate, highly sensitive equine digestive system here) so make patience and time your new best friends for now but watch him like a hawk. Learn his tells of pre-struggle.

    He could probably use deworming but a fecal test would be the best way to go there, treating him for what he actually HAS as opposed to dropping a broad-spectrum chemical load into an already sensitive system. Might even want to wait on that but again, this is a vet judgement. Bet his teeth could use a float, too. All these little things put together contribute to good digestion and use of foodstuffs.

    Hand walking and spending time grooming and loving on him, too, will encourage interest and security, security being a critical point in health, imho, in his new life and person : ) The average horse body at 1000+ lbs is operated by a 2 lb brain, stroke the brain and the body tends to follow. Make him feel good in his head and his body will settle, too. Good luck with this, and on behalf of ALL the horses out there that deserve a better life, thank you for saving this boy, he is lucky to have you : )

    Just to be clear, I am NOT advising that you bypass your vet’s recommendations, just offering food for thought, no pun intended.

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    cruisecontrol cruisecontrol
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 11

    I have dealt with many skinny horses and horses with tummy issues. My farm rescued a very neglected and emaciated 30+ year old gelding in the fall and he is now doing great despite being unrideable from permanent lameness. It sound like your pony is giving you a run for your money! I have had great success with boosters of regular deworming, gut health products, and LOADS of food!
    To help his belly and get him to eat better, 1: Give him a big dose (a couple hundred lbs. more than he actually weighs) of IVERMECTIN dewormer (make sure it is IVERMECTIN because not all types of dewormer are safe to over dose) ASAP and then deworm him accurately with other types every 4-6 weeks with permission from your vet P.S. try to re-dose with IVERMECTIN once, 2: call smartpak and order a few rounds of gastro guard and ulcer guard. Administer them as directed by your vet which will most likely be regular doses for a course of several weeks. The gastro/ulcer guard will rid him of ulcers etc. but I would start him on Smartdigest ultra instead of Smartgut because it will support his entire digestion system AND help prevent the cured ulcers from returning instead of focusing on mainly ulcer prevention. Plus the colic support program (ColiCare) that comes with the supplement.
    For weight gain, I would have him on 3 lbs. of a high fat fortified grain (performance and senior are often great for this) 2x a day, plus two 3 qt. scoops of alfalfa cubes and 1-2 lbs. of hay stretcher (turned to mush) either at each meal or as lunch. Give him literally as much hay as he can eat and encourage him to eat more! For the water electrolytes are great but his belly feeling better and his condition improving will also help greatly. If you wanted to put him on a weight gain supplement, there are many good ones (cool calories, smartgain, farnam products etc.) out there but with correct feeding are not always necessary. If it is cold, significant blanketing can help because it keeps them warm so they do not burn through as many calories and use their minimal fat. If it is warm, hours of grass pasture will help a lot! As always, run everything past your vet and use your knowledge of your horse. These are my suggestions and tips I have had success with.
    -Hope this helps, good luck!!!

    The triple threat of riding = EVENTING! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    cruisecontrol cruisecontrol
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 11

    P.S. Do everything gradually so as not to shock his system.

    The triple threat of riding = EVENTING! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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