Weight maintnance

This topic contains 36 replies, has 25 voices, and was last updated by  peggy_lewis 2 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 37 total)
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  • Sheri
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I too have a mare who is a hard keeper, eats slowly and would more often than not walk away from her grain. I had the vet out several times, had her teeth floated, Power Packed her, added supplements, gave her hundreds of dollars worth of Gastro Guard, ect.

    I fed a high quality extruded sweet feed along with soaked beet pulp and alfalfa cubes. She had as much alfalfa as she could eat as well as good pasture.

    Long story short, after a lot of trial and error, I switched her to a high quality low starch pellet. That has made all the difference. I still feed soaked beet pulp (but without molasses much to the disappointment of my other horse) and soaked alfalfa cubes, and I include rice bran and a cup or two of Calf Manna. I also added peanut hay and she has access to plenty. She still eats more slowly than my other horse but not anywhere as slowly as she used to. She has put on and maintained weight.
    I hope this is helpful – good luck!

    barbara_chaisson
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    After reading all of the replies, there is one thing that I have not seen mentioned. Check the thyroid. Bloodwork should always be done when other obvious problems have been eliminated. Checking the teeth, fecal exam for worms, testing for ulcers, a comprehensive vet exam are all part of the puzzle to find the cause. Bloodwork results can explain issues not found otherwise.

    When I purchased my 17 year old Arab gelding, he came to me on the thin side. His owner said he had just come back from summer camp and needed more food. When that did not work, the vet came and drew blood. Tested for thyroid as one of the tests run. Sure enough he had a thyroid problem that required Thyrol-L which fortunately was and probably still is quite inexpensive.

    This worked almost immediately, then all of a sudden he was losing weight again. A second blood test showed the Thyro-L level was too high so we cut his dose in half. Once we did that his weight leveled out.

    As he aged and was around 26 years old it became more difficult for him to eat hay…so…I started adding beet pulp without molasses and alfalfa pellets (started with the cubes but they took too long to soak) to his Purina senior grain. The pellets, senior feed and beet pulp would soak quickly in enough warm water to make a soup. I fed him 3 times per day with this mixture, along with hay which he nibbled on. This seemed to satisfy him and keep his weight where it should be.

    I would not make any feed changes without consulting your veterinarian, and when doing so, make slow changes over 7-10 days so as not to disrupt his stomach.

    lil_judd
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 15

    This is actually an excellent comment and one I should have thought of as I have a Hyperactive Thyroid myself. Excellent suggestion 🙂

    Sheri
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    It is always a good idea to get blood work when trying to determine and resolve a suspected medical issue. I took my mare to the University of Florida for evaluation and while they checked her for hyperthyroidism,apparently there are few documented cases of hyperthyroidism in horses. One of the clinical signs of hyperthyroidism is weight loss despite a good appetite. As I mentioned previously my mare was not excited about eating, as I think is the case here. According to the vet notes that I just pulled out, other symptoms of hyperthyroidism in horses are: hyperexcitability,tremors,sweating, tachycardia,polyphagia, enophthalmos and inexplicable hair loss (Alopecia).

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    Hello! Tara214. I think that 4lbs is not enough for a horse to be fed. So I would consider you to feed around a gallon of feed to your horse. That is how much I feed my horses and there not over or under weight. How much hay do you feed? What feed is it your feeding?

    J. Corwin
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 4

    Hi, If the horse drops feed and takes a long time to eat, look in the mouth again for a tooth abscess, a foreign object in the mouth, or sharp points that were missed. How do you know it does not need it’s teeth floated. Have another dental exam, then if that is found to be okay then do the blood work. I had a friend that had a mare with the same problems and when the vet looked in the mouth (again) there was a piece of wire imbedded in the teeth and jaw that the horse probably had ingested with the hay and it was stuck causing pain with eating, therefore the slowness and weight loss, and dropped feed. Just an idea.

    edee_smith
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    Have you done a fecal, it will show some worm issues but encysted strongyles do not show in a fecal. A big belly is a sign. My vet had me do a Panacur Equine Guard 5 day treatment. I had to worm twice with different products 3 weeks apart. Ask your vet. Have her teach checked again maybe something was missed. If all this fails, I would have the vet do blood work.

    sue_charp
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    Hello! Tara214. I think that 4lbs is not enough for a horse to be fed. So I would consider you to feed around a gallon of feed to your horse. That is how much I feed my horses and there not over or under weight. How much hay do you feed? What feed is it your feeding?

    @riding for christ – horses are fed by weight, not volume, unless you’ve done the conversion. Different feeds have different weights. The manufacturer would publish recommendations on how much you should feed based on the horse’s age, level of work, etc. You can then figure out volume based on how much weight in feed the horse needs. For example, if the feed is 1 lb per quart (to make it simple), and based on manufacturer recommendations your horse needs 4lbs of feed per day, you would serve a total of 4 quarts per day.

    Keep in mind that these are guidelines, and you may need to adjust up or down based on your horses’ needs. I’d be curious to know how much a gallon of your feed weighs – unless it’s something really lightweight, a gallon of any grain seems like a lot…unless you are feeding a draft LOL!

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    Sue_charp, Thank you! 4 quarts is a gallon. If you were to feed you’re horse 4 quarts in the morning and 4 quarts at night, along with good grass mix hay, you’re horse will gain weight. If you’re horse needs to be wormed I would worm it with Zamectrin Gold, it is very effective. The feed that is really good for the horses digestive system is Total feeds.

    Saylor
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    You didn’t mention what breed of horse you purchased. But I, too, suggest having her teeth looked at again, fecal check for worms. I used a feed made by ADM called MoorGlow – it did absolute wonders for our 28 year old standardbred. Put weight back on his top line and over his hip/ rump area. The feed is pricey, but it really works! We also fed him Senior Glo with the MoorGlow and Timothy alfalfa cubes mixed with warm water. He gained back his weight and maintained it till he passed away at 32. Good luck !!!!!

    jshelly
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Well it is almost the end of February what has happen with the mare? Did you get to the root of the problem?

    sue_charp
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    Sue_charp, Thank you! 4 quarts is a gallon. If you were to feed you’re horse 4 quarts in the morning and 4 quarts at night, along with good grass mix hay, you’re horse will gain weight. If you’re horse needs to be wormed I would worm it with Zamectrin Gold, it is very effective. The feed that is really good for the horses digestive system is Total feeds.

    @riding for Christ – I understand that 4 quarts is a gallon, but the point I’m trying to make is that you feed by weight, not volume. You need to know how much one of those quarts actually weighs, because 4 quarts of one feed could weigh a total of 3 pounds, while 4 quarts of another grain could weigh 5 pounds. Once you know how much 1 quart weighs, you determine how much total weight in feed your horse needs, then you can figure out how many quarts per feeding that would be. Feeding too much could cause just as many problems as not feeding enough. That much grain is working for your horses so that’s great but if I were to feed my guy 4 quarts of my grain at each feeding, I’m just asking for an overweight, foundering horse.

    riding for Christ riding for Christ
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 118

    Yes, you are correct Sue_charp. It does depend on what the quality feed you have. Some feeds and hays, you don’t have to give as much as others.

    jan_kast
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 26

    I would also like to know if you got your mare to gain weight!

    lesleyblud
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Hello
    I have a hard keeper. He is typically a slow eater and then one winter he started to take a very long tome to eat his pellets and his belly got bloated. He was worse if he ate hay. This went on for about 3 months while the internal medicine specialty vet worked him up, it would take hip 2 hours to eat 1 scoop of soaked pellets. He said he had aversion anorexia, eating was causing discomfort. He was scoped, x-rayed, blood work, 3 times, teeth were good, fecal tests, etc. every thing was normal. Vet said he had no idea and said exploratory surgery was next option. Not an option for me.
    He looked bloated to me, like he was gaining weight even though he wasn’t eating much. I was beside my self with worry. I sent his blood work off to a Chinese medicine doctor who said he had an infection, the western vet did not see that, I tried the herbs the Chinese medicine doctor recommended but he got worse, and his legs and sheath were swollen, so I stopped.
    Still desperate I found Silver Lining Herbs and tried their digestive formula,he seemed a little better on that and spoke with the owner of silver lining herbs about what I might give him. He said if he possibly had an infection to give him the INFX formula. It was a miracle, $20 worth of herbs and he was better in 5 days.
    Now I believe he either had small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO which causes bloating, gas, discomfort in humans) or he had/has a diverticuli that was infected. Neither one of those scenarios will show up in blood work or on x-ray, but the herbs sure did work.

    Shari who made a recommendation to feed low starch feed, may have had the same issue as small intestine bacterial over growth as the bacteria in the small intestine that should not be there, or not be there in large amounts will digest the carbs and cause bloating. Using an antibiotic or herbs with antibiotic properties can work for this kind of issue.

    Now, he eats better over all, and this winter has actually gained weight. He gets timothy hay and I have him on Smart Digest from SmartPak and give him a bit extra of powdered psyllium daily.
    Good bacteria in the hind gut eat the soluble fiber in the psyllium and create fatty acids that the intestines use as fuel to create a stronger and healthier intestinal lining,

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