Stupid skinny horse

Discussion in 'Ask The (wannabe) Vets & Farriers' started by JenR, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    Anybody got any good ideas to put some condition on a horse safely, expediently, and without busting my bankroll balls?

    Chester has been a hard keeper since we got him, but he needs to be in better condition before we do anything of any circumstance with him.

    He gets some bloom on him when the pasture is good, but that is not the case now. I've got him on a half bale of mixed hay (approx. 30 - 35 pounds), 4 quarts of concentrate (12% protein, 10% fat), 6 quarts of alfalfa/beet pulp (after soaking), and two cups of oil a day, plus a mineral block. Yes, he has been wormed, vigorously even (with a slug of Probios afterwards just in case). Hair coat is good (nice and shiney, pretty slick too for this time of year), energy level is decent (not hot, not worn out acting for his level of fitness). But to me he looks like crap; it's a major embarassment -- can't have him out in public loooking like this. And right now, he's been on very light to bone idle work -- because it's been cold and because we don't want to work off what weight he does have on him. Yes, his appetite is good. He's blanketed too (not that he's been cooperative with that endeavor). He has a run-in stall.

    I've racked my brain -- outside of uppping his grain/cube-pulp intake I can't think of anything else to do (can't really up the hay for economic reasons); suppose I could up the oil, but this is getting pretty pricey too. What am I missing? (I don't think I should give him any more wormer).

    This damn horse is giving me fits. :p
     
  2. photofinish

    photofinish Senior Member

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    Is he real, real active w/ his turn-out privilages - like walking the weight off?
    When you wormed him, did you Power Pack? I have had daily-feed through wormers work on some real tough cases.
    W/ the fat content of your feed plus oil, you really should have the fat base covered unless he is, for some reason, not metablozing it properly.
    Recent teeth floating?
    Maybe scrape a few pennies and pull blood? Full chemistry, not CBC. Might check thyroid, too. Hyperthyroid they tell me is super rare, and hypothyroid usually makes 'em too fat, but I did have one runner who was a bad keeper and hypothyroid. He did better when on a light daily dose of Thyro-L.
    What about daily brewer's yeast for the gut? Is he at all nervous, like ulcery? A few ounces of Apple Cider Vinegar and or Aloe Vera Juice in the feed never hurts one (and pretty cheap fom Wal-Mart, cheaper'n U-7 or such).

    All I gots to offer, good luck!
     

  3. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    He's not horribly active on turnout (at least at this time of the year) -- he frets when stalled and thus loses weight; yep, Power Packed and then some -- plus his hair coat doesn't indicate a worm problem. The feed has probiotics.

    I may have to get a blood workup on him, as there isn't any reason for him to be this freaking skinny. Good idea on the apple cider/aloe juice -- I've been wondering about the ulcer factor. I think I'll give it a shot and see what happens.
     
  4. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    A few things that I've tried---

    Supplement called "Hard Keeper" -----powder form

    Nutrena grain called "Empower" ------ If I remember right almost 25% fat (add it to his grain)

    Just a few things I've tried----Good luck and I agree with the blood draw

    ????? TB--------- They are famous for ulcers
     
  5. desederada

    desederada New Member

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    Panacur treatment. Probiotics.
     
  6. JZ

    JZ New Member

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    How old is he?

    Is he eating all of his half bale of hay? If not, that's one place you can increase. I know I've been in the minority before with this practice, but I expect to feed horses a bale each during the winter. A horse that eats less is the exception.

    I've had huge success this year using Ultium for Smoky, our poster-child skinny horse. It's more expensive than many feeds, but it also works much better, at least for him. I tried it because all the "usual" concoctions weren't working anymore (he IS 30! ;) ).

    If he frets in a stall, can you change his management so he can be where he is quiet and relaxed? Can he be out with a limited number of buddies who won't keep him away from his food? Not all horses enjoy being in a stall, and that kind of stress can lead to fussing as you've seen or ulcers, as someone already mentioned.

    I've seen two suspected ulcer cases calm down and put on weight just through a change in turnout.
     
  7. TwistedWire

    TwistedWire Guest

    Who does his teeth?

    I have 2 hard keepers that are thin...their teeth are being done Tuesday. Upon hearing some not so fabulous things, I've decided to change dentists.
     
  8. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    Teeth were done by a very good dentist, already did the Panacur/probiotics, he's turned out most of the day because he doesn't like being stalled. Trust me, this horse has been wormed, and as I stated, he's got a pretty nice hair coat for a fuzzy wuzzy -- plus good color and good hoof growth, poops even a good consistency and color, well hydrated, urine is normal, temp and respiration is normal, doesn't appear to be in any pain or out of sorts, whatever this is isn't affecting his health I don't think. He's just so damn blasted skinny!

    I've had him on Ultium and Vitality before with mixed results. I suppose I can try them again.

    He's an Appendix, who is oddly, mostly QH (but everyone who sees him thinks he's straight TB -- he's more TB looking than any of the TBs I've had, who were also less sensitive, less hot wired, less hard to keep, go figure).

    I can try bumping up his hay ration, but this is a serious issue with my hay supply for the year -- hence the giving him so much hay cube/beet pulp (actually, I might try upping his ration of that instead).

    He's always been slender, but we started having an issue with him as of early this summer and have never gotten on top of it (yes, he's had all his vacs and a negative Coggins).
     
  9. JZ

    JZ New Member

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    started a new thread, don't want to hijack...
     
  10. Imzadi

    Imzadi New Member

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    Ultimate finish 100...will do wonders! I also have the hard keepers on Continuex daily wormer.
     
  11. syndiego

    syndiego New Member

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    You are feeding him A LOT, and he is still losing weight, there has got to be something going on with him that's not related to caloric intake.
    Could be ulcers.

    I second whoever suggested bloodwork. I'd have a thorough vet exam with bloodwork.
     
  12. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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    I am with Syndiego on this one time for some bloodwork and scoping to check for ulcers and other issues

    which grain are you giving him?? fiber or grain base??

    You can try adding beet pulp, alfalfa pellets or a GOOD NON grain based senior or complete feed like Triple Crown's Senior or complete, Purina Ultium(non grain base), Most of the Kent Lines, Progressive Senior,

    OR use a ration balancer with a rice bran(fat) supplement with the beet pulp or alfalfa pellets.. this woudl prob not be cost effective though..

    Pictures??
     
  13. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    There's no way in hell I'm taking pictures of him looking as craptastic as this -- suffice it to say he's too damn skinny for me, and I like my horses on the trim side (just ask poor old Bo).

    I've got him on beet pulp and alfalfa cubes (I'd have to go all the way to C-U for alf pellets), just went out and got him some supplement to help with ulcers -- going to see if that helps him out any. I'll give him until Wed. and if I don't see an improvement (we just bumped his grain up last week) then I'll bump his hay.

    Used to feed Triple Crown, but it just priced itself out of my range -- the Kent store is 10 miles away; the Buckeye store is further (and I never had much luck with Buckeye -- the Triple Crown always did a lot better for the money with mine). I don't feel as though I've got him on a bad feed though -- grain base, not a lot of filler in it (he's not getting stiffed in the fiber department I don't think); the other horses are doing all right, and as said, his hair coat and hair/hoof growth is as good as it's ever been.
     
  14. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

    Here, I'll Post pics of him..........[​IMG]
     
  15. poodlelover

    poodlelover Moderator

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    Tbitt - you baddddddd girl!!!
     
  16. Tbitt

    Tbitt Most beloved member of MW

  17. MyTeDun

    MyTeDun Senior Member

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    I hate to suggest this but has anyone checked him for melanomas? He is gray.

    Lost one young (8) to melanomas that had worked into the digestive system, became a metabolic disaster.
     
  18. Mass

    Mass Senior Member and Masscaster

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    That isn't her horse.
     
  19. Peggy Sue

    Peggy Sue New Member

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  20. JenR

    JenR Formerly Underworld Queen

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    thank you ever so much T :th_flipoff: