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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    204

    Default Gelding needing groceries

    I bought a gelding this weekend who structurally is really nice, but is in really poor condition. The other mares on the farm with him are fat and happy, but this guy is really thin. It was not an expensive purchase, really a rescue situation really, but I'm hoping that after he is fat an happy he'll be my driving horse. He's quite a bit bigger than the mares, so I figure we're looking at long term underfeeding. I was told he has never had his teeth floated, and is ten. I'm putting him on free choice hay, and beet pulp, with his teeth floated. Is there anything else I can do besides give him loves and treats? He's not going to be ridden until he's in better condition, and I'm sure putting a bit in his mouth is likely to be painful until his teeth are done...

    I haven't had a horse in a few years, and never one this thin. Just am rusty and wondering if I'm forgetting anything.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,223

    Default

    Have your vet check for parasites and deworm him if needed. Watch for signs of ulcers too. Oil or rice bran can help add weight and put a shine on his coat.
    Proudly Owned By Sierra, 2003 APHA/ PtHA Mare



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2008
    Posts
    2,887

    Default

    ditto what mypaintwattie said.

    I use Omega Horsehine for all three of mine, but Paco was tough. It just didn't seem to be doing the trick. So ClassicSportHorses recommended trying Omegatin. We are only a few feedings in but there is a difference already. His personality changed, and he has much, much more energy. Not hot or anything, just more "himself".

    I think it has around 2000 calories per pound and it is a small soakable pellet, so you don't have to have them eating mountainous bowlfuls of food and it is easy on the mouth for seniors and those needing some dental work.
    I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

    Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2004
    Location
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,472

    Default

    You might want to look into a supplement called gamma-oryzanol. It is based on rice bran, and the product that I have is liquid and is put onto the feed. My elderly, nearly toothless pony lost a lot of weight this past winter, but has plumped up nicely with the addition of oryzanol to his diet. The pony loves the taste of it. It's not expensive, at least not in the quantities that the pony gets each day.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2008
    Posts
    168

    Default feed alfalfa

    Your best bet is to feed alfalfa this is based on research done by Dr Stull at UC Davis

    Please read the research performed by Dr Stull at UCD

    http://www.vetmed.ucdavis.edu/vetext...on-hr03jul.pdf

    Additionally get some Ration Plus which is a probiotic which is proven to help with weight gain in under weight horses. I would steer clear of grain and high fat until the horses is stabilized. Your idea of feeding beet pulp is a good one.

    Clair

    Clair Thunes, PhD
    Independent Equine Nutritionist
    clair@equilibrateequine.com
    www.equilibrateequine.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    33,116

    Default

    Why not just stick to lots of good hay and the beet pulp for longer then, what? Five days now?

    Resist the urge to try to speed things along with added supplements when good hay and time is going to get that job done with much greater safety. I have also had great luck with alfalfa...get the mix and introduce it slowly. If you can't get decent alfalfa hay, get the cubes and soak them, start with just a couple of cubes twice a day. I always liked to have another hay available for just munching and not overfeed the alfalfa to one that's poor, even as a mixed hay.

    Multiple small feedings is best for them. If you want to introduce grain or some kind of feed mix, wait until he recovers some condition then start with small quantities...like 1/2 pound twice a day. With good hay most of them never need much more then that anyway.

    CAREFUL with the wormer. If he has been neglected, you can kill him causing a massive die off. Your vet can design a program that can safely rid him of years worth of worms without causing impaction colic or internal problems from dead worms. Sounds awful, doesn't it? Bleeech-but be careful because that does happen with neglected horses.

    I think we get victimized by wanting to do too much too fast so hold off for a bit on the pricey additives he may not even need.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16

    Red face Hard keeper

    The beet pulp will not really add calories to his diet(is pretty much fiber like oatmeal for humans) rice bran is a better option. We rescue PMU foals and they come to us in very poor condition, we feed unlimited lesser quality hay at first the begin to offer the better quality hay, as a rule of thumb we make sure the feeders are never empty (but then neither is the muck bucket!) A horse that has not been well fed is best approached from a slow and steady stand point. De-worming is essential we have successfully de-wormed our new arrivals with the Panacur power pack, but always hold off till we are sure the gut is working properly! Best advice anyone can give you is have him examined by a vet, they will check for gut sounds, capillary refill times, etc.. And should then work with you on a re-hab schedule. Thanks for looking beyond what he is and seeing what he can be! Wish you all the best with him!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2008
    Posts
    168

    Default beet pulp is fantastic calories

    I have to disagree that beet pulp is not a source of calories. It is a fantastic source of calories which come from easily fermentable fiber. Don't be put off by the fact it is a by product of sugar industry. Beet pulp has equivalent calorie content to oats but from a different source. Oats the calories come from sugars and starch and beet pulp it comes from pectin and hemicellulose. I would not feed rice bran right now and certainly not in large quantities. The high fat content when fed in large quantities may upset gut function especially in horses whose digestive tracts are not as healthy as they could be. Stick to forage and digestible fiber. As I mentioned previously the research shows that alfalfa and forage are better than processed feeds.

    Clair

    Clair Thunes, PhD
    Independent Equine Nutritionist,
    clair@equilibrateequine.com
    www.equilibrateequine.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2009
    Location
    Pennsylvania
    Posts
    16

    Talking Beet Pulp vs Rice Bran We'll have to agree to disagree

    Well I am not a nutritionist with lots of letters after my name, nor an expert but I have researched this dilema previously, and I too am a research junkie. Here is some interesting information regarding beet pulp and rice bran ultimately it is your choice and an informed choice is always the best way to go! http://www.shady-acres.com/susan/ricebran.shtml
    Susan Evans Garlinghouse, DVM, MSc
    Equine Nutrition and Research Geek

    Energy content Energy Content
    (Mcal/lb) comparison to 20% Rice Bran

    Bermuda hay,
    (29-42 days growth).........83...................48%
    Timothy Hay....................85...................49%
    Alfalfa hay, early bloom...1.02...................59%
    Beet Pulp (dry)..............1.28...................74%
    Oat grain......................1.33................... 77%
    Wheat bran...................1.34...................78%
    Rice bran, 15% fat..........1.44...................84%
    Corn grain......................1.58................... 92%
    Rice bran, 20% fat...........1.72..................100%
    Vegetable oil..................4.08...................237%


    The above table illustrates that 20% rice bran ranks higher in calories than any of the forage feeds or grains, and slightly less than half of that of pure vegetable oil. As such, rice bran does provide significant calories on a pound for pound basis.

    There is an awful lot more information on her site regarding nutrition!

    Best of Luck with him!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    13,070

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by loveofhorses View Post
    The beet pulp will not really add calories to his diet(is pretty much fiber like oatmeal for humans) rice bran is a better option.
    Not true.
    Beet pulp is an excellent calorie source for equids.

    And oatmeal is reasonably well digested by humans.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    13,070

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by loveofhorses View Post
    Well I am not a nutritionist with lots of letters after my name, nor an expert but I have researched this dilema previously, and I too am a research junkie. Here is some interesting information regarding beet pulp and rice bran ultimately it is your choice and an informed choice is always the best way to go! http://www.shady-acres.com/susan/ricebran.shtml
    Susan Evans Garlinghouse, DVM, MSc
    Equine Nutrition and Research Geek

    Energy content Energy Content
    (Mcal/lb) comparison to 20% Rice Bran

    Bermuda hay,
    (29-42 days growth).........83...................48%
    Timothy Hay....................85...................49%
    Alfalfa hay, early bloom...1.02...................59%
    Beet Pulp (dry)..............1.28...................74%
    Oat grain......................1.33................... 77%
    Wheat bran...................1.34...................78%
    Rice bran, 15% fat..........1.44...................84%
    Corn grain......................1.58................... 92%
    Rice bran, 20% fat...........1.72..................100%
    Vegetable oil..................4.08...................237%


    The above table illustrates that 20% rice bran ranks higher in calories than any of the forage feeds or grains, and slightly less than half of that of pure vegetable oil. As such, rice bran does provide significant calories on a pound for pound basis.

    There is an awful lot more information on her site regarding nutrition!

    Best of Luck with him!
    I don't think anyone is arguing that, pound for pound, rice bran is not a highly caloric feedstuff.
    The salient point is that there are other factors to consider, and that the fat content of rice bran limits its usefulness as a source of calories in the horse.
    And your own citation from Dr. Garlinghouse shows that beet pulp is a good source of calories
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    204

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by findeight View Post
    Why not just stick to lots of good hay and the beet pulp for longer then, what? Five days now?
    I'm not in a huge hurry to get weight on him...I just wanted to make sure there was nothing I was forgetting. Like I said, it's been a few years since I had a horse, and I've never had one emaciated like this one is.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 17, 2001
    Location
    down the road from bar.ka
    Posts
    33,116

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Monizuki2 View Post
    ...I've never had one emaciated like this one is.
    I sure hope you haven't. And never do again.

    Just pass on the pricey stuff and stick to the basics of good hay and lots of it, I do like the beet pulp, proper vet attention (and, again, don't rush to kill all those worms at once), lots of clean water and TIME.

    Resist the urge to go out and buy stuff. You don't need it. In time maybe add a hoof/skin supplement and you can add some kind of general supplement if it makes you happy. But right now, let him catch up on what he has been missing. Hay.

    Took mine 30 days to regain any kind of condition at all, 6 months to presentable, almost a year to the show ring. Mostly with free choice hay and some alfalfa.
    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2001
    Location
    NW Washington
    Posts
    1,147

    Default

    A couple things I've done in the past too are put them on Red Cell for a month or two. And then a good probiotic to help him utilize his food as much as possible.

    Good luck!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    204

    Default

    Good deal...that's exactly what we're doing. I'm obviously not riding him, but I'm going and saying hi every day (he's being boarded). His ground manners are rusty and he's iffy about his ears, so I'm basically playing with his ears and giving him treats when he's chill about his ears. He was tough to catch at first, but he's easy now, and I've already noticed somewhat of a difference in his body mass. I've spoken to the vet, and he says he wants to come out in a couple weeks when he's gotten some weight on his bones so he can assess whether or not he's stable enough to sedate for teeth and then set up a worminng schedule.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2006
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    519

    Default

    What about a horse that has turned skin and bones, but doesn't want to eat anything?

    The vet has been out and they have tried everything.

    It's not my horse, I'm just watching him waste away and they are all trying to get him to eat.

    He does love sugary things. I gave him a granola bar with nuts and friut today and he gobbled it up. Then tried to offer him soaked alfalfa pellets and he turns his nose up.

    It's really non of my business and the owners are trying. I'm just curious about real live sweet fead the old kind with oats, corn, malasses.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    13,070

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dallasgreenie View Post
    What about a horse that has turned skin and bones, but doesn't want to eat anything?

    The vet has been out and they have tried everything.

    It's not my horse, I'm just watching him waste away and they are all trying to get him to eat.

    He does love sugary things. I gave him a granola bar with nuts and friut today and he gobbled it up. Then tried to offer him soaked alfalfa pellets and he turns his nose up.

    It's really non of my business and the owners are trying. I'm just curious about real live sweet fead the old kind with oats, corn, malasses.
    Well, as I sometimes admit when I'm dealing with a small animal in which part of the medical management is dietary, the best diet in the world isn't doing any good if the animal won't eat it.

    If there's no IR/Cushing's/laminitis issue, I'd certainly try adding sweet feed or molasses or chopped apples etc.

    Not near enough info given to make any real stab at diagnosing this critter, but from the sounds of it, I'd be suspicious of Something Bad Inside.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2008
    Posts
    168

    Default No Red cell

    I would strongly recommend against gicing red cell unless you know there has been blood loss eg a bleeding ulcer. Horses are rarely anemic due to iron deficiency as their diets tend to be high in iron. It is far more likely to be copper and selenium. Looking at RBC on a CBC blood panel does not tell you if the horse has iron anemia the only way to tell is to get a ferritin test through kansas state. Giving red cell when it is not needed can lead to iron overload and possibly other issues. The horse has no way to get rid of excess iron except through blood loss and little bit in sweat. The excess iron will sit in their liver.

    Now something like the probiotic Ration Plus would be a very good idea.

    And as for the other horse who is wasting away. I agree re the best diet being worthless if they won't eat it. I lost a horse to colic where his cecum telescoped and passed through itself for want of a better description. He wanted to eat and would pick a few things but really had no appetite at all. We were way in the middle of nowhere at a time when surgery was rarely an option and sadly we lost him. I also know horses with liver failure who have no appetite. I assume extensive blood work has been done on this horse so they have an idea of kidney and liver function. Dehydration can set in after a while and this will also not help. It becomes a very tricky downhill spiral which can be hard to get out of. I would agree with Ghazzu that it is likely that there might be something ominous that they can not see.

    Clair
    Independent Equine Nutritionist
    www.equilibrateequine.com



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