Am posting for a dear friend who has a 13 yo Oldenburg that they've owned for about a year. Was trained as a dressage horse but been off work for a couple of years. Was in good weight when purchased. Was a roarer and vet recommended they pass because they wanted to fox hunt him. Purchased anyway and and he seemed to enjoy fox hunting but didn't have the stamina to work vigorously due to oxygen deprivation. After they purchased him, he started eating less and less. Previous owners said he was not a big eater, but mostly all he did was hang out in the pasture with his buddy (who came with him).
He lost weight in his new home and continued to lose weight while hunting. He went to the vet school for his tie back surgery about a month ago. Vets reported that he ate very well there. Owners were hoping his appetite would continue once he returned home. It did not. He's been through a thorough diagnostic at the university with no results to indicate the reason for not wanting to eat at home. He's lost more weight since his surgery and seems quite listless.
They have tried many different feeds, supplements, etc. Seems eager to eat a new food for a day or so then is no longer interested.
What was he eating at the clinic? How about blood work/ CBC/ Chem? Were his Triglycerides checked?
When I hear of a horse going off feed, in conjunction with a career change, I think ulcers. So maybe a course of Ranitidine might be a way to go until scoping can be done.
Beyond that, offer a Pu Pu platter.. several different piles of feed to choose from. It's what we do at the clinic when horses go off their feed. Textured, Senior both dry & wet, Alfalfa pellets soaked, plain pellets, dengi, soaked cubes, etc. Let him pick what he likes. Unfortunately this usually changes every other day. in the mean time, give a few 60cc syringes of Karo syrup several times a day.
One of our boys has always been a picky eater; the others are pigs who eat everything. The 22 year old picky eater will eat a little Omolene 100, a mouthful of oats, a pound of Omolene 400, lots of alfalfa, some Dengie, some orchard grass hay, and lots of grass. He loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, apples, carrots, bread, mints, granola bars, and pears. He usually won't touch any senior feeds. When he is home with me, I cater to his whims and stock multiple types of feed. When he is with my daughter, she does not have time to cater to him, and he loses weight. When he gets too thin, she brings him home so I can fatten him up again.
Try lots of types of food, and give some variety at every meal. Omolene 400 is our picky eater's favorite food, as long as he has lots of variety with his Omolene 400.