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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2006
    Posts
    131

    Default Horse who won't eat

    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.

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,

    SD



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,245

    Default

    Was he scoped? and, how are his teeth?

    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.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, IL
    Posts
    779

    Default scope him

    our dear pony went off her feed slowly over a year.

    scoping told the story.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,145

    Default

    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.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2002
    Location
    PA, where the State motto is: "If it makes sense, we don't do it!".
    Posts
    10,881

    Default

    What kind of blood work have they done on this horse? The fact that he is losing weight is never a good sign coupled with lack of interest in food....
    Owners were hoping his appetite would continue once he returned home.
    Are they feeding him what he was eating at the clinic? If not, they might want to consider changing his diet.

    Before I started syringing Karo down his throat I would want to know if this horse is insulin resistant. If he is then the last thing you want to do is be giving him sugar, et al....

    I would also want to look at his electrolyte panel and make sure he isn't dehydrated.... I'm guessing they're looking at all this stuff at the clinic but it never hurts to ask.

    Perhaps he is suffering from "nutritional deficiency" anemia--lack of B vitamins, copper, folic acid, etc. That can also make a horse listless....

    Have they checked his thyroid level???

    These are some of the obvious things that I can think of offhand that would make him do poorly, although he may have other health issues that are not outwardly apparent....
    "If you can't be thankful for what you have, you can at least be thankful for what you've avoided." author unknown



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2006
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Forgot to mention that all blood work was normal, although they did not do a thyroid test. They will definitely have the vet do that now.

    Thanks for the feedback. They are very worried about this lovely boy!

    SD



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009
    Posts
    8,148

    Default

    Jingles for the big horse to feel better and "eat up" soon.
    Last edited by Zu Zu; Apr. 9, 2010 at 10:17 AM. Reason: spelling
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,245

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Cherry View Post
    ...<snip>...Before I started syringing Karo down his throat I would want to know if this horse is insulin resistant. If he is then the last thing you want to do is be giving him sugar, et al....
    Of course. Which is why I, too, mentioned bloodwork first



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    I know you said that they did bloodwork and it came back okay, my first reaction to off feed and losing weight was renal failure. Next gut reaction would be ulcers.

    Hope you can help your friend get to the source of the problem.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2007
    Location
    Hampshire, IL
    Posts
    779

    Default

    off feed and losing weight with pretty normal blood tests can also be Cancer.

    ask me how I know ...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 20, 2006
    Posts
    131

    Default

    Thanks to all who have posted. They are still pondering the next step. Appreciate any additional feedback.

    SD



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