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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    767

    Default Ideas? Senior horse off his Purina Equine Senior.

    I have a 28 1/2 year old QH gelding who ate every last bit of his Purina Equine Senior yesterday AM. He gets six pounds, twice a day, and takes about 90 minutes to eat it. He is in good weight. At night, his alfalfa hay is in a rack above his manger, so he can nudge the hay and eat the small pieces that fall. He had his teeth (or what's left of them) done in October.

    Last week, I started to add soaked, warm beet pulp and alfalfa/oat cubes to his diet with his evening meal. He finished all of the beet pulp and most of the soaked cubes. I put it in a separate bucket.

    Last night, he walked into his stall and did not even look at his Senior feed. Didn't smell it, didn't push it around with his nose. He went right to the hay rack and started bumping the hay and eating the bits that fell. I left him for a couple of hours and when I came back, he had not touched the Senior feed (I had his Previcox pill in the middle of it, and it was still sitting there.) On my return trip, I also brought him the warm beet/alfalfa cube mash, which he was interested in, though he only ate about half of it.

    This morning, he was standing in his run, wouldn't come into the stall (where I'd poured his Equine Senior). He wanted to go out with the other two horses and start eating the alfalfa-grass hay I spread out in the pasture (now snow covered) for all three of them. Cantered like a young horse, all the way to the hay.

    His temp is normal, his heart rate and breathing are normal. He is bright and seems happy. He is defecating and urinating normally.

    In the past, I've tried to gradually switch him over to Triple Crown Senior, and he would "detect" the change and wouldn't touch it. He always seemed happy with the Purina.Two weeks ago, I soaked his Senior feed as well, and he wouldn't touch it.

    Any ideas????
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
    Location
    MI USA
    Posts
    7,219

    Default

    He may be just "getting notions" with the nice cold days. Kind of like toddler children, "don't like green food this week" and refuse to eat it. He may be a bit tired of Equine Senior or it just isn't the food he wants now. My old horse did that now and again. She wasn't usually picky, but did get tired of feed sometimes. The Purina was way too sugary for her digestive system, but she did get the Old Kent Senior feed. At times some carrot peels mixed in helped, shredded apples made feed more interesting as she hunted them out of the bucket. I didn't give her snacks often, so the additions made eating a bit more interesting She was not IR, just had poor teeth at her age.

    If he is working on the hay chaff, you might try shaking out a bale over a tarp and get the best leaves to put in his bucket or feeder to nibble. He does need some extra in quantity if possible, without him eating the Senior feed. Then feed the shaken stems outside to the other horses who won't even notice the missing leaves!

    Just reduce his Senior quantity in the non-eaten bucket, till he is back to being interested in it. Then you can increase it again. Maybe mix a little Senior with the leaves or other items he is eating? Tiny amounts of the Senior, not big quantity. You want him to eat SOME, not just ignore it or what it is mixed with.

    You can also try upping his wet beet pulp and hay cubes quantity a little. Is it fed warm? My old horse liked hers warm, not cold. But if he only wants the hay chaff, give him lots of hay in a big tub, old water trough, so the chaff is not lost in the dirt. Again, give what he doesn't eat in hay, to the other horses so you have hay used up, not wasted.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2006
    Location
    The rocky part of KY
    Posts
    9,281

    Default

    If he's filling up on the beet pulp and alfalfa and still interested in eating, bright and happy, just not the senior feed, make sure he has lots of what he will eat available and keep track of his weight. That's what I would do with the old guy. I'd actually be more pleased if he'd eat his beet pulp and alf and not so much the sweet feed he loves, that isn't so good for him.
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
    Incredible Invisible



  4. #4
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2003
    Posts
    5,589

    Default

    As long as he's eating everything else, I'd just keep an eye on him.

    Is is a new bag of feed? Maybe it smells different or is a bit off or something?

    My very old man gets notions, too. Will eat something for a while and then just decide he doesn't like it any more. I humor him.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    767

    Default

    Thanks for the ideas.

    I just checked on him and he's taking a nap, laid out on his side (in a manner that generally spawns a few telephone calls from the neighbors -- "Is Titan OK?" "He looks sick.").

    Its reassuring to hear that other old horses have these moments as well. He just had blood drawn in September, and there are no indicators of IR, kidney or liver problems.

    I do feed warm pulp and cubes, and the Equine Senior is not a new bag. I will try some carrot or apple gratings and reduce the amount of Senior available to him. I'll also try to create more chaff for him. And yes - since he can't eat much hay, I'm also glad he's eating the beet pulp and alf cubes.

    Again, thank you for your time in responding. I really appreciate it.
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2004
    Location
    Red Bank, NJ
    Posts
    1,647

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by twelvegates View Post
    Thanks for the ideas.

    I just checked on him and he's taking a nap, laid out on his side (in a manner that generally spawns a few telephone calls from the neighbors -- "Is Titan OK?" "He looks sick.").

    Its reassuring to hear that other old horses have these moments as well. He just had blood drawn in September, and there are no indicators of IR, kidney or liver problems.

    I do feed warm pulp and cubes, and the Equine Senior is not a new bag. I will try some carrot or apple gratings and reduce the amount of Senior available to him. I'll also try to create more chaff for him. And yes - since he can't eat much hay, I'm also glad he's eating the beet pulp and alf cubes.

    Again, thank you for your time in responding. I really appreciate it.

    My old man turned his nose up at Nutrena Senior whenever the ingredient list changed. I ended up switching to Buckeye Senior and then Pennfield, and he loved both. Sometimes, as others said, he got "notions" and would be fussy about feed or anything that was added to feed. Usually, it was nothing, but occasionally something was wrong. Best of luck with your guy and fingers crossed that he's just being a golden oldie :^)
    Sarah K. Andrew | Twitter | Blog | Horses & Hope calendar | Flickr | Website



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2011
    Posts
    14

    Default

    We had a gelding who wouldn't eat the Equine Senior after a while. We also found that he wasn't keep weight well. He was 30 years old. We asked the vet, and he said to start him on another type of feed, it doesn't matter, and see if he will eat it. Senior formulas are made, to be easier to digest and eat. If he does fine on another one and will eat it, then I would say stick to it. You could also try switching him back to it. We put ours on Strategy and he loved it, and he started gaining all his weight back, and looked about 10 years younger.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
    Posts
    40,500

    Default

    My soon to be 22 year old about a month ago would not eat his Purina Senior, first time ever.
    I had just opened a new bag, looked the feed over very carefully and some of the pellets were a bit darker than others.

    I took the bag back to the store and they gave me a new one, that he is eating fine.

    Maybe you got some of that same bad batch?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    767

    Default I think he's getting worse

    So after his afternoon nap, he moved back into the rear of our property, away from his two mare friends, and remained by himself. Odd, as he usually prefers the sunshine and company.

    At dinner time, I had to get a halter and walk him into his stall, where he wouldn't eat anything. Not the hay, not the Senior feed, not the warm beet pulp/alfalfa mush. I let him out in a small pen where there is some grass exposure through the snow, and he grazed a little bit, though I doubt he was very effective, with his worn down teeth.

    Heart rate normal, temp normal, not pawing, not rolling. Just stands in the corner, sort of inwardly focused.

    Yes -- there is a call into the vet.

    Thanks for your ideas. I appreciate them. Really.
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Location
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World
    Posts
    6,190

    Default

    I'm glad you called the vet. I had a similar experience, but with a young horse, it turned out he was in kidney failure.

    I'm hoping that is not the case with your horse, maybe just a bad tooth? Sometimes if they are experiencing pain eating, they won't eat.

    If you have time to read a novelette, here was my very long thread with the same problem, and many good suggestions from the kind folks here on COTH.

    http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=240064
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    767

    Default

    Thanks MM -- I'm reading through your threads now, waiting for the vet to show up. And I'm so sorry for your loss.
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,496

    Default

    Previcox can cause ulcers when used long term, like many NSAIDs. That can make a horse not want to eat. usually they stop eating grain, because the extra acid that the stomache produces causes pain. That was my first thought , before you said he didn't eat anything today.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 13, 2004
    Location
    NW CT
    Posts
    837

    Default

    I have always had luck with McCauley's rice bran oil (which is a little different) added to mash. I wrote a post on this topic on my blog the day after Thanksgiving (11/25) and called it "Feast." It's got the whole rundown on what has worked for me (and others I've recommended it to) for feeding seniors and those off their feed. Hoping this resolves for you quickly, with a good outcome.
    The aids are the legs, the hands, the weight of the rider, the whip, the caress, the voice and the use of extraneous circumstances. ~ General Decarpentry
    www.reflectionsonriding.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 1, 2009
    Location
    Fort Collins, Colorado
    Posts
    767

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jetsmom View Post
    Previcox can cause ulcers when used long term, like many NSAIDs. That can make a horse not want to eat. usually they stop eating grain, because the extra acid that the stomache produces causes pain. That was my first thought , before you said he didn't eat anything today.
    jetsmom -- I do believe you get the prize. Vet also thinks this is most likely. He's only only been on the Previcox for about a month and it was included in his Senior feed. He just got a whole tube of Ulcerguard. Vet said we should expect to see improvement soon, if her theory is correct.

    easyrider -- I will also check out your blog. Sound interesting. Thank you.
    Nothing with horses is ever easy or cheap. And if it is, you're doing it wrong. They always rip out part of your soul when they leave. I guess that's how they find us later.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2000
    Location
    El Paso, TX
    Posts
    12,496

    Default

    I WON! I WON!....absolutely NOTHING!

    Glad that it is something treatable.

    Hope your guy is feeling better soon.



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