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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2005
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    Elmwood, Wisconsin
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    Default Getting a weanling to eat

    My neighbor took in an 8 month old colt on Christmas Eve.
    The colt was bought by a kind soul at an auction and put out with her horses. Colt would not eat her grain and it seems like her hay might not be best quality. She gave the colt to my neighbor.

    This colt is very thin, prominent backbone, rather small for his age. He seems very lethargic although is not laying down excessively. Eats the nice hay my neighbor is offering but will not take any of the feed she has tried. She has offered senior feed, mare and foal, grain with molasses, carrots, apples. She can get him to take one bite, but he won't take a second one.

    Any suggestions on what to do besides keep hay available?
    Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
    Elmwood, Wisconsin



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    I would have the vet out. Ulcers, worms and dental are likely candidates. Maybe all three at once
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2005
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    Yes, I would get the vet out asap!! It could be lots of things bothering him and you don't want him to go down hill more than he already is.
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010



  4. #4

    Default

    Deworm, very carefully.

    My weanling had a belly full of worms when I got her, I knew it since i had a fecal done, I gave her a very small dose (1/3 dose by weight) of a mild dewomer and she still had colic.

    The grain might be more rich then he is used to, maybe try some alfalfa pellets at first, or beet pulp. I also found Triple Crown Growth to be very palatable for my picky baby.
    for more Joy then you can handle
    http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/



  5. #5
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    Default

    Absolutely time for the vet! I would bet ulcers. In the meantime I would see if you can get him to drink warm milk replacer. Foals in the wild sometimes aren't weaned until 12-18 months, and if this guy is small for his age and having such a hard time, I'd get nutrition in him, however you could do it. I would also try the foal milk pellets and see if he will eat those. But I would bet my next paycheck that if she does Gastrogard for a few days, he will be eating anything put in front of him.

    Been there - done that.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
    Location
    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dangerbunny View Post
    I gave her a very small dose (1/3 dose by weight) of a mild dewomer and she still had colic.
    Please please never do this Never give partial doses of dewormers. That is one reason why we have resistance issues. This is no different than antibiotics - you never give partial doses.

    The best you can do is use a dewormer that has a high resistance (ie fenbendazole and pyrantel pamoate, aka Safeguard or Panacur, and Strongid paste, respectively), so you don't kill too many of too many parasites at once, and even then, yes, if they are loaded, you can still have problems and it's best to have a vet on standby in those cases.

    You didn't kill 1/3 of the worms. You killed the very weakest, and left the stronger ones exposed but not killed, making it likely they will produce a new generation that is more resistant.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2007
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    AreaII
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    Default

    I third having the vet out asap. He may have never been fed grain and doesn't quite know what it is. Keep him on quality hay 24/7 until the vet sees him.



  8. #8

    Default

    Normally I agree completely, I was advised to do so by my vet since the filly had such a huge count. I used pyrantel pamoate for the first dose, then followed it up a week later with a normal dose of fenbendazole and ivermectrin a couple weeks after that. Just to be clear I wasn't recommending using partial doses just sharing the colic experience, it was scary and she passed worms for days.
    for more Joy then you can handle
    http://dangerbunny.blogspot.com/



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dangerbunny View Post
    Normally I agree completely, I was advised to do so by my vet since the filly had such a huge count. I used pyrantel pamoate for the first dose, then followed it up a week later with a normal dose of fenbendazole and ivermectrin a couple weeks after that. Just to be clear I wasn't recommending using partial doses just sharing the colic experience, it was scary and she passed worms for days.
    Don't worry. Every time I suggest giving a 1/2 dose of wormer to a new horse with no history of worming, the coth experts say it is wrong. Well duh, vets have told me to watch out for the huge worm die offs when a horse full of worms is given wormer. So I got this information from vets about using 1/2 dose for unknown situations.

    My friend leased a paint who kept rubbing his tail. BO obviously had not wormed him for many months. (She lied about worming all her horses.) So I gave my friend a tube of anthelcideEQ, whic will really clean out horses and really kills pin worms that cause tail rubbing. So fortunately my friend gave the wormer to the BO/horse owner, who gave it to the paint, who colicked. Vet came out after much discussion and a day and night of my friend and I staying with the horse. Vet pulled huge masses of worms from the rectum. I saw at least 3 different kinds of worms and some were huge. Horse was OK after this and went on regular worming routine while my friend leased him.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    This isn't about "COTH" saying it's wrong. It's about parasitologists and anyone concerned about and studying resistance issues saying it's a bad idea.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2005
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    Default

    Another thought is that he may not be as old as 8 months since he is so small. He may be much younger and needs a milk replacer like someone else suggested. A visit from the vet will help clear that up as well.

    No pictures We must see pictures
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010



  12. #12
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    Sep. 25, 2005
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    I too have been told by the vet to give only 1/2 dose of Ivermection to a weak or sick horse, so as not to kill off all the worms at once.

    HOWEVER, that was years ago, and literally within the last 1-2 years, just about everything we have learned or ever been told about deworming has changed.

    You can't rest on what your vet told you 5 or 10 or 20 years ago. You have to view the research as it is TODAY. And JB is right. When you do 1/2 dose, you only kill off the weak worms that were probably going to die anyway. Those left behind are now exposed to the Ivermectin, and they can evolve to become resistent to it. As she said, this is why you're always supposed to take the full course of antibiotics, even if you feel fine after 3 or 4 days on it. Any bacteria left behind that aren't killed, are now stronger and wiser.

    We have no new dewormers on the horizon and if we fudge ourselves over in the Ivermectin department, we're really in trouble.



  13. #13
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    Echoing what everyone else has said about getting the vet involved. Get an accurate weight so you can deworm and treat for ulcers with a treatment dose of the real stuff, ulcergard or gastrogard. This is not the time to guess or play around with alternatives as there is a very real chance he will die. Jingles for all involved.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
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    Default

    I agree with the others and the vet visiting is the wise choice here. All sorts of problems from ranging from being scared out of his wits to parasites to illness could be at the heart of the problem and as mentioned likely with your desciption this poor colt has more than one issue going on.

    But one thing you may consider in addition to the vet is trying a bit of warm bran mash. If he has upper resp issues starting he can not smell correctly. It is also likely that the beginnings of mucus going down his throat into his tummy is giving him an uneasy stomache. Ulcers as mentioned also possible. So there are plenty of reasons to not want to try new feeds rather foreign to the feel inside of his mouth. But sometimes the soft warm feel of bran mash is pleasing to them...I call it their comfort food and if he takes it the owner can start small but very frequent feedings and hide/gradually increase other more beneficial ingredients such as alfalfa pellets, colt pellets and much more.

    Also tell your neighbor rehab takes time. Miracles are never over night in these cases. If he never had a wonderful start to begin with it is a long up hill battle of getting them going on good feed slowly, dealing with multiple health issues and not to mention gaining their trust during all this.

    Best wishes to you and your neighbor for trying!



  15. #15
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Default

    Low dose of dewormer - bad idea. We know better now.

    Besides that - a horse who has a high wormload and is going to colic from dieoff is going to colic for one reason or the other - pick your poison, so to speak.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec. 13, 1999
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    Greensboro, NC
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Auventera Two View Post
    I too have been told by the vet to give only 1/2 dose of Ivermection to a weak or sick horse, so as not to kill off all the worms at once.

    HOWEVER, that was years ago, and literally within the last 1-2 years, just about everything we have learned or ever been told about deworming has changed.

    You can't rest on what your vet told you 5 or 10 or 20 years ago. You have to view the research as it is TODAY. And JB is right. When you do 1/2 dose, you only kill off the weak worms that were probably going to die anyway. Those left behind are now exposed to the Ivermectin, and they can evolve to become resistent to it. As she said, this is why you're always supposed to take the full course of antibiotics, even if you feel fine after 3 or 4 days on it. Any bacteria left behind that aren't killed, are now stronger and wiser.

    We have no new dewormers on the horizon and if we fudge ourselves over in the Ivermectin department, we're really in trouble.
    Exactly

    I did hear though that someone in Sweden is working on a new chemical - haven't had real confirmation but I think it's probably pretty reliable. Even assuming it's true it will still be quite a few years most likely before it's available.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET



  17. #17
    Join Date
    May. 11, 2009
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    Dairyville USA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by JB View Post
    This isn't about "COTH" saying it's wrong. It's about parasitologists and anyone concerned about and studying resistance issues saying it's a bad idea.
    As a DVM I'd like to pipe in and echo what JB is saying. I often?Occasionally? disagree with her advice but in this case I'm behind it 100%.

    Even 2 years ago we used to say "give a half dose" or "give a quarter dose" not now that we realize what's going on with resistance to dewormers. Honestly, some DVMs skip the parasit lectures at CE conferences and go to the more important ones (new surgical techniques, emergency care, anesthesia etc-there is simply no way to go to every class and some of us-me included-skip some of the pharmacology/parasitology type courses)

    I now advise my clients to do fecals and blood work-and give an exact dose per weight of something like Fenbendazole or Pyrantel depending on fecal results. The last few I've had experiment with an anti-endotoxic dose of banamine starting 1hr before deworming and continuing for 48 hours. One case the FEC was so high we hosptialized the patient so we could monitor him. But we still gave the full weight appropriate dose. We have a scale and it's always free for our clients to stop in and weigh their horses at any time-we have them do this so we can RX an appropriate dose.
    Michael: Seems the people who burned me want me for a job.
    Sam: A job? Does it pay?
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    Sam: Oh. I've never liked those.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2007
    Location
    Iowa
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    If the horse is eating hay I wouldn't worry about getting grain into the colt right now. It will come. Offer it but you can't make them eat it. We rescued two about that age that had never had any so they didn't eat it. Un-natural as far as they were concerned. They also didn't drink from water buckets. They thought that's what puddles were for. I would deworm and give him a little time and all the decent hay he can eat.



  19. #19
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    Oct. 4, 2003
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    Clinton, BC
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    To get a foal who has not been accustomed to seeing or eating grain before, one must be creative. Aside from the worm and ulcer situation, and whether you need a vet for info and treatment for these things or others that may be plagueing this foal, getting him to realize that grain is food is the key. If he never learned that with his mother, he has to learn it by himself now. The monkey see monkey doo method works when the mare eats grain, and the foal watches that. Try different grains, even things that aren't exactly the prime foal feed that you will want him to eat for maximum health etc. Offering straight oats sometimes will tempt them, it's "natural", grass seed. Sometimes putting a few grains of oats into their mouth by hand, to get the taste of a few that don't get spat out. Also, put a handful of oats on top of a slightly worn salt block, worn into a bowl on top so they stay there. The foal will be attracted to the salt block, and if he gets a few oats while looking at licking the block, he gets the taste. Once he will eat oats, you can expand what he will accept to other, balanced foal feeds. Until then, treatment for what may be a problem for him heathwise, and good quality hay. If you don't have success with oats, try a sweet feed, the molassas content can tempt them to eat. Keep an eye on his temperature regularly, if he's got an ulcer, if it gets infected it can be quickly terminal if not recognized and treated.

    Good luck.



  20. #20
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    You can make an oat float with a cup of oats in the water bucket. You can add some molasses, honey, or gatorade to the water for extra flavor.



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