EPM / Marquis / Weight loss - help! Switching to senior feed?
My 23 year old mare is on day 14 of treatment for EPM with Marquis. She seems to be doing really well with treatment, aside from losing weight. She's getting the same rations that she was before (aside from an extra flake of alfalfa AM/PM) but she's losing weight since the EPM diagnosis and starting the Marquis. I would think that 3 scoops of grain (http://www.acnutrition.com/images/fa..._FabT_0311.pdf) and 4 flakes of alfalfa a day when all she's been doing is chilling in her paddock for the last 3 weeks would have resulted in becoming a bit of a pasture puff as this was always the case during her occasional time off pre-EPM.....but instead we're losing weight.
The weather has been funky here - 80's during the day and mid-30's at night, then it doesn't get below 60 for a few days, then low-30's for a few days and mid-70's during the day - and my trainer thinks that might be affecting her. But, I'm really worried that she's losing weight. I can see about 6-8" of the last 3 ribs by the point of her hip, which is also becoming more pronounced. I know that muscle loss is contributing to this look a little, but she's probably dropped closed to 100lbs since starting Marquis 2 weeks ago. She's a colic-er, so I'm always extremely cautious when messing with her diet, but the Exfactor/beet pulp/Max-e-Glo/alfalfa that's always had her hog fat before just doesn't seem to be cutting it anymore.
I'm thinking about adding a senior feed to her grain, more for the fat content than anything else. Ideas? Has anyone ever dealt with something like this before? I bought a bag of LifeDesign Senior (Nutrena) tonight at work that I am going to start supplementing with a little bit at a time every night after she gets the Marquis. Thoughts? Experiences? TIA
Edited to add: I've seen a lot of good things about TC senior being low starch/sugar - there's just nowhere close to here that carries it (as it is, I drive an hour for the Bluebonnet). The Bluebonnet has produced amazing results for 5 years until the EPM....what about their Senior - comparable to TC Senior? Better than LifeDesign Senior? Link: http://www.acnutrition.com/images/fa..._FabT_0311.pdf
Fighting off infection, as she is doing right now, does increase metabolic needs. Is she blanketed when it is cold? If not, definitely blanket her. Give her more alflalfa and yes, senior feed is a good idea. Be sure she is drinking adequately too, might need to serve warm water, if not already being done.
RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.
Is she losing weight, or is she losing muscle? I could see either happening with the diagnosis.
I'd up her fat, make sure she's on a high quality vit E supplement, and quite a bit of it (10,000 IU/day seems to be pretty standard for EPM horses?) and make sure her amino acids are covered--I like Tri-Amino for that.
Ditto on the vitamin E. I used Progressive's Envision on my guy, combined with their lo-carb feed (structured very similar to a senior feed) I would have used Amplify for the fat source but he is allergic. I have had great luck with either.
I also added aloe vera during his treatment, and put him on a supplement called Super Immune Booster. He has never looked or felt this good in the 2 years I have owned him. Good luck with your girl!!