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horse won’t eat hay

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  • horse won’t eat hay

    Alright folks. I’m begging for your advice again. A friend pulled a horse out of the kill pen in October. He’s a 2 year old TB, 16 hands and lanky/way too lean. He arrived at her farm two weeks ago after spending several months in quarantine in texas. (Shipped to Virginia) He is currently eating 8lbs a day of triple crown growth (slowly weaning up to 10), getting omperazole, has been dewormed, got spring shots and is slowly settling in to life at her farm. However, he sucks at eating hay. As in he will not touch any of her hay. She has tried Timothy, orchard grass and alfalfa mixes. He isn’t eating nearly enough. Any suggestions on how to eat hay? He currently comes in at night as she doesn’t have sheds and he will barely eat overnight. He is turned out in grass and will graze during the day. But, She’s lucky if he eats a flake overnight. She gets it everywhere. A net hung outside his door (so he can hang his head out and eat) some on the floor and some in a bin. Nothing seems to work. Any suggestions from the hive mind? TIA

  • #2
    That's a lot of bagged feed. He may not want to eat much more if he also grazes.

    Comment


    • #3
      How do his teeth look? Had he been sedated and examined with a speculum by a veterinary dentist?

      How about some hind gut support?

      What's he think of straight alfalfa? There's a chance if he came from TX that he's only seen straight up alfalfa.

      This time of year IS tough. Grass is coming up and they prefer that. Any chance he's just getting enough in the field during the day?

      Comment


      • #4
        Teeth checked not sedated. Dentist comes out next week to do the barn. He *could* be getting enough pasture but she’s worried about his weight. He is still very lean 3 on the BS. The only alfalfa here is the compressed bales from Standlee. He won’t touch them as they are super dusty. She is trying to soaked hay pellets tonight to see if he nibbles on that over night. Purina Outlast is the only thing he is on for hind gut at the moment. Vet wanted her to start with omeprazole first after which she will follow up with sucralfate.

        Comment


        • #5
          Outlast doesn't do anything for the hindgut.

          Is the dentist coming a vet?

          What version of omeprazole is being used? Gastrogard? Or something else?

          Comment


          • #6
            Im not Sure who she uses for dentistry. I do know the vet comes out in another two weeks for the rest of her spring shots and will probably have her look.

            Comment


            • #7
              A full exam of the mouth is worthwhile. I've pulled horses off the track with weird stuff, like broken teeth sticking sideways into the cheek. Even young horses can have super crappy stuff happening.

              TC Growth is nearly 20% NSC. TC Senior is a better choice with a very similar label, but 11% NSC.

              Has this guy been dewormed for tapes (praziquantel) and encysteds (quest or a powerpac)?

              Comment


              • #8
                Powerpac last week. He’s on the growth since her yearling was already on it, plus it has more calories per LB. (important for him at the moment)

                Comment


                • #9
                  TC Senior and TC Growth are nearly identical on kcal value. The NSC may be a problem. There is really no reason to choose growth over senior.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Ill make the recommendation to her. I know she just weaned him on to this and would probably be reluctant to change after 14 days. That’s an awful lot of change so quickly.
                    he is on a tube of gastrogard daily. For the next 14 days.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Definitely need those teeth checked. It's not normal for a horse to starve itself if hay is available. Something is going on inside the mouth.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        What about hindgut ulcers? I only have experience with my mare and she was 31. BUT when she had ulcers, gastrogaurd the first couple days did not help her eating. It was only when I called the vet back and asked them to call in a round of Misiprostol (sp?) to CVS and started on it that her appetite came back. It treats hindgut ulcers and CVS has their GoldRX program that you sign up for for free. The cost went from 120 to 60 bucks and it made a huge difference. My vet did not even question it, called it right in when I asked for it. May be worth a shot!


                        ETA, if she does get that, pick up a mini coffee grinder and some pedialyte or Gatorade and get a turkey INJECTOR type syringe. Pop off the needle and use it, or if you have an extra larger worming tube laying around, clean it out n use it for the syringeing. It takes about 20 ground pills a dose and they do not taste good so we ground them up n mixed them with flavored pedialyte or gatorade.

                        Also, how is his salt intake? Does he have access to a salt lick or block?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          He has access to salt and has been licking it. They were planning on doing sucralfate after omeprazole. Vet suggested the two shouldn’t be done at the same time unless the omeprazole could be given between sucralfate doses. Texting the vet now about misiprostol. Thanks so much for the suggestions!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by GPjumper View Post
                            He has access to salt and has been licking it. They were planning on doing sucralfate after omeprazole. Vet suggested the two shouldn’t be done at the same time unless the omeprazole could be given between sucralfate doses. Texting the vet now about misiprostol. Thanks so much for the suggestions!
                            Welcome!!! It made a world of difference for my girl!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              [QUOTE=carman_liz;n10610144]

                              Welcome!!! It made a world of difference for my girl![/we Found an omeprazole/misoprostol combo. She ordered 10 tubes today to see if it makes a difference.

                              https://www.medi-vet.com/GastroTec-U...es-p/18605.htm

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Okay, so it’s back. Teeth have been done. Ulcer hard and misoprostol have been done. This horse will not eat hay. Any other suggestions? (And yes he will starve himself instead of eating hay)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Can you mow some longer grass, let it dry, and feed it to him? Maybe something is in his throat that stops him from eating? Soak the hay? Feed soaked hay pellets?

                                  Is it possible he's getting enough grass and grain to not want the hay? When I only had 3 horses on my pasture they wouldn't eat hay at night at all because they were full on grass and slept all night.

                                  I'm also going to say that this could very likely be the reason he got sent to an auction.
                                  http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by GPjumper View Post
                                    Okay, so it’s back. Teeth have been done. Ulcer hard and misoprostol have been done. This horse will not eat hay. Any other suggestions? (And yes he will starve himself instead of eating hay)
                                    Have you tried cubes? (soaked). I know sometimes it takes awhile for a horse to get used to them, so don't expect overnight results.

                                    Perhaps chopping the hay you have? You can use a lawnmower if need be. Will he eat any alfalfa?

                                    Friend of mine bought 2 of her show horses from a farm out of state where hay is in such short supply the horses lived on cubes and pellets. When she brought them home it was quite a learning curve getting them to eat hay. It was like they couldn't figure out what to do with it, or how to chew it. She just hung an ordinary hay bag in their stalls, eventually they figured it out. OTOH, they were not starving.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Do you have access to coastal Bermuda hay? We found that timothy hay we got from some areas had drying agents on it and our horses wouldn't touch it, or would only nibble at it. What about baled alfalfa hay, not the bagged stuff?

                                      There are also bagged chopped hay that has molasses added, it might be more palatable.

                                      When our horses were out on grass 24/7 they didn't eat a whole lot of hay, so maybe he is getting plenty just being out on pasture and his weight may take some time to come back, after all he has been thru a lot.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by js View Post
                                        Do you have access to coastal Bermuda hay? We found that timothy hay we got from some areas had drying agents on it and our horses wouldn't touch it, or would only nibble at it. What about baled alfalfa hay, not the bagged stuff?

                                        There are also bagged chopped hay that has molasses added, it might be more palatable.

                                        When our horses were out on grass 24/7 they didn't eat a whole lot of hay, so maybe he is getting plenty just being out on pasture and his weight may take some time to come back, after all he has been thru a lot.
                                        He’s been out of the kill pen since October. No access to coastal as we are in Virginia. Even good western alfalfa he sort of picks through. I’ve added some beet pulp at night check but he barely nibbles a flake over night. I was tempted to try him in the dry lot for a few days but I’m too worried about his not eating. (Unless I just suck it up and make him suffer until he gives in and eats).

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