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Weight gain

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    Weight gain

    Hiya,

    I brought in a 13 year old stallion from New York to Texas this year in February. When he came, he came with just enough weight on him, maybe even a bit light. Since then it has been an uphill battle to keep weight on him. Pardon my ignorance but I'm used to my easy keeper Appys, while he is Appy he is almost 50% TB. With most the TB being racebred as well as his appy side being racebred.

    First, I had him evaluated by my vet he determined the main cause to be breeding season and his first time ever breeding (he live covered two mares) - said the weight would likely remain an issue unless I stalled and pushed feed. Then, upon closer inspection and at my request for a float (I noticed his teeth were uneven, imagine a see-saw slide up in the air, that is how uneven they were) vet found a back molar that had atleast 2 inches jabbing his mouth for who knows how long - it was cut down appropriately. The vet then said he would likely gain weight after all but cautioned he would need yearly floats for the next 3+ years to undo the damage done.

    Fast forward, horse quality coastal hay free choice didn't produce any results, so I've got him on a native blend round bale now which has helped. I was supplementing roughly 5lbs of 14% all-stock split into 2 meals with veggie oil, and a supplement by Manna-pro performance supplement @ recommended 2lbs daily. His coat shined, he seemed to be more vibrant but still no real progress with his topline. At the advice of a weight gain forum on a Vet page, I slowly switched from grain to free choice horse quality Alfalfa flakes while still providing round bale of native grass and providing a breeders formulation mineral block. He also has 5 acres of decent pasture, native blends and piper sudan. He's still at a standstill after two months, am I just being ridiculously picky? Does he look awful? I'll try to post pictures of his journey of when he arrived to now.

    Oh also, I should mention I hit him with Zimectrin Gold in March and Safeguard in September. The vet didn't seek concerned with doing a fecal but I'll happily have hin back out to do one if that's a recommendation.

    As I uploaded I started at when he got to me, all the way until last week -picture taken at night. Pictures don't quite show how pronounced his spine and tuber sacrale are. His belly always stays big.

    Thanks in advance!
    Last edited by Tlemons94; Oct. 18, 2020, 07:31 AM.

    #2
    Well, he doesn't really look that thin.

    But I would definitely consider a fecal if you are describing him as still having a big belly and not great topline. I'm not an expert on deworming; but I would suggest you tag JB on this forum and ask for her advice given what you've already used.

    One other thing to consider is Cushings - which has symptoms of topline muscle atrophy and pot bellied appearance. By the description of his age/breed, he doesn't really fit the classic equine that would present with Cushings, but it is possible for younger horses to be affected. Do you know his age for certain?

    Comment


      #3
      yes I would think OP needs to make sure there is not an issue with worms,

      As a note, when we brought our horses to Texas from Kentucky they took about eighteen months to fully adjust.

      When we recently brought a gelding in from the San Antonio area to Fort Worth he was in fairly poor condition... maybe a 2 of the 5 point scale. Did the full vet work up, teeth where done and he was put on a worming schedule.

      Access to plenty of fresh clean water and salt was apparently his primary need.... his guy can drink a lot of water. It took about five months to get him back to expected weight then at seven months he had to go on a diet.

      I understand about the locals and the "blanketed horse in 100F " comment... this is our 2 year old in his anti-fly grab .... there is a horse under there somewhere

      Click image for larger version

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      Comment

        Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by S1969 View Post
        Well, he doesn't really look that thin.

        But I would definitely consider a fecal if you are describing him as still having a big belly and not great topline. I'm not an expert on deworming; but I would suggest you tag JB on this forum and ask for her advice given what you've already used.

        One other thing to consider is Cushings - which has symptoms of topline muscle atrophy and pot bellied appearance. By the description of his age/breed, he doesn't really fit the classic equine that would present with Cushings, but it is possible for younger horses to be affected. Do you know his age for certain?


        It's possible I'm just a bit overly paranoid about his weight but I will still have a fecal done. I'm not sure how to tag another member or I would.

        I'll have the vet check for Cushings too, he is definitely 13 unless papers were fudged a bit, don't know if that's even possible. I do hope it's not Cushings though!

        Comment


          #5
          JB this is up your alley.

          OP, you're feeding him all the forage he wants, and good forage from what you state. I also second, third, fourth worming - using something like Quest Plus or Equimax. (Not plain ivermectin).

          My mare, when I first got her, was quite thin. One of the first things I noticed when picking her poo was these odd larvae in them. I've picked a LOT of poo over the years and I'd never seen this before. And it was only her poo, only her paddock. I wormed her as I would any I have, wormed again in the spring, but overall it took me over a year before I quit seeing the larvae in her poo. Fecals told me next to nothing, they don't/can't count every possible parasite a horse might have.
          I've had the mare 3 years now. She is finally to the point where she actually gains weight.

          Also, try treating for ulcers. Can't hurt might help.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Tlemons94 View Post



            It's possible I'm just a bit overly paranoid about his weight but I will still have a fecal done. I'm not sure how to tag another member or I would.

            I'll have the vet check for Cushings too, he is definitely 13 unless papers were fudged a bit, don't know if that's even possible. I do hope it's not Cushings though!
            I tagged for you.

            Comment

              Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by clanter View Post
              yes I would think OP needs to make sure there is not an issue with worms,

              As a note, when we brought our horses to Texas from Kentucky they took about eighteen months to fully adjust.

              When we recently brought a gelding in from the San Antonio area to Fort Worth he was in fairly poor condition... maybe a 2 of the 5 point scale. Did the full vet work up, teeth where done and he was put on a worming schedule.

              Access to plenty of fresh clean water and salt was apparently his primary need.... his guy can drink a lot of water. It took about five months to get him back to expected weight then at seven months he had to go on a diet.

              I understand about the locals and the "blanketed horse in 100F " comment... this is our 2 year old in his anti-fly grab .... there is a horse under there somewhere

              Click image for larger version

Name:	20200326_164340 (1).jpg
Views:	134
Size:	25.8 KB
ID:	10754738

              I'll get fecals asap. I also wondered if the huge changes to his environment could be a factor. It may seem silly but he was born and raised at the same location until 13, when he was moved all the way to Texas, so maybe he is going through the motions.

              Ahh yes, the locals... that was rough. It all got sorted quickly but not before I called our local animal control and sheriffs office to extend an open invitation - they did decline but I'd never want to have that rumor over my head. I care greatly for my furbabies! I can barely see there is a horse there LOL.

              Comment


                #8
                I do think he's too thin - too many ribs visible, and spine and hips a bit too protruding.

                I would absolutely get a FEC so you can start keeping a record for a while. But you'll need to wait 8 weeks after the Safeguard dose. While it's highly unlikely that Safeguard killed anything, it's possible, so you want to take that out of the equation, hence the 8 week timing

                I also would not use Zimecterin Gold again - Merial knows it has the potential to cause contact burns, and there are 2 long threads here about the many horses it's harmed

                No matter his FEC, i would use Equimax. He looks a little too thin for my comfort in using Quest Plus. Save that for the Spring when hopefully he'll have more weight.

                The Equimax will kill pretty much everything but any encysted strongyles. The next FEC would be minimally 12 weeks after that, which, given the timing, will be in late Winter/early Spring depending on when in Oct you used the Safeguard

                Are you in a part of TX where you might be getting a hard freeze any time in the next couple months? That might sway the timing options you have.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                  #9
                  Once you rule out worms and ulcers, you might upgrade your feed to Purina Senior or even Ultium. I've also had great luck adding ground flax seed (one of the feed companies sell it by the bag). It has helped tremendously with my two horses in their late 20's. But they also get Purina Senior + minerals. The quality of your feed makes a big difference! I also work with a Purina nutritionist for the past 20 years. Good luck!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Oh yea, I forgot the feed part. I think I understand the post to say he was taken off the All Stock (good move, not suitable for horses in general, low quality feed, almost always high sugar and starch), to free choice alfalfa with also grass hay available.

                    I would put him on a good quality feed, but what that is depends on what brands you can get.
                    ______________________________
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                    Comment

                      Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                      I do think he's too thin - too many ribs visible, and spine and hips a bit too protruding.

                      I would absolutely get a FEC so you can start keeping a record for a while. But you'll need to wait 8 weeks after the Safeguard dose. While it's highly unlikely that Safeguard killed anything, it's possible, so you want to take that out of the equation, hence the 8 week timing

                      I also would not use Zimecterin Gold again - Merial knows it has the potential to cause contact burns, and there are 2 long threads here about the many horses it's harmed

                      No matter his FEC, i would use Equimax. He looks a little too thin for my comfort in using Quest Plus. Save that for the Spring when hopefully he'll have more weight.

                      The Equimax will kill pretty much everything but any encysted strongyles. The next FEC would be minimally 12 weeks after that, which, given the timing, will be in late Winter/early Spring depending on when in Oct you used the Safeguard

                      Are you in a part of TX where you might be getting a hard freeze any time in the next couple months? That might sway the timing options you have.
                      Originally posted by JB View Post
                      I do think he's too thin - too many ribs visible, and spine and hips a bit too protruding.

                      I would absolutely get a FEC so you can start keeping a record for a while. But you'll need to wait 8 weeks after the Safeguard dose. While it's highly unlikely that Safeguard killed anything, it's possible, so you want to take that out of the equation, hence the 8 week timing

                      I also would not use Zimecterin Gold again - Merial knows it has the potential to cause contact burns, and there are 2 long threads here about the many horses it's harmed

                      No matter his FEC, i would use Equimax. He looks a little too thin for my comfort in using Quest Plus. Save that for the Spring when hopefully he'll have more weight.

                      The Equimax will kill pretty much everything but any encysted strongyles. The next FEC would be minimally 12 weeks after that, which, given the timing, will be in late Winter/early Spring depending on when in Oct you used the Safeguard

                      Are you in a part of TX where you might be getting a hard freeze any time in the next couple months? That might sway the timing options you have.


                      Okay, I will avoid Zimectrin Gold from now on, I only used it because all the wormer schedules I've read mention it - bitter stuff I accidentally got a taste of it myself - YUCK! Safegaurd Wormer was given first week of September.

                      I'll have my vet out for fecal in a month and I'll order the wormers you recommended. Our first freeze will likely be December, but it's usually only for a couple of days and bounces back up to 40s-50s.

                      I'm happy to add grain, I've got several feed stores around me so brands aren't limited. The most recent picture is actually not the picture at night my mistake, however, the most up to date photo is not clear once it uploaded, I just uploaded it, still fuzzy sorry . His hips are finally rounded and his top line is somewhat back but still ribby ( and oddly enough only ribby on one side?!?!) and bone on rump still pointy. So I do think I've made progress just not enough.

                      I reached out to his breeder and last owner for her input an hour ago waiting to hear back - I think he may have always been a harder keeper but by his bad teeth alone I could see why. Also, I'll treat for ulcers too - he does always seem to be moody and hangs his head alot and overeats or I assume as much him and his pasture mate and OTTB can clear an 800-900lb bale of hay in one week, since starting alfalfa 2 months ago they are slower on the bale but not much....😔 hay chix net is in my cart! Also attached a pic of his OTTB pasture mate who is being rotated out from getting too pudgy from all my attempts to help the stallion. Click image for larger version

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                      Attached Files

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                        Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by TKR View Post
                        Once you rule out worms and ulcers, you might upgrade your feed to Purina Senior or even Ultium. I've also had great luck adding ground flax seed (one of the feed companies sell it by the bag). It has helped tremendously with my two horses in their late 20's. But they also get Purina Senior + minerals. The quality of your feed makes a big difference! I also work with a Purina nutritionist for the past 20 years. Good luck!
                        I'll try for worms and ulcers and add feed in the meantime! Ulcer might be the culprit, he overeats, always seems in bad spirits and hangs his head alot -when he first arrived he was never moody. I'm just used to pasture puffs even my OTTBs are easy easy fat on air keepers! 😖 not looking forward to the cost of ulcer treatment - how does everybody do it? I've priced it at somewhere in the ballpark of 1k...😖

                        Comment

                          Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Obsidian Fire View Post
                          JB this is up your alley.

                          OP, you're feeding him all the forage he wants, and good forage from what you state. I also second, third, fourth worming - using something like Quest Plus or Equimax. (Not plain ivermectin).

                          My mare, when I first got her, was quite thin. One of the first things I noticed when picking her poo was these odd larvae in them. I've picked a LOT of poo over the years and I'd never seen this before. And it was only her poo, only her paddock. I wormed her as I would any I have, wormed again in the spring, but overall it took me over a year before I quit seeing the larvae in her poo. Fecals told me next to nothing, they don't/can't count every possible parasite a horse might have.
                          I've had the mare 3 years now. She is finally to the point where she actually gains weight.

                          Also, try treating for ulcers. Can't hurt might help.
                          Ulcers just might be it, moody, hangs head, overeats! But man the treatment is steep - I might have him scoped before possibly spending a small fortune on the treatment. Valley Vet cost is somewhere in ballpark of 1k!😳

                          Yeah, his pasture mate is having to be removed as she's getting fat fat fat from all the forage I'm offering. And all my other horses are pasture puffs so he might be lone wolf for awhile. I've looked in his poo but have never seen any signs - but that doesn't mean much!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            He's cute!



                            Hard to tell from the photos, but my first thought was that he's under-muscled, rather than being grossly under weight.

                            What's his discipline, and when was he last working regularly?

                            Comment

                              Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Red Barn View Post
                              He's cute!



                              Hard to tell from the photos, but my first thought was that he's under-muscled, rather than being grossly under weight.

                              What's his discipline, and when was he last working regularly?
                              He's just a pasture pretty, I started the process of breaking him 6 months ago but ended up out of town too much - I'm planning to commit to breaking at beginning of year. His last owner/and breeder never worked him or broke him, he's always been a freeloader for all 13 years of his life LOL.

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Tlemons94 View Post

                                He's just a pasture pretty, I started the process of breaking him 6 months ago but ended up out of town too much - I'm planning to commit to breaking at beginning of year. His last owner/and breeder never worked him or broke him, he's always been a freeloader for all 13 years of his life LOL.
                                Well, that explains a lot.



                                He'll definitely need to be muscled up if he's going to be toting folks around, so maybe start slowly with gymnastic groundwork, and monitor him closely to see if your efforts are actually paying off in good quality bulk. If not, you may want to increase one thing or another - fat, protein, calories - as need arises.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Here we go! Here's a decent overview of dietary components for weight and muscle:

                                  https://thehorse.com/166950/bulking-...%20supplements.

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