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This horse Will. Not. Gain. Weight.

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  • #21
    My TB mare went through something like this last year. OTTB sittin' in a field for 5 years, she was FAT when i got her. boarding barn life changed her world- she was eating a ton of food, but losing weight. I went through everything- bloodwork, ulcers, hormones, you name it, we likely tested and or tried treating it.

    Nothing worked.

    She was a freakoid on alfalfa, and not wanting to endanger the lives of others, i quickly took her off that.

    Turns out, like the above, she is probably a mega protein needer. She's been on Uckele's tri-amino for a few months in addition to her grain ration, and let me tell you, the weight came back and it has stuck.

    I can't say for sure it is/was the tri-amino, but its a contender. she could've simply finally got used to her surroundings, and is less stressed- which is also a change for her. She's not a spaz on the tri-amino + ration like she was on the alfalfa, and its relatively cheap, so i'll continue to use it until i need to change.
    My blog: Change of Pace - Retraining a standardbred via dressage

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by myhorsefaith View Post
      Turns out, like the above, she is probably a mega protein needer. She's been on Uckele's tri-amino for a few months in addition to her grain ration, and let me tell you, the weight came back and it has stuck.

      I can't say for sure it is/was the tri-amino, but its a contender. she could've simply finally got used to her surroundings, and is less stressed- which is also a change for her. She's not a spaz on the tri-amino + ration like she was on the alfalfa, and its relatively cheap, so i'll continue to use it until i need to change.
      That's super interesting, thanks!! His owner is going to go grab a thing of the Tri-Amino...it's worth a shot!

      Comment


      • #23
        I have an OTTB that's a hard keeper. Anhydrosis didn't help things out this summer, but i did have him vetted and tested. All negative (yay)...I tried a million things and he finally ballooned in weight in 6 weeks with nothing in his diet changing except for one thing but his work load increasing due to hunting season starting. (he's out on pasture 24/7 except for his am grain) I added Smartpak's Muscle Stamina.

        I had an eventing BNT at a clinic mention that I might want to try steroids for a month since the horse wasn't reacting to any diet changes (he's on a high fat performance horse feed) just to help get some muscle and since my competition season was over, I wouldn't have to worry about testing.

        My vet and I really couldnt' find what we wanted, and i was hesitant to do steriods. I had tried Cellurator X to help with circulation/muscle but it wasn't offered in smart pak ( i like the packed items for me)...the Smart Muscle stamina was closesest to Cellurator, so Used it. Boom, i mean in 4 weeks he had a tummy and his top line filled out. It could be the DMG and Lysene that is in it that is getting him to utilize his feed better, but after 5 years of fighting with his weight, he looks fabulous! oh, and no change in personality. He's a laid back horse ,and is even more laid back now because He probably doesn't feel like he's starving.
        I love my OTTB! I get my dressage test done faster!

        Comment


        • #24
          You have had some good input already from folks and it sounds like he is getting plenty of calories to get the job done so the question is why is it not working. One thing that has not yet been brought up is the issue of whether his diet is balanced. You can be feeding all the calories needed but other nutrients are required by the metabolism for it to be able to use those calories. For example ATP (adenosine triphosphate)which is the cellular level of energy requires phosphorous. Inadequate phosphorous then the ability to create ATP is impacted. Another example is magnesium and zinc which are needed for hundreds of enzyme processes within the body. B vitamins act as coenzymes in many reactions for example B1 is necessary for energy metabolism. Enzyme activity can be stimulated by insuring adequate amounts of the necessary cofactors and coenzymes are available.

          As there are interactions between minerals that impact their absorption overall balance in the diet is as important as making sure enough of each is being provided. You can be providing enough of each mineral while at the same time providing too much of one versus another causing an imbalance that will decrease absorption resulting in a deficiency.

          If this were my horse I would fully evaluate his current diet to insure correct balance and to see whether there might be a better choice of energy dense feed for his needs. I would get the vet to give him a thorough going over. In addition to the balanced diet I would consider feeding an amino acid supplement, a B vitamin supplement and a digestive tract conditioning product like KER Rite Trac or Succeed. In fact I believe Succeed are running a money back guarantee right now. Additional supplements would not necessarily be needed long term just to get the digestive tract functioning however he may be the sort that would benefit from something like Succeed long term.

          Clair Thunes
          Independent Equine Nutritionist
          www.summit-equine.com

          Comment


          • #25
            As I suggested before, you could try AniMed's Vita Calm. It's really cheap and it works for my most nervous guy. It takes it all down a notch or two. It may or may not work, but it's cheap enough, it doesn't hurt to try.

            Comment


            • #26
              Just chiming in on the suggestion for oil. You haven't said what type of oil, but we got amazing results with a skinny OTTB who would get super hot on grain by adding a cup of cold press soy oil (PM me for a great supplier in WI, tho not cheap) a.m. and p.m. They love the stuff and my guy is seen licking the feed tub for every last drop.
              pace, path, balance, impulsion and ??

              Don't panic! Ralph Leroy Hill

              Comment


              • #27
                I noticed that you've mentioned MSM - I have a TB who is basically retired, and is Mr. Worrywort too. I tried MSM on him for his arthritis - and he goes bonkers on the stuff. One of those that gets hyper on it. This guy lives a very quiet life here at home, with only 2 other horses (very quiet herd), and when on MSM is in constant motion.
                Maybe try something else?

                Comment


                • #28
                  Poulin Senior is only 6% fat. You will need to weigh your feed and I would suggest moving him to something closer to 10% fat. The Poulin Senior is probably just not getting enough into him. Between that, the hay and the Beet pulp he is being fibered to death.

                  I personally like to feed Buckeye and would probably use Cadence Ultra in this instance but the Poulin feeds seem to have guaranteed ingredients of good quality so if I were you I would contact Poulin and look at feeding Poulin Performance or Promax. They suggest feeding about 4- 6lbs per day. For weight gain you're probably looking at 6lbs but email them and find out for sure.
                  Sometimes its not feeding more but feeding the right kind of feed for your horse's problem.
                  Just wanted to add that you're horse will feel/act differently when he is at his optimum weight because he will finally feel good.
                  The higher level of protein in the fattier feeds should be fine. They are 12% which really isn't that high.

                  I sometimes get the feeling that people are afraid to feed protein but the fact is that horses need some protein to function properly. Contacting Poulin will be your best bet.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #29
                    Originally posted by Hony View Post
                    Poulin Senior is only 6% fat. You will need to weigh your feed and I would suggest moving him to something closer to 10% fat. The Poulin Senior is probably just not getting enough into him. Between that, the hay and the Beet pulp he is being fibered to death.

                    I personally like to feed Buckeye and would probably use Cadence Ultra in this instance but the Poulin feeds seem to have guaranteed ingredients of good quality so if I were you I would contact Poulin and look at feeding Poulin Performance or Promax.

                    Just wanted to add that you're horse will feel/act differently when he is at his optimum weight because he will finally feel good.
                    The higher level of protein in the fattier feeds should be fine. They are 12% which really isn't that high.

                    I sometimes get the feeling that people are afraid to feed protein but the fact is that horses need some protein to function properly. Contacting Poulin will be your best bet.
                    The senior feed was suggested to me by most people on this board, because it's easier to digest/process and so most horses do very well on it, senior or not. Or something like that. I do weigh all my feed....he is getting 6lbs of the Poulin Senior, split between two feedings.

                    I don't have access to Buckeye. He was on the Poulin Performance (which smells delicious!) but it didn't do anything for him. I'm thinking that I may have to start mixing feeds to get him the higher protein/fat plus the ease of digestion of the senior.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Things that have helped my many "skinnies" in the past become plump:
                      -Ulcer treatment with Gastroguard, followed up with SmartPak's SmartGut, and 1/4tube any time stress might be involved.
                      -Worming with Ivermectin and praziquantel mix, or questplus and Panacur PowerPak
                      -One needed strongid daily for a couple months along with wormings, but that was a bunch of years ago before resistances were as much of an issue
                      -One with fly issues needed an in and out situation where he could opt to go inside in view of the other horses during the daytime bugs.
                      -Fretting about bugs can be linked to an allergy to them, do his bites swell excessively?
                      -Having a job - time to get self controlled/in control, keep the mind active, get appropriate exercise. In some cases being ridden fairly hard was the only thing that worked. He may need to beo worked with in some fashion on a daily or near daily basis. Not uncommon for some TBs. Although work seems counter-intuitive, ie increased need for calories, it can really work for some.
                      -Given that some studies show that up to 80% of performance horses have kissing spines, it might be worth looking into appropriate work for his level of pain and back muscle building. I've had a few that had kissing spines without the least back pain, as long as I kept their backs muscled, and rode them properly. No idea what the extent of his problem is obviously.
                      -Beetpulparama, one now needs 1/1/2 BUCKETS (standard water bucket size) per day (split into feedings obviously) in addition to her grain and free access to pasture seasonally, and nice second cut hay. Dhey company in Canada makes a lot of nice products with alfalfa,timothy,beetpulp combinations, both in cube and pelleted form. Often the pellets are interesting enough that they will eat more hay in pellet form. Alfalfa and beetpulp are thought to be helpful for ulcers due to their high calcium (buffer) - sounds like you feed him some of this stuff.
                      -SmartPak or other multi-vitamin supplement
                      -pre and probiotics
                      -grain that is not whole grains, some just don't chew enough to get to the inside of the grain where the "good stuff" is
                      -teeth floating/dental work
                      -3/4 cup veg oil 2xday
                      -12% protein or higher
                      -different living situation - more turnout, obviously not an issue with you, and given that he has lived there comfortably for quite some time. If he was fine there before, he can be again, once you find and fix the problem.
                      -"Athlete" grain as part of ration - by Purina
                      -If I had to start somewhere, I would check/treat ulcers and worm with a praziquantel/ivermectin product.
                      This guy sounds lucky to have you. Good luck, keep us posted!

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        I have a Sr. horse who I have also tried everything on and this is the first thing that seems to be helping...

                        http://shop.arenus.com/p-13-assure.aspx#assure=tab1

                        I want to say it's about $0.28/day

                        PM me if you want the # for the rep I have talked to. She's great.
                        Visit us: www.integritysporthorses.com
                        High quality retirement boarding: www.flattireranchtx.com

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          The senior feed was suggested to me by most people on this board, because it's easier to digest/process and so most horses do very well on it, senior or not. Or something like that. I do weigh all my feed....he is getting 6lbs of the Poulin Senior, split between two feedings.
                          according to Poulin,you are only feeding enough to maintain him at his current condition.Nothing more.

                          Tamara in TN
                          Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
                          I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                            He did have "a blood test" (sorry, I don't know what it involved, exactly!) to check up on all his levels and he seemed pretty much normal from what I remember his owner telling me.
                            I take care of a horse like this. One of the first things we did was "bloodwork," which came back normal. A year later, I asked the vet to check specifically for thyroid function and sure enough, it came back super-low. The horse had lost most of his muscle and you could see his spine and hips jutting out, despite being on free-choice alfalfa & oat hay, rice bran oil, high-fat senior feed, probiotic, weight gain supplement & daily wormer.

                            After two weeks on Thyro-L, he's gaining weight and looking much perkier.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I use Pennfield Fibergized with my TB. It's 12 percent fat.

                              He also gets Alfalfa cubes, timothy/orchard hay, flax, and 12 hours on a grassy field. I was also feeding Beet Pulp...but all three of mine are getting too plump (yes, including the senior TB), so I cut out the Beet Pulp.

                              You do probably need to switch him to a higher fat feed if everything else checks out and it is simply a diet issue.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Does he have a source of chronic pain someplace?

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by GoForAGallop View Post
                                  The senior feed was suggested to me by most people on this board, because it's easier to digest/process and so most horses do very well on it, senior or not. Or something like that. I do weigh all my feed....he is getting 6lbs of the Poulin Senior, split between two feedings.

                                  I don't have access to Buckeye. He was on the Poulin Performance (which smells delicious!) but it didn't do anything for him. I'm thinking that I may have to start mixing feeds to get him the higher protein/fat plus the ease of digestion of the senior.
                                  How much Performance was he getting at the time?

                                  If you can cut the BP and feed 5lbs per feeding of something more concentrated with fat then you should have a winner. With some feeds this will mean three feedings a day. All of my hard keepers get three feeds a day. They also have their hay (a full bale) put in a hay net so that it stays clean. They seem to eat more when whe do this. We have horses go from eating half to three quarters of a bale a day to eating nearly two bales a day.

                                  With whatever you feed you should start to see a difference within 3 weeks. If you aren't then it's the wrong feed or wrong amount of that feed.

                                  I still think the best thing you can do is contact Poulin.

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