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My horse has stopped eating his "grain"

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  • My horse has stopped eating his "grain"

    My 10 year old Thoroughbred, finally a little chunky-has quit eating his grain (Tribute Calm N Easy).

    He has never had a "big" appetite, but would clean up 90% of the time. Wastes hay like there is no tomorrow-especially if it is stalky or bleachy. Daily he gets 15lbs of the stalky crappy hay, and 15lbs of the third cutting grass hay-of which he eats 85-90%.

    Approximatly a month ago I started noticing that he was leaving half or better of his 4 lb ration in bin when I got to the barn at night. First two days, I was worried, cleaned out his bin and left a note for the feeders not to grain him. No colicy behaviors aside from not eating his pellets. On the 3rd day, I gave him 1 lbs pellets with no supplements. Ate most of it, so we worked our way back up to his 4 lbs-no supplements. Well, about 10 days ago, he quit eating again. He will (and has been willing) to eat the barn sweet feed all this time, but he is naturally one of the hottest Thoroughbreds I have ever been around, so we try to avoid corn & molassas. Started him on Omeprozole 7 (human) tablets 2x daily 4 days ago-with the sweet feed about 1/4 lbs 2x daily. Let me add that he has no other ulcer indicators, aside from an over all nasty attitude and lack of desire to eat his pellets. No changes in anything thus far. Will eat the sweet feed, will eat sweet feed with meds in it, will eat sweet feed and (most) of his supplements.

    Last winter, he was getting 2 C dry measure of Beet shreds and he quit eating that after a while too.

    I know that some horses are picky eaters, but this is getting a bit nuts.

  • #2
    Ulcers? Good possibility. Try TC Senior, my pickiest eaters love it. And 7 human tablets of omeprazole will do nothing except make you feel better. You need the real deal...Gastrogard or Ulcergard, full dose. The recommended dose is 1.8 mg per lb of body weight once per day, not twice. Depending on the strength of the capsules (10, 20 or 40) you're probably giving him the 20 which is about 140 mg two times a day. Assuming he weighs about 1,000 lbs he would need 1800 mg. And, no one knows if horses can absorb the human omeprazole.
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    • #3
      I would suspect ulcers first also.

      However, without rehashing my whole harrowing ordeal with a similar situation, here is a link to my thread on this topic last year:

      http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=240064

      In my case the cause turned out to be kidney disease. I hope for your sake it is only ulcers.
      There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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      • #4
        Jingles for your horse ~
        Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Munchkin's Mom-Your post states that your horse was not eating hay. Allergy? or he wouldn't eat it? How was his energy level? Overall condition?

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          • #6
            Bumping for a good news update ??/
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

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            • #7
              Huh, wastes hay too? How are the teeth?

              Meanwhile, to get the food into him plus whatever supplements you feed (or need to start to make up for what he isn't eating in his grain), you could soak beet pulp &/or alfalfa cubes &/or pelleted hay replacement into which you add your supplement(s). My mare views her slop as a treat. Nice how she ends up wearing up halfway up her face!

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              • #8
                Have you tried him on the textured version ? How do you find out what is in this feed ?
                ... _. ._ .._. .._

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by MunchkinsMom View Post
                  I would suspect ulcers first also.

                  However, without rehashing my whole harrowing ordeal with a similar situation, here is a link to my thread on this topic last year:

                  http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=240064

                  In my case the cause turned out to be kidney disease. I hope for your sake it is only ulcers.
                  This was the exact thread that came to my mind...defintely something not right, you need to have a vet come run a few tests

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                  • #10
                    I would highly suspect ulcers and also check his teeth. If it were me, I'd start Gastroguard for 3-4 days as a test to see if his eating improves. And definitely have the vet out regardless. Hope he is better soon!

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Clarifications: His teeth were done by the best dentist in this area less than 6 months ago, prior to that he has had UTD dental care-He has not shown any other issues with his mouth.
                      Hay-He wastes the stalky "crap" hay he gets about 15 lbs of this daily, about 9 lbs pm feeding (3 pm)-by the time I get to the barn (6:30 pm) he has eaten about half. before I leave, I give him about 15 lbs of the "good" hay, which is just a nice soft green grass timothy mix. He has most of this cleaned up by morning (7am). As he is not "supposed" to have this hay, I figure the feeders would have said something if he was wasting it. Now before I get flamed for feeding my horse feed that is not "intended" for him-when I moved into this boarding situation the barn manager said that I could give my horses as much hay as I want-providing they are'nt wasting it. As he wastes the other hay, they won't give him the other stuff-does'nt make sense to me either.

                      Regarding supplements-Pelleted joint supplement (preventative), Source (the original powder), Mirra Coat (he really does'nt seem to like this right now), & Smart Calm (Powder-I have ordered the pellets), & 1/2 TB Iodonized salt (he never touches his salt lick). 3 TB ground Flax

                      Last winter, after about a month-he quit eating the soaked Beet Pulp/Alfalfa cube mix.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Spooky Alter View Post
                        Munchkin's Mom-Your post states that your horse was not eating hay. Allergy? or he wouldn't eat it? How was his energy level? Overall condition?
                        He could not eat hay because he had colic surgery for an ileal hypertrophy impaction, and the vet said no hay of any kind or risk another impaction. So, his diet consisted of 10 pounds of senior (complete) processed feed per day (spread out over 5 feedings per day), and all the pasture grass he wanted to eat in his 24x7 turnout on 9 acres of pasture. His energy levels were great, and so was his overall condition, as a matter of fact he probably was carrying some excess weight when the kidney problems appeared, which he did lose while he was on the hunger strike. Even when diagnosed, the vet said that other than the bloodwork and not eating, that just looking at him, you would not know that he was sick. Near the end, he was less energetic, but he still looked good physically, he never looked sick at all. I should add that he was on the no-hay diet for 16 months.
                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          I have talked to a vet, he is the one who wanted him on the omeprazole. Aside from that he is not at all concerned-just a "picky eater".

                          So I guess now that I am quite freaked out: Do I call one of the other area vets, that is going to cost me at least 2 appendages-and quite possibly get the same answer. Or switch his feed? What type of bloodwork do I ask for? I have never had an issue like this, obviously.

                          He has done this in the past, just not this long.

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                          • #14
                            A vet told you to give human omeprazole at that dose? If that is really true (and not that he needed Gastrogard), you need a new vet.

                            Try another feed. As I said before, my pickiest eaters will eat TC Senior and it does not make them hot. It's very low in NSC, high in fiber. Lose all the supplements until you get him eating again and get Gastrogard or Ulcergard.
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                            • #15
                              Is he being exercised? Sometimes that will work up an appetite. how about just plain oats for awhile. Some horses prefer that to sweet feed.

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Spooky Alter View Post
                                I have talked to a vet, he is the one who wanted him on the omeprazole. Aside from that he is not at all concerned-just a "picky eater".

                                So I guess now that I am quite freaked out: Do I call one of the other area vets, that is going to cost me at least 2 appendages-and quite possibly get the same answer. Or switch his feed? What type of bloodwork do I ask for? I have never had an issue like this, obviously.

                                He has done this in the past, just not this long.
                                The one time I had a horse go off his food (aka picky eater), vet came out and discovered an inflamed/infected gumline above one tooth. Took flushing/antibotics to get him right again. And yes, he gets regular dental visits..but things can go wrong in between dentals.

                                When a horse won't eat his feed, more times than not, you need to have a vet out and put their actual hands on the horse...maybe draw blood, check their mouth, etc. I would want a vet to come out and actually examine my horse. Could be as simple as switching feeds, may not be.

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Yes, I agree about the vet thing. Great guy, but very "one size fits all". Not eating, must be an ulcer, loose stools-ulcer, neuro problem, can only be EPM. Most of my friends swear by him, but I have heard a few things that make me go
                                  I have another option in the area, but I prefer not to use it unless I have to-which I will, if I have to.

                                  He does work 4-5 days a week, since he has been off his feed the duration has been cut to about 15 minutes-so I would say light work.

                                  FYI-He has tested negative for worms recently.

                                  At this point: Would you a) call the vet, pull blood and scope him? (Isn't there a blood or fecal for ulcers instead?) b) Try a different feed? Take all supps away, and re-add as we go c) Try a different feed and the ulcer guard?

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Spooky Alter View Post
                                    Yes, I agree about the vet thing. Great guy, but very "one size fits all". Not eating, must be an ulcer, loose stools-ulcer, neuro problem, can only be EPM. Most of my friends swear by him, but I have heard a few things that make me go
                                    I have another option in the area, but I prefer not to use it unless I have to-which I will, if I have to.

                                    He does work 4-5 days a week, since he has been off his feed the duration has been cut to about 15 minutes-so I would say light work.

                                    FYI-He has tested negative for worms recently.

                                    At this point: Would you a) call the vet, pull blood and scope him? (Isn't there a blood or fecal for ulcers instead?) b) Try a different feed? Take all supps away, and re-add as we go c) Try a different feed and the ulcer guard?
                                    If he wre mine....Call the vet and pull blood, check mouth, possibly scope

                                    If he went off the feed, he's telling you something isn't right.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      I have a call in another vet to discuss/schedule.

                                      I really don't have any issues looking into this deeper, while I am not rolling in money-I certainly don't want to skimp on my horses.

                                      That said, EVERYONE, including 1 vet, 1 vet tech, & a vet's receptionist-has acted like I am crazy for being worried.

                                      Can someone tell me WHAT type of blood test I need to ask for? Kidney values obviously, Liver too, I assume. Scope him & Check teeth, of course.

                                      What else?

                                      I would much rather get hit with one huge bill, than several smaller bills that have individual call fee/exam fees on each. As well as wasting 2-3 weeks.
                                      Last edited by Spooky Alter; Jan. 6, 2011, 01:16 PM. Reason: Modified

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                                      • #20
                                        Any updates on your horse?
                                        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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