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sick stall bound tb needs weight gain suggestions from the feed gurus please

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  • sick stall bound tb needs weight gain suggestions from the feed gurus please

    All help is appreciated on this: A wonderful retiree boarder at my farm needs to pack on some lbs. He is battling an abdominal infection and being treated with some success. While trying to beat this darn infection he is too skinny and losing weight. Skinny as in pretty bad, ribs and all skinny. Heartbreaking skinny.

    He is 17.
    Retired.
    TB.
    Currently on Stall Rest (catheter for meds) and has been for 10 days and might be for 3 more weeks.
    Ulcerprone.
    Gets handgrazed about 2 hrs a day.
    Free choice grass NY hay.
    10 lbs wet Purina Equine Senior total, broken down to 4 feedings a day.
    8 quarts soaked alfalfa cubes (over 3 feedings).
    1/2 tube ulcerguard daily for now, will probably go down to 1/4 tube.
    Smart Pak SmartGut.

    We would love to have your thoughts on what to feed this horse to get some weight on without making him crazy or ulcery. The only thing he will not eat is Purina Ultium.

    Rice Bran?
    Which Oil?
    What else?

    Thank you! This horse is wonderful, has a fabulous owner and vet, and we want to see him beat this infection and not waste away in the process.
    The Farm: http://1738farmllc.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    I am in no way a feed guru, but I had an underweight TB. I fed Rice Bran and Triple 10 textured sweet feed three times daily. I really think the "lunch" helps add weight, rather than just getting breakfast and dinner.

    I also added a supplement, I believe it was Gleam and Gain...got it added to his smartpak. He was also on BioFlax and Smart MSM. This worked WONDERS for my guy. He packed on the weight since February and looks fantastic.

    Free choice hay also helped my guy on stall rest maintain his weight. Im sure others will have better insight! Good luck with your guy...stall rest can be a real PITA!!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

    Comment


    • #3
      Cocosoya oil by uckele.com
      Also like Amplify by Purina, though I'm overall not a big Purina fan.
      I prefer Triple Crown Senior; the fat content is 10% vs 4% from Purina.

      Graze him more if possible.
      Teeth floated.
      Also Panacur Power pack if the vet feels it won't exacerbate the ulcer issues.
      I might add a nice B supplement, I like Thia Cal from Finish line. If he's a typical TB, he might be worrying the weight off, and this definitely has calming properties.

      Comment


      • #4
        I am not a fan of Purina Equine Senior. Can you get Triple Crown Senior? Friendly for digestion and low NSC/sugar.

        Things that have worked for my TB include cocosoya oil, flax, alfalfa pellets and Timothy alfalfa cubes. I basically get as much forage as I can into him first. Then I added some BS Carb Guard, flax, alfalfa pellets, oil and a hay cube snack.

        I do have him on Uckele's G.U.T as well but you already have a good gut supplement.

        You could try adding oil, Cool Calories 100, rice bran or beet pulp. Any of those would be something to consider.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Sansena View Post
          Cocosoya oil by uckele.com
          Also like Amplify by Purina, though I'm overall not a big Purina fan.
          I prefer Triple Crown Senior; the fat content is 10% vs 4% from Purina.

          Graze him more if possible.
          Teeth floated.
          Also Panacur Power pack if the vet feels it won't exacerbate the ulcer issues.
          I might add a nice B supplement, I like Thia Cal from Finish line. If he's a typical TB, he might be worrying the weight off, and this definitely has calming properties.
          Thank you. I'm adding this info with your reply quoted to help with missing peices if it helps with future replies: Teeth checked and fine, no worms, two fecals done. He is fighting for his life with a confirmed infection in his abdomen and being treated with antibiotics. Tests and ultrasounds have been done, weekly blood is drawn, and it's not Lyme, erlichblahblah, or worms. It is definetly in his abdomen and it is taking a toll on him. His bloodwork is improving, but so slowly that in the mean time he's losing weight. His environment is incredibly calm, and never left alone in the barn and he can always see his girlfriends who baby sit him while he is hopefully getting better. So we want to add fat, but not make him crazy or upset his delicate TB tummy. Thank you for the great suggestions so far. I'm going to make a list of all the good suggestions and review them with his owner and pick up as much of it as I can today to get this started asap.
          The Farm: http://1738farmllc.blogspot.com/

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by ThoroughbredFancy View Post
            I am not a fan of Purina Equine Senior. Can you get Triple Crown Senior? Friendly for digestion and low NSC/sugar.

            Things that have worked for my TB include cocosoya oil, flax, alfalfa pellets and Timothy alfalfa cubes. I basically get as much forage as I can into him first. Then I added some BS Carb Guard, flax, alfalfa pellets, oil and a hay cube snack.

            I do have him on Uckele's G.U.T as well but you already have a good gut supplement.

            You could try adding oil, Cool Calories 100, rice bran or beet pulp. Any of those would be something to consider.
            I can get TC Senior, good idea. thank you. Flax seed, flax oil, or ground flax?- sorry if stupid question, but just checking . And how much cocosoya oil do you like?
            The Farm: http://1738farmllc.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              Go with the Triple Crown Senior. You may not have to add anything else. We had our guys on 10lbs SafeChoice, top dressed with 2 lbs Empower. Switched to TC Senior and they now get 7lbs Senior (that's per day). Holding weight well.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Javasmom View Post
                I can get TC Senior, good idea. thank you. Flax seed, flax oil, or ground flax?- sorry if stupid question, but just checking . And how much cocosoya oil do you like?
                I feed around a cup a day. 1/2 AM and 1/2 PM.

                I use Omega Horseshine since it's a stabilized form of ground flax. Easiest for me since I am at a boarding barn and can't always grind it myself and feed it fresh (it spoils otherwise). Some people do feed flax seed whole though.

                I think there is a similar product called Nutra-flax (google it) IIRC.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by ThoroughbredFancy View Post

                  I think there is a similar product called Nutra-flax (google it) IIRC.
                  I feed Nutra-Flax by Horsetech. It's stabilized. They've also added calcium because the calcium/phosphorus ratio in flax is inverted.

                  Link here:
                  http://www.horsetech.com/nutra-flax.htm

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hay, hay and more hay.

                    I do feed triple crown senior, but when a horse is on stall rest, all concentrate is basically removed.

                    Can you switch(slowly) to an alfalfa hay or grass/alfalfa...its is more caloric.

                    Hay is what is the safest way to add weight.
                    I would sub beet pulp for grain, although tc senior is beet pulped based.

                    I also feed out omega horseshine, which is a flax based product.

                    Good luck and jingles for the guy. Glad you are keeping his girlfriends close by to keep his stress level down. I hate seeing stall bound horses by themselves and doing exactly what they shouldn't be doing...fretting and stall walking.
                    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Flax seed is a useful thing to feed but doesn't add than many calories.

                      When my horses have needed weight I've found that either rice bran or oil (cheapest kind -- corn, soy, etc) fed with soaked beet pulp is very effective. My current OTTB was getting as much as 2 cups of oil per day at one point.

                      Adding some beet pulp to the soaked cubes might be a good place to start, or slowly adding some oil.

                      If you want to see a comparison of fat sources (calories/cost) my husband worked one up for me over the winter.

                      The Cost of Adding Fat to your Horse's Diet.

                      I know cost isn't your main concern here but it's interesting to see how many calories are in different fat sources.
                      Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                      EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've never had soaked beet pulp fail to put weight on a horse.

                        I've also had good luck with chop...timothy or alfalfa...your choice, depending on the horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Am I understanding correctly that this is a gastrointestinal infection? What is the hieght and desired wieght of this fella? By the sounds of it with all you're feeding him now (and if he's eating it all) I would just give it time and he should start to bounce back on what he's got in front of him already. If his digestive system has been compromised by an infection; I'd be cautious to challenge it further with too much else. Just my opinion but maybe give this some time to sort itself out. Best wishes for a good outcome for him.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good old-fashioned Calf Manna.
                            I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Because he's on box rest and having medical treatment for an abdominal infection then I'd suggest you need to keep it quite simple and also ensure that he's not getting too much energy producing fodder.

                              I'm thinking that first and foremost it's a good idea to seek the advice of your vet who's treating him.

                              I am thinking though that the likes of fibre-beet marketed as "speedi-beet" would be a good idea. It's got a little more nutritional value and because it's miconised sugar beet it helps to improve nutrient availability in the small intestine and particularly with the uptake of protein, minerals and fats.

                              Suggest you replace say a quarter portion of his hay with that.

                              Oil is also non-heating and provides additional calories but you'll need quite a lot of it - I'd say at least 250 to 500 ml per day and so rather than that you might want to get a formulated high oil supplement instead. I also like boiled Linseed or flax for horses needing condition and high oil content. It's a palatable way of getting oil into them.

                              You shouldn't be looking to get a fast weight gain and the aforementioned won't do that. You should be seeking to achieve gradual and sustained improvement over time.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Add rice bran.
                                She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'd suggest you check with the vet prior to feeding rice bran particularly in view of the fact there's been an abdominal condition.

                                  Too much of a good thing and all that.

                                  It can indeed be a good way to help a horse gain weight but it can be contraindicated for stomach problems and particularly if the horse is prone to ulcers and I noticed he's on ulcerguard.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Additionally, corn oil is considered to be a pro inflamatory oil vs canola which is a bit less inflamatory.
                                    Smartpak has an essay on their website about feeding oil in the ask the vet section.
                                    save lives...spay/neuter/geld

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      http://www.naturesfarmacy.com/store/...ary=&keywords=

                                      Can't say enough about how much I like this product. Check with your vet first of course.
                                      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                                      ---
                                      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Thank you so much for all of your suggestions. The vet is amazing as is the horse owner. We started TC Senior today, which will be gradually introduced. And, planning on adding TC Rice Bran Oil Plus. Constant free choice hay, grazing on super lush grass, soaked alfalfa cubes, etc. When this guy is not sleeping, he is eating.

                                        We are not looking to fatten him up overnight, but since this is a brutal fight he is in for his life, we cannot afford for him to lose any more weight. As simple as your suggestions have been, the horses's owner and I really appreciate all of your help. This has been a difficult challenge for the horse, vet and owner and hope he can beat this infection, survive and not lose any more weight. We will be confirming with the vet of the diet changes and keep hoping for the best for this wonderful horse.

                                        He had a great day today, and we are hoping for many more.

                                        Thank you everyone, I really appreciate all of your suggestions.
                                        The Farm: http://1738farmllc.blogspot.com/

                                        Comment

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