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A horse losing weight and cant gain

I have a horse that will not gain weight. I am a little nervous with the way she looks. You can see her spine and ribes real well as well has her hip bones. We have tried everything and have taken her to the WSU vet. They gave up on her and just told us to wait and see what happens. It has been a year now. I was hoping someone out there might have the same problem or did. If you have any ideas that would be great.
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Avatar universal
I save starving horses a lot.  Here is my regimen.
In addition to dewormer paste, try a daily dewormer. Check ingredients,as you can save a lot by buying generics.

*** AND,  have her stool/feces checked for worms, with before you start deforming her or shortly before your next deforming. You may need to dewormer with a "Powerpack" dose for certain types of parasites.***

Next, feed the following:

Hay free-choice,
Beet pulp- pellets 1 part beet pulp per 3 parts beet pulp. Or,  she!ed 1 to 1 ratio, soaked in HOT Water for at least the 2 hours. You can feed without water, but then the water comes from her body and it can expand way too much,  causing colic. So soak it. I do my am beet pulp at night and vice versa.
You may feed beet pulp free choice as well. (If she doesn't like -likesome molasses)
Small amount of a complete grain
Calf Manna by Manna Pro- Follow directions on bag.*
Blue Seal Hay stretcher *
Source
*There are some supplements that are similar, but this brands work the best!

***Check and clean out water tubs and buckets frequently,  as sometimes horses will NOT eat if their water isn't fresh, too hot,  or too cold.

Were their teeth checked? It can REALLY hurt to chew if their teeth need floration. And they will have feed falling out of their mouths.
The muscle spasms could be caused by the wrong level of potassium to sodium ratio. Or, she was so depleted that she couldn't keep her body heat up- either parasites or the starvation she went through.
Getting her on a complete feed will keep her balanced. She needs to be eating a tremendous amount of fiber (grass, hay, beet pulp, and hay stretcher) with small amounts of grain ration.
If this doesn't help,  get some peptobismuth liquid or ulcer preventative (my Vet said ALL horses have ulcers, some worse than others. If she does have an ulcer, it would benefit her greatly to be put on ulcer mess.
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Avatar universal
In any situation, an exam is always the best place to start. You can review with your veterinarian her diet, vaccination and worming program, dental issues, and he can do a CBC to check if there is anything underlying.  That said, OTTB's tend to be more "hard keepers" than other breeds. Ruling out any issues mentioned above, I find that free choice hay is the best for putting on weight.  This means good quality grass hay (I like orchard grass, or orchard/alfalfa mix) in front of him all the time. Not a fan of round bales.  Even if he is pastured, there may not be good quality grass/nutrients.  A horse also needs nutrition dependant on his work load...more work, better nutrition.  Also, with his age, a good quality senior feed, just to supplement.  It shouldn't be the bulk of his daily ration. A salt lick is always recommended.  Please see my prior posts on equine nutrition for guidelines.
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Avatar universal
My OTTB is 16 and is about 800 pound underweight, he is 17.3 hands high and hasnt been gaining weight! Im extremely worried about it and nothing seems to be working. We have tried beet pulp, strategy, oats, salt licks, and various types of hay. Is there anything else that is suggestable for him?
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Avatar universal
I had a mare who had a very difficult time gaining and maintaining weight, I put her on a combination of Integrity Senior ( http://www.starmilling.com/equine-faqs-integrity.php ) Soaked beet pulp, Pelleted rice bran, and cook flax seeds as well as her orchard grass. Let me tell you she gained to much weight and I had to adjust her feed .
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Avatar universal
How is your horse doing now?  I thought I had responded to your post, but I see it is not there , nor had heard back from you.  One thing you may ask your vet about addding to his feed regimin is calf manna.  I recently rescued an auction horse, and he has put on weight with that in addition to bran, alfalfa pellets, senior feed, and Diamond XP Yeast. Also keep a good quality SOFT hay in front of him at all times ( like a good grass).  If he will not eat it, think about soaking it (20 min max as to not leach out all the nutrients), to make it softer for him. Keep me posted.
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Avatar universal
i have a horse that wont gain weight! He gets feed twice a day n usually hay too. No matter how much u feed him he wont gain any weight. He has his teeth floated and hes been wormed with a couple different kinds of wormers. We cant find out whats wrong with him. He has a lot of energy also.
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Avatar universal
My 15 year old gelding has lost probably 150 lbs in the last year.  We're thinking cancer is a possibility, but he's got a voracious apatite and seems fine otherwise. He just looks bony. Our vet just floated his teeth but wasn't real optimistic that that alone would turn things around. The horse paces a lot... from boredom I guess. Feeding time is what he lives for even though he gets out and is not neglected. We also have a mare with him, but she is not the dominant horse... he is. They get alfalfa and grass hay and he gets a Purina supplement. The mare is fat and he is bony. He's never been sick and has always been an easy keeper. Any ideas out there. I'm curious how the other horses in this discussion have done over time.
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Avatar universal
Heres one for you all, now that I have read all these questions and comments...I'll be curious for your responses. We have a 28 year old Saddlebred x Walker gelding that we have had since he was 5. Always been pretty healthy, till about 5 years ago, and he would start dropping weight during the winter. This past winter, he never rebounded from and continued dropping weight. The vet was called out and he did NUMEROUS tests on him. He ultrasounded his abdomen, and only found that he had some thickening in the lining of his small intestines. So he drew blood and sent it all across the country to be tested for various diseases and illnesses and everything came back normal. Our vet put him on Dexamethasone, which helped some while he was on it, but once taken off, he went back down hill. He has been fed Alfalfa pellets twice a day, along with some Safe Choice grain and Smart Digest Ultra (Smart Pak) . We just recently changed the Safe Choice to Omalene 200 and instead of SmartDigest, hes on Smart Gain 4, and we added some Cool Calories (everything is wet down with water so its easy to eat). He is still perky, you could say, his "lights are still on". If he wasnt all here mentally, we would probably consider putting him down. He does better when he has great pasture to graze on, but the drought this year has burnt out most of our green grass, and he does not like to eat hay. He has good teeth, no worms, etc. So...what to do? Any suggestions. We have tried ALOT on him in the past. Beet pulp never worked, Ive never had much success with it on any of our other hard keepers either. Corn oil makes for a good coat, but not much fat. Im at a loss here, and so is my vet.
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Avatar universal
I have a Paint horse that when i first got him was very healthy and didn't have any problems he is in a big open place with two other  little horses i feed him  twice a day they get  hay,sweet feed,oats, and alfalfa and make sure he has lots of water for some reason the other two horse's are fat but he his hip,ribs,tail n spine is showing some days his ribs will be covered then the next they are showing again and when i feed them he doesnt take a break when he s eating and i have tried to do everything to figure out how to get him to be fat and healthy again.
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Avatar universal
I have a 8 yr old mare that was losing weight real bad and we couldnt get her to gain weighjt at all so we started giving her weight gain and it worked for about 2 weeks then she started losing weigt agin then i found bots so i soaked her in diesle and then washed her very good then wormed her and she is slowly starting to gain her weight back so check your horse for eggs and if she has them then u need to soak her in diesle and wash her VERY good to make sure u get it all off then worm her and feed her horse feed every day and she should start gaining weight agin.
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1955428 tn?1324935787
Hey i have 5 horses who was loosing weight try getting round bale of hay so your horse can have all she needs this will give her hay belly. try depending one how under wieghet about 6.5 lbs of strategy when she gets close to 900 lbs go down to 2 lbs a day. this has worked for alot of horses i work with a vet right now this is what i did to my horses when i bought them they had a body score of 1 they have a body score of 6 after 6 months. You will see weight come on your horse in about month
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Avatar universal
I am having the same problem at the moment.have you tried the dentist.she may have eating issues.my horses weight is dropping off and have no idea why
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1730713 tn?1310088552
how often do u clean out the horse with apple cider vinager and the wheat brain and corn oil do you by this in the grocery stores? and dose this really out the weight back on a horse
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1694782 tn?1306373114
My daughters horse is 25yrs old and is a very hardkeeper in the winter time. So we give her a coffee can of sweet feed in the morning with 1 cup of wheatbran and 1/2 cup of corn oil. And we do it again in the evening time the same amount. And that puts weight back onto the horse. The problem with beet pulp is that our horses turn there noses up and wont even smell it or eat it. I also give all my horses apple cider vinager about 1/2 cup in a bowl or 2 cups there water troff 25-50 gallon water troff. And that cleans out any infection that they might have and cleans out there liver.  =) Shannon
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Avatar universal
Have 2 horses 4 and 2 year old Pasos. The mom was thin at a young age but is doing fine, the sire was 27 years old and thin.  Spent thousands and he never gained weight.  He was destroyed.  I have 17 horses the other 15 look great.  14 of them roam on 41 acres, minerals blocks, and 12% feed every day at 6:30PM. I alternate wormer for the past 3 months and still loosing weight it seems they might follow their sire fate.
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1500580 tn?1289238580
let him eat as much as he can and give him luzern thats is the best for skinny horses.
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Avatar universal
I have TWH and I CAN NOT get weight on him either I give him HUGE mashes of beet pulp, sweet feed, and performance Ls and nothing. He gets more hay then any of the other horses and its field with oats and I also feed alfalfa. I've had numerous vets look at him and they all say hes healthy it might just be in his genes. Hes full of energy and I use him for gymkhanas. He not losing weight, but is not gaining either.
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Avatar universal
I have a 8 month old TWH who I rescued out of an auction house. When I got her she was about 4 months old, extremely emaciated (level 1). Per the reccommendation of our vet, we put her on Purina Omelene 300 and Calf Manna.  She did really good until she hit a growth spurt. Now she just seems to grow but no weight being put on. Is this normal?
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Avatar universal
I have a 8 month old TWH who I rescued out of an auction house. When I got her she was about 4 months old, extremely emaciated (level 1). Per the reccommendation of our vet, we put her on Purina Omelene 300 and Calf Manna.  She did really good until she hit a growth spurt. Now she just seems to grow but no weight being put on. Is this normal?
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Horses can lose weight for a variety of reasons. It is concerning that your horses are losing weight rapidly, and even dying. About food.. Have you weighed it out?  The amount of food you feed one horse in a day should be about 2.5 percent of the horses' body weight (the weight you want teh horse to be). For a 1200 pound horse , that would be about 8.2kg (18.0lbs) of forage (hay)  per day, and 5.5kg (12.0lbs) of concentrates(grain)  per day. You should aways feed more hay than grain .  Here is a helpful website to figure out how much of each:

http://www.baileyshorsefeeds.co.uk/feedingexplained/calculator.htm

So, what you need to do is get a weight tape (from your feed mill or even TSC), and weight your horses.  However, the amount of what to feed them is based on how much the best weight for the horse would be.  1200 lbs is average weight. It is apparent that at this point they are underweight, so you need to make sure you feed for what they should weigh, NOT what they weight right now..
There are other reasons a horse could lose weight...one is internal parasites (worms). A regular deworming program is very important, otherwise the hay and grain you give the horses will only be feeding the worms and not the horse!! It is best to consult your horse Veterinarian about what de-wormers to use when...it depends on your region in the USA, time of year, etc.  And, there is not just one de-wormer that will kill all worms.  Please consult your Vet.  Also, while you have your Vet at your farm, please have time take a look at your horses' teeth.  Over time, horse's teeth get worn in such a way that they have points and unevenness...it makes it extremely difficult or impossible to chew the hay and grain, and most of it falls out of their mouth, or they end up not eating as much as they should. This could lead to weight loss. The Vet. can "float" (file" the teeth to make it easier for the horses to chew and will also lead to better digestion.
When you feed hay, is it in flakes/square bale or a round bale? Sometimes, one horse in a herd is very pushy, and so will overtake the hay, leaving the more timid horse(s) pushed to the outside and not having access to the hay. If you are feeding flakes, make sure you have 1-3 more piles than horses, and that they hay is spread out A LOT in many small piles.  If you have more than 4-5 horses eating one round bale, you might consider putting another round bale in the field.
Please let me know if you have any other questions, and let me know how your horses are doing with my suggestions.
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Avatar universal
Everybody keep saying what to feed but only a couple say how much ?? So what, 84 pounds of soaked beet pulp, mix with 62 gallons of corn oil and 12 bottles of de-wormer 57 times a day right ???    will this work ??  please you gonna help, give some real help !!  thanks
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Avatar universal
I just rescued a horse that is 30 years old and his ribs and hips are showing,.  you need to put your horse on equine senior and mix in dehydrated alfalfa and also use corn oil for weight gain.  You need to make sure the horses feed is soft by moisniting it  and you need to increase the feeding to 3 times a day and it works.  You should use a zpak on it ti make sure you have gotten all worms and monitor its water intake to make sure it doesnt dehydrate.  It is working on the horse I have, in a week I have noticed a difference.  also keep them out of the heat of the day and let the graze at night.
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Avatar universal
Wow, I am amazed that so many of these stories are the same as mine.  My boarder has a 13 year old paint mare.  Always an easy keeper, in fact we were only feeding her a Natures Essentials (supplemental feed from Purina) at little quantities because she a horse that had laminitis in her past.  She gained weighted way too easy.  About 2 months ago she started dropping weight.  She has no worms,  teeth are fine, has had all her shots.  In fact, she is energetic, glossy coat.  She is just not like she used to be.  One morning about 4 months ago when I came into the barn, I she was having a seizure.  Never seen one before, but when I described it everyone said it was a seizure.  Lasted only about 20 seconds, and then she was completely fine.  I keep wondering if this has anything to do with her weight loss.
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Avatar universal
I have a 18 YO QH horse that is losing TONS of weight. She has always been a fairly fat horse. She started losing a lot of her weight after I sold one of my other horses (can they get depressed?). I had her teeth floated and she is wormed regularly. I have been trying to take her from about 10-12 lbs of grass/alfalfa mix up to a 12-14 lbs of grass/alfalfa (also added about 4 lbs of straight alfalfa), a pound of beet pulp, and 3 lbs of senior. I have been feeding her this way for about 2 weeks now and yet it appears she is still losing weight. Does anyone have any ideas on what I should try next?
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