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A horse losing weight and cant gain
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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.
Tags: Health, animals, Weight, Losing weight
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Avatar_m_tn
Does she have any other medical issues or symptoms (lack of energy, irritability etc.) as well?  
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Avatar_n_tn
2 years ago we bread her and the guy who was taking care of her straved her and she founder off of alfalfa and grass. She of course lost the baby. But after that she started haveing these muscle spasmes and she would lay down all the time. Vets found nothen wrong with her. She is way better now and the spasmes are gone, but then we could not put any weight on her. She has alot of energy and wants to be worked but we are scared cause she is to skinny. We have tried everything. But she is a little meaner to the other horses. We have her by herself and she has all the hay she needs. We just dont know what to do anymore.
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Avatar_f_tn
If she is having debilitating muscle spasm, and she has QH blood in her but you are unsure of her lines, get her tested for HYPP.. if she is impressive bred, also get her tested...  Two other things, is she may have ulcers, or worms.. you should be worming her every 6-8 weeks and rotating to different types of wormers

Hay is not a balanced ration,.,, many horses cannot survive on hay alone... A good balanced feed is strategy by purina.. my OTTB is on 3 pounds of beet pulp twice a day, 2 lbs of strategy twice a day and 1/2 lb of amplify purina weight gain supplement twice a day to maintaine weight.
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Avatar_n_tn
She dose not have muscle spasm anymore, she is doing great with that. She dose not have impressive at all. She has been tested for HYPP, and alot more. We do feed her grass hay, oats, and cool calories once at night. We do have salt blocks for her as well. We have tried EVERYTHING.  What is OTTB and beet pulp and amplify? I might want to try that. Were can I get it? Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
ottb stands for off the track thoroughbred..

beet pulp is whats left over after proccessing sugar beets.. you can buy pelleted or shredded beet pulp in 50 lb bags at just about any feed store... it needs to be soaked for about 2 hours before feeding as it expands quite a bit.. Amplify is a weight gain supplement distribued by purina, and it works quite well and putting weight on hard keepers, as does the beet pulp...
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for all your advise on this. I am going to try and give that beet pulp a try. Thanks again!
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Avatar_f_tn
Have you had someone look at her teeth?  Maybe she is having trouble eating.  Otherwise I would definately try the beet pulp.  We have a 23 year old quarter horse that has trouble gaining weight and we give him beet pulp during the winter to keep the weight on him.
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Avatar_n_tn
you can also try stabilized rice brand i have a horse that eats more then she poops and she works hard she got too about 800 lbs under weight.. try feeding like a grass hay 2 times a day and also 3 lbs a day of rice brand it worked really good for me
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Avatar_n_tn
The beet pupl works good. I have a regestered mustang that got ran into a bobwore fence and gate that got her wind pipe crushed. Had to do a track on her and she lost alot of weight. We been feeding her beet pulp and oats twice a day. She is gaining her weight back good. The vet said she is doing good. So they are till you the right thing to try. Good luck with her.
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a 6 year old gelding quarter horse, who won't gain weight. He does have some Impressive in him, though i have not once seen him have any symptoms. I have had his teeth floated this spring, and after that he gained some weight. But over the summer he has lost it all again. He is constantly eating and doesnt look sick, he isnt gastly slim but i'm afraid that if I can't figure out what's wrong that will happen. He's never been a thick horse but right now he looks like a thoroughbred off a race track. He has gotten his west nile shot, sleeping sickness, and was dewormed all this spring.we've recently dewormed him again, but that doesnt seem to be the problem. If anyone has had the same problems or has any ideas would be great
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the exact same problem only my horse is a 33yr old arab mare. I had animal control called on me and the basically told me I was classified under a cruelty investigation. I was very upset because I feed her 3 times a day and she has free grazing range. I have tried corn oil and calf manna which is what they suggested but nothing seems to work. But then I went in to Tractor supply and an older man told me to feed her slices of white bread with her feed. I haven't tried it yet but he told me it worked for his older mare.  The animal control told me that if she didn't get better within the next month that they were gonna take her form me. I  got her for my sweet 16 and she was 30 and thats the way I got her. She has come a ways form that day but she still looks skin in bones. I am anxious to see what happens with the bread ordeal. I keep you updated!!!!
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Avatar_f_tn
Dani, if your mare is that bad, i dont think feeding her white bread would help.. Im guessing that you where told to do that because white bread contains alot of starch, while it may help her gain weight, its not very healthy..  Best thing you can do to help her gain weight if shes that sick is use a combination of your normal grain rations + beet pulp and a weight gain supplement from purina called Amplify... Have you had a vet out to see whats going on with her health wise as to why shes not gaining weight at all?
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a mare that just turned 47 on August 8th 2007, I have had this mare a long time but we won't go there, Two days after her birthday, I asked the farrier/ certified Dentist to check her teeth. He was able to pull 3 out by hand. Well ,the one to another and before he was done her pulled 11 teeth. All the molars she had left. I now feed her a senior complete feed and make a slurry with warm water. she is gaining weight and eating like a pig. I almost called the vet to have her put down. She is able to run me over if I get in her way,  Someday I will truly miss this. She is a little stiff but can keep her position within our barn. If the vets have given up, which they do on anything that is about 20 yrs. there is information on the computer. Try many things in moderation if it works you will know within 3 weeks. Also, remember horse graze for variety, try some sweet feed, apple slices, shaved carrots a couple of handfuls in the slurry will appeal to her taste buds.
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Avatar_n_tn
My horse has been lossig weight but eatting well 2 days ago he stoped eattig his grain??????????????????/ Rock
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Avatar_n_tn
I tried beet pulp for my horses to no avail.  Turned out they had a fiber deficiency.  I added about 6 lbs a day of pelleted hay for an average 1300 lb horse.  Drastic changes!
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Avatar_n_tn
If you have had a vet looked at your horse, done the diagnostics, etc,...that was a good start  I agree...have you had her teeth floated? Is she up on all her vaccines?  Also, I know youa re feeding hay, oats, etc...but HOW MUCH are you feeding?  Have you weighed it out?  The amount of food you feed her in a day should be about 2.5 percent of her body weight (the weight you want her to be). For a 1200 pound horse , that would be about 8.2kg (18.0lbs) of forage per day, and 5.5kg (12.0lbs) of concentrates per day. Good Luck,
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Avatar_n_tn
I have a a20 year old gelding that has started losing weight.  I had his teeth floated and a tooth pulled. I give him senior feed mixed with some red cell but he is still looking pulled down and he is now developing muscle spasms.  Can anyone help me
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Avatar_m_tn
Often, a horse´s inability to gain weight stems from toxins in the horse´s liver.

There are a variety of products that can be bought for little money to alleviate that problem.  I currently live in Germany, where we mix "Mariendistelkraut" into the feed, together with some corn oil and soaked beet pulp.  I have no idea what that stuff is called in English (and I have absolutely no clue what the German word means), but it does work.  A 10 Kilogramm (22 pounds) bucket costs about 15 Euros in Germany (about 20 US Dollars).  It easily lasts about a month, a time period that cures about every liver problem a horse may have.  Most German feed stores carry the stuff.  "Mariendistelkraut" neutralizes the toxins.  In Germany, often artichokes are mixed into that "Mariendistelkraut" for extra healing power.
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Avatar_n_tn
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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Avatar_f_tn
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_m_tn
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_m_tn
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_f_tn
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_m_tn
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_m_tn
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_f_tn
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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1500580_tn?1289242180
let him eat as much as he can and give him luzern thats is the best for skinny horses.
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Avatar_m_tn
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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1694782_tn?1306376714
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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1730713_tn?1310092152
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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Avatar_f_tn
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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1955428_tn?1324939387
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_f_tn
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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Avatar_n_tn
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_f_tn
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_m_tn
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_m_tn
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_f_tn
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_m_tn
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_m_tn
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_f_tn
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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