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feed opinion for very geriatric horse

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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:23 am    Post subject: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Howdy,

One of my quarter horses is quite old.. hitting 33 here shortly.

Overall.. good health.. still got good hooves, will still gallop and run witht he rest of the herd, water intake is steady as it has always been about 10g.. I've always fed pelleted dry with a small mix if sweet feed..in the winter I've always upped the feed accordingly and increased the % sweet in the mix to prevent weight loss. I keep the same feed as i know how sensitive equine digestive tracks are... etc.

This winter, he stopepd tolerating the sweet feed.. took us a week to figure out what was bothering his stomach. A weight loss also happened this winter and he thinned out in the rear a bit. his withers are still fine and all. He gets routine care from the farrier every 6 weeks and I have a mobile vet come out so he doesn't have to deal with being trailered. He lost an eye a few years ago which required some equine hospital time..e tc. he recovered well.. has cataracts in his remaining eye.. but he CAN see, and he's in the same pasture and turn out he's know for the last 15ys on our farm.. he's also with the same pasture mates.. most of them have been with him 8-10ys.. so he does get around good.. and many of them will lead him around the fences too.. I'm actually pretty surprised that no one is bullying him or stealing feed.. everyone seems to be taking care of the old man.

Here's the deal.. he started loosing weight... this is what we've done so far.

First. testing. and well... he's not sick and doesn't 'have' anything as far as we can tell.

We modified his feed.. so far this is the mix he gets 2x per day.

1 quart 11% pelleted
1 pint peleted rice supplement ( 5% prot / 20% fat )
1 pint peleted supplement with anise ( 35% prot / 5% fat )
1 pint soybean oil mixed in with feed , for fat content
1 pint red cell supplement with yucca, mixed in feed.
1 quart textured corn/oat/peanut hull/alfalfa feed that is semi-sweet ( this is the only level of sweet he can now tolerate we have found )

We tried that for a few weeks and he stopped loosing weight ( GREAT! ) but he's not gaining on it.

Starting today we are adding some mods to the diet.

We are going to add in a pint of rice bran ( 14% prot, , high fiber, bulk )

Also, adding in 1 pint low sugar beet pulp shred 4/4

and a textured un sweetened ground 100% alfalfa pellet ( unsure of % content.. think it is 8/4 )

we will cut back a bit on the 11% dry pellet to accomodate the adds, but not removing 1 for 1.. we are leaving the extra bulk of the rice bran and beet shreds as the vet says they should throw weight on him.

I've talked to most of the other horse people around includingthe local race track and breeder lot. No one else has any ideas and think thats about all that can be done.

Any other horse people out there have any other gimmicks or tricks for weight?

I have not considered putting him down as he is 100% mobile and doesn't even have arthritis. His teeth are good ( flotated somewhat recently ), mouth passed inspection and no bad teeth either.

He is eating full load, does have apatite and energy, maneuer balls 'look' normal now that we got him off the wet sweet he used to eat that gave him the scours for a couple days.

oh yeah.. not diabetic either.

makes good urine too.

Best we can tell.. he's just plain old...

oh yeah.. no signs of colic.. he's not sanded.. and we monitor him daily for signs lof laminitis/founder as we tweak his diet. we are being carefull of overall protien content with reguard to bulk of feed.. etc.
 
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Jim in Eastern North Caro
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:37 am    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sorry that I can't help you, but just wanted to say how outstanding it is that you know your animals so well and the care and concern you have for them is incredible. My kids don't know that much about their "old" man. I hope you get the information you need and it works out fine for you and your horse.
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:13 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

in for a penny.. in for a pound.

I love horses. ours are pleasure animals, though we do have a cart and a cart trained horse. have a semi cantankerous mule that has mellowed with age.. some cows.. pigs.. chickens and still got a few turkey. I predict 1 more year and we will finally deplete our turkey herd and have decided not to replace them, much as we did with our ducks a couple years ago as well.

I'd guess my horses get better medical care than I do. I can't stand to see a suffering or starving animal. I've had to put a house down due to a non recoverable double front knee injury... it's gut wrenching to make that call to the vet.. but I won't see an animal suffer with no hope of recovery.

I've had this old horse for a long time. in his years he had a traumatic front hoof injury ( blew out side of hoof ).. took a while.. but we got him back 100% used epoxy to build a new hoof after the vet debrided the tissue, and then we got a specal clamp on rubber show repalcement and put about 1' of soft bedding in his stall and fed him a feed regimine that made his hooves grow quite fast. it all worked out fine.. that was 10ys ago. During that time I had to unwrap and re-wrap his hoof daily, and soak it in a soloution of epsoms salt, iodine and mild bleach water in a bucket, then apply furizone to it and re-wrap . the rubber shoe went on when he was turned out.

vet came out each week to even up the hoof and trim out the epoxy and rebuild it up as needed.

one year he cut the tip of his tounge :)

had to irrigate his mouth with saline daily for 10 days ... that turned out fine.

I got too much time invested in my animals to not take care of them.

that's one reason i got so mad when last year someone in my community called animal control on me 4 times claiming I was abusing my animals. officers came out each time. looked at the animals.. barn, stalling, feed and med supplies and cloncluded no issues.

last time it got called in, the officer just drove by my place without me even being there and concluded all was fine.. we traded cell #'s and she'd call me when the anonymous person would report me... we figured it was someone in the area that didn't like animals as another local farm was getting calls as well. My chickens will stand side by side with my barn cat and they will eat out of the same bowl. first time the control officer came out she took a pic of that. the claims were absurd. the person would claim no feed or water.. yet there are 100G stock tanks in plain site of the road, and rolls of hay out in feeders that can be seen from the road.

that kind of stuff made me piping mad.....
 
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Mike OH
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:38 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sounder, you had him checked for worms???
 
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jackinok
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:57 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

check his teeth! does he have any? thats what gets a lot of them. we boiled oats and made a mash for a old mare here twice a day for probably 5 years. she finally got to where she couldnt even eat that. Felt so bad for the old girl that i finally put her down. if i recall correctly she was either 38 or 9. another thing ive seen happen,does this horse ever chew on trees/wood? ive seen them get a splinter in their mouth and go off their feed because it hurts.
 
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chevytaHOE5674
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 1:22 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

We started feeding our 31 year old QH a mixture of triple crown senior feed, with beat pulp, mashed up with hot water twice a day. He maintained weight good for a couple extra harsh UP north winters. After a few years of that diet his teeth finally all fell out and it was time to go. But with that diet and free choice hay he had no troubles with weight control for a couple of years.
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

as stated in my original post:

" His teeth are good ( flotated somewhat recently ), mouth passed inspection and no bad teeth either.
"
 


Last edited by souNdguy on Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 3:06 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

as stated in the original post.

'First. testing. and well... he's not sick and doesn't 'have' anything as far as we can tell"
 
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Dr. Bert
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sounds like teeth to me. I know you said they were floated,but old horses develop "waves" in their cheek teeth ie-long upper, lower mate is short. Remember, horses chew with a rotary motion and unless the table surfaces of the cheek teeth are level, all they can do is chomp up and down, thus poor food grinding and poor absorption. This is not meant to discredit you vet, but some of the younger vets tend to only knock off the sharp edges on the teeth when they float and not float for a level surface.Diet sounds good.
 
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gwstang
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

"oh yeah.. no signs of colic.. he's not sanded."... what does the sanded part mean? Never heard that term before.
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

again.. the teeth have been checked and completely ruled out.

I don't have a 20 yr old vet still in school.

both my regular and mobile vet ONLY do horses.

also.. the horse is NOT having an eating problem.

he will set there and eat a full bucket of feed with no mor ethan normal loss. I know what a horse with bad / sharp teeth and cut cheeks looks like eating. loosing feed out their mouth.. etc.

he's not passing masses of pooly digested material either.

and his fronts look as good as a 17 yr old pasture mates. he can pull and clip grass just fine.

his energy is good. and apatite is good.. he's eating.. not wormy.. not diabetic... making good urine.. has no visible tumors. is not arthritic.. etc.

about his only apparrent issue is cataracts in his remaining eye.

heck.. his hooves are still growing out good with no undue striations or cracks. still makes a nice supple frog, base of hooves not soft and no white line or rot. he'll hold his tial like a stallion and tot up to the feed lot when I ring the bell, beating some of the horses half his age.

we ( farrier , vets, and myself ) have not been able to pin down any particular issue other than age... just trying to research any other tricks we may be missing for getting him filled out again.

he doesn't like sugar cubes but will eat pepermints.. and loves raw carrots and apple quarters. He's not real keen on them chalky apple-ish flavored treats. or the carrot ones oddly enough.. but he will also eat 'stud muffins' an oat filled cookie treat.

as for parasites.. he gets his normal anthelmintics and has the equine equivalent of spot.. plus gets dusted.. he's not flea infested.. no ticks I can find.. he's no rubbing or chewing or rolling inordinately.. just once or twice in the sand hole daily..e tc..

no bean in the sheath.. etc.

simply can't find a 'smoking gun' for a weight loss other than he's just gtting old. I'm just searching for some weight builder ideas. we used to give them some molassis on a protien block in the winter.. but last couple years he wasn't interested in that.. etc..
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:46 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

here's some reading about sand and horses.


http://www.equine-originals.com/sandcolic.htm

http://www.infohorse.com/sandcolic.asp
 
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hippie1st
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 4:56 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

@Soundguy
We have the same problem, with one of our boarded
horses.But his theeth are gone.The owner has had him since he was 3.We had been feeding 12% pellet (3 lbs).2scoop alfalfa cube,1 scoop beet pulp,&free choice hay.He is now kept in all day,and getting 3 feedings.We just started,alfalfa pellets.(instead of cubes)This was just the past week we went to alfa cubes.
I"ll try to keep you posted.E-mail should be open.
Hope the best for your Horse
Hippie
 
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souNdguy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:08 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

about 14 ys ago we used to have an old TB mare that was late 20's ( 29? ) and she lost her teeth and I had to soak alfalfa cubes and oats for her 2x per day. and otherwise make a mash out of textured feed with molassis for her. she was a arthritic bony thing. We gave her to some people that have (had ) older race horses.. all TB's who were in the same condition.. so they cooked up mash and alfalfa and oats in bulk every day. The TB's were just a bit to obig for my comfort.. ( not like the QH's are much smaller.. but.. Smile )

well.. in a week of this new diet we'll see if he's gaining.

he already stopped loosing.. so that is good. when spring hits.. it may be fine when he has greens to eat and not just hay and the chopped forage..e tc..
 
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Dr. Bert
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:18 pm    Post subject: Re: feed opinion for very geriatric horse Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sorry ---- didn' mean to step on any toes.
 
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