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Horses with Eating Disorders

Feeding Horses Thread, Horses with Eating Disorders in Horses and Ponies; I bought a little arab from the lady down the rode because I was sick of seeing it skinny and ...
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:35 AM   #1
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Default Horses with Eating Disorders

I bought a little arab from the lady down the rode because I was sick of seeing it skinny and stressed and just unhappy in general.
It has been at my horse for almost a month now and is happy and not at all stressed but is still skinny (has put the slightest bit of weight on but still really looks bad).
So everyone says to put weight on 'hay, hay and more hay', well what do you do if you cant get a horse to eat? Some days he wont eat more then about a cup of 2 of feed.
Ok
He is 15yrs old, about 14.2 hands but currentlyu looks as though he is about 25yr olds.
He does quite a bit of head tossing and has started to chew the rails on the paddock (does it when I am not there so I am not sure if he is windsucking or chewing), also has the tendency to trip quite alot (espically when being riden, though i have not riden him since i got him and i wont until he looks better, though he does get ponied out for some exercise)
He went to the vet, teeth checked apparently the last owner had a dentist do him 2weeks before i got him and my vet said the dentist had done them so smooth he wont have to do redone for at least 2yrs, too smooth (he dropped some feed the firast few days he was here but not since). No sand in gut, blood results all came back perfect. Vet couldnt find anything at all unusual so we have just started him gastrozol to see if that clears up the problem.
Because i own a restaurant i work unsual hours, therefore he gets feed at weird hours, morning feed is at about 10am, dinner 6pm and i give them another meal when i get home at about midnight. He has access to good grazing. Gets a 2/3 to a scoop coolmax and about 1/2 - 2/3scoop museli for breakfast, plus scoop lucerne plus excessive oaten chaff at both dinner and breakfast, and the at super gets about 1/2 scoop of both coolmax and museli, a scoop lucernce and lots chaff.
At his old home he was extremely attached to the mare he lived with, but since coming here has seemed to forget comepletey about her and is quite happy to talk to my 5other guys over the fence, though he still does go pretty stupid when any of the others go out riding.

I have tried hay but he eats about 2pieces and throws the rest around (chaff he will eat a bit more of), i have tried lucernce hay which he picks at, but once again doesnt really eat. I have tried molasses to make everything yummy and carrots.

The major problem is his irregular eating habits, some days (not very often) he will eat most of his feed (and only leave about a cup of chaff at eacxh feed) other days he will only eat about a cup of feed a day and leave the rest, some days he isnt interested in food at all, some days he will graze others he will take one mouthful drop it and walk away. His non eating days far outweigh his eating days. I have a tiny mini that eats way more then him. He just does not seem to care about food, he will go about 3days without hardly touching his food before he will decide to eat a bit again, and some days he looks like he will pig out then just throw his head and walks away.

What do i do.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:02 PM   #2
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I'm not an expert, and really don't know..

Good Luck though!

Has he been wormed??

Also, If he was starved prior to you getting him, he would need to be fed small meals, often as his stomach would have shrunk...
Maybe worm him and try feeding him lots of small meals throughout the day?? A small meal every 2-4 hours (i think?), depending on how skinny he is.

I'm sure the oddness of the feeding times would be okay - it's not like he gets dinner at 2pm one day and 10pm the next - that wouldn't be so good.. As long as you are feeding at a similar time each day, his body will adjust to his new feeding routine.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:11 PM   #3
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ill be watching this one - it seems odd that he'll eat one meal and not the next despite being thin...

if he'll eat it try feed more fatty feeds - havs you tried adding oil to his feed? im sure someone will suggest a low starch feed like speedibeet - he may be sensitive to starch which could cause ulcers etc... personally id ditch the coolmax and put him on something like studmaster if you wanna stick to the pegasus range, or equijewel or nutririce etc. the higher fat/protein content feeds in my mind would be the way to go... but seems a little odd to me and sounds like theres an underlying health or behavioural issue...
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:43 PM   #4
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he might have ulcers...
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:45 PM   #5
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also u could try something like apple cider vinegar or gastrocoat which helps with appretite
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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you could also try soaked hay cubes as they would be easy to eat. Also warm feeds might be more appetizing.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:57 PM   #7
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I got him gastrocoat but can i feed that while he is on the gastrozol ?
also i forgot to add that he has ricebrain half a scoop in each feed.
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:57 PM   #8
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Something is obviostly upsetting him in his feed....he eats as he is hungry - then learns that it makes him ill, so doesnt eat the next time....poor chappy

He's a tricky one!

I would put him on a course of Humavite, and Yakult - syringed over the tounge daily. See you he picks up on that.

I would definately be putting him on a higher fat diet - and looking towards adding oil to his feed.

He is obvioustly not feeling great at all - and a loss of appetite can come from not enough energy, and could explain the tripping as welll.

Oil is exellent - as it provides energy in a friendly, esily digested way - without them needing to consume a great quantity of anyting if they lack interest, or have problems with eating.

Good luck!

do you have any pictures?
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Old 03-09-2009, 12:59 PM   #9
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Feeds such as Ricebran, and muesli are not good to feed animals with ulcers. I would take him off it - and try a completely Ulcer friendly diet

Speedibeat,Lupins,Oil, Canola meal....for example
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Old 03-09-2009, 01:00 PM   #10
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Id be checking for ulcers too.

Out of interest, does he drink lots?
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