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Discussion on Malnurished Mare - Dr. O

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KATIE DUNN (Katdunn)
Posted on Thursday, Jun 13, 2002 - 3:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,

We have a 3 1/2 year old mare, about 16 1/2 hands, that is not putting on weight very well. She has had her teeth floated and regular worming. I have a gelding who was in the same shape and I used calf manna and rice bran, which worked very well for him and in 4-5 months, he had put on weight very nicely. My husband is concerned about his mare, he has heard from others that there are too many chemicals in calf manna and is it really good for her? My feeling is that what is not good for her is the lack of weight and if it works we should try it. What are your feelings on this? Does anyone else have any advice or input? By the way, we ride them practically every day and I know my horse did not gain a lot while he was being ridden twice a day.
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Holly Edwards (Hwood)
Posted on Thursday, Jun 13, 2002 - 5:25 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi, Katie,
I have rescued and rehabilitated several malnourished horses who are now thriving and doing well in a lesson program. I don't know if you have access to a pelleted complete feed, but feeding a pelleted complete feed has worked well for me in combination with corn oil and beet pulp. If you have good grazing, and if your mare can masticate grass and hay, you will be ahead of the game. The guys I have can't eat hay or even chew grass very well. Their teeth are worn down or missing. I have been told that corn oil is beneficial up to, but no more than, 3 cups per day. I started my guys on it slowly and gradually added 1 cup per feeding 3x a day. When they reached good weight, I phased out the corn oil with no ill effects or weight loss. I'm sure there are many other methods, but this has worked for me with good results.
Holly
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Friday, Jun 14, 2002 - 8:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Katie,
The problem with Calf Manna is not that it contains "chemicals" (a meaningless statement since all nutrients are chemicals and I am not aware of any adverse chemicals in this product) but it is a very expensive source of protein. You do not tell us what you are feeding so specific advice is difficult but I think you could get a very good response by:
1) checking to be sure there are no other management problems,
2) making sure you are feeding good quality food stuffs
3) then increasing the amount of feed.
These points are covered in detail in, Equine Diseases: Colic and GI Diseases: Weight Loss in Horses: Diagnosing Chronic Weight Loss.
DrO
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KATIE DUNN (Katdunn)
Posted on Friday, Jun 14, 2002 - 9:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I'm sorry, I didn't include more info. We are currently feeding her about 1% of her body weight in sweet feed, twice daily and she grazes the rest of the time. We did try feeding her more, but after a few months, it didn't seem to help much. My horse, a 9 year old gelding had the same problem. We fed him sweet feed, and gradually added rice bran and calf manna until he was receiving the recommended amount on the bag. He put on weight very nicely after about 3 months, with no adverse affects. We are also wondering about adding corn oil to her diet, is this also a good way to help her put on weight? I am curious as to whether the combination of rice bran and calf manna helps balance out the calcium/potassium levels, and that is why the two were suggested to me. I should add that despite her weight, she seems to be otherwise healthy and full of energy - except for a bad case of grease heel and some dermatitis.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Sunday, Jun 16, 2002 - 7:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

After reading the possible causes of difficult keeping in a horse (the article referenced above) and ruling out those problems start with an Overview of Feeding. It will take you through a step by step evaluation of what you should do next for your horse and link you with the appropriated articles.

As a bit of a preview, and unless you come across some other reason your horse may not be doing well: if you are already feeding 10 lbs of good quality feed a day that is adequate in protein, and your horse is getting enough grazing, vegetable oil is a good way to increase the calories and weight of the horse. BUt the article will explain that and link you to an article that explains how to do that.

The fact that she did not increase weight on the increased feed does not mean it was not helping, without it she would have loss even more, it just means that it still was not enough, again assuming you have no other problems as outlined in the articles referenced above.
DrO
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sharon l. hays
New Member
Username: Slhays

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Friday, Aug 27, 2004 - 12:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

dear dr.o,i have a 24yr.old arabian stallion who sustained a broken jaw 2 mo.ago a mare that lives amile away in heat escaped,came to the farm broke down the fence and was bred asi was securing the fence he tried tobreed heragain and she kicked him breaking his jaw.our vet came &set his jaw he was unable to eat for 7 days.was given quick start by stomach tube until he was able toeat equine sr that we grinded in achipper shreader.he has been chronically loosing weight.he has been wormed and teeth floated.his stoolis loose and has afoul odor.we also give him red cell supplement by siringe.when he was wormed with equimectrin he had a reaction and was given steriod shot to counteract the swelling as his stomach,sheath,and testicles swelled.he looks like a skeleton.he can eat grass that is cut for him but very little hay unless it is very fine.i would appreciate any help in turning him around.thank you.s.l.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 393
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Friday, Aug 27, 2004 - 9:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

OH, Sharon, how awful!! We have two Arab stallions, and something like this is one of our worst nightmares. You are lucky the mare owners aren't after you for breeding their mare, on top of your stallion's problems.

I sure hope your boy does o.k. and recovers. I bet he's a sweetheart,too. I'll be reading what the dr. has to say. Have you tried giving him probiotics? I wonder if getting his gut and stomach back into balance would help? Keep us posted.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 11075
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Aug 27, 2004 - 1:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Sharon,
we have an article that addresses the issue of horses having trouble masticating, see Care for Horses Particular Situations & Procedures Geriatric Horse: Problems and Care. Be sure you check out other sections of the article that might apply to your horse particularly the section on Cushings.
DrO
PS: It is very difficult to read a post without proper capitalization and spacing. You will probably find you get more responses if you will correct this. Thanks.
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Cheryl Hohler
New Member
Username: Chohler

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Friday, Aug 27, 2004 - 3:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sharon I rescued an abused injured 16 year old almost 400 lbs underweight I know its not the same thing but maybe this will help.
I used soaked beet pulp alot or soaked senior, equates(walmart) version of tagament,10 a day(my vets Idea for the stools), and probios.
Don't give him a lot of food all at once give him multiple feedings it helps a lot and their stomach is not so upset.
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Debbie E
Member
Username: Deggert

Post Number: 71
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Friday, Aug 27, 2004 - 3:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Soaked good quality hay pellets put weight on well without going overboard on the protein and sugar. I say soaked because unless they are really picky I worry about bolting pellets and choke. (its happened ) I feed my old mare about half her ration in orchard/oathay pellets. I have used soaked senior when there is chewing problem, they can lap it up. Good luck
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