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Discussion on Blood work used as a health check for horses

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Pam P
Posted on Friday, May 7, 1999 - 8:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have been told that blood work (CBC, chem panel) can be used to check the "overall" health of a horse. I have an older horse and use blood work to "spot check" his health and hopefully spot any potential problems before they become serious. Am I wasting my time and money?
I don't depend exclusively on blood test, it is only one of the methods I use to maintain my horse's health.

Thanks
Pam
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The Advisor Vet, RN Oglesby DVM
Posted on Saturday, May 8, 1999 - 10:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Pam,
What an excellent question and the true answer is: we do not know. With the advent of ivermectin as a anthelcide and the down fall of the large strongyle in the early 80's, horses are just beginning to live long enough to where we can learn something about geriatric medicine in them. Prior to ivermectin the large strongyle was near impossible to suppress and chronic damage to the mesenteric arteries that fed the bowel blood eventually did the horse in long before he turned 30.

There is no sign or test of good health as important as a healthy looking and acting horse. In general, I feel that taking laboratory work on horses that look good, have normal physical exams, and no history of behavior that might indicate disease is not profitable to the owner or horse. Is it possible you might turn up some disorder that by addressing it now you will save the horses life? Very unlikely. Could you turn up something that might change your management practices? Very unlikely.

I have toyed with the idea of making this part of a geriatric exam but just have not yet found a good reason to institute it. I have considered the early recognition of pituitary adenoma (Equine Cushings) as a possible justification but I have seen no information that laboratory changes occur prior to the onset of symptoms in fact many with clinical signs have normal labs. Nor would I change anything in the management of a healthy horse if I discovered it.

I do believe that one of the factors that most limits the quality of a horses life in his later years is his teeth. The basis for preserving them at this time is good nutrition including regular deworming and regular care aimed at correcting misalignments of the cheek teeth and incisors.

Pam I would love to have some examples of things the advisor of this procedure thinks one might uncover in a healthy appearing, normal acting horse. Let us know what you find out.
DrO
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Pam P
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 1999 - 7:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for your reply. I was not able to find my complete listing of what blood work can show. But here are a few things I can remember. Blood workups can indicate such things as anemia, viral/bacteria infections, worm infestation, adverse effects of bute etc. It can also be used to test for high levels of certain chemicals such as potassium. The first blood workup I had done was as a part of my current horse's pre-purchase exam. The vet suggested it because we did not know the horse's history. I have had that horse for 6 years and have had blood workups done for 5 years. I use the blood workups as sort of an early warning system to let me know that something is not quite right and that further investigations/diagnostics may be needed. Is this a valid/dependable use of blood workups?

I know that blood work can be inconclusive by itself, that is why I still take into acccount his appearance, appetite etc.

Thanks
Pam
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Viki
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 1999 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Pam.....I too have a blood test report on my 4 year quarter horse done when she is off in any way, but I am not the person who reads and interprets the blood test, my vet is. We started this last year when she was found staggering in the pasture and the vet was unsure as to the cause. We had just purchased her and we didn't know her history and she had just been given 5 different innoculations, so we were guessing:
vaccination reactions, weed posioning, brain tumor, or epm! Vet sent blood off and I have a copy of the results. Vet treated her for epm (very expensive), but she was never tested...due to the fact that she stopped staggering and showed no other signs after 2 1/2 days of treatment and Virginia Teach would only do test if horse was exhibiting signs at that time of the test.
I would like to know the normal levels looked for in a CBC blood test for each different item listed. Do you know where I could find these?
For example: humans blood pressure should be 80 over 120.........what are the levels suppose to be on the blood test? Thanks, Viki in VA
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Pam
Posted on Tuesday, May 11, 1999 - 12:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Viki, according to everything I know about blood tests (which is probably not much) each lab has its own "normal" range for each test. The blood results that you received should have your horse's level and what that lab's ranges are for each test performed. They (the lab) should also have marked each result that was higher or lower than their ranges. I know of at least two "blood" test. One is the CBC (complete blood count) and the other is a Chem Panel or Blood Panel. The CBC test red/white blood cells etc. The Chem Panel test other levels such as Potassium, cholesterol etc. Each lab's ranges will probably be different, due to the way they process or do their test. Basically what I do is make sure the lab has ran the test for the correct species, equine, (this should be noted somewhere on the lab report) and that the results are within that lab's normal range. Your vet should also look at these results and tell you if they suspect a problem. I hope this helps.

Pam
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The Advisor Vet, RN Oglesby DVM
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 1999 - 7:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Pam is correct, each lab will develop its own normals that can be affected by such things as environment, population type, the machinery running the test, and even the person interpreting the test. In the perfect world everyone would get the same results on the same sample but in the real world.... In the last twenty years a real push has been made to insure that everone is measuring the same thing, but a lab's own normals are best.

Normals are reported out usually as one standard deviation which, someone correct me if I am wrong my statistics are rusty, roughly means 95% of the healthy individuals will fall within the normal and range and 5% of the healthy individuals will fall out of the normal range. This applies to each test within the CBD and chemistry panel.

If you run a standard chemistry and CBD on a healthy horse, you run an excellent chance that one and a good chance that several values may be out of the normal range. The question then becomes what is the significance in a otherwise healthy horse?

To address your list of concerns Pam, what are the chances you can have any of those diseases with no other clinical signs? I do recommend regular testing of horses who remain on bute over long periods of time. Some feel you might pick up signs of bute induced colitis or ulceration with a lowered total protein before the ulcers become clinically evident. There is still a lot to learn about this supposition nd to be effective may have to be repeated very frequently.

A much better, and cheaper, way to detect parasitism is using fecal floats.

Disease or nutritional problems resulting in anemia will invariably cause other clinical signs. Many veterinarians seem to be oblivious to the well known fact that horses store a large portion of their RBC mass in the spleen and release it to the blood stream during times of excitement or exercise. Because of this to get an accurate assessment of whether anemia is present or not the horse has to be exercised to a heart rate of 100 or greater. 5 minutes of fast trot or slow canter will ususally do the trick. I have a short article on anemia in horses.

I suspect in time CBD and routine chemistry lab values will be able to find some subclinical entities of significance in otherwise healthy appearing horses, but I do not know what they might be at this time.
DrO
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pam
Posted on Wednesday, May 12, 1999 - 7:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Dr. O. Due to severe arthritis, my horse is on bute daily (indefinitely), so I will probably continue having the blood test drawn each year. It is really not that expensive and who knows, maybe it will "warn" of a problem before it become serious.

pam
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alfuller
Posted on Monday, May 17, 1999 - 1:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have recently thought about having blood test done on both of our Mares. One is off the track and we are having diffculty getting weight on her and some people have brought it to our attention that horses off the track will sometimes have ulcers our other Mare has a large bump on her crest. It has been suggested she might have a tyroid problem. Would blood test detect either of theses?
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The Advisor Vet, RN Oglesby DVM
Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 1999 - 6:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not routine tests. To detect thyroid problems requires a thyroid stimulating hormone test as routine T3/T4 levels are too variable for diagnostic purposes. There has been search for tell tale blood signs of ulcers but we hane not found it yet in the horse. Your experience with horses off the track is pretty common: track let down.

You do not say what kind of trouble you are having: not eating well or eating well but not gaining weight or... Can you be more specific including the what and the amount you are feeding, pasture conditions, and amount of turn out.
DrO
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Angela L. Fuller
Posted on Tuesday, May 18, 1999 - 1:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The Mare off the track is getting 2 lbs of Blue seals Vintage sweet and two lbs of Vintage gold with 1/2 cup of vegtable oil a vitamin supplement and strongid daily wormer at her evening feeding with as much hay as she can eat. Her morning feed is the same without the vitamin supplement and the wormer. We really have no pasture for grazing but she is turned out from 6:00 a.m. until usually 7:00-8:00 p.m. I was thinking of changing the Veg oil to corn oil. She does not always eat all of her grain in the morning she eats anywhere from 1 to 3 lbs so she is really getting anywhere from 5 to 7 lbs of grain a day. I would love to be able to give her more hay during the day but I am not home. She usually gets about 3 flakes. Any suggestions? Maybe it is just a matter of time??
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The Advisor Vet, RN Oglesby DVM
Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 1999 - 6:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

How long has she been off the track? Did you paste dewormner (ivermectin or Quest) when you first got her? Has she been examined for any other signs of illness by a vet? One of the best ways to increase nutrient intake is to begin swithching out grass hays with alfalfa hay or cubes. Make the changes slowly.
DrO
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Angela L. Fuller
Posted on Wednesday, May 19, 1999 - 9:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Kay, our mare, has been off the track since September of 1998 we bought her in Dec. of 1998. She was wormed with paste wormer prior to starting her on Srongid daily. I had a fecal done before I started the daily wormer and her teeth were done in March 1999. If I give her alfalfa cubes how many should she get. I'm also concerned with her getting to much protein with all the grain she is getting. It appears that she has put on about 25 lbs since March. I read in another message that yawning and moving their tongue around could be signs of pain. Is this true? She sometimes appears to be straining when she urinates. We are not used to having a high maintence horse so I may just be paranoid.
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The Advisor Vet, RN Oglesby DVM
Posted on Thursday, May 20, 1999 - 7:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Maybe, and since she has started putting weight on I am less worried about undefined illness. All the behaviors you describe are also seen in healthy horses. We have one that really enjoys a good micturation: parking out and grunting loudly with each pulse of the urine. Then holding the position as though well let's leave it at that, this is a family site.

Your concern about protein should be mot be founded in just the grain but also the quality of the hay also. People often forget that protein requirements are not based on the amount in the concentrate but the amount in the total diet. The thing about alfalfa is that it is usually the hay used in running horses and its familiarity and increased palatibility may be a way to get more roughage in the horse. If I was going to start a horse out on them I would start at about a pound twice daily then add a lb to each feeding every 5 days till I reached the amount desired.
DrO
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julie haimowitz
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 2, 1999 - 1:50 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

DR."O"..HI MY HORSE RECENTLY HAD SOME BLOOD WORK DONE AND EVERYTHING CAME BACK NORMAL, EXCEPT I WAS TOLD SHE HAD ANEMIA...THE BLOOD WAS TAKEN HOWEVER WITHOUT THE HEART RATE BEING ELEVATED...POSSIBLE SHE'S NOT ANEMIC AFTERALL??? SHE IS SUPPOSE TO GO TO BE BRED NEXT WEEK...SHOULD I WAIT AND HAVE HER RECHECKED OR LET HER GO AND PUT HER ON A SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT?? NO PATICULAR VITAMIN WAS RECCOMMENDED, ANY SUGGESTIONS// THANKS JULIE
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The Advisor Vet, RN Oglesby DVM
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 2, 1999 - 7:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, ignore the anemia findings they are meaningless, and discuss what we talked about in this discussion with your vet. I would be interested in what is said.
DrO
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Carrie M. Allen (Blueyes)
Posted on Monday, Mar 12, 2001 - 1:56 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One point I would like to make in reference to using bloodwork as a tool for monitoring the "overall" health of a horse. First of all, I think bloodwork can be a valuable tool in identifying obvious fluxuations that indicate a problem. However, please keep in mind that very seldom does bloodwork give any indicators of problems such as mild pesticide poisoning and other issues which can subtley effect a horse's circulatory, lymph or glandular systems. Sometimes the issue is just small enough to cause health issues for the horse, but not significant enough to show up in bloodwork. My suggestion is that if you have had bloodwork done on your horse and have not been able to determine the source of a problem, try consulting an alternative practioner who may have other resources to help pinpoint problems that would not show on a CBC or other panel.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 14, 2001 - 7:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Carrie,
HMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....using blood work and alternative practitioneers to turn up "health fluxations" with subtle effects on circulation and glandular systems sounds like a sure way (and expensive) way to fix problems of uncertain significance.

Can you give me examples of such diagnosis that have been made for you this way and what was done to cure the problem?
DrO
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Christine C. Mills (Chrism)
Posted on Thursday, Oct 18, 2001 - 12:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just had bloodwork done on my 18 yo mare as a baseline for her records. I had done the same for the yearling early this year. Unless a horse appears to have a problem, I probably won't do it again for a few years on either.

I suggested it for my older mare and my vet told me it isn't a bad idea - the previous week he'd done the same for a geriatric horse that showed some liver concerns.

Results of my mare's test showed everything to be in line except the calcium values were a little high and the wbc was a little low. We're going to chat about that tomorrow.

Horse appears healthy and is in steady work without meds, so I'm assuming those values are a couple of the "out of range" ones Dr. O mentions that are more of a curiosity.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Friday, Oct 19, 2001 - 6:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

It is a statistical thing, and I know how you feel about those. The reported range of normal for each test is one standard deviation, that is 95% of the healthy horses fall in the range of each single test. 5% of the healthy horses fall out of the range. If you ran 20 tests the chance some would fall a little out of range is quite good in a healthy horse.

These tests really do not make a statement of, "is this horse sick or healthy". Very sick horses can have normal bloodwork and vice versa. These tests are at their best for defining the cause of illness in a horse that is showing clinical signs. Abnormal results in a otherwise healthy horse are of uncertain significance.
DrO
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Christine C. Mills (Chrism)
Posted on Friday, Oct 19, 2001 - 10:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've nothing against statistics - I just happen to know one can create a bias if needed to prove a point, :D The application of statistics does take some understanding. Before computer printout had the automatic aura of "fact" - statistics did, ;)

I did find an interesting article calld "How to speak CBC in One Easy Lesson" - it helps with understanding the items being measured.

http://shady-acres.com/susan/cbc.shtml

Cheers.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5325
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Sep 26, 2009 - 3:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O,

I was wondering if you have had any change in feelings regarding blood work since it's been almost 8 years since the last post on this converstaion above.

I had blood work done on my old mare and was trying to figure out what it all meant which i what led me to the above postings.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 401
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Saturday, Sep 26, 2009 - 5:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara,

I'm sure Dr. O will answer you shortly but here's a web site I found a number of years ago that has helped me understand just what I was looking at. You will find most of the values are very similar, but may have different names and some values need to be calculated, but in general a very useful site.

I think they also have a service where you can send them your blood tests and it will come back with a deeper explanation rather than just high, low, and normal.

http://www.gateway.net.au/~mcvc/horses/red.html

I know you are dealing with an older horse, so I am not sure taking blood once in a while would be a good indicator of health especially if she is not working a whole heck of a lot because technically what would you do if something did come up on the test.

I have had better luck taking several tests over the course of a week, for example on a rest day after a race and before I turned out ( test 1). Right after a training session (test 2) and right before a race (test 3). Test 1 gives me an after race day base line, test 2 allows me to see the effects of the training, and test 3 will tell me if the values are returning to normal right before the race. Well you get the point. Previous to these 3 tests I will know what is normal for each horse.

I have not had much luck determining what is going on with using only one blood test as you do not know where on the continuum the horse is in relation to what's going on(if anything). Just happened, happened last week and is just showing it now or recovering from something.

Anyway the site should help.

Rachelle
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5327
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Sep 26, 2009 - 6:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you, Rachelle. I had my old mare tested last March, and again a couple of weeks ago. I'm trying to figure out the best way to feed her to keep her looking and feeling as good as possible.

Once the vet thought she was Cushings due to her heavy coat and told me to put her on Pergolide. I had her on a small dose for almost a year. Her coat did look better, and she seemed to feel better. However, she then developed a lack of appetite and we slowely took her off the Pergolide. She ate good for awhile then quit eating again. This time the vet found a cyst far back in her mouth next to her last molar. He broke it when he was checking her teeth. After this healed, she has continued to eat pretty good,but is picky about what she eats.

I've been giving her a cold, hard look - which is why I took her into the vet. He thinks she looks good for her age, 28, but I don't. You can see her ribs even though her belly looks plump. Of course, she has lost muscle tone since she injured her rear leg a year and a half ago and since developed fibrotic myopothy on her right rear leg so I can't ride her any more. Turn out and hand walking isn't enough to keep her in shape. The lack of muscle in her hind in and along her neck is disturbing to me.

When she had blood work done in March, the vet commented she might have a little renal problem going on, common with older horses. This last test the values were higher and he said she definitely has the beginings of renal problems. He wasn't very specific. He said to feel her just grass hay because the alfalfa was too high in protein for her. He also said the beet pulp I'm feeding her would be good for her, but now I've just read that it's also too high in protein although low in fat. Vet said to add corn oil, but I've read things that dispute that also.

Currently she is getting Eq. Senior, beet pulp, vitamins, biotin, a half cup of rice bran and all the grass hay she wants. She dislikes the grass hay. I've been doing a lot of research trying to figure out what is best for her and thought if I fully understood her blood work it might help.

I'm long winded; sorry. I guess much of this should have gone under "older horses" or somewhere besides chem. test.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 402
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Saturday, Sep 26, 2009 - 7:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara,
As you know, I sometimes experiment with things in an effort to try and simplify my life. Sometimes I am successful and sometimes I am not. One of my simplification experiments appears to be working and might be just what the doctor ordered for your mare and may simplify her life ( and yours) as well.

It started with Dr. O's discussion on good nutrition and the fact that forage should be the basis of a horses diet with additional concentrate if needed.

Over the past 6-8 weeks, I have completely removed regular baled hay from my horses diets. I was tired of dealing with inconsistent batches of hay that kept changing from one hay delivery to another while the price continued to go up.

So, I switched to Triple Crown Safe Starch Forage. In the beginning it was only going to replace part of the hay ration and use this as a hay extender, but they quit eating any hay at all within a week, both horses were vacuum cleaners before then.

I was just looking for a hay replacement that did not contain molasses, as I tried that last year and found it difficult to work with. It wasn't until about a week after I started feeding the Safe Starch that I read the bag. This forage is a complete feed. It has everything in it a horse might need even biotin and vegetable oil.

http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/safestarchfeeding.php

http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/safestarchanalysis.php

I have slowly been reducing the amount of concentrate my horses get and they have been maintaining or gaining weight (both look really good) and are acting really good.

I also wet down and make a mash with the hay and feed and they lap it up like its sugar, no alfalfa, just chopped orchard grass and timothy hay. It's pricey, but when you figure in all the wasted hay, the better nutrition and using less shavings because I am not removing clean shavings because its mixed in with the hay, its worth the price. Don't faint $18.99 a bag ( I was paying $12.50 a bale for hay they were not eating) and now its reducing my feed concentrate use as well. So for me its worth it.

Any way, I'd recommend this for your mare if you can get it. ( Agway sells this Brand)

Any way, we are way off topic here ( Dr. O feel free to move this if necessary)

Just my thoughts ( and 2 cents worth)
Rachelle
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1345
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Sep 27, 2009 - 1:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My old QH mare lost muscle all along her top line. I believe that sometimes there is a muscle wasting component that goes along with Cushings. My mare has been on pergolide for about 4 years, and over that timespan all her symptoms disappeared ( she, also had a disenchantment with food for the first year - on and off). She does still exhibit a mildly uneven coat, but it's nothing compared to the greasy, long, thick, curly 4 to 6 inch patchy mess she used to grow....that refused to entirely shed out in spring.

Her topline returned to it's Round state, the withers and boney hip line is gone. No evidence of a backbone at all. Now.... at 30 years old, she's no spring chicken. She did reining back in the eighties ( long toe, low heel time )and deals with arthritic hocks and hips, navicular, and old bowed tendons. But her ears are up, her eyes bright, and once again, she can trot and canter along with my two other gals...when the mood strikes and if she feels like it, that is.

During her lack of appetite period, I used the CocoSoya oil from Ukeles. Turned out, she'd eat almost anything with that on it. I also cut her feed back to whatever she would finish. I started with a handful, and when she consistently finished it ( quickly ), I added another handful. The minute she left some, I cut her back. She kind of got the hang of finishing her feed with that routine....especially when she had finished her "mouthful", and the other 2 were still eating. ( In those days, grass and hay were almost always available - now, due to weight issues in all three, they've been cut way back ). If there is a tumor on the pituitary gland, and there are symptoms, then it probably needs treating with pergolide. Only you can figure out if it's necessary.

One last thing: I started my mare on previcox a couple of months ago, after reading the discussions here. ( she'd been on and off daily doses of bute since 1986 ) Wow, nice result. I haven't had to inject her front feet this year, and she's off the bute. She's more comfortable now, then she has been in years.

Just some thoughts in the "wee" hours. Good luck.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 23804
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Sep 27, 2009 - 9:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara the statement still stands, "Abnormal results in a healthy horse are of uncertain significance".
DrO
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5331
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Sep 27, 2009 - 11:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Dr. O.

Rachelle, Thanks for the links. We can't get Triple Crown products here. I'm going to go to their website and see what is listed in the feed. I think I'll ask some questions and start a new post under geriatic horses or nutrition to talk about her diet.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1943
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Sunday, Sep 27, 2009 - 12:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Rachelle, is the Safe Starch a pelleted feed, or a chopped forage along the lines of Dengi Hi Fi?

Lee, I was thinking the same thing about the topline and Cushings connection. Sugar had appearance of muscle wasting before we started Pergolide. She did have inappetance with each increase of dose, but gradually that went away. She is still a "suspicous" eater though, and doesn't like any additives to her feed. Doesn't seem to mind the Pergolide capsules however.

Sara, you may want to discuss the possibility of restarting the Pergolide since you got rid of the mouth problem that might have contributed to lack of gusto at the feed bucket. Good luck finding the key to your girl's health.
Erika
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 403
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Sunday, Sep 27, 2009 - 3:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Erika,
It's a forage product, I haven't looked at the Dengi Hi Fi. Both my horses get approx. 1%- 1 1/2 % of body weight forage= 9-12 lbs and get 1% body weight feed = 9 lbs( although this is getting reduced) they both seem to be doing fine ( both are also on pretty good quality pasture).

I will most likely up the forage and reduce the concentrate as we get closer to the winter and cold weather. I am really surprised that the mare is maintaining her weight as she is a really hard keeper usually. Her 'tude' problems seem to be disappearing which I think correlates to the decrease in the sugar consumption ( her concentrate contains some molasses)due to the reduction in concentrate volume.

Rachelle
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5333
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 - 12:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Erika, I've been wondering about that myself and am trying to decide. She's eating good currently, but is picky. After her bath, she looked a lot better than I thought she did as far as her hair goes. But it is kind of patchy as to thickness and length and I'm trying to decide if it's the season or something else. She also has some patches that are scurffier (is that a word?) than others. I scrubbed with a medicated shampoo then a soothing moisturizing rinse and conditioner afterwards. She wasn't totally dry when I put her sheet on, so I'll see how her coat looks when shes dry all over. She does have a lot less muscle than she used to. How much of that is due to her inability to exercise like she used to and how much is due to something else is another thing to figure out. I'm leaning towards starting the pergolide again. Her top line is where I really see the most difference, from head of tail to along her neck there is a real lack of muscle. It's been awhile since I've read the Cushings article here. Guess I'll go and re-read it, my memory being as it is.

Rachelle, I think the Nutrena Safe Choice is similar to the Triple Crown. The Eq. Senior is 14% protein as opposed to the Triple Crown's 11%; the Safe Choice is the same as the Safe Starch in protein. Aside from the protein levels, the Senior seems to be about the same as the Safe Starch. The biggest differences are in some of the mineral amounts, and those differences are fairly minor.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 405
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 - 8:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sara, the Nutrena safe choice is a pellet. The Triple Crown is a forage product.

Erika, The Dengi Hi-Fi is alfalfa based, the Triple Crown is timothy and orchard grass.

My horses are very funny, they know the difference between the concentrate and the forage. What I mean is anything that looks like grain and goes in the feed tub must be eaten as quickly as possible. On the other hand, I can put their forage in a feed tub and they eat it slowly and they move away from it if they don't feel like eating, yet every last scrap of it is gone by the time they get their next bucket.

I've always been one that likes to see my horses eat their feed quickly, but I am coming around to the idea that this may not be the healthiest way to feed a horse. They are basically captive prisoners and have to do and eat the way we want them to, but ideally they should have something in front of them all day (and all night long).

I need a feeder that will let me put the hay and grain together so they can eat all the time. I feel an invention coming on.

Rachelle
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jos
Member
Username: paardex

Post Number: 1483
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 - 10:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sara, I agree with you Beau does NOT look good for her age, your elderly horses always look wonderful and apart from that I think she changed to fast in appearance. I had an old TB eat/look good on boiled linseed on top of everything because she loved that food[especially when mixed with some honey] and carrots in with everything kept her eating. I reasoned the wet carrots were the nearest to grass which is also quite often easiest to get into a picky eater. Obviously these methods were just to make her eat the things she needed like senior feed.
Guess you will have to resort to apples mixed in everything?
Jos
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5334
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, Sep 28, 2009 - 10:31 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

We have nothing like the Triple Crown available here. However, the Safe Choice is close in nutrient content.

The only reason to want a horse to eat fast is so you can get them working. I like my horses to eat slowly. Also, I don't give them their grain or supplements, if they get any, until after they've eaten at least some of their hay. Somewhere along the line I was taught to do this; that a horse will digest their grain better that way. I agree that ideally a horse should have food in front of them all day.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: dro

Post Number: 23812
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009 - 9:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jos, carrots are closer to a concentrate than a forage with a large percentage of the carbohydrate being sucrose, glucose, and fructose.

Carrots are 85% water which means you can eat large amounts without consuming many calories but when you consider them nutritionally and look at the dry matter basis roughly 1/3 of the carrot is carbohydrate half of which is fiber and the other 1/2 is sugar.
DrO
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jos
Member
Username: paardex

Post Number: 1484
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 29, 2009 - 5:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Dr O so a few pounds as appetizer excluding horses prone to founder will be ok I guess.
Jos
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