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DrMelJ
DrMelJ, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 825
Experience:  experience in racetrack medicine and general practice; owned and ridden horses throughout life.
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My 2 year old arab dropped a ton of weight the last 4 days.

Customer Question

My 2 year old arab dropped a ton of weight the last 4 days. It's been horribly hot here and the flies are a nightmare. He's also being bullied a bit in the pasture. I have him in a stall now, but he won't eat much and has only drank about 5 gallons of water in over 24 hours.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. Thanks for the question. Let me see if I can help. Im sorry to hear your horse isnt feeling well.

I would suggest doing the following:

1. Check for a fever- young horses like children are prone to infections of various types. Use a human digital thermometer to check his temp. If it is 102 F or greater, then he has a fever and needs to see a vet asap to figure out what is wrong.

If no fever, I would wonder about one of 2 things:

1. Stomach ulcers from stress- if he has been bullied and stressed in the pasture then he may have ulcers in his stomach which cause pain every time he tries to eat. There is a medication for this called Gastrogard- you have to get it from the vet. Sometimes adding a 1/2 cup of corn oil to the feed is soothing to the GI tract as well.

2. A tooth problem- a 2 year old is still loosing some baby teeth and getting adult teeth, if he has a "cap" or retained baby tooth, this may be causing pain when he eats. You can not see all the teeth yourself, you'll have to have a vet examine him to check for this.

Of course colic is a concern as well but you did not mention that he is down or rolling or showing those kind of signs. If he is, call a vet immediately.

I hope this helps. Best of luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Had vet out. Says pneumonia and dehydrated. Did IV of electrolytes. Ate a bit, drank a little and is sleeping again. Ampicillin and gentamicin for the next few days. Temp is good.
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 1 year ago.

I'm glad you were able to get a diagnosis. I hope your horse feels better soon. Please remember to rate my response if you found it helpful. Take care.