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horsemed, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 304
Experience:  Equine veterinarian with 8 years experience working at referral hospitals throughout the country
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Horse has low protein level, low potassium, and is anemic.

Customer Question

Horse has low protein level, low potassium, and is anemic. Loosing weight doesn't look good. What can I do?
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the horse?
Customer: Horse has low protein level, low potassium, and is anemic. Loosing weight, doesn't look good. Has been worme What can we do?.
JA: Where does the horse seem to hurt?
Customer: He doesn't seem to hurt. Teeth have been checked.
JA: OK. No obvious pain. What is the horse's name and age?
Customer: Name is***** 12.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about the horse?
Customer: He had been mistreated and starved as a young horse.
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  horsemed replied 4 months ago.

Hello there, I am an internal medicine specialist and I would be happy to help. I'm sorry to hear about Chief's issues. It sounds like you've already had a veterinarian come out to check the teeth and draw the blood. Low protein levels and low potassium levels can come from loss through the GI tract or the kidneys. If the kidney enzymes were normal on the bloodwork, he is most likely losing it through the GI tract. This would also fit with the anemia (happens with chronic disease) and the weight loss.

You did the right thing by checking the most obvious causes first: teeth, parasitism, and diet. Just to make sure, were his teeth floated and found to be okay? Also, there is a great deal of parasitic resistance so even if you have dewormed him, I would recommend getting a fecal egg count done with the vet, and also deworming for tapeworms (use Zimectrin Gold or Equimax), which don't usually show up on fecal. Finally, I would check the diet with the vet to make sure it is high quality and meets his nutritional requirements.

Now, if you have ruled out all 3 of these common causes, I would recommend further diagnostic work-up to see what is going on in his GI tract that may be causing these bloodwork changes. This may involve referring him to a nearby referral hospital or having him examined by a board-certified internal medicine specialist. I would recommend a gastroscopy to look inside his stomach for ulcers, an abdominal ultrasound to check his abdomen for thickened intestine or any other causes of malabsorption, and potentially a belly tap to check the fluid in his abdomen.

Does this make sense to you? Once we know what is causing these changes, we can tailor the treatment to help Chief out. Let me know if you have any questions or concerns!

Expert:  horsemed replied 4 months ago.

Hello there, I just wanted to check to see if you received my answer? Please "accept" the answer if everything made sense to you, or if you have any further questions, I would be happy to continue this discussion.