My six year old mare (rescue from Tampa Bay Downs 3 years ago) is loosing weight in spite of eating well. She runs through the pasture, roles in the grass and doesn't seem to be in any distress. The only difference is we found a home for our older horse and he left 3 months ago. Maggie didn't seem to miss him at all, which surprised me. She eats two scoops of 12%sweet feed with beet pulp, alpha and rolled oats each morning and night. There is a hay ring that she eats from at will and a 6 acre grass pasture which she grazes on throughout the day. Her eating habits haven't change, she is current on all shots and worming, has bran each Saturday. We actually noticed some slight weight loss after Thanksgiving and increased her feed. Has seen the vet, ferrier and dentist in the past 90 days.I am RN and usually notice changes or illness quickly and call or vet. I am perplexed on this one.
Pet's Sex: Female
Pet's Age: 6
Nothing beyond increasing feed. No symptoms noted to address. Eating, activity and pooping all the same.
Thanks for allowing me to assist you, I am the horse's servant and will do my best to help you with your horse. The one thing that comes to mind is a possible metabolic disorder, has your vet done any bloodwork? A wasting condition like Cushings could be at work. I know the test is not totally without risk and often a horse can be assumed to have a pituitary problem that is affecting metabolism and thus muscle mass. The problem lies in that each horse is unique as to circulating cortisol levels, the dex-supression test has a founder risk, but... the old standby med pergolide is not pricey and I have known vets that will treat these symptoms without subjecting the horse to potential harm from the test. You may want to discuss approaching her condition systemically with her vet. After that, I would check her manure to see if she has any issues (shedding eggs from resistant worms or undigested hay). I know you said she is up to date with her maintenance but it may be worth a second look. On the tangent of her recent herd member loss, a goat or donkey / pony may bring her peace if she is worrying or is emotionally distressed. I wish you the best with your mare, good luck with her.
30+ years of horse ownership, 15+ years of equine massage therapy, saddle fit, equine biomechanist