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horse: 4 month old..very frightened..her teeth and quit eating alfalfa…

Customer Question
Hello, I have a 4 month...
Hello,
I have a 4 month old filly that has been weaned for 1 month, and I brought her to my house a week ago. She is still very frightened, but has bonded quickly with me and the horse next to her. She started grinding her teeth and quit eating alfalfa. She eats her grain (1 1/2 scoop Safe and Sound, 14 ounce can of MooreGlo, & Soy oil), on the installment plan through out the day, but leaves her mineral pellets. I gave her coastal hay the second day she went without eating alfalfa and she prefers it, but does not clean it up, so I the started adding alfalfa pellets to her grain. She has dropped a little weight, but not so much I worried about that yet. The breeder gave me a baggie with a powder supplement to add once a day to help prevent ulcers. She is a large foal, maybe 250 lbs. She will not allow me to look in her mouth yet.

She is in a large dry lot, but does not move around much and does not play. Stays very close to the horse next to her and rarely ventures anywhere, but along that fenceline. I have been taking her for long walks once or twice a day just get her some exercise. She is a very shy and quiet baby and does not appear to be sick. I did contact the breeder immediatly when she went off her food, but she said "she's fine!" and wanted me to quit giving her coastal so she would have to eat alfalfa. (I kept giving her coastal. She is getting WAY to much grain to wait and see if she's going to eat the alfalfa!)

I don't believe in weaning this early and have not had a horse this young away from her mother. I am feeding her as the breeder suggested ( she is a halter filly), but I am concerned about the teeth grinding and the stress, and large amounts of grain, and her not willing to move around. It is also very hot during the day. It has been 1 week with no change in her eating habits. She was cleaning up her grain and hay before she came to my place. Twice this week she has gotten so frighted within 5 minutes had diarrhea, which subsided shortly after she settled down. (causes were starting the walker, and first time she saw the Kawasaki Mule). She has been wormed twice with Ivermectin, once at weaning and once just before I picked her up.

I guess my question is, should I worry about an ulcer, and am I feeding her correctly? I want to get her through this transition as safely as I can.

Thank you so much for your time. Sorry if I was long winded.
Launa Brunner
Bandera, Tx

She's eating grass hay now and is bobbing her head while chewing....teeth maybe? Only ate a few bites of grain this morning. Not at all uncomfortable, following me around wanting to be scratched. Same behavior schedule all week. 4 naps a day at the same times,drinking water, alert. Just having a hard time getting her to eat.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Horse Veterinary
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Answered in 16 minutes by:
6/22/2010
Horse Veterinarian: Dr. M., Board Certified Equine Surgeon replied 8 years ago
Dr. M.
Dr. M., Board Certified Equine Surgeon
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,572
Experience: Board certified surgeon, lameness and advanced imaging expert. 9 years experience.
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Is she still grinding her teeth now?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Yes, mostly when she gets nervous. She is VERY quiet this morning. Walked up to me when I fed her grain. Not real anxious to eat. Takes her 24 hours to finish 1 flake of coastal and maybe 1/4 flake of alfalfa. She's eating now, quietly.

Horse Veterinarian: Dr. M., Board Certified Equine Surgeon replied 8 years ago
You should definitely worry about gastric ulcers, and start her on dome gastrogard (according to weight). I agree that she is getting too much grain, I would half that at this point and start adding to it a small amount (2 table spoon twice a day) of canola oil.

LEt me know if you have any further questions
Dr. M.
Dr. M., Board Certified Equine Surgeon
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1,572
Experience: Board certified surgeon, lameness and advanced imaging expert. 9 years experience.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Do I need to stop the soy oil?

Thank you!

Customer reply replied 8 years ago

Dr. M,

 

I wanted to thank you again!! My filly, after just 1 dose of gastroguard this morning, slept all afternoon, got up only to drink water. Then this evening when it cooled off she actually kicked up her heels a little. :) Then ate all of her dinner (1/2 portion as you suggested) AND cleaned up her grass hay. I removed the leftover alfalfa. Will re-introduce that later when she is fully acting like a normal baby.

 

Last question....I bought 2 tubes (8 days worth) this morning. How long should I give it to her??

 

My vet is out of town for 2 weeks, I am so glad I found you at JustAnswer!!

 

Launa

Horse Veterinarian: Dr. M., Board Certified Equine Surgeon replied 8 years ago
I would recommend 3 to 4 weeks.
Glad she is better.
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