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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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I have a 20 year old gelding who has been losing weight and

Customer Question

I have a 20 year old gelding who has been losing weight and when I went out after being gone a few days he has dropped a lot of weight and his sides are sunken in. He has done this before but not this bad. He acts like he can't swallow, he takes treats in his mouth but won't chew or swallow. The vet thought he might have cushings when I took him in last time. Could this be the cause. Thanks
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 2 years ago.

Hi there, thanks for the question. Let me see if I can help. I'm sorry you had to wait so long for a response. Cushings can cause weight loss but definitely would not affect your horses ability to eat. If he is not able or willing to chew and swallow then something is seriously wrong. He needs to be seen by a vet to determine what that is....possibilities include:

- a bad tooth or something in his mouth causing pain

- colic or a fever that are causing him to hesitate to eat. You can check his temp with a human digital thermometer in his rectum. If it is over 102 F then he has a fever and you need to have the vet out to find out why.

- an esophageal problem like a stricture or choke. Although usually with this issue they have saliva coming out of these nose and mouth and they arch their neck a strange way because of how their esophagus feels

I would recommend having a vet out as soon as possible. Your horse can not go on like this for very long.