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Dr. Loretta
Dr. Loretta, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28283
Experience:  25 years of experience in treating horses.
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My gelding Quarter Horse is 32 yrs old and has been

Customer Question

My gelding Quarter Horse is 32 yrs old and has been gradually losing weight all summer...
He was diagnosed with slight heart murmur about 4 yrs ago. I have a thoroughbred that is his barn mate and age 28 well muscled and very robust...shiny coat, etc. Rocket the quarter horse has a shiny coat, but beginning to look very thin. I have included beet pulp for Rocket (slowly, but now getting 1/2 scoop 2X a day along with his food)..along with his other grain. I also noticed this spring that he was very fuzzy and didn't lose this thicker
hari covering until June..most unsual. He is very alert, clear eyed, and still has great
appetite. He has lost some teeth...I put water in his food to make it more digestible...
What do you think is going on? Other than old age? Patsy Huban, Athens. Ga
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 1 year ago.

Good Afternoon and welcome! I am Dr. Loretta, a licensed veterinarian and I am happy to answer your question.

It is not unusual for horses at this age to lose weight mostly because their digestive system is not as capable of taking in all of the nutrients that Rocket is taking in. There does not need to be a metabolic problem for this although, it is best to have your vet run lab work to rule out a metabolic problem such as a thyroid problem or other issues. Cancer of the intestinal tract is also on the differential list but without diagnostics, you will not know for sure. The best you can do for Rocket is what you are doing...increasing his feed with high fiber with beet pulp and feeding him separately and then free feeding hay.

Check Rockets teeth when you have your vet run lab work...painful points can cause weight loss due to Rocket not chewing as well and getting all the nutrients that he is ingesting.

Does that make sense to you?

Please let me know if you have ANY other questions. My goal is to give you 100% satisfaction and if you are not yet satisfied, please REPLY so I can clarify for you.
Sincerely, ***** *****

Expert:  Dr. Loretta replied 1 year ago.
Hi Patsy,
I'm just following up on our conversation about Rocket. How is everything going?
Dr. Loretta

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