We have a Begin cross horse who seems to be loosing a lot of weight lately. We have dewormed her about two weeks ago

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Customer: We have a Begin cross horse who seems to be loosing a lot of weight lately. We have dewormed her about two weeks ago thinking that was the problem and she is still eating and drinking but still seems to be loosing weight. Any suggestions?
Thanks
Answered by LLVET in 33 mins 8 years ago
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LLVET
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Dr. Steven Osborne :

Hi, I'm Dr STeve. I have a few questions to help me better understand your situation. Can you tell me what she is eating and how much? Also does she drop grain when she is eating? Last question ( for now) how long has she been loosing weight?

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

She is on Hay (which we grow) (mixture of timothy, red clover and grass) She is also on whole oats which she has been eating all winter. Her diet has not differed at all. She is however, outside now 24/7 which has changed as we bring our horses in at night during the winter months. She has only started to loose weight about the last four week. it has become more evident as I look at her. Her back hips were showing two weeks ago which is why I dewormed her and know I can see her backbone a bit. she had always been one of our largest (fatest) horses as she was a rescue so is not ridden, just ring and ground work :) Oh and I noticed that said Begin, hopefully you realized it was a typo and she is a Belgin cross :)

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

She does drop grain when eating yes but did that in the stall through the winter as well

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

She is on two scoops of whole oats and we give out four horses about 6-8 small squares / day depending the size of the bale

<span class="JA_chatAuthorName"Customer:

again , this has not changed from the past year

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Ok, Thanks fo rthe extra information. There are several possible causes of this problem.SInce the grain dropping has not changed it is not likely the entire problem. It is possible that now that she is outside more she may be more active and may be using more energy and needs more feed.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

Here is my routine approach to this common problem. The first thing I do is have a fecal sample checked by your vet to be sure the dewormer is effective. I have seen wormer failures and if there are worms in the stools, then you may need to use a different dewormer depending on the type of worms present. THis is the most common cause of weight loss, even if they have recently been dewormed. The only way to know for sure is to have the stools checked.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

If that is normal, then having her blood checked to be sure her liver , kidneys and pancreas are working properly. As a horse ages , their internal organs can stop working effectively and blood tests will show this. If these come back normal, then I check the teeth to see how bad they may be. If there are large ridges on the teeth , then may respond to floating. She may be dropping more grain than you realize.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

If all these things seem ok, then the next option would be to give her more grain or possibly switch her to a senior diet that gives more nutrition that older horse may require.

Dr. Steven Osborne :

ONe option is to start with giving a senior feed, but this may take several weeks to see weight gain and if she has other problems they could continue to get worse while waiting to see if the senior feed is going to help . It is also possible that she could have some small problems with one or more of the things I mentioned that , by themsleves may nt be an issue, but put many small problems together could add up to enough of a total problem to cause her to lose weight;

Dr. Steven Osborne :

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Hi Dawna, I'm just following up on our conversation about Molly. How is everything going? Dr. Steven Osborne
Customer

We have dewormed her again with Safe Guard instead of Bimectin as I read that there are some parasites' that have become immune to the dewormer . Also I have started her on a senior feed and I am feeding her separately in the barn to monitor her intake. I have also been monitoring her manure and it is looking more solid and healthy and hopefully we are on the mend. I will however continue monitor her weight and if I see any decrease, I will have our vet come out.

Thanks again

Thanks for the update . It sounds like you have a good approach to this situation and it also sounds like she is improving. I hope things continue to improve.
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