Re: Feeding the picky hard keeper with PPID


Hi - as it happens, I have a little story about that exact thing.  My PPID/IR horse, Merlin, started dropping weight last spring.  I can't get Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance cubes here; he was refusing his beet pulp; he was occasionally quidding, so had the dentist out.  Teeth touched up - no major issues.  I thought perhaps he was no longer able to efficiently chew long hay (happens due to lack of jaw strength in the older guys), so I spent  a lot of time chopping hay for him with our electric lawn mower (and a very tedious job it was!). Because weight loss, or lack of weight gain, can also be caused by a host of other things (kidney or liver issues, for example), or caused by uncontrolled IR or PPID, I ran a full panel.  Lo and behold: the ACTH was above normal!  Dang!  Increased from 10 mg pergolide to 12 mg; re-tested and it was still just a hair high.  Increased to 15 mg pergolide, and, like magic, the weight started going back on. He also started eating his beet pulp again.

So - the moral of that story is to search out the actual cause of the lack of ability to keep weight on. Feeding high fat foods will actually be counter-productive, because high fat diets can exacerbate already uncontrolled IR, and cause even more weight loss.  Test to make sure the ACTH and insulin are under control, and feed lots and lots of safe calories: low sugar/starch forage (with minerals balanced to the hay), rinsed/soaked/rinsed beet pulp and/or soy hull pellets; or Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance cubes or Nuzu Stabul 1.

Ulcers can also cause picky eating and weight loss, but the ONLY way to heal ulcers is to use properly formulated omeprazole: either the hideously expensive GastroGard;   or Abprazole:       Other items can help prevent ulcer recurrence, but once the ulcers are there, omeprazole is the way to go.
 For good information about ulcers, go here:
and click on the first pdf about gastric ulcers.

Jaini (BVSc),Merlin,Maggie,Gypsy
ECIR  mod/support

-how do I add weight to a picky horse?  .......  I know if I get her ulcers in line it will help, but even that is causing me problems.

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