Re: Horse on Prascend for 4 months- still won't eat
Hi, Mimi - I agree with Lavinia, both about Yahoo (!) and the amount of groceries Ms. Scarlet is getting. I have found that the only way to keep weight on some of these seniors is with free-choice hay, as well as increased beet pulp etc. Theoretically, if her ACTH is under control, then she should be able to graze safely, but it is not really worth the risk. These older horses really do need extra time to eat, as well as extra food. Logistically it can be tricky, if one is feeding a fatty-puff and a skinny old horse, but I found that putting Merlin in his Palace Turn-out for the night, and having the other horses on the other side of the fence, did the trick. He had all night to eat his hay and beet pulp, and then got to play during the day. Now Maggie is old enough to need that extra time as well, so the two oldies eat all night together, then all 4 horses can play together in the day. I was actually relieved when Maggie started to drop a bit of weight (ACTH under control, teeth in order but rather worn, bloodwork all good, so figured the old-age factors were starting to creep in) because it meant she and Merlin could hang out together at night.
Regarding free-choice hay, especially for seniors, having it in a slow-feed hay bag can help because they get smaller bites, and are able to chew more thoroughly. Even though the teeth may look good, a combination of age and PPID often results in reduced strength of the chewing muscles, and so the hay is not chewed well enough to get the nutrients out. Use a slow-feed net with larger holes (1.5 " to 2") than one would normally use with the gannet-like "regular" IR horses.
Free-choice hay will also help with the ulcer factor.
For the APF, in her case I would use 4 mls twice daily.
Here is a quick check-list for weight loss or hard-keeping in older horses:
- Insufficient pergolide, so ACTH not controlled
- Not enough feed, or not enough time to eat
- Insufficient protein (protein digestion reduces with age, as stomach HCl reduces with age) - some horses do better when they are supplemented with whey protein isolate, as it is already all broken down for them.
- Poor chewing strength
- Teeth worn, or need floating
- Kidney or liver dysfunction (much more rare than any of the above)
You are doing great with keeping her going at her age - just a few tweaks and things should improve.
After the advice I saw you gave Briana, I bought some APF and gave 3 ml yesterday. Scarlet is 847 on the weight tape. Is that the right dose and is it once a day? If that will stop the chronic ulcers, I will be thrilled. I am really hoping that it is what I have been looking for.