Free feeding tested hay


Pat
 

Hello,

My Canadian mare had laminitis August 2020. (See case history.) She has done well at new barn on your recommended diet and tested hay. 
 
She has been on a restricted diet before (in terms of % of preferred body weight) and lots of exercise and never really did lose much weight so I believe the weight loss is a result of low starch hay. Since being on weighed hay and your recommended diet, she has lost around 150 lbs.

But I am now worried she has ulcers (because of sudden on set of behaviour problems, like biting, which she has never done before).
She is fed 3x per day in hay nets but devours it quickly, leaving her with long windows without food.
Her blood work says she is not insulin resistant but your calculator says she is compensated IR, sensitive to food.

Would it be safe to at least try free feeding of tested hay for a week or two or longer, if I keep track of her weight? I would use a whole bale, small-hole net approach. I realize it could take some time for a full transition - but is it safe to just start and see where it goes in terms of health and weight. I am wiling to stop if her weight gain is too much or any other health issues arise.

Thanks!

--
Pat
August 2020
Metro Vancouver BC Canada
Case: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Pat%20and%20Willow
Photos: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=253325


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Hi Pat,

I'm glad to hear Willow is doing well and that she has lost so much weight!  That's great that her bloodwork is showing her insulin is well-controlled, but that was back in October.  If her insulin is creeping up at all, that could coincide with a grumpy attitude and a dislike of being touched or worked though so would you consider having her bloodwork checked again?  Biting could also be due to discomfort from cycling, or saddle fit changing after all her weight loss, etc.  If you suspect ulcers, I would have a veterinarian out and have her scoped if you can, to get an actual diagnosis.  Another option mentioned in previous posts is to try a few days of GastroGuard or Ulcerguard to see if her condition improves; if yes, then she likely does have ulcers that would benefit from the full treatment.

Because she is unlikely to ever learn to regulate her hay intake, I would not consider go the route of free-feeding hay.  I think she will balloon up so fast that all your hard work will be undone.  Currently she seems to be eating about 1.8% of her lower body weight estimate.  If you are happy with her current weight, and if she is back in work, you could try increasing her hay intake to 2% of her ideal body weight (assuming 1100 lbs is ideal, that would be 22 lbs of hay).  Also, the hay really should be weighed because estimating hay by flake size is very inaccurate.  Maybe she is getting less than you think and has good reason to be starving all the time?  One suggestion is for you to weigh out a day's worth of hay for 7 days and put it into separate garbage bags, then ask the barn to feed 1 garbage bag a day, divided in to the 3 feedings.  And, maybe on days you exercise her a minimum of 30 min trotting, she can have a small 0.5-1lb meal of hay afterwards that you give her?  Those are just my thoughts.  I know its hard and its a constant battle slowing my horse's hay consumption down, too.

--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History
Shaku's Photo Album


Pat
 

She has never been this grumpy in all the time I have had her - she is a very friendly and willing mare - so I don't think it is insulin related or cycling or it would have come up before.
I will be asking for a scoping for sure, have a vet appt coming up.  I will talk to the barn about feeding and see if I can convince them to at least drop down to 1" hay bags and add some more.
--
Pat
August 2020
Metro Vancouver BC Canada
Case: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Pat%20and%20Willow
Photos: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=253325


 

Hi, Pat. 

I have an ulcer-prone horse. My vet said he could spot it when he came to scope her. I wish I’d skipped the scoping and followed this excellent suggestion: “ Another option mentioned in previous posts is to try a few days of GastroGuard or Ulcerguard to see if her condition improves; if yes, then she likely does have ulcers that would benefit from the full treatment.”

I saw results and improvements that were NOT just wishful thinking within 4 days of starting treatment.
My ulcer-prone horse has had a second episode. I skipped the scope and treated her.

Thought I’d mention the trial treatment option. I can’t give my horse meds by syringe, but I found an oral omelrazole option that worked for us. 
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse and Diamond Case History Folder                
Cayuse Photos                Diamond Photos


Sara Gooch
 

Hi Cass,
Just curious, was the oral omeprazole that worked for you the Abler product, Abrazole?
With as many success stories from knowledgeable, experienced horse people, it's somewhat surprising that  most veterinarians ignore and/or dismiss the Abler omeprazole products even when they are fully aware that the Abler omeprazole is the only omeprazole that the client could afford.  I'm sure many ulcer horses go untreated because of the expense of Gastrogard/Ulcergard.

Sara Gooch, 2011, Northeast California 


Jill B
 

Hi Pat - I've had success in double netting the hay rations.  It's amazing how much longer it takes him to eat his hay.
--
Jill and Tanqueray
February 2021, Central TX
Tanqueray's Case History -  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Jill%20and%20Tanqueray/Tanqueray%20Case%20History.pdf
Tanqueray's Photos - https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=261221


Barbara Noble
 

Just my experience re free feeding IR mare.  Before I knew she was IR she was on free choice hay and no kidding...she gained 500 lbs.  Total weight 1700 when 1200 would due!
--
Barbara
Dec 2015, Sequim, WA
Ginger's Case History   https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Barbara%20and%20Ginger


 

Hi, Sara.
Yes, I used the Abler product, AbPrazole granules. I believe you were part of the EC Horsekeeping discussion:
https://ecir.groups.io/g/Horsekeeping/topic/71803024#29172 I'd be happy to answer any questions on that forum.
--
Cass, Sonoma Co., CA 2012
ECIR Group Moderator
Cayuse and Diamond Case History Folder                
Cayuse Photos                Diamond Photos


Bobbie Day
 

Cass
i have a order in route from Adler, I’m pretty sure that at least three of our five are getting ulcers, our vets don’t scope here so I’m going to be proactive and start them all. We lost my husband’s mare two years ago from colic and now (hindsight) I’m pretty sure that was the beginning of her problems. I bought a couple tubes of ulcer meds from my vet just to see if it would help our other mare that is exhibiting symptoms now, At thirty five dollars a tube there is NO way I can afford to treat my horses so I’m anxious to try the pellets from Adler.
--
Bobbie and Desi
NRC Plus March 2020
Utah, Nov 2018

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Bobbie%20and%20Desi 

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=78821


Sara Gooch
 

Thanks Cass regarding the Abler omeprazole.  I had success with the Abler granules too. I was just curious if maybe there was another effective omeprazole product besides the Abler.  And sorry, I mistakenly thought that this post was on the Horsekeeping page--

Sara,  2011, NE California


gypsylassie
 

Hi Pat, one thing you can do to help her is to give her a small meal of hay before you ride or exercise her.   That will help the part of the stomach that doesn't have protection from acid splashing up when a horse trots and canters.   
Laura K Chappie & Beau over the bridge
2011 N IL 


Sara Gooch
 

 Bobbi,
With the Abler granules, make sure you follow the protocol of not getting the granules wet by feeding in any sort of a mash.  Best results by dosing with any omeprazole first thing in the morning with the smallest amount of carrier you can, and on an empty stomach, then withhold their breakfast for I think it is 30-40 minutes, maybe an hour, I forget, but do some research on the timing. This ulcer discussion should be on Horsekeeping, so if you have more questions, ask there ☺.
Good luck,
Sara, 2011, Northeast California


coffincomplex@...
 

There are automatic feeders available for hay. Perhaps you could invest in something like that, to spread her feedings out across more times of the day? Have you tried giving her a treat dispensing toy, that she could roll around to get small bits of safe treats or hay cubes out of, all while getting a little exercise?
--
Alanna
May 2018
Los Angeles, CA
Buster's case history: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alanna%20and%20Buster  .