Peanut has stopped eating her hay


Alice
 

Hi,

This is a wierd one. Hope you can help me.  About 2 weeks ago Peanut started not finishing her hay meals. She would eat most but not all. Prior to this she always ate everything I put in her hay net. So I tried a hay net with larger holes. But that didn't seem to make any difference. Then I tried feeding it free choice...but it only got worse. Finally last Thursday and Friday she didn't eat ANY of her hay!! She would eat her Stabul-1 with her minerals. And she would eat green grass if she could get to it. But totally refused to eat any hay. She also quit drinking but was licking her salt block a LOT. She had very reduced amounts of manure because nothing was going in. Note-This is the same hay she had been eating since April. I changed bales and fed the refused hay to the rest of the herd. They all gobbled it down. 

I took her to the vet on Saturday. All vitals were normal or near normal. CBC was also normal. Still waiting on results of chem panel. Vet gave her 10cc of banamine to see if it would help.  It did seem to encourage her to eat a bit more....but still hardly any. I did feed her 2# of Stabul-1 with some clay ( bentonite) in the am and 2# in the pm with her minerals. To encourage her to start eating I have allowed her to graze on very short dry grass for a hour each morning and evening which she readily does. She has started drinking again and her poop production is back to normal. But she still refuses to eat her hay!!  Vet is leaning toward ulcers. I am thinking it may be psychological. 

I am at a loss....has anyone else had this experience??  Any ideas on how to encourage her to eat her hay?? I do have a grazing muzzle that fits her but I haven't tried previously because the hay nets were working well.   TIA

--
Alice A
March 2021, Custer, SD 
Case history: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alice%20and%20Peanut   .
Peanut's photo album: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=262374  .


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

Did your vet examine her mouth carefully?

Try to observe how she is eating her Stabul 1.  Does she chew it carefully or bolt it down?

It doesn't sound like appetite is the issue here. Horses with ulcers classically go for hay over the concentrates but it wouldn't hurt to treat her for 3 days or so. I'd also try hay on the ground or in a bucket/trough rather than a net and see what she does with hay pellets or cubes.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


colleenulbricht@...
 

When our horse stopped eating her hay, we thought she was stressed or just being picky.  A few weeks later, she developed a huge swelling on the side of her face from a tooth root abscess.  Her teeth had been floated and examined closely by the vet twice at that point but the break in her tooth was below the gumline and couldn't be seen without xrays.  Are you noticing any unusual odor from her mouth or do you ever see any discharge from her nose?  It doesn't have to be consistent to indicate a problem.  I would seriously consider some dental xrays to make sure she doesn't have any changes around any of her roots or any bony changes in her jaws.
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Colleen U in St. Louis, MO 2022


Alice
 

Thank you Dr. Kellon. Yes...we have had her teeth examined by two different vets. She does eat her Stabul 1 slowly.  We will be taking her to Colorado State University tomorrow for a complete examination. Will let you know what we find out. 
--
Alice A
March 2021, Custer, SD 
Case history: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alice%20and%20Peanut   .
Peanut's photo album: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=262374  .


Alice
 

Thank you Colleen....that is helpful. I was tending to think the same thing about just being picky because her herdmates get turned out and she doesn't . But I don't think she would starve herself.She likes to eat too much. I haven't noticed any swelling or discharge yet. But we will be taking her to Colorado State University Vet Hospital tomorrow and will mention that possibility. 
--
Alice A
March 2021, Custer, SD 
Case history: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alice%20and%20Peanut   .
Peanut's photo album: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=262374  .


Alice
 

We are back from CSU Vet Hospital.  Peanut did indeed have gastric ulcers. But I believe that part of her reluctance to eat was psychological because she ate OK while at the vet hospital. But when we got home she refused her hay again...and her Stabul 1.  We gave her our winter hay and she gobbled that down. We also gave her a bit of different low sugar grain which she ate as well. I believe she thought that her summer hay (and the Stabul 1) was causing her stomach pain.  Through this ordeal she lost about 100#. So we are feeding her free choice for a while to make sure her gut stays full and she doesn't lose more weight. Then we will start paring her feed back down to the 2% of body weight. She is being treated with a 30-day course of omeprazole. 

We think that the stress of a recent clinic plus being separated from her herd for the summer contributed to the onset of the ulcers.  We have made some adjustments to her living arrangements to reduce her stress and will be cognizant of her tendency to ulcers in the future. Because she is dry-lotted for the summer....she did have a small amount of sand in her stomach but the vet did not believe it was contributing to her symptoms or require treatment at this point. We have also made some changes in her feeding arrangements to minimize sand intake. 

Managing these IR animals is a challenge!! So thanks to Dr. Kellon and all here who have helped me keep her healthy!  

--
Alice A
March 2021, Custer, SD 
Case history: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Alice%20and%20Peanut   .
Peanut's photo album: 
https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=262374  .