Questions on body condition and feeding
Nira has been losing weight since February when her laminitis started and now tapes at about 910 pounds. I have updated her case history and add a couple new photos of her.
She had stopped eating in early June after I tried to increase her from 0.50 ml of pergolide suspension to 1.0 ml due to her last test numbers having gone up instead of down. I stopped the pergolide until I got her appetite back to normal (took about a week). I have since been giving pergolide again, starting with 0.25 ml of pergolide suspension and increasing by .25 ml each week. We are up to 0.75 ml now and she is eating fine.
I am wondering if I should change her feeding program to stop her weight loss. I am feeding her 18 pounds of hay per day, soaked, split into 4 feedings.
I had the hay we baled in June tested at Equi-Analytical and finally got results this week. Her soaked hay tests at 6.2 as sampled - 6.5 dry matter total ESC and starch (1.4 starch). Our hay we just baled tests between 7 - 7.5 (1.1 starch) in one field, and 7.6 - 8.2 (1.0 starch) in another field. The hay we had been feeding when the laminitis started was 9.3 - 10.1 (.8 starch).
She is getting lots of exercise in her dry lot, she walks, trots and sometimes canters at liberty. She does that mostly when her pasture-mate goes too far (in her opinion) out into the pasture, I am not doing any formal increase in exercise yet.
My questions are: Does she need to lose any more weight? Do you think I could start mixing in un-soaked hay and gradually switch her over to un-soaked hay with the results of my hay tests? If so, over how long of a period of time should I do that?
August 2020 Milaca Minnesota
Case History: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lisa%20and%20Nira
Nira Photo Album: https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=273134
Eleanor Kellon, VMD
To my eye she looks to be at a perfect weight right now. You can start to mix in the 7 - 7.5 hay but I would be hesitant to do the higher one unsoaked since she's apparently pretty sensitive. Hay changes are best made over about a 2 week period and keep a very close eye on her for crest changes or fat deposits.
Eleanor in PA