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Dr. K Blog On Hay Belly - Could Relevante Have This?


Lynn
 

Dr. Kellon recently posted a blog on Hay Belly - possible causes in older horses could be "weak muscles in the abdominal wall from uncontrolled PPID or poor fermentation."
Checklist for avoiding/dealing with it are:
  • Broad spectrum deworming against tapeworms
  • PPID testing
  • Switch to high quality hay that is soft/pliable
  • Feed 8 oz/day of premoistened psyllium husk as prebiotic and to help regulate fluid content in the bowel
  • Feed a probiotic with high digestive enzyme activity including cellulase
  • Regular light exercise to improve abdominal tone and intestinal function.

I'm wondering if Relevante has hay belly. I took photos of him front/hind/side and posted them in his photo album...they should appear on page 1. His latest hay analysis is posted (9-17-20) and his case history is up to date.  His hay is tightly balanced. I worm him with invermectin spring and fall with a month of Strongid C in between. He gets regular fecal tests. Dr. Kellon
said...
         If your fecal results are all acceptable you do not have to change anything but it would be wise to use something to get tapeworms at least once a year.  A one month           supply of the product you linked would do it.  (The product i linked to was Strongid C)

He also gets Forco in his daily supplements along with Uckele Aloe Vera (made to support your horse’s stomach and intestines while maintaining healthy gut bacteria, normal blood sugar and lipid levels). I know the belly is due in part to his PPID/weakened abdominal muscles though I do believe him to be controlled. Exercise has been on/off (more off) due to his original laminitis episode and then issues with hind feet/broken back hoof to pattern axis which we are correcting through trim. He has improved to the point where over the past three weeks I've been having him walked every day in the arena (first week 10 minutes, 2nd week 15, this week 30). 

I'm concerned about the possibility of "excessive fluid and gas due to poor hay quality or disruption of microorganisms in the bowel." The hay is from our own farm and is the subject of the most recent test in Sept.

The vet is coming Monday to vaccinate, pull blood for an ACTH test and take new rads of the hind feet. Is there anything else I can do to support him in terms of the hay belly? (Is it hay belly) Any other test/exam I should have the vet do or look at?   Sorry about the long question...:)
--
Lynn
Beavercreek, Ohio
March 2018
Relevante Case History
Relevante Photo Album

Ω


Tracy
 

Hi Lynn!  Just another average member here - but to me Relevante's belly doesn't seem like a classic hay belly.  His belly actually doesn't look 'bad' to me. 
What strikes me is his top line and rump.
I even took a look at your CH.  Wow!  You've tried so much over time!
Protein/limiting amino acids came to mind for his top line and rump - but you've tried some of that in the past.

Last year when Salsa was first dx PPID my vet commented on his belly first thing.  I think Salsa is looking better a year out now with balanced supps for his hay (and Tri-Aminos in there for extra insurance) and Prascend.
You have Relevante's balanced already though - so interested to see what one of the gurus here have to say based on your pix and CH.
Keeping an eye on this post to educate myself.

Tracy
--
Tracy and Salsa (1999 model year Paso Fino)
Middle TN USA, September 2019
Case History  https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Tracy%20and%20Salsa
Photos https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=95827


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

If you mean the photos from September, he looks to have a sagging abdomen but I don't see any prominent distention and wouldn't call this a hay belly. I agree the ACTH is well controlled but older horses in general also develop sarcopenia - a loss of  muscle mass with multiple causes behind it https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6442923/ . The most effective way to control this is with exercise but you have to be extremely careful not to overdo it .  The Muscle EQ and Tendon EQ are power protection but you will still need to go slowly and give it lots of time.

On another front, did you see any change with the Ashwagandha?
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Lynn
 

Hi Tracy,
Thank you so much for your input. It is valuable! When i rescued Relevante he was a bag of bones. Starved. We got him past that and had a wonderful summer of riding and physical recovery until laminitis hit him in the fall (due to Cushings) and then PPID diagnosis a few months later. He has had the topline/belly thing since diagnosis. Even when I bumped his pergolide up to 3 mgs. that never changed (except it made him crazy)...we've been at 2 mg. ever since. The vet and chiropractor seem to feel the topline/belly/rump are largely related to the lack of conditioning due to his issues with his feet which have caused long periods of downtime. I did just start him on the new Uckele Muscle EQ - his diet has been balanced since day 1. We went through the whole hay weighing exercise etc., with our hay balancer so I know his hay intake is correct. His Renegade Vipers came today so I'm going out to try those on and see if they fit (fingers crossed). That will allow me to start hand walking him outside the arena for longer periods. I just want to make sure I'm doing everything I can for him.
--
Lynn
Beavercreek, Ohio
March 2018
Relevante Case History
Relevante Photo Album

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Lynn
 

Hi Dr. Kellon - thank you so much for your response! I will check out that link. And thank you for confirming and reminding me to go slow! It has taken us almost a month to get up to 30 minutes of hand walking in the arena - do you feel that is too fast? How long should I consider going before adding more time on (i.e. should he be at 30 minutes for 2 weeks and then add 5 or 10 minutes more?). I definitely don't want to push this. I've been paying the barn owners daughter to hand walk him on the days I can't be there so that the exercise is fairly consistent. Actually with the Ashwagandha I do feel like his outlook is brighter. The chiropractor noticed too. Because he tends to leave some of his "powders" behind from his supplements I've been putting 1 tsp. in the am. baggy and 1 tsp in the pm baggy. Is that too much?
--
Lynn
Beavercreek, Ohio
March 2018
Relevante Case History
Relevante Photo Album

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Bobbie Day
 

My of my geldings I am sure has a hay belly going on, Dr.K do you have any pictures for comparison? He’s one of my rescues so I don’t have too much information on him but his diet is balanced but he has other issues I won’t go into here (not IR or PPID).


--
Bobbie and Desi
NRC March 2020
Utah, Nov 2018

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

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


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

I wish there was a guaranteed safe exercise regimen for older horses but there isn't. It's just too complicated with nutrition and other musculoskeletal issues like old injuries also playing a part. Your schedule looks perfectly reasonable. Just be alert for things like decreasing enthusiasm for the exercise and stiffness when starting out. When in doubt, skip a day or two of formal exercise but still allow turnout.

You're within the reported dosages for even concentrated Ashwangandha extracts so no concerns there! It is rather unique among the adaptogens in having a calming/anti-anxiety effect.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

The best way to tell is the view from the front. If they look pregnant, there's a problem.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Kirsten Rasmussen
 
Edited

Could I also jump in on this thread and ask for an opinion on Shaku's sagging abdomen/topline? 

I've posted a bunch of side profile photos (no front/rear photos recently but there are some in his album from the last couple years) and despite receiving adequate protein with his mineral balanced hay for nearly 2 years, plus starting an exercise program on August 31 to get him to the point where we were trotting 5km/30 min in hand, and losing about 200 lbs over the last couple years, his topline is still sagging.  He came to me like this at age approx 17, and he hasn't changed in the last 6 years.  I've always assumed this was due to conditioning and maybe his tendency to be high-headed/shallow-backed.  My understand is that this breed is encouraged to carry their head high so that they can perform their gaited movements and I wonder how much of his early training (what little it was) focused on this.  He does not tolerate any direct contact with the reins so getting him to collect is very difficult, although when he's playing and running around with his buddy he seems to over collect (due to hoof pain?).

He is dewormed 2x a year with Invermectin Gold, which I understand deals with tapes too.  He has been on a high quality pro-biotic from Mad Barn for a few months.  The one thing is that his hay for the last 1.5 years has a variation of very coarse stems/straw chopped in with fined grassy leaves and he gets free fecal water, too, which I attribute to this hay.  But this sagging topline/belly was present well before he started on the hay that has caused FFW.

Should I be doing something more to try and improve his topline?  I can add psyllium husk but it is kind of expensive to feed daily.  Would he still benefit from 5-7 days a month?  And I am anxiously still waiting for his October ACTH results to see if PPID is a factor, although he tested normal on July 7/20 and in May 2019.

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


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

I added a front profile photo from today. 
--
Kirsten and Shaku (IR) - 2019
Kitimat, BC, Canada
ECIR Group Moderator
 
Shaku's Case History  
Shaku's Photo Album   


Eleanor Kellon, VMD
 

The breed's high head carriage and prominent withers does tend to exaggerate the dip in their topline which is coming from the shape of the spine, not muscle loss. These aren't the best views to evaluate muscle but it looks like his muscle bulk along the topline is good. He does have a bit of a drop to his abdomen and a little prominence from the front but considering his age he really looks pretty good to me.
--
Eleanor in PA

www.drkellon.com 
EC Owner 2001


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Thank you for the input.  I agree that he doesn't have loss of muscle along his topline.  But it's good to hear this is fairly normal for Paso Finos and that you think he looks good for his age.  He's definitely looking the best I have ever seen him right now.

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