Need Help...Horse must gain weight...she looks depressed and is not picking her head up much....or eating much


Lisabaiocchi@...
 
Edited

I had my horse eating.  And now I am struggling again.  She is losing weight. 

Currently she is getting:

2 flakes am and pm of coastal;
4 quarts of timothy alfalfa pellets topped with 2 ounces of flax oil, 1.5 cups of olive oil and 1 scoop of platinum performance GI; 
1 tablespoon of salt

She needs to put weight on.  What do I try?  I have tried TC 30 balancer...she wont eat it...I have tried Triple Crown Gold Senior....she wont eat it....

Today it was suggested that I should pull her off prascend until she starts eating.  She is past the veil stage...can the veil come and go?  She did just get her fall shots, could that be the issue?  also can i give her just alfalfa pellets for more calories, rather than timothy/alfalfa mix?  the NSC does not seem bad for the alfalfa pellets



Lisa B., Dallas (area) TX, 2022

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lisa%20and%20Lady%20Liberty


Sherry Morse
 

Considering her ACTH in July was over 1000 and she's still well over the normal range now I'd look at least doubling her dose of pergolide now and then rechecking after 3 weeks.  At the same time I would also be addressing her diet

To start with that: How much does the coastal weigh? Have you had it tested?  Have you balanced to it? Are you soaking it if you haven't tested/balanced? What brand of timothy alfalfa pellets are you using?  How much does 4 quarts weigh?  We do not recommend either of those TC products as they're too high in ESC+ starch.  If you want to try something safe since you can source TC start with the Timothy Balance cubes and replace the timothy alfalfa pellets with them.  The Natural Balance Cubes are usually fed at a 3:4 ratio to hay as they are more calorie dense.  You can also add beet pulp (rinse/soaked/rinsed to her ration - again in place of the timothy alfalfa pellets.  

Posting body pictures will also be really helpful. 




 

Hi Lisa,
Sorry to hear you are struggling there.  Fall shots can definitely make them feel crummy.  Have you taken her temperature?   It might be worth making a call to your vet if she’s really lethargic.

If you’re sure it’s a management issue, does she eat all the hay you give her?  I can’t tell you if it’s enough because I don’t know the weight of each flake.  Would she eat more hay?  The issue with alfalfa is not the ESC+starch.  We know it can make IR horses footsore but not why.  If alfalfa has not been a problem for her in the past, she can probably tolerate it but I’m not sure how you would determine that.

My horse, Logo, was diagnosed with Shivers and, at the time, a high fat diet was thought to be useful.  Your mare’s diet sounds like his - alfalfa pellets topped with cups of oil.  I also used it to help him maintain weight.  When I landed here on the ECIR group, I learned that added fats can make IR worse and so I removed the oil from his diet.  Logo was PPID, but not IR, but I learned that the oil was not helping his Shivers, nor was it keeping his weight up.  PPID horses have difficulty maintaining their weight and more pergolide is generally the solution.  It certainly was for Logo.  I was always in a bit of denial about whether or not he needed more pergolide so I would check him for a Lyme and consider the possibility of ulcers before checking ACTH.  You already know that her ACTH is high.  I would start her on APF, because loss of appetite is of concern, and then slowly increase her dose.  You mention a veil, which only comes with an increase in dose, but I don’t know how remarkable it was and what the circumstances were with beginning the pergolide.  If more pergolide isn’t the solution, it can always be decreased.
--
Martha in Vermont
ECIR Group Primary Response
July 2012 
 
Logo (dec. 7/20/19), Tobit(EC) and Pumpkin, Handy and Silver (EC/IR)

Martha and Logo
 


Lisabaiocchi@...
 
Edited

Thank you for your response Sherry and Scutch (and Scarlet over the bridge). I appreciate that you took time to respond.  :)

Here are some of my thoughts on your note, which I absolutely appreciate.  Yes, we started this journey in July...her ACTH was 1193 approximately (in Arizona).  Re-tested in August (in Texas) and it went down to 1094 approximately.  I put her on prascend in August after the second test.  The vet in July was in AZ and did not want to put her on prascend at that time because she was being transported to Texas.  

I do not know what the coastal weighs as she is boarded at a barn and I do not have access to a scale, nor can I feasibly have it tested.  The Triple Crown Senior Gold is only about 11% NSC and within the paramters of keeping her entire diet low in NSC.  So I do not see this as an issue.  The TC 30 is just a balancer.  But it is all moot at this point given she wont eat either and I am not offering it to her anymore :)  She has been my expensive science experiment to get her to eat!    

Timothy cubes and pellets do not have the caloric "meat" that alfalfa pellets have, and that my horse needs.  So I am thinking of switching her to alfalfa pellets.  The company that I buy from has an NSC of of 10.5 for the alfalfa pellets (Mountain Sunrise).  

Beet pulp is definitely an interesting idea to try.  I am going to see if someone at the barn has some because I do not want to keep buying product that she won't eat!

When the vet checked her in October on her ACTH levels and they had dropped from over 1000 to 209, in about 6 weeks, the vet seemed fine keeping her at 1 pill a day given she has dropped so much and is going in the right direction.  She did just get shots on Tuesday and I just got done reading that shots can make them not eat.  So I wonder if this is what is going on.  I hate to increase her prascend when we are going in the right direction quickly with those numbers and risking veil at that point.  

I am open to other ideas to put weight on her and as always appreicate your note. 
--
Lisa B., Dallas (area) TX, 2022

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lisa%20and%20Lady%20Liberty


Lisabaiocchi@...
 

That is a great point Martha about the temp.  I am usually steadfast in taking temperature for Lady Liberty and I did not do that.  

She was eating "close" to all her hay.  They feed her twice at the barn where I board her.  I am out there everyday, personally overseeing her and syringing her prascend.  She was also eating almost all her pellets am and pm.  I feel like this stopped when she got her fall shots.  She received her shots Tuesday.  I will call the vet today and speak with her about it.  

I agree with you about the alfalfa.  They offer coastal and alfalfa at the barn where she is boarded.  I do not know the weight as I do not have access to a scale to weigh it.  To be safe regarding the alfalfa, that is why I am thinking about first giving her alfalfa pellets over alfalfa/timothy pellets.  The alfalfa pellets have more calories that she needs and according to mountain sunrise, the NSC is only 10.5%.  

I agree with you regarding veil.  I had only read that comes with starting or increasing dose.   Given she started prascend (pergolide) in August and I have not changed her dose, it seems odd to me I would see her go through a veil stage now.  The more I read about the shots, I feel like it may be that.  I am reluctant at this point to increase her pergolide given that in about 6 weeks, at one pill a day, she has cut that 1000+ ACTH number down to 209.  I am not sure I should have expected the ACTH number in October to be within the normal range after 6 weeks given where she started.  But of course am open to thoughts on that.  My vet in October did not recommend an increase. 

Lyme and Ulcers is interesting.  I will look into that. 

By APF, do you mean Adaptogen supplement?  I was not aware of it, but started doing some reading after your note.  Do you give your horse this and what has been your result?  

As always, Lady Liberty, Lucia (my daughter) and I appreciate your time :)
--
Lisa B., Dallas (area) TX, 2022

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lisa%20and%20Lady%20Liberty


Lorna Cane
 

Hi Lisa,

Just a quick thought about hay weight. You can get a luggage scale for not much money.They are dead easy to use.You could put the amount of hay you are feeding in a plastic bag and hang that on the scale,holding it with one hand.Or you could tie baler twine around the pads and hook the baler twine onto the scale.
https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=luggage+scale&crid=36I9AKGQJ5D9W&sprefix=luggage+scale%2Caps%2C361&ref=nb_sb_noss_1

It's important to know the weight of things,and many have become quite creative in this regard.

Beet pulp is a great idea for weight.Or soy hull pellets,which don't need to be soaked and rinsed,just dampened.

--
Lorna in Eastern Ontario
2002


billie hinton
 

Did she get her shots in the neck? We learned with our pony that he can’t tolerate shots into the neck at all - similar result. He would not eat or drink and once we made the connection it made sense. I think his neck was incredibly sore from the injections. Our vet at that time recommended giving his injections in the chest area, which she did with the next shot he needed. It definitely helped with neck not being sore, but he went to his knees walking to the pasture a couple hours post-injection. We have backed way off annual shots for him and only give what we feel he needs at intervals that make sense for our closed herd.

Banamine with the injection helped some but didn’t completely alleviate the reaction. We no longer give the combined vaccines and only do one injection at a time with weeks in between. It has made things much easier on our herd.

Best,
Billie


--
Billie Hinton
NC
Member since 2010


Amanda
 

Just echoing that I had some of your same concerns when the recommendation for TC Timothy balance cubes was made but I did it any ways and with about 18lbs of cubes and a pound of flax we're at almost 70% of the required calories for my 1100lb horse. What others recommended to me on my new member post was stabul 1 which gets us to 100% when added with the cubes and Flax and has the added benefit of coming in tasty flavors. I'm trying peppermint and fenugreek. 

I'll also add that it's only been one day on the cubes but my very picky eater is eating them and he already seems to be more comfortable and much happier(the two days prior he was fed Bermuda pellets but didn't like them, and before that he was eating TC senior gold and Alfalfa \Timothy\brome pellets). 

I hope that helps!
--
Amanda C in Southern California, Joined 2022
Crimson's Album


Lisabaiocchi@...
 

Billie...you are correct...she got her shots in the neck.  I am so happy you reached out....just to share your experience and kind of confirming what I think may have happened.  She is slender to begin with but since she had the shot in the neck  on Tuesday, she spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday barely eating.  I checked on her today and she is beginning to eat again.  Again, great to know someone else had a similar situation.  
--
Lisa B., Dallas (area) TX, 2022 (Lady Liberty, Mare 15 YO)

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lisa%20and%20Lady%20Liberty


Lisabaiocchi@...
 

Amanda...thank you.  I have never fed cubes before...do you have to soak these?  Is the flax a powder or oil that give? I do not know what stabul 1 is...but will look that up.  
--
Lisa B., Dallas (area) TX, 2022 (Lady Liberty, Mare 15 YO)

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lisa%20and%20Lady%20Liberty


Lisabaiocchi@...
 

Lorna, thank you!  I do not know what hull pellets are but will look that up.  While I like the idea of beat pulp, soy hull pellets sound like it may not be quite as labor intensive in the prep? 
--
Lisa B., Dallas (area) TX, 2022 (Lady Liberty, Mare 15 YO)

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Lisa%20and%20Lady%20Liberty


Lorna Cane
 

You're welcome,Lisa. Those scales are so easy.
And you are correct about soy hull pellets.They just need to be dampened. Takes seconds . I just always worry about choke if they are fed dry,because it did happen to one of my ponies once.

--
Lorna in Eastern Ontario
2002


Lorna Cane
 

About soy hull pellets.....I should have added that the dampening is also necessary in order for the minerals to stick to  this carrier,of course. Most of my horses  have been happy with just dampening. One or 2 prefer a bit more water added to make more of a mush (their wish is my command) .

--
Lorna in Eastern Ontario
2002


Kirsten Rasmussen
 

Amanda, given the balance cubes are fed at a 3:4 ratio because of their higher calories, my calculations show that 16.5 lbs of the balance cubes equals 2% of current BW.

Lisa, the cubes do not need to be soaked unless you have a horse prone to choke or with poor dentition.  I actually like steaming them though: pour a bit of boiling water into a container with cubes, put a lid on and leave for 5 min.  The cubes soften and fall apart nicely but are only dampened, perfect for minerals to stick to and preferred by horses that like a drier feed.

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

Snickers' Case History
Snickers' Photo Album


Sherry Morse
 

Lisa,

We look at ESC + starch and want it to be less than 10%. NSC is not as useful. You also need to realize that when you are looking at most products the values they list are from batch testing.

You can look in the files for test results on most of the products you are using to see actual results for individual bags.  You can also do a search of the archives for more information on all the products you have asked about. 

In our collective experience the diet recommendations we have made, in addition to getting PPID well controlled, really will help your mare.

--

Thanks,
Sherry and Scutch (and Scarlet over the bridge)
EC Primary Response

PA 2014

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/files/Sherry%20and%20Scutch_Scarlet/Scutch%20Case%20History.pdf

https://ecir.groups.io/g/CaseHistory/album?id=78891