feeding very thin old lady

lennysmith

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Sorry to post in here, but wanted as many people to read a spossible. Thia is prob this old lady's last chance
frown.gif


My friends old mare (30 ish) is raplidaly losing weight. Her teeth are poor and she also has cushings. Shes still full of life but has recently started to have attacks of colic. Up until 4/5 months ago she looked fantastic, no where near her age, but now she wont eat anything but bran. No hay, no chaff/hay replacement, no mix or cubes, nothing. She'd rather just stand there. She will eat grass when out though.

She is rugged to keep her warm and is still trotting round the field when out with the others, but there is no way she's going to make it through the winter if she keeps on losing weight like this.

Has anyone any ideas of anything I could reccomend to her owner? Something that could be soaked/mushed so she could eat it. She's willing to try anything.

Thankies everyone xxxx
 

airedale

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boiled barley;
cooked linseed (remember to boil it and soak it for 24 hrs before cooking);
linseed tea (i.e. that instead of water - more water, less linseed than linseed jelly)
vegetable (soya) oil in the bran
carrots, apples,
flaked maize
flaked barley
 

AmyMay

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Sorry, can't really recommend anything other than what I'm sure you;'ve already suggested to her.

Does sound as if may be it's bye, bye time.....
 

Gingernags

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I'm so glad you said that... I'm usually really good with feed but in this case if she's started colicking on top of everything I'd be letting her go I think. Though not my horse and decision obviously.


Anyway, what about Baileys cooked cereal mix, its smells lovely, like crushed biscuits, and I've never known a horse refuse it. Plus oil if you can get her to take it. Peppermint cordial seems to be a good "encourager" to eat.
 

TGM

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Have you tried feeding her Spiller's Happy Hoof as a hay replacement. We had an elderly Cushings pony that couldn't eat hay or even HiFi Lite, but ate Happy Hoof with ease. It seems more finely textured than most of the other chaff type foods.

If she won't even eat Happy Hoof then you could try a mixture of soaked Speedi Beet and soaked Spillers High Fibre cubes. Both these feeds are Laminitis Trust approved so should be suitable for the pony. (I'm assuming that if she has Cushings then she is prone to laminitis).
 

lennysmith

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[ QUOTE ]
Sorry, can't really recommend anything other than what I'm sure you;'ve already suggested to her.

Does sound as if may be it's bye, bye time.....

[/ QUOTE ]

It does doesn't it? Poor thing. Her owner is one of the nicest people I've ever met. She adores her horse and ahs always taken the greatest care of her. She's had her for about 18 years i think. wish there was soemthing I could do to help
frown.gif
 

lennysmith

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Actually. touch all the wood I can find she hasn't had an attck this year, juts this darned colic!! but yes obviously the lami is always round the corner.

she has tried happy hoof yes. She just stares it! I dont know why, I think it smells lovely!
 

miamibear

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Have you tried Baileys number 1 i think it is, its like a bran mash thing but it may have more in it than just a bran mash!

Also if she will eat speedibeet that is fibre so would be good to add to the mash.

Apart from that its so important that she gets fibre, leave her out if poss. Rugged up loads so she can get grass inside her.

My dentist reccomended for horses that wouldnt eat because no teeth or old etc i think it was grass cubes (i think cant really remember does this product ring a bell to anyone?) He says horses with no teeth do great on this diet!! Then leave it to soak in water so its like a mash.

It may be because of lack of teeth but its so important that she gets her fibre to keep the gut moving which might be why she is suffering with colic.

A general vit and mineral supplement may be good just a powdered one to mix in with the mash naf do one i think. Otherwise you could try her with a lick.

Hope some of that helps!

Mashing the food will also help with digestion so she gets more out of her feed.

You could try adding a little oil to the feed, this will add more calories to the food, to encourage weight gain
 

legend

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How about readigrass? one of our oldies went a bit funny after losing her buddy, and this really perked her up, esp if she likes the grass. May also be worth trying a pro/pre biotic (sorry i always forget which way round they should be!) or something like pink powders to try to make her gut happier again. Failing that, sorry but it does sound like she may be hinting to mum that she's tired of it all.
 

mandy4727

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My old guy is nearly 40. Still has his own teeth though but he too is very thin. But like your friends very perky etc etc. I tried allsorts cos he is so bloody fussy and won't eat anything except bran. But when you bear in mind he scours a lot, bran is not the ideal food for him!!! So after trying various conditioning mixes, veteran mixes etc etc. I have found the only thing that will eat is. Top Spec conditioning flakes, alfalfa and bran (I do try to limit this) but if I don't put the bran in he won't eat it!!! And soya oil. He struggled also last year with hay/haylage and just spat it out in balls. So I got a massive massive bucket and filled it with mixed up chaff, alfalfa about 3 quarters chaff rest alfalfa and again a bit of bran and wet it. It was always gone in the morning. This is to replace the hay he can't eat. But have found he has liked this years haylage which is soft and east for him to chew.
 

mandy4727

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oh yes and colligone too. I have some in ready for winter. In fact he has changed fields and poos have become a bit sloppy again, which weren't on his old field, but grass much richer and longer on this field. So time to give the colligone again!!!
 

Claireg9

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God i nearly cried reading that, brings back hard and horrible memories of my loved one two years ago!
30+ also was running around one day like a foal would then next cushings kicked in and she gradually stopped eating, she then got diaoreah and she just lost so much weight, she in the end did not eat anything, we tempted her with herbal treats to start with but she decided even this was to much effort, and after 15 loving years and 2 weeks of trying everything to get her to change we decided the kindest thing was to have her PTS, i had to make my vet make the decision for me though, as id always wonder if i did the right thing.
Sorry to sound harsh but when it gets to this stage, theres nothing you can do.. i wish it was different, its a cruel cruel desease and they stand withdrawn to the world!
Im crying typing this!!
Big hugs to your friend i know what shes going through!
xxx
 

equibabe20

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Hi, i work at a retirement home for older horses and we swear by le bricks to keep weight on our oldies. They are fantastic and can be fed really mushy to encourage the oldies with no teeth to eat them. Touch wood, all our 120 horses love them! if you need anymore info PM me xx
 

lennysmith

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Oo are they the hay bricks? Is that what they're called? thinks I've seen them in the feed shop. Sort of browny green and the same size as a house brick just not as tall?
 

equibabe20

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yeah they sould like the ones! made by a company called Dyanvena or badminton make their own version. They really are fantastic and we find their the only things that put weight on our oldies!
 

Triskar

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Hi . I have another of these old ladies - she has only 2 upper molars, and these are hooked and so loose that the vet won't rasp them more than to stop the hooks hurting her. I feed her on soaked sugar beet and lucerne with steamed flaked barley and broad bran mixed in, and I giver her as much of this as she will eat. I use the bran together with the amount of water in the mix to regulate her digestion, because it's a bit iffy now - fortunately she's only had one colic attack. Anyway, she's slowly putting weight on - and continues to be a lunatic in the stubble fields and to enjoy her jumping (she was a JA in her youth). Sometimes in the stable she doesn't seem to be quite with us - do horses suffer from Alzheimer's? but while she's enjoying life and still working I think I owe it to her to try to compensate for her dental problems. The other thing I give her, if she's a bit down and not willing to eat, is a can of Murphy's (or any stout) in her evening feed, which always seems to buck her up.
 

lennysmith

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Lol sounds like you're describing my friends old mare! We too were wondering if horses get Alzheimers!

I'll suggest the stout andsee what the owners think. Thanks x
 

equibabe20

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Oh just another thought, Rice Pudding!! We also buy tins from tesco or wherever and put half a tin in each feed the horses love it! You dont need to buy the expensive stuff either!
 
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Slobbermash (by Havens), it has worked wonders for my old lad (24 yo warmblood). I had got to the point were he was refusing to eat any hard feed at all.

With this he licks his bucket clean and I can get all his supplements and bute down him in it! He has gained weight and his hoof and coat condition has improved.

You soak it so it looks like porridge, this is what the website says about it:

Slobber Mash with extra Linol
Very palatable diet-muesli, rich in vitamins and fibers, with purifying action. Consists of flaked cereals, toasted lineseed, wheatbran and dehydrated alfalfa, complete with extra vitamins and minerals. Slobber Mash is best to be served with water; soak one part of Slobber Mash in one part of water for approx. 15-20 minutes. Recommended for:
horses with digestion-problems or equine colic;
older horses (with chewing problems) and/or for mares to improve fertility;
improvement of coat conditions and hoofs due to the extra linoleic acid;
active stallions;

People on my yard can't believe the difference in him. I found our YO a few weeks ago talking about how amazing it was to a vet student who was doing work experience at the yard.

Trust me, this stuff works!

Hayley x

Edited to add: I have to agree though with what others have said about maybe it being time for a tough decision. My thoughts will be with your friend.
 
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