Wont eat hard feed, only hay???

Spyda

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My filly's a bit under the weather ATM (vet's seeing her) but her main problem is appetite. She's simply not interested in her course mix and will only eat hay. I put a scoop of mix into her manger this morning and it's still there this afternoon untouched. She's eaten her hay though. Fine insomuch as I've upped her hay (more ad-lib than before) but the vet agrees she really needs to eat a bit of hard feed to keep condition and help get her over her virus. When I turned her out this evening she went straight over to some old hay laying in the field and started picking at that instead of the grass (weird). She seems to have some strange addiction to hay ATM.

I phoned the vet about it this morning and he's given another 5 day course of antibiotic powders. I'm worried incase her teeth need attention. Might refusing hard feed but eating hay suggest this, or no? I mentioned this to the vet at his last visit but he refused to look, saying her appetite was poor enough without giving her more reason to be fussy in her mouth by rasping. Seemed to make sense last week but a week on and course of antibiotics and there's no improvement. I've added grated carrot (she picks it out), apple cordial (doesn't help tempt her), sugar (she spat it out) and mollasses (she didn't like that at all). So now what to try?

Roll on our fields recovering from winter and some good grass coming through :rolleyes:
 

Lollii

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What about tempting her with fruit, veg, marmite or honey, all things our neddies love ... oh and ginger biscuits :) or just plain oats - if she likes any of that, you could add it into her feed?
 

lachlanandmarcus

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Having had a horse with a long running recurring virus that was like ME in humans, and which puzzled even the RVC, I really sympathise.

In our case it really helped to use Visorbin ( or something similar since I think they have stopped making that specific product) ; basically a sweet sticky (ie yummy!) iron and vitamin tonic. The RVC recommended it for him and something like that would certainly do no harm. It was very effective for him, we also used Guinness in his feed which again is good for iron and he certainly liked the taste (as an IDxTB I guess that was like being home again).

The other thing I found tempted him when he rejected all the other hard feeds was Dengie Healthy Hooves which he seemed to find much more appetising than other hard feeds even tho its low calorie. So I would feed that and soak it and put in herbal meadow treats and soak them in there too so it was all soft and then add pink powder (as their gut flora can be mucked up by the antibiotics).

I have also found that (depending on the size of horse), half to one sachet of bute syringed in the mouth ( if they wont eat it in feed ) can make whatever feels uncomfy thats stopped them eating, feel better for long enough for them to start eating again, and thus break the vicious cycle. Vet gave me a stash of bute for this because of the recurring nature of his attacks.

Some of none of this might be useful so take from it anything you think might help (BTW the virus boy is now 18 and looks a picture, still needs a couple of 'treatments' each winter but is doing good!
 

amycov

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Try apple chaff. But to be honest as long as she's eating hay then I wouldn't worry toooo much. Could you try and get her on to haylage as it has a higher feed value.
 

horseriderdeb

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my old shire won't eat his chaff, just picks out the fibre nuts. I have added some readi grass instead of chaff and he is now eating again. He is also eating his hay
 

Spyda

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Having had a horse with a long running recurring virus that was like ME in humans, and which puzzled even the RVC, I really sympathise.
Mine's had her's (whatever it is) for about 2 months now. She's just very lacklustre. She looks fabulous in her coat, but her eye and manner is just wrong if you know what I mean. I can tell she's not right and last week's blood tests showed I was right.

In our case it really helped to use Visorbin ( or something similar since I think they have stopped making that specific product) ; basically a sweet sticky (ie yummy!) iron and vitamin tonic. The RVC recommended it for him and something like that would certainly do no harm. It was very effective for him, we also used Guinness in his feed which again is good for iron and he certainly liked the taste (as an IDxTB I guess that was like being home again).
The vet recommended Haemolytan 400, which I started her on last week. She was quite willing to eat it at the beginning of the week (mixed into a little mix), but as the effects of her last dose of antibiotics seems to be wearing off - her appetite has dropped again and I'm back to having to mix more AB powder and the Haemolytan in yogurt to syringe into her mouth. As for Guinness - not sure I'd dare try her on that. She's really finicky ATM and not very willing to even try new flavours. She just sniffs and walks away.

The other thing I found tempted him when he rejected all the other hard feeds was Dengie Healthy Hooves which he seemed to find much more appetising than other hard feeds even tho its low calorie.
Funny you say that about Healthy Hooves as I've always found the same with Spiller's Happy Hoof. No matter what, my horses always love the stuff - EXCEPT this one. I bought a couple of bags a couple of weeks ago (assuming she'd be like all the others and gobble it up) but no. Offered it for several days and she wouldn't touch it. Not even when offered by hand. :(

..........then add pink powder (as their gut flora can be mucked up by the antibiotics).
Yes, Pink Powders is a really good idea! Thanks for reminding me. She'll have been on AB's for 3 weeks by the end of the month, so expect she'll do well for a tub of that to help set things right internally.

I have also found that (depending on the size of horse), half to one sachet of bute syringed in the mouth ( if they wont eat it in feed ) can make whatever feels uncomfy thats stopped them eating, feel better for long enough for them to start eating again, and thus break the vicious cycle. Vet gave me a stash of bute for this because of the recurring nature of his attacks.
Worth a try tomorrow.... luckily I've got plenty of Bute here (although she LOATHES the taste with a total vengance.) Back to the good 'ol syringe then, I guess. After all this yukky stuff I've been force feeding her, she'll never let me near her with another worming syringe. Wouldn't blame her, neither. :rolleyes:

Some of none of this might be useful so take from it anything you think might help (BTW the virus boy is now 18 and looks a picture, still needs a couple of 'treatments' each winter but is doing good!
I'll let you know how I get on! Guess I should be glad she's at least scoffing hay like there's no tomorrow. Might be costing me the earth in hay, but at least she wont starve to death. And if she starts to loose conditon I can switch her onto haylage, so that IS another option.

Thanks everyone :)
 

lachlanandmarcus

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just a thought, even if youve tried happy hoof, I would still get hold of a bag of healthy hooves, its a very different moister nuttier affair, not so dry and chaff-y as happy hoof. mione wont touch happy but go mad for healthy H - it smells really good, i even tried it myself! Its a Dengie one, turquiose bag

good luck with the tempting! the Haemo stuff sounds good, similar lines to Visorbin.
 
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Ask your vet re poss of gastric ulcers, as a lot of horses with this problem happily eat their hay/haylage, but refuse hard feed?
 
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Hi there! I'm new to the Horse&Hound Forum! I have had my connemara-Cob for almost 3 years now she is 18 years old. However, in the past two weeks there since all the horses from the yard have been turned out to grass she has refused to eat hard feed. She only gets a handfull of cherry chaff, garlic and linseed oil with some cut ip carrots or apples as she cannot have any type of cool mix. She had previously stopped eating her hard feed last year when she got lame and the chaff was only the original chaff and so i changed it to cherry chaff which i use now just for a slight bit more flavor yet, she has gone off that too. Today i also tried to give her a hand full of lettuce because she loves lettuce and refused that aswel ! I have tried fully soaking her feed, slightly soaking her feed, changing oils and even using apple juice and she still will not eat it. However, she is currently not loosing condition and seems to be eating the grass happily. What should i do?
Thanks for anyone who takes the time to read this!
 
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