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Aging Minis - health care?

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LeahMurray

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Hi, folks!

I'm desperately looking for some assistance for my minis if anyone has a bit of time: I need some advice and direction from folks a bit more expert than I am in the ways of the equine world.

Here's the scoop: I was blessed last year with the gift of three miniature horses who needed me just at a time when I needed them, and am now their proud and happy owner. What I know about them is this:

They are AMHA or AMHR registered, but I have no idea where their papers are now. They are Candyman, aged 21, Lucky Man, aged 19, and Moon Dancer, aged 7. Candyman and Lucky Man are just under 34", and Dancer is 36", so I suspect he is not really classed as a mini.

Candyman and Lucky Man both have a liver disorder of some kind, we suspect from either plant poisoning or from hereditary issues: they are also both suffering from non-regenerative anemia. No, it's not EIA -- we tested for everything. Lucky Man is managing ok -- Candyman suffers from regular loose stools as well though and I am managing their nutrition very carefully as a result.

Moon Dancer has a halter-busting habit (has broken four this year so far while out in pasture), but otherwise is in the pink, and seems likely to remain so for quite some time given enough loving and good basic care.

Candyman and Lucky Man are full brothers, and Moon Dancer is their half brother -- he had the same sire on a different dam. Both Candyman and Lucky Man have had laminitis at one time, and all three of them get "wave mouth" if their teeth are neglected: I have a regular equine dentist now who does a checkup and touchup once every six months.

I have committed to giving them a forever home, and so far, that has worked out very well regardless of the health issues that Candyman and Lucky Man are facing -- yes their vet bills are a bit higher than Dancer's, but my med costs are higher than my teenage god-daughter's are too.

I would like to find out anything I can about them -- especially if anyone has any idea about pedigrees or anything that will tell me what kinds of health things to watch for as my beloved boys get older - I want them to be healthy and happy and live a long time.

Can anyone give me any idea how or where to start? I don't know the names of their previous owners, just that they were an older couple from here in Ontario somewhere who retired to Florida three years ago when his eyes went bad and they had to let their farm go. And I have heard that all three horses were born in upstate New York.

Candyman and Lucky Man are both very comfortable in the show ring, and serve as "toddler class halter trainers" for the equestrian centre where they live, and both of them have been driven as well, in fact came with a very nice buggy and two complete sets of draft harness. I haven't driven them yet because of their earlier health issues -- I am working very slowly with them and only entered them in a halter class in one show in the spring, at which they did me proud, taking first and second place.

They are really wonderful little guys, and I'd like to give them every chance to have a long and happy life with me, so would very much like to find out more about them if I can.

Any suggestions will be welcome!! I enclose some not very great pics which utterly do not do them justice below! I have other pics as well, which I can post on demand if someone wants to see markings/conformation, etc.

Leah Murray

Candyman



Lucky Man



Moon Dancer

 

Miniv

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They all look wonderful and full of themselves!!!! You are a wonderful mini mom!

I'm assuming that you are feeding them what they need? Not sure what you are asking.

They are getting senior grain? Chopped hay or alfalfa if necessary? Pasture time if you have it? Dental work?

Whatever you're doing seems to be working. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"......

MA

PS: Your vet can address the laminitis and feeding grain. For loose stools, try giving some probios paste.....again, your vet can help too. Just by their photos, though, you are doing a great job!
 
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rabbitsfizz

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Hallo and WELCOME!!!

Obviously you already have them on anaemia meds- I'd be interested to know what- Be VERY careful about teeth care in old horses- even tho' you have a dentist you trust it does not hurt to remind him how old they are EVERY time!! I did not and I now have a 26 year old that cannot eat hay- the dentist took his very wavy mouth back in one go and, at 26 the teeth do NOT grow!!!! He actually would have been better off with a wavy mouth!! My guy still grazes, but he no longer swallows
He's adjusted well and is still the lunatic he has been all his life (I bred him, I was there when he was born, I shall be there when he dies) I worked out his diet with the help of Robin on this Forum, he gets literally a 3 gallon bucket full of feed split into two feeds, a day. At the moment there is little chopped Alfalfa in there, but I shall up it in the Winter as he likes to be out all the time.

He gets 2 cups unsoaked Beet Pulp- soaked

2 cups stud pellets- soaked

2 cups Alfalfa pellets- soaked

1 cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) ground

2 cups Maize (corn)

2 cups Barley (because it suits him better than Oats)

in Winter+ 5-10 cups chopped Alfalfa.

He is fit as a fiddle- still can win in the show ring against serious opposition, and is still very willing and able to prove his continued fertility!!!

It is going to be very difficult to trace any details about your boys without a Farm name, but someone might be able to help with a AMHA/R look up if you can find that out- or the details you have given might ring a bell with someone, I hope so!!
 

hobbyhorse23

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First of all, let me just say


You are clearly a FANTASTIC and responsible mini-mom and I was just tickled to death reading your post. Between your clear grasp of their needs and the obvious way you cherish them and their health, the thoughtful post you've made here, the equine dentist, responsibly holding off on driving them, and the commitment you've made to a "forever home"....oh, I could just cry!


In response to particular concerns in the order they came up:

LeahMurray said:
Candyman and Lucky Man are just under 34", and Dancer is 36", so I suspect he is not really classed as a mini.
Dancer most certainly is a mini, AMHR registers horses as "B" minis if they are between 34" and 38" at the last hairs of the mane.


Lucky Man is managing ok -- Candyman suffers from regular loose stools as well though and I am managing their nutrition very carefully as a result.
I have an Arab that suffered from the same thing and a local holistic vet recommended we try peppermint. We had tried probiotics, increased fiber, drugs, all sorts of things and the only product we'd found that stopped it ($60 a month) had been discontinued so in desperation we tried it. It worked! He gets one tablespoon morning and night, more if he's having bad problems, and for $5 a bag I get a month's worth of comfortable horse and minty fresh breath. We use dried peppermint leaves from the local health store, and that tablespoon measure was for a big horse. PLEASE check with your vet for proper dosage and possible interactions with your horse's other problems before you try this suggestion! I am not a vet, I'm just sharing what worked for my horse's perpetual loose stool. We have also found that the recent addition of beet pulp to his diet seems to have cured the last of the problem. Apparently he just needed a LOT more fiber before it would make a difference.

Moon Dancer has a halter-busting habit (has broken four this year so far while out in pasture), but otherwise is in the pink, and seems likely to remain so for quite some time given enough loving and good basic care.
Wince. I understand that sometimes there is a need to leave halters on horses in the pasture, but there have been several posts this summer about horses being KILLED by getting hung up in them.
Please, please, please, take off the halters when your horses are out unless there is a more pressing safety reason to leave them on.

Your horses look happy and healthy in their pictures and no wonder with such a good owner. Kudos to you, and welcome to the forum.

Leia
 

ChrystalPaths

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I welcome you to our humble family here. I am genuinely touched by your story and determination to do well with these 3 lovely minis. Minis can be up to 38" in height. Sounds like you have a good vet and just a note about the teeth...my Keesha is 17 and her teeth are pretty worn down. She had some serious ramps last year and when the equine dentist tried to rough them down her tooth "moved" so he stopped and explained to me when an old horse gets "old" the teeth fail to grow and become loose. Filing would loosen them more an cause a possible infection so he clipped the tops off the ramps and with a teeny tiny file smoothed them off and said just let her be. I feed Purina Equine Senior, easy to chew and good for them too. Best of luck and YES! More Pics Please!?
 

LeahMurray

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Hi, folks!!

Sorry to take so long to answer you: got a bit hairy around here the last ten days or so (frantic wrapup underway at my office, floods and power outages on Friday and Saturday, getting ready to move out of my apartment this coming weekend -- you know the drill)! lol

The minis are doing ok, I think, despite their health issues -- I have been in deep discussions with the vet and my mentor, Mary Anne, about their nutrition and treatments.

They are getting Purina Strategy processed feed twice a day, a handful of grain mixed in with that, plus two flakes of decent very clean timothy hay each, and pasture forage. Candyman and Lucky Man were getting ribby on that, and Dancer fat: we have as of last week shifted them onto a very lush pasture, and the two elder ones are now doing better, while Dancer has been cut off his grain altogether, as he's pudging up way too much!! Gotta get that guy a job!!!

They do get two or three lo-cal apple treats each every day that I am able to get out there, occasional carrots, bananas or apples in season.

Not sure I know what senior grain is -- ?? And at what age do minis become seniors? According to my calculations, Candyman has just reached the equivalent of human 60 years old, Lucky is equivalent tot 55 or so, and Dancer about 22 (explains a lot...)

They do get their dental work twice a year, and farrier visits once every quarter.

I haven't tried the probios paste yet: went looking for it at the farm supply place the other day with no joy, so will ask my vet and Mary Anne about it.

They both like Gatorade, of all things: in hot weather they dehydrate quite easily, and in desperation last summer when I ran out of Dex, I offered them a bucket of water with a bottle of Gatorade swished into it: they lapped this up like it was cream and they had whiskers and green eyes. Now if they see me drinking the stuff they come right over to see if I will give them any!

Leah M.

Miniv said:
They all look wonderful and full of themselves!!!!  You are a wonderful mini mom!
I'm assuming that you are feeding them what they need?  Not sure what you are asking.

They are getting senior grain?  Chopped hay or alfalfa if necessary?  Pasture time if you have it?  Dental work?

Whatever you're doing seems to be working.  "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"......

MA

PS: Your vet can address the laminitis and feeding grain.  For loose stools, try giving some probios paste.....again, your vet can help too.  Just by their photos, though, you are doing a great job!

449348[/snapback]

 

LeahMurray

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Gosh, thanks! <BLUSH>

Actually, I don't have them on anemia meds yet: my vet doesn't want to put them on anything until he knows what the cause is, so I am just watching them very closely and not asking them to do too much right now.

I will remember that about the teeth: the dentist I have is very careful, and I am an active participant in the process at her invitation, so I see it all from start to finish. She only takes back a bit at a time, which is why she has had to come so often in the past year, but now we are more or less back to level teeth and can move to six month checkups instead of quarterly dental appointments!

All three of my guys like to be out all the time all year around too, unless it's really storming hard -- then they'd like to be in a run-in, but a stall is only for those wimpy thoroughbreds in their eyes, although I make them come in nights during the coldest part of the winter anyway now. I know they think they are tough enough to cope with it, but I'm not tough enough to let them try!

All I know about their farm of origin is that it is in upstate New York somewhere, so I guess I'm going to be out of luck there!

Thanks for all the info -- I feel quite a bit better knowing there are people around to ask!!

Leah M.

rabbitsfizz said:
Hallo and WELCOME!!!Obviously you already have them on anaemia meds- I'd be interested to know what- Be VERY careful about teeth care in old horses- even tho' you have a dentist you trust it does not hurt to remind him how old they are EVERY time!! I did not and I now have a 26 year old that cannot eat hay- the dentist took his very wavy mouth back in one go and, at 26 the teeth do NOT grow!!!!  He actually would have been better off with a wavy mouth!!  My guy still grazes, but he no longer swallows
  He's adjusted well and is still the lunatic he has been all his life (I bred him, I was there when he was born, I shall be there when he dies) I worked out his diet with the help of Robin on this Forum, he gets literally a 3 gallon bucket full of feed split into two feeds, a day.  At the moment there is little chopped Alfalfa in there, but I shall up it in the Winter as he likes to be out all the time.

He gets 2 cups unsoaked Beet Pulp- soaked

2 cups stud pellets- soaked

2 cups Alfalfa pellets- soaked

1 cup Black Oil Sunflower Seeds (BOSS) ground

2 cups Maize (corn)

2 cups Barley (because it suits him better than Oats)

in Winter+ 5-10 cups chopped Alfalfa.

He is fit as a fiddle- still can win in the show ring against serious opposition, and is still very willing and able to prove his continued fertility!!!

It is going to be very difficult to trace any details about your boys without a Farm name, but someone might be able to help with a AMHA/R look up if you can find that out- or the details you have given might ring a bell with someone, I hope so!!

449394[/snapback]

 

LeahMurray

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Whoa, there, Leia, I like a compliment as much as anyone, but I'm gonna have trouble getting my head in the barn doors if you keep that up!! LOL

They are clearly pretty wonderful boys, and therefore deserving of good treatment -- they really give me their all whenever I ask them for anything, so the least I can do in return is to learn what they need and make sure they get it!

I'm glad to hear Dancer makes it under the line: he looks so huge compared to his older brothers that I sometimes think of him as a giant by comparison! Then his pal Mookie comes gangling over, and I realize how tiny he really is: his withers come only halfway up Mookies leg between the knee and the shoulder. (Mook is 2 years old and half Clyde...and all big baby brother. Don't know if you remember a cartoon character named Baby Huey? )

I haven't tried the probiotics yet -- Kaopectate seems to clear it up for a few weeks, and then he starts with the loose stools and diarrhea again. The new lusher pasture we put him on seems to help quite a bit, and I did a sand check last weekend as well -- no sand in the feces at all. I'll ask the vet about probiotics first and then about peppermint dosages if that doesn't work out. Not sure how Candyman will like the peppermint: he HATES pepto-bismal, which is peppermint flavoured, so not sure how he will react to real mint (although he loves Scotch mints, come to think of it -- must be the ucky texture of the pepto that puts him off). I will try the beet pulp out on him weekly as well to see if that helps -- I know he isn't digesting nearly enough of the fibre and starches he gets in his food.

Given Dancer's halter-killing habits, I took his halter off as soon as I read your note last weekend: Candy and Lucky have theirs off now too. Only the donkey that is in with them (Joshua) still has one on, mainly because he is impossible to lead anywhere if he doesn't have it on (and going "naked" means he's off-duty to him, and he's the guardian animal for my minis, so I want him ON-duty when I'm not around).

Thank you for the kind welcome and the kind words: I am a newbie to horses in general and to minis, so am not yet very sure of myself so far as their care goes!

I am bent on learning, though, for the sake of my wonderful boys, so hope they will survive my startup!!

Leah M.

hobbyhorse23 said:
First of all, let me just say 
 
 
 
 
 
 

You are clearly a FANTASTIC and responsible mini-mom and I was just tickled to death reading your post. Between your clear grasp of their needs and the obvious way you cherish them and their health, the thoughtful post you've made here, the equine dentist, responsibly holding off on driving them, and the commitment you've made to a "forever home"....oh, I could just cry!


In response to particular concerns in the order they came up:

LeahMurray said:
Candyman and Lucky Man are just under 34", and Dancer is 36", so I suspect he is not really classed as a mini.
Dancer most certainly is a mini, AMHR registers horses as "B" minis if they are between 34" and 38" at the last hairs of the mane.


Lucky Man is managing ok -- Candyman suffers from regular loose stools as well though and I am managing their nutrition very carefully as a result.
I have an Arab that suffered from the same thing and a local holistic vet recommended we try peppermint. We had tried probiotics, increased fiber, drugs, all sorts of things and the only product we'd found that stopped it ($60 a month) had been discontinued so in desperation we tried it. It worked! He gets one tablespoon morning and night, more if he's having bad problems, and for $5 a bag I get a month's worth of comfortable horse and minty fresh breath. We use dried peppermint leaves from the local health store, and that tablespoon measure was for a big horse. PLEASE check with your vet for proper dosage and possible interactions with your horse's other problems before you try this suggestion! I am not a vet, I'm just sharing what worked for my horse's perpetual loose stool. We have also found that the recent addition of beet pulp to his diet seems to have cured the last of the problem. Apparently he just needed a LOT more fiber before it would make a difference.

Moon Dancer has a halter-busting habit (has broken four this year so far while out in pasture), but otherwise is in the pink, and seems likely to remain so for quite some time given enough loving and good basic care.
Wince. I understand that sometimes there is a need to leave halters on horses in the pasture, but there have been several posts this summer about horses being KILLED by getting hung up in them.
Please, please, please, take off the halters when your horses are out unless there is a more pressing safety reason to leave them on.

Your horses look happy and healthy in their pictures and no wonder with such a good owner. Kudos to you, and welcome to the forum.

Leia

449395[/snapback]

 

LeahMurray

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Thank you kindly for the great welcome: and for the good words on the teeth!

Both of my older guys have fairly long and strong teeth, and none of them seem loose - although Candyman gave him and me both a shock one day by accidentally biting down on my false fingernails while I had my hand in there checking for points! These are UV gel nails, made of some kind of titanium masquerading as clear plastic -- anyhow, his pointy molar slipped right off the nail with an ungodly crunching sound and just nipped the side of my finger. He immediately looked horrified and opened his mouth up wide, and I swear I heard him say, "Omigod, Momma, are you all right?" when I took my hand out!!

The titanium plastic stuff wasn't even scratched, so I made him open up again to see if that crunchie noise was a tooth breaking, but it all seemed to be okay, and the dentist confirmed it when she got there the next week.

Love the manicure, but I'm not sure it ain't dangerous to my stock!

I thought about putting them onto Equine Senior, but they don't seem to be having any trouble chewing, so I decided to keep them on the regular Strategy for a while longer until I sort out the right feeding program for them -- as I said, their teeth are actually in excellent shape, so I am pretty sure getting the mix of foods right is the key to keeping them healthy for a good long time.

And here's yet another pic, this time with Joshie in the mix: from left to right, it's Lucky Man, Candyman, Joshie, and Dancer -



They were all pretty curious about my camera gear at first, but no they seem to think it's part of my arm...

Must figure out how to do up an animated avatar like some of these others on here -- my boys would look grand in one of those!

Leah M.

Dimimore said:
I welcome you to our humble family here.  I am genuinely touched by your story and determination to do well with these 3 lovely minis.  Minis can be up to 38" in height.  Sounds like you have a good vet and just a note about the teeth...my Keesha is 17 and her teeth are pretty worn down.  She had some serious ramps last year and when the equine dentist tried to rough them down her tooth "moved" so he stopped and explained to me when an old horse gets "old" the teeth fail to grow and become loose.  Filing would loosen them more an cause a possible infection so he  clipped the tops off the ramps and with a teeny tiny file smoothed them off and said just let her be.  I feed Purina Equine Senior, easy to chew and good for them too.  Best of luck and YES!  More Pics Please!?
449517[/snapback]

 

Miniv

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Oh what a sweet sweet "family" group shot! You sure know how to grab your animals' personalities on camera.

MA
 

hobbyhorse23

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Oh my GOD, that is adorable!
I want Lucky Man!

LeahMurray said:
Not sure how Candyman will like the peppermint:  he HATES pepto-bismal, which is peppermint flavoured, so not sure how he will react to real mint (although he loves Scotch mints, come to think of it -- must be the ucky texture of the pepto that puts him off).
Hey, I hate Pepto too! There is NO comparison between that horrible chalky stuff and real peppermint leaves.


Given Dancer's halter-killing habits, I took his halter off as soon as I read your note last weekend:  Candy and Lucky have theirs off now too.  Only the donkey that is in with them (Joshua) still has one on, mainly because he is impossible to lead anywhere if he doesn't have it on (and going "naked" means he's off-duty to him, and he's the guardian animal for my minis, so I want him ON-duty when I'm not around). 
That's wonderful to hear. Three less chances for something awful to happen, and your reasoning on Josh (impossible to lead without it) is one of those good reasons to leave one on that I mentioned.

Good luck with your move and everything!

Leia
 

LeahMurray

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<grin> They do know how to maximize their cute quotient, I gotta admit!! This is what I see every time I walk into their pasture or stall!

Lucky is "My Little Champ" in my mind - he is SOOO ring smart and such a little trooper! He is the ultimate pro: the second he gets into a working situation, he gets his mind on the job and turns on the pro behaviour, and just trucks himself right on through no matter what silly things his human might be doing (like hugging him for a win on the way out of the ring, for instance, and before getting to the stall -- I got SUCH a look!!)

Candyman is "My Sweet Boy", very affectionate and good-natured and friendly with everyone -- he's a cutie-pie, and knows it. He's also as lazy as a pet raccoon: if he can get by on cute he won't work at all! In his favour, though, he never resents it when you insist, he just gives you that, "Oh, okay -- THAT's what you want! Sure, let's do THAT!"

Dancer is "Bratman" -- he's such a little sparkplug! If there's anything going to go on, he's right in the middle of it, usually the instigator. Goats got out? Dancer was over by their fence connection a minute ago...Halter missing again and Mom's walking the 40 acres of pastures looking for it? Dancer's still right beside the pasture gate when she gets back, the halter now hanging from his teeth.

Joshie is "Leader of the Pack" -- he's the undisputed boss of their pasture. From poisonous plants to coyotes or stray dogs, Joshie is the front lines guy: no mini under his eye will come to harm from either of those or anything in between. He's only 4 years old, but he is the smartest of a smart bunch, and totally devoted to the minis.

Anyhow, I could go on all day and night about my boys, but I'd better get off to work or I'll end up not being able to pay their feed bill!!

Leah M.

hobbyhorse23 said:
Oh my GOD, that is adorable!
 
I want Lucky Man!

LeahMurray said:
Not sure how Candyman will like the peppermint:  he HATES pepto-bismal, which is peppermint flavoured, so not sure how he will react to real mint (although he loves Scotch mints, come to think of it -- must be the ucky texture of the pepto that puts him off).
Hey, I hate Pepto too! There is NO comparison between that horrible chalky stuff and real peppermint leaves.


Given Dancer's halter-killing habits, I took his halter off as soon as I read your note last weekend:   Candy and Lucky have theirs off now too.   Only the donkey that is in with them (Joshua) still has one on, mainly because he is impossible to lead anywhere if he doesn't have it on (and going "naked" means he's off-duty to him, and he's the guardian animal for my minis, so I want him ON-duty when I'm not around). 
That's wonderful to hear. Three less chances for something awful to happen, and your reasoning on Josh (impossible to lead without it) is one of those good reasons to leave one on that I mentioned.

Good luck with your move and everything!

Leia

454764[/snapback]

 

LeahMurray

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Pretty hard NOT to get personality on film with this lot -- they are like that ALL the time!

All I have to do is show up with the camera, and they start striking poses! LOL

Leah M.

Miniv said:
Oh what a sweet sweet "family" group shot!  You sure know how to grab your animals' personalities on camera.
MA

454761[/snapback]

 

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