New to mini horses, lots of questions!!

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Carolyn R

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FYI if it is laminitis and his feet need to be padded, maxi pads or thick newborn diapers and duct tape work well to pad the feet. Cutting a styrofoam block and using that works well too.
 

LittleRibbie

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Gosh you poor thing...certainly not how you want to start off "your wonder mini life" Do not think you have "failed already"...it appears you are doing all you can in keeping him comfortable and you say your vet is arriving. The only thing I would worry about is IF he does get uncomfortable and starts to try to roll and being tied...you could have problems...as long as he just lays down to take pressure off that's fine until vet comes.

About the vac...one of mine had vac shot a couple mos. ago he was extremely stiff and couldn't even walk. I actually did have the vet back out the next day b/c I was so worried...he was that sore...took about 4 days..and he never had any swelling.

IMO Chandra always has great advice (poor thing...learned thru experience I guess )so if it is the laminitis/founder she can really help.

Please keep us posted...I have never had to deal w/founder but this thread can be a good learning tool for me too. I am sorry this is happening to you and your little man.
 

freedomnjustice

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Wow! What a busy day! I'm running on fumes! My daughter and I went out early today to hang a tarp up over the opening of the lean to to shield the horses from this brutal sun! The vet came out and was very surprised when I told her about the corn. That was NOT the thing to do. Freedom is definitely foundered but she didn't seem overly concerned. She liked the way I padded his feet and we have to keep the pads on for five days at least. I mowed the entire pasture down to the bare nubbins, so there's not much for them to get when they are turned out eventually. She said to gradually introduce them to the grass...treat it like it was spring grass. For the little guy anyway. Papa has to stay off all grass until his feet are bettter. Hubby is buliding a make shift pen for them this afternoon until the barn goes up. I'm headed to get some mini size grazing muzzles. She did give him the bute-she said 1/2 pill once a day until he's walking normal. I have no idea how long that will be. He still hasn't pooped??? She gave me mineral oil and said to give him a couple syringes but he's being very stubborn and won't let me put it in his mouth. I'm sure it's nasty. Any ideas how to get him to take it? She said they both had good gut sounds still, and he did have a temperature. He has stood quite a bit today, compared to last night. He's still resting frequently, too. The little guy keeps burrowing through the straw to get to the grass. Stubborn!! I feel so much better now and I feel like there's light at the end of the tunnel. I will keep everyone updated----thanks so much for all of your advice and support!! I was a wreck last night--I think I slept two hours, but the peace of mind knowing they were ok was worth it. Again-THANKS! I will be back to update.....
 

Rhondaalaska

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You need to get a dry pen built for your boys. That is a pen that has no grass in it.

They should stay in there most of the time. Then let out in the pasture sparingly.

Hay should be thier main feed. Nothing with sugars , nothing that is not hay based, .

When I hear grain , I think of true grain not the hay pellete feed that is being talked about.

True grain is realy bad for them.

I hope your boy gets better soon . It is realy scary when they hurt.

So far I have been realy lucky and have not had to deal with laminitis .

I feel my girls feet all the time so I know how they are doing.

If at all even slightly warmi, No grass for her.

Wish the best for you and your boys
 

LittleRibbie

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Good to hear the vet came out and you now have a solid plan to work with. Can you crush the pill and syringe it mixed w/another treat...my horses like yogurt.

Oh, don't forget once they are feeling better ...we all love pictures.
 

happy appy

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One other thing, the pasture that you mowed, you will need to remove the grass clippings. They aren't good for horses.
 

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As others have said, I'm so sorry that you've had this introduction to these wonderful little ones, but you've done extremely good in taking care and assessing his problem quickly. That's the key to success.

They are very handsome boys, and while they don't enjoy some of our "care-taking", it is necessary and just hang in there. You're doing fabulous!!

Praying for a swift recovery, and good weather -- wherever you live -- so you can quickly build a small dry-lot for them. Mow the grass in their new lot down very short, and in no time at all, it will become a "dry-lot" which makes it very easy to control their food intake.

You're doing great!!
 

susanne

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I hope you're seeing continued progress. What an upsetting way to start off!

Ditto the grass clippings -- freshly cut grass ferments very quickly and can cause colic, so get it out of there.

Not all vets are terribly knowledgeable about equine nutrition or the differences between minis and big horses. While they are horses, there are a few key differences beyond their size. Never use Quest or any moxidectrin wormers unless you have an EXACT scale weight and a foolproof dosing method -- an overdose can be deadly. Weight tapes are not very accurate for minis, so don't trust them other than as a rough guess. Bute toxicity is common amongst minis, so it should be used with extreme caution. While Banamine is a different type of analgesic and may not always be indicated, my vet prescribes it instead of Bute whenever possible.

Feed can be tricky. Some minis can be air ferns, but not all. You need to limit grain and grass, yet you frequently see minis with big bellies who are not fat, but malnourished. Mine do well on quality orchard grass hay, a ration balancer and beet pulp in winter -- no ordinary grain -- but others have different feeding programs.

I would not consider free pasture to be an option for your guys even after the older stallion has recovered from this bout of laminitis. He will always be prone and would be much better off in a dry lot.

I've only had minis for 11 years (lol) and I am still learning. This forum is an excellent resource with many longtime mini owners.

Good luck to you and your little ones and keep us posted!
 
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freedomnjustice

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The pen is built! Husband did a wonderful job. The grass under all the straw is not lush and is pretty scarce, I think it will be ok. Vet said it shouldn't be a problem. Ok, so new job for me tomorrow is picking up grass clippings for an almost acre pasture! By hand
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I was able to get most of the pill (1/2 pill) into Freedom this time. Next time, I will have to mix it with something. She did give me a syringe so I can mix it up with something. He finally had a bowel movement, so that's great news! This day has turned out to be pretty good. We may try the grazing muzzle on Justice tomorrow--AFTER I pick up the clippings! I will see what I can do to post a picture...
 

freedomnjustice

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freedom and justice pen.jpg

Here is the pen that my husband and dad built for the boys. Tomorrow I will be heading to the store to get the clip on water buckets and their halters will be coming off. Freedom is the one with the blue halter and you can't see Justice too well. Hubby is building a similar pen on the other side so we can separate them if need be. It will be nice once we get the barn up and they can have their own stalls, etc. I know everyone has their own feeding schedule, and that's still a little confusing to me. The vet today said that we should give them a flake of grass hay each per day. Then she said some kind of mineral feed (small amount) and that's it. She said nothing with alfalfa or anything like that. We got a bale of hay from our friends down the road (we had planned on them being on pasture since that's what they had before) and that should last a few days anyway. Do any of you use the hay bags? I bought the draw string ones and they look huge and cumbersome, to say the least. I picked up the grazing muzzles and one of our boys is going to by stying in his pink/black muzzle because that's the only other color they had for the mini size.
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paintponylvr

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i'm sorry you had such a rough intro to mini horses. The experience I've had with biggies and Shetland ponies that are somewhat larger than most minis (on this forum??) is vastly different...

For pills - you put it in the syringe, hold your finger over the tip and add water. Maybe 20CC (hopefully you have a syringe that is that large at least). Then put the plunger back in and tip it up and press out some of the air to allow you to set the syringe in a tall cup or vase. W/I 1/2 hour or so, pill will be liquefied. May take longer - depends on the pill. Hold your little guy's head up - my smallest mini (35" at withers) I can tuck his head thru my right arm at the elbow, my hand is under his jaw on the right side, I face the same way as the horse, standing on the left. You just put the tip of the syringe into the corner of his mouth, angle it back about 1/2 way up the syringe and keeping his head up, push plunger. If he's not letting you (jumping around), you can tie him so that his head is held short and high (about the same as your physical hold), then as soon as you've given him his meds, you untie him. Don't let him go right away - hold his head and make sure he's swallowed. If you want you could use honey or juice or applesauce to the pill. I've treated many horses and we don't usually have time for that kind of thing (all of those take time and are MESSY BUT they DO make the horse happy and look forward to his "treat"). Be careful with them though as they could all affect laminitis or founder - I don't know amounts.

Ask 10 people for feeding advice - you'll get 10 different answers. I think you'll do best following YOUR vet's and YOUR feed store's advice - with knowledge gained here on this forum. Feeding not only varies by the size of horse, but also what area of the country you are in and what you have available to feed - both in forage and in concentrates (grain) and supplements.

I feed completely different then what's already been explained and our sandy soil doesn't support lush pasture grass in the past 10 years, so ours are out year round. No grazing muzzles. I grew up feeding horses and ponies (many were mini sized) corn, oats and bran and had some of the best looking animals around w/ no supplements - in the mid-west and CO, WY, and MT. Different pasture and different hay. During the winter - breeders often turned their youngstock or broodmares out on the cornfields - with no issues. Just a different way of feeding. I still know quite a few breeders (and some are pony breeders) who do this today.

Your guy was hit by a lot of new things at once - a large amount of feed (corn is considered a "HOT" feed), new grass pasture (different from years of their previous owners'), vaccines, worming and TRANSPORT to a new facility. Any one of those by themselves could cause an upset with the 3 biggies - colic, founder or laminitis. Just can happen. And some folk are just lucky and never see any issues at all, no matter what they do.

For other info - there are several mini "stores" on line thru this board (see above) and I also have linked quite a number of stores on my links page. There are quite a number of mini horse books that apply to just minis - really neat! Also, there is at least one company that offers videos - for training as well as care. Giddy up Flix dot com. There used to be at least one other - I can't remember the name ... if you do some google searches you may find it!

I'm very happy for you that your new pen is built (lucky you to have a hubby who can/did do that!!) and that your vet came back out. Soo sorry that this happened. You did a great job taking care of your guys - just keep looking after them. They are cute! I think you'll do just fine!
 

chandab

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For dosing bute, I usually dose mine a quarter tab (I have larger minis, so 36-38" tall; but still go with the smaller dose, since minis tend to be sensitive to bute), this amount usually does work (if not, I've given a half tab for extreme discomfort). I have a pill crusher (dissolving the tabs never worked for me), so I crush the tabs and mix with a tablespoon of no sugar added applesause and put in a syringe to dose. [i get the catheter tip syringes, as they are easier to use for oral dosing, and get the 35cc or 60cc size. It does take a little bit of skill to get all the medicine/applesauce mix into the syringe, but not too bad (just take then plunger out, fill with meds and carefully insert plunger, so as to not squirt it all over.]

If you can find it, some grass hay pellets soaked may entice your boy to eat and thus produce some manure for you. I suggest soaked pellets, as that'll get water in his system at the same time, and I picked grass hay pellets over beet pulp as they are more readily accepted by most horses (beet pulp is an acquired taste for most horses).

Good luck with your boy.
 
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dixie_belle

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Feeding IS confusing. Everyone feeds different stuff, at different times, and in different amounts. When I was living in Texas, my vet (who I trusted) said each mini only really needed 1/2 a flake of hay, twice a day. Plus a salt block with trace minerals. I have some hay nets that will hold about 1/2 flake (busy snacker found at www.busyhorse.com). Last time I ordered them, they were buy 3 and get one free. You may want to just order three instead of the two you need and that way you'll have spares. Now that I have ample pasture, they are on the grass from 3-4 hours depending on how lush it is at the time, and then they get their hay nets at dinner. And yes, that means there are periods of time when they are not in the process of eating. If I allowed them free choice hay, they'd be bowling balls with feet. But, as I said, everyone does things differently. You'll find something that works, and then stick to it. I always err on the side of caution. I watch their weight like a hawk. I use miniature horse chow as a treat. I'll give each one literally a palm full in the afternoons. So it's probably like......2 tablespoons? I find it's better to give them too little than too much.
 

REO

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Others have said things already
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I take Bute and put on a paper plate and crush it to powder with the back of a spoon. Then I shimmy the powder into a syringe, add a tiny bit of water, shake well and squirt into his mouth (the side onto his tongue, not down his throat)

Then I'd get some probios to give him, from a horse store or the vet (or give yogurt) to sooth his tummy because Bute can upset his tummy.

I'm not sure of the spelling, but I'd make him some Metamucil (tastes like OJ) to help him go potty.

You're doing well!!!
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mizbeth

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One other thing, the pasture that you mowed, you will need to remove the grass clippings. They aren't good for horses.
Only fresh clipped grass clippings from what I understand, so when they are dry they wil be fine.
 

freedomnjustice

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The bute must be working because he has been on his feet a lot more today. He's only in that pen so not much room to "walk" but plenty to spread out and lay down. He has been having bowel movements so that's good. This will be their first "normal" night here. I'm going to do my best not to go out and check on them, but most likely I will at least once. ;) I will try the different options with the pill to see what works best - thank you. I got their pen situated tonight-we're using the clip on bucket feeders and I've placed them as far apart from each other as I can. This way they won't get in each other's way. It's a little nerve wracking being in there with both ponies and hind ends and feet.
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I'd like to think they wouldn't kick me, but I guess you can never be sure. Maybe tomororw I'll tie Justice out so at least there's one less body in there. Freedom can stay and rest and I'll work around him. I guess the guys built the pen around him today. ;) For a treat yesterday, I split a full sized carrot between the two of them. They also have a mineral block (peppermint, I think). It feels good to feel like I've accomplished something today!!
 

AnnaC

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Well I think you should be very proud of yourself! You have really been thrown in at the deep end with this little fella and you are doing a fantastic job with the care and attention that you are giving - and a big thanks to your willing helpers who are constructing those brilliant pens for the boys.
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I think your poor boy has suffered from several things in a very short time as has been said earlier - the large corn feed, transportation, worming, sudden good grass (were they on grass at their previous home and what was it like?) plus he could have had a reaction to the vaccines - something that has not been considered in the rush to pronounce him foundered? It was his fast off colour/reluctance to move/colicky appearance that made me think of a vaccine reaction because - and this is just my opinion - I have yet to find a horse that suddenly actually founders, more that they show pain in the feet for several days as the pain in their feet gradually increases, which if left unattended progresses to full blown founder. There is a difference between having an attack of laminitis and full founder although the first can lead to the latter.

Also - again in my opinion - a flake a day per horse is not enough to feed. There is almost as much danger in under feeding as there is in over feeding, and if, for now, your two boys are not getting anything else, then one flake each is not suffiecient - depending upon the weight of the flake of course! And most vets will automatically give Bute to minis, but it really is not good for them and at the most should only be given for 2 to 3 days, so try to change to Banamine if you can, plus you might like to think about giving him a course of an ulcer preventative as Bute can cause ulcers if overdosed or given for too long.

I hope your boy feels better soon - he's a lucky fella to have found such an attentive and caring owner who acted so promptly as soon as she spotted that he was not well. Good luck and keep us posted on his recovery.
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MajorClementine

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Welcome! You've already discovered how helpful everyone on LB is. Sorry your intro to minis was so stressful. But you seem to be handling it really well. So sorry to hear about Freedom. Hope he comes out of this in good shape.

Just wanted to put in my two cents on founder. I don't know how much you know about it but founder is when the coffin bone inside the hoof rotates. Getting your mini on the proper diet is very important (as many have stated) but it won't do you a lick of good without a good farrier who knows what he/she is doing. Taking proper care of Freedoms feet is every bit as important as what you are feeding him. Same goes for the little guy. I would suggest educating yourself as much as possible on hoof structure and care so you know what to look for in a farrier. A year ago I had no idea that hooves were so complicated and amazing. Every change in your horses life will show up in their feet... anyway... like I said feed and feet go hand in hand.

Good luck with your minis I'm sure you'll wonder why you didn't get any sooner. They are addicting little critters
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freedomnjustice

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I left a message with the name of a farrier that was given to me by a friend and the vet today. I told him that he was founderd but I never received a phone call back. I will see what I can do tomorrow about contacting someone else. One thing that I thought was strange was that the vet didn't remove the tape on his feet to examine them. She felt them and looked at the leg...maybe she did it quickly and I didn't see it? I'd rather a farrier check them out. I haven't done anything with their hooves yet because I dont know what to do.

I'm curious about the grass clippings and if they are OK if they are dry?? The temp today was in the low 90s, so i would think by tomorrow they would be dry? My husband told me how I can just blow them out of the pasture with the mower. That method seems much easier than raking and transporting them! Its 3:12 am here and I did go check on them about a half hour ago. They were both resting comfortably in the pen. :)
 

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