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Kelsianne

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Hi,

Our mini horse is very skinny even though we feed her plenty. She doesn't always finish her food, and has had diarrhea on and off for the past month. (Right now she's fine though) She's up-to-date on worming, so I have no idea why she's so skinny. She's had colic several times before and "Colic-y" symptoms seem to have come and gone these past couple of months. Can you help?
 

amyjoy85

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First, I would check with your vet. I say this because there may be something else going on that we can't see on the outside. Can you post a picture of her so we can see a little more about what she looks like? Sometimes that helps to pinpoint something she is lacking. How old is she? What kind of hay is she getting and how much? As far as grains go, I have found that Purina Sr. Active has helped put weight on (The horse version of Purina is not the same Purina that makes dog and cat food). Triple Crown Sr does as well. I have had good results with both products. Both companies have people you can talk with via email or phone about how much of which product you can feed to get weight up. I would be very careful adding grain to her diet since she does seem to colic frequently. I haven't personally used it, but beet pulp is something that people use to put weight on. But like I said, check with your vet first. He/she should be able to help you get a local source of good hay and come up with a feed program. They can also run tests to see if anything else is going on. Good luck!! A colicy, underweight mini can be and is scary. I've been there, as lots of us probably have at some point or another.
 

Mona

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Has she been seen by a vet yet? What did they say? They should be able to offer some sound advice, based on what they see before them, and her symptoms.
 

Boss Mare

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Yep, get a vet involved. Reevaluate feeding program.. Check teeth and for ulcers..

I have a couple that are harder keepers and require quite a substantial amount of feed to stay the weight I desire.

Good luck, keep us posted and pictures / age / feeding program would be helpful too and may lead to more insight.
 

CabbagePatch

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I too have a mare that was a rescue and was thin and boney like yours.Fotunatelly I have a good relationship with the local vet who didnt charge a crazy amount to check her over and do blood work, turned out she only needed groceries and de worming, make sure that you rotate your worm medicine regularly most have great luck with ivermec,pyrantel and panacur power dose (your vet can advise you on that) also tapes can cause weight loss(zimectrin gold treat them)and make sure to NEVER use Quest it can be deadly. After a few months on a good de worming program and Nutrena Performance (limited variety of feed in my area) with Beet Pulp shreds soaked twice daily along withgood pasture and a little alfalfa she is doing SUPER. I also cant do without the Flax oil and a good vitamin/mineral pellet. If all else fails a supplement called Body Builder works wonderful, it is quite pricey and is mainly rice bran oil which you can find at the health food store for around $5, I have great luck with the rice bran oil myself. But Please, check with your vet before offering any of these extras especially since she seems to have a sensitive system.I wish you the best as I know how mind boggling all this can be.
 

Kelsianne

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466276_4294593502950_2068533179_o.jpg
Thank-you so much for your feedback, everyone. Here's one photo, although it's hard to see her well, since she's still shedding the winter coat. I'll try to get a few more up for you all in the next couple days.
 
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Kelsianne

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First, I would check with your vet. I say this because there may be something else going on that we can't see on the outside. Can you post a picture of her so we can see a little more about what she looks like? Sometimes that helps to pinpoint something she is lacking. How old is she? What kind of hay is she getting and how much? As far as grains go, I have found that Purina Sr. Active has helped put weight on (The horse version of Purina is not the same Purina that makes dog and cat food). Triple Crown Sr does as well. I have had good results with both products. Both companies have people you can talk with via email or phone about how much of which product you can feed to get weight up. I would be very careful adding grain to her diet since she does seem to colic frequently. I haven't personally used it, but beet pulp is something that people use to put weight on. But like I said, check with your vet first. He/she should be able to help you get a local source of good hay and come up with a feed program. They can also run tests to see if anything else is going on. Good luck!! A colicy, underweight mini can be and is scary. I've been there, as lots of us probably have at some point or another.
Our mini horse, Chiquita, is 7 or 8 yrs. old. We were feeding her Timothy but have recently switched to alfalfa. She gets almost a flake per feeding (Two feedings a day) plus bran mash once in a while. As far as the colic goes, I'm certain it's all the sand we have here. It's everywhere and our mini constantly tries to eat hay off of the ground. :-/ Thank-you for your help!
 

Marty

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By all means you need a good vet on board with this. A very good equine vet who understands miniatures.

Around here if a horse doesn't eat or clean up their food, they're sick. If I don't see the obvious, running temps, runny noses etc. I go right to suspecting ulcers and usually begin ulcer treatment.

Where do you live? I kept horses in Florida and most of my fields looked like the beach. Wasn't easy to maintain them and they were dropping like flies due to sand colic. Then some clever people invented Sand Blast and Sand Clear and related products. That helped a ton but I also had to keep the horses stalled a lot of the time. Unforuntate as it was, under that kind of management combined with plenty of exercise the constant colics stopped. If you have a stall use it .A barn, use it but be sure you turn out daily and try to keep the horse off the sand as much as possible. Don't dump your hay on the ground, Use a mat and don't let her dump feed on the ground either. Also add a nice sloppy beet pulp to your horse's diet daily. That will not only add some pounds but help keep things moving along.

Bran mash is a very old "remedy" that was proved over the years did nothing to help sand colic. We old timers used to feed it like crazy but no more. I replaced it with beet pulp which is much more useful.

That said, I'd also suspect ulcers from a horse that coliced that much and be treating for it. Ask the vet what he thinks about it. And last but not least, many times a vet will confuse a horse having an ulcer attack with colic. Symptons can really mimic each other and if you treat for a colic that is actually an ulcer, that can backfire on you. I had horses treated for colic from vets that never coliced in the first place. They had ulcers.

Also you can start giving Probios which never hurts. Best wishes to you and hopes for a good recovery on your mare.
 

Ridgerunner

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I'm with Marty. I'd get my vet involved, and I'd get her on ulcer meds immediately, if not sooner! Off and on colic symptoms, and going off feed are both red flags for ulcers around here. I don't know where you live, but we don't have sand here, so I don't know anything about dealing with that. Pretty girl, though!
 

Boss Mare

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After seeing the pic, I recommend getting a vet involved and you definitely need to up what you're feeding and how often. I would seek advice from a vet though. -- A quality horse feed, beet pulp, black oil sunflower seeds, alfalfa pellets & leafy hay. Start slow and increase to two or three feedings. Not all minis "get fat on air", don't be shy to feed your mini when needed. (Ask a vet)
 

happy appy

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First I want to say, check with a vet. There could be something else going on.

As for the sand, one way the vet told me to check for sand in their gut was collect a few poop balls, put them into a zip lock baggie and add some water. Zip bag and shake. The sand will settle to the bottom and the poop will float. You should be able to feel the sand on the bottom of the baggie without dumping it out. It's every expensive in my area for sand clear so the vet also suggested Metamucil (people stuff). It comes in lots of forms from cookies to powder. I feed the adult dose for the adult minis. You have to make sure there is lots of water available and if they don't drink much then you should feed it in wet beet pulp mash. I feed this 3 days a month only and have never had a sand colic in 9 years! knock on wood! My property is all sand too. I also feed hay only in slow feed hay feeders that are off the ground and only feed concentrates in the barn in their feeders.
 
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amyjoy85

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We had our minis on a timothy mix, but they didn't do well, so we switched them. It gives a pot-belly, partially from protein, but also from it being course. Be careful with feeding straight alfalfa. It can make them sick. A good grass mix is fine though with supplementing alfalfa hay or pellets. Also, I am not sure where you are, but do not feed coastal burmuda (if that's an option near you). That stuff can make a horse colic fast!! The hay strands are very fine and it makes it hard to digest properly, especially for a mini. My stallion got into a little of it at a barn he was at for the night a few years ago and had colic the next day.

I agree with the ulcer issue that people are mentioning too. And sand colic. Could be either. Hate both of those. Most definitely check in with your vet.

If you go with Triple Crown grain, they told me for a 150lb mini that needs weight, slowly get them up to 1lb/day of TC senior. Do that for 3 weeks, then adjust up or down after that as needed. Pretty much the same for Purina Sr Active. They told me less than that, but I ended up on the needing more side of things.
 

Kelsianne

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By all means you need a good vet on board with this. A very good equine vet who understands miniatures.

Around here if a horse doesn't eat or clean up their food, they're sick. If I don't see the obvious, running temps, runny noses etc. I go right to suspecting ulcers and usually begin ulcer treatment.

Where do you live? I kept horses in Florida and most of my fields looked like the beach. Wasn't easy to maintain them and they were dropping like flies due to sand colic. Then some clever people invented Sand Blast and Sand Clear and related products. That helped a ton but I also had to keep the horses stalled a lot of the time. Unforuntate as it was, under that kind of management combined with plenty of exercise the constant colics stopped. If you have a stall use it .A barn, use it but be sure you turn out daily and try to keep the horse off the sand as much as possible. Don't dump your hay on the ground, Use a mat and don't let her dump feed on the ground either. Also add a nice sloppy beet pulp to your horse's diet daily. That will not only add some pounds but help keep things moving along.

Bran mash is a very old "remedy" that was proved over the years did nothing to help sand colic. We old timers used to feed it like crazy but no more. I replaced it with beet pulp which is much more useful.

That said, I'd also suspect ulcers from a horse that coliced that much and be treating for it. Ask the vet what he thinks about it. And last but not least, many times a vet will confuse a horse having an ulcer attack with colic. Symptons can really mimic each other and if you treat for a colic that is actually an ulcer, that can backfire on you. I had horses treated for colic from vets that never coliced in the first place. They had ulcers.

Also you can start giving Probios which never hurts. Best wishes to you and hopes for a good recovery on your mare.
Thank-you for your help. I would like to get a vet involved, I just wish it wasn't so much $$. I'm also a bit leery because the first time Chiquita had colic, our vet basically told us she wasn't going to make it. It took some work on our part, but she did.

We've been feeding her bran mash when she seems colic-y, but I'll have to try the beet pulp. Thanks!
 

Carolyn R

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Bran mash is a double edge sword, it helps but fed too often it will strip the natural flora of the gut, hence the reasoning for feeding probiotics. Probiotics are a good thing to give regardless. Another vet may be in order, they are not all equal in regards to their knowledge of minis (or equines for that matter). Now, this next thing is going to sound mean, and for that I appologize in advance, we do appreciate that you are seeking out input, however.......facing a problem head on prior to it rearing it's head in full force, is always a better option than being forced into a corner when your equine is in a sink or swim situation. Vet bills, yes, they suck, but every responsible owner has them at one time or another, many of us have paid thousands in bills, in payments if need be, and many have faced the decision of euthanizing if there is no end in sight, or giving a horse away if we know they have a fighting chance but can not keep paying for medical issues that may or may not arise. As already said, leaving food behind is a serious thing, if one of my horses walks away or only eats a portion of its feed, there is a serious issue! I can not emphasize this enough. Alfalfa is a natural soother, as is grass. I would cut out all feed at this point and feed soaked alfalfa or soaked alfalfa mix or soaked cubes as well as allowing the horse access to grass. There are a few things that come to mind with these symptoms.......possible sand colic, possible ulcers or ...since it is ongoing , regardless of the worming schedule, I would have to say a possible combination of parasites and/or one of the other issues. Large infestations can not be cured with one or two doses of meds, certain worms do not show up on fecals depending what stage they are in (like roundworms) and while roundworms are typically found in young or very old horses, they are also found in horses that have been compromised by illness or malnourishment. I would get a knowledgable vet involved, go to a local feed store, preferable one with a longstanding business, ask who is a good horse vet, ask if there is one at would be chosen over another, if they do not know, ask if there are any reputable stables that you can call to see whom they reccomended. There is no way around it, a good vet needs to be involved, they horse's eating behavior is not normal. I wish you the best of luck, vet bills just come with the territory, no easy way around that.
 

Sungold

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Sounds like when one of my mares had ulcers after colicing severely, lost a lot of weight and just picked at her feed. I took her off all commercial feeds and she got to eat all the hay (grass/alfalfa mix) she wanted plus pasture. She picked weight back up and eventually went back on small amounts of a commercial feed without any problems.
 

Miniv

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My first thought was ulcers too..... which means taking her off grain and adding an ulcer med to her daily regime. It won't hurt. Adding alfalfa to her diet is good both for ulcers and underweight horses. We mix it in with their grass hay. And since you live in an area with sandy soil like we used to, try puting down a rubber mat for her to eat on. We had mats down in every paddock and would sweep them before every feeding. Another way to add alfalfa to her diet is using small alfalfa pellets, softened in some water.
 

Eagle

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I agree with Marty and Carolyn, I would get the vet to check for ulcers, sand and her teeth, minis can go down hill very fast if there teeth aren't looked after. Do the sand check as Happy Appy told you, that will give you an answer fast and as Miniv has suggested replace her grain with beet and try giving her an alfalfa mix.

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JMS Miniatures

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I agree a vet needs to be brought into this because it sounds like she needs medication. Yes its money no body wants to spend but its necessary if your going to be owning horses. If you don't like your current vet find a different one just find one thats experienced with equine.

Too me it sounds like ulcers. The colic like symptoms, the diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss. Medicine can help with that but something you will have to get thru your veterinarian. Another thing I would do is a fecal test, not only would it rule out worms but it can also help rule out sand if she doesn't have any in her gut. I would also check her teeth. Her teeth needs to be done or checked every 1 or 2 years. If her teeth are bad it can certaintly make the situation worse. I would also give her some grain once everything is ruled out like some type of Senior feed just to help with her weight gain.
 

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