Thoughts on weight/muscle loss

ladywiththebaby

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Mar 6, 2007
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Ok so quick update - I have decided that I would quite like to retire Saint Tango. He still trips and it takes the fun out of things for me as I'm constantly scanning the ground for any lumps and bumps and I'm always worried he's going to fall over. Second, and more importantly, I worry that his feet are hurting. He is bilaterally lame when you do a nerve block on one foot, which means that he doesn't nod or limp, because both feet are sore. What we don't know is how sore. And then every time he is slow and I have to kick him on, I worry that he is not being lazy, but is hurting etc etc. I also took him barefoot a year ago and so some surfaces (I.e stony tracks of which we have loads) are very sore still and he will try and walk on a 15cm grass verge if he can! I have used boots until they died but still don't feel confident in them and don't like the hassle if I'm honest. All in all, I spend most of my time worrying when riding him, and less and less time enjoying it.

So I had semi decided to just have 3 in my field although it would be tight grass-wise, and buy myself a new horse. However, last week my field neighbour suddenly lost her companion horse and needed another very quickly. Well, this lady is a older lady, a very senior consultant, had horses all her life and generally a nice person. So couldn't be a better retirement foster Carer for my boy, and only next door so I can still see him and ride him. So I offered, and she was delighted.

She said it would be easier if they both had the same food so his barefoot friendly hay, Fast Fibre, linseed meal and supplements was swapped for chaff, pasture mix and haylage (which was what he was on when he was in his pervious home). That was a week ago. I haven't ridden him for a week and haven't ridden much for the last 2 weeks due to school holidays - prob just once a week.

Well today took his rug off and was shocked at how much weight/muscle he had lost over his quarters. They are sunken again, like when I first got him! He was a bit overweight tbh but he doesn't look like he has lost any waistline?

Would this be muscle or fat that he has lost? Any ideas why this should have happened so quickly? What should I do? My nice field neighbour thinks he will pick up when the grass starts growing (there is much less at hers than mine) and I have given her my linseed and asked her to add that to her feed.

I don't want him to create extra work for her and so she doesn't want him, but equally I want to do what is right for Tango.

Thoughts?
 
Hmmmm. TBH 2 weeks seems quite a quick time to see such a noticeable difference in him if it is muscle wastage from lack of use. But there again he isn't a spring chicken and they will drop off quite quickly with minor changes the older they get. How is he settling with the other horse, that might have some bearing if he feels a little unsettled with his new field companion to start with.

Personally I would insist he still has the linseed, tis great for maintaining condition. I agree that he could well pick up quickly once we see this mythical thing called grass again.

I would just keep an eye on him for a week or two, if anything more serious is going on it will soon become obvious. I won't even insult you by asking about worming?:biggrin:
 
What were you feeding him?

Ooops, have just properly read - I think I would insist that he is fed what he was fed even if you buy it - after all, how difficult is it to slop a bit of water into fast fibre and give him the extra?
 
I think I'd ask her to feed him what you were giving him - I don't think it would be that much trouble. Sure she will understand.
 
For what it's worth my Mattie, who looks like a very slightly larger version of Tango, has lost masses of weight in the last couple of weeks. I can see his ribs and his flanks are hollow.

I know that this is just that it is the end of the winter and he needs the grass. He will be glossy and round again in a few weeks. He does it every year.
 
that sounds more like a feed/weightloss than a muscle loss issue. they shouldn't lose this much muscle within a week! (mine was off for 7 months and doesn't have a sunken in back end, just a bit of muscle loss behind withers etc)

Julia
xx
 
Debbie Lena looks AWFUL at the moment. Shes lost 20% of her summer weight (tape based) recently. Vet will see her on Tue. Shes tripping all over the place on bute and no bute. Not sure of her long term future just now. BUT her eyes a happy. I am bringing her in each afternoon and feeding her hay + a good bucket meal. How are Tangos eyes.
 
Hi everyone, 👋🏻
Ths is the first post from me so I'm sorry if there are errors etc. This is the first winter that my 31yo Welsh Section D mare has dropped weight & muscle. Tbh I am so so upset, I have now have her on 2 feeds a day of Alfa A Oil, sugar beet and weight gain or conditioning mix. She gets tumeric, glucosamine and a golden oldies supplement by equinutrive. She appeared to gain slightly in the pics added bottom was March and top was end of May, but she appears to have lost again. On my yard I keep getting asked would I put her through another winter, I mean what the heck. She is so happy and feisty nickers as soon as she sees me or even hers the car. Any suggestions of what else I could be feeding or doing. TIA Jackie
 

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Hi everyone, 👋🏻
Ths is the first post from me so I'm sorry if there are errors etc. This is the first winter that my 31yo Welsh Section D mare has dropped weight & muscle. Tbh I am so so upset, I have now have her on 2 feeds a day of Alfa A Oil, sugar beet and weight gain or conditioning mix. She gets tumeric, glucosamine and a golden oldies supplement by equinutrive. She appeared to gain slightly in the pics added bottom was March and top was end of May, but she appears to have lost again. On my yard I keep getting asked would I put her through another winter, I mean what the heck. She is so happy and feisty nickers as soon as she sees me or even hers the car. Any suggestions of what else I could be feeding or doing. TIA Jackie
You will get more responses if you start a new thread as this one is really old. But if you haven’t already I’d get teeth checked, and test for ppid to start.
 
I'd suggest getting her checked over by a vet, including theppid test @Jessey suggests. If all that comes back clear then speak to an independent equine nutritionist - be careful to get a good one, anyone can say they're one - and see what they suggest. Hpw much feed is she getting, what's her grazing like, andcan she still manage hay or haylage?
 
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I would also worm him if you haven't recently. Not sure what your weather is (or what season you're in currently) but mine came out of winter this year, wormy, which is something they have never done. After increasing their feed and speaking with the vet twice, the results were minimal and they just weren't gaining like I wanted them to. We decided I would worm them again with a different active ingredient. After the second worming, I started to see good progress putting weight back on them. Just a thought. I have had horses for 30 years, I have never had them need two wormings in the spring or had them drop weight coming out of winter. If anybody's curious - it's summer here in the Southern US. I wormed with Ivermectin and then Panacur.
 
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