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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Foxsun went down hill.

Monday when the farrier trimmed Foxsun's hooves and he didn't look too bad as far as the weight loss goes. I thought he'd start to gain weight once he was back in the horse pasture.

All week he was looking worse. By Friday I was very worried because he was loosing more weight and would not leave his little horse house. He even pooped and peed in there, something he has never done before. I got him too move a little bit and he was stiff and slow. I decided it was time he saw the doctor.

As I was thinking about what I was going to tell the vet when I called, I solved the mystery myself.

First clue; I noticed that all the hay in the manger from last fall had all been eaten, even though it was old and dusty. (Some marmots who live in under the barn had pooped on it too. I really was going to clean it all up this weekend). I thought why would he eat that nasty old hay when all that pasture is out there?

Second clue; I thought about when his weight loss began. Late Summer right before his Pigeon Fever he started loosing weight yet over Winter he was fine. He began loosing weight when he was weaned off the hay and Senior horse feed and put on pasture. There's lots to eat in the pasture so why is he loosing weight?

Third clue;


His nippers are useless for cropping short grass! The grass out there is about 4"-5".

I made him a bowl of senior horse feed and threw in ( from my pantry) a little oat bran, flax seed, Quaker oats and about 1/2 cup of vegetable oil. I got one of those big white kitchen garbage sacks and went out and pulled up a lot of long grass, dandelions, and some alfalfa. I also got him some of the alfalfa hay. We had ourselves a feast. He looked so funny with his head all the way inside that garbage sack. It came up over his ears and I asked him if he was committing suicide.

I can't understand why he's stiff and reluctant to move but I gave him a dose of phenylzone paste. That evening I went to see him with Brad. He was still holed up in his house so I put a halter on him and gently got him out. I took him to his water and he drank a lot. I think moving helped him and by that time the phenylzone had kicked in and he was starting to feel better.

Just as it got dark I went out to check him and he was under the trees grazing.

This morning it was off to the vets.

He looks fatter in these pictures than he is.


He's been in here before and there's always a little pain involved. Look at his scared face.

His vet checked him out. Took his temperature, listened to his inner workings and all that. When the vet saw his nippers he accused my boy of being a cribber! I defended the old fellow but I had to agree he'd been wearing his nippers out on something.

Anyway, the reason for his weight loss is he cannot crop short grass and he's starving without the hay and senior feed he ate all Winter. We're going to give him hay and oats. The vet did not recommend beet pulp at all. Once he's in the irrigated meadow the grass should be long enough for him to eat it. If he continues to loose weight we will do some blood work because it may be a walled off abscess resulting from the pigeon fever.

That was Foxsun's big adventure. The last time he was hauled anywhere it was to the vets 4 1/2 years ago when he injured himself.


Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

Glad to hear he's going to be okay! Poor guy, I bet he was hungry!

Why no beet pulp?

Kara said...

Maybe he chipped them on rocks when he was grazing? He could have accidently bit a couple horses have done this when cropping short grass alongside the road where there is gravel hidden in the grass. Thankfully no one has chipped a tooth yet though. Poor guy. I'm glad you figured out his problem. I bet he was just feeling old and stiff because he had no energy due to lack of feed. I'm sure he'll perk up...I hope so anyway.

arlene said...

I didn't think of rocks. Something to think about. I do know he hasn't any mouth pain and his molars are fine.

The vet told me not to give him beet pulp because he said he has to deal with the results of it. I believe he said it gets caught in the horses throats. I think he also said it doesn't have much energy.

He's an excellent horse vet. He has always owned some horses.

Right now I've started him back on the John Lyons senior feed and Big R's sweet feed (yum, I love the smell). I added some corn oil and some psyllium. I'll give him the psyllium for a week in case he has any intestinal sand. It's pretty dusty here so it wouldn't hurt to try some.

Kara said...

Does he mean that it gets caught in their throats if people don't moisten it enough? I can't see how very moist beet pulp would get caught, but if it was too dry...

Most people I know who use it do so as a lower calorie high fiber filler. It keeps 'em regular. A mare with colic surgery that removed part of her colon was prescribed a "dose" of beet pulp every day.

arlene said...

I did some reading about beet pulp and there are some people who have had several of their horses choke one it, even after they soaked it.

I also read that some other vets were saying they had seen a lot of horses that had choked on beet pulp. My vet has seen a lot of it it seems.

I've never tried it but was considering it. I won't use it now.

Pony Girl said...

I'm glad that Foxsun's issues are being worked out....hopefully he'll be on the road to feeling better and coming out of his little house soon!
p.s. I'm really impressed he went through that little chute at the vet's, I'm not so sure my horse would do that! :)

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I've fed beet pulp to all of my horses and never had a choke. But none of them are fast eaters, which is the biggest cause of choke that I know of.

I've known two horses that have bad front teeth from being kicked in the mouth.

Good thing Foxsun has such a caring owner to give him what he needs!

Kara said...

I'm anxious to hear how Wildairo's hoof trimming went!