how to safely put weight on older horse

Safechoice also has the Special Care feed which has a low NSC of 11%. Suitable feed with be rice bran. Horses with poor dentition may no longer be able to efficiently chew and process high fiber feedstuffs such as hay and even possibly grass, resulting in loss of weight and body fat. Sign up today to get the latest news, updates, and information from Kentucky Equine Research. There may be metabolic issues involved. Even though horses are genetically wired to thrive off poor-quality feeds, this principle does not generally apply to senior horses. Calorie Dense: Fats are a calorie-dense feed source that will help put weight on a horse in a safe way. A pound of prevention is way too much. Her responsibilities include developing and maintaining horse feed formulas and standards, as well as ingredient and production standards, and providing technical support for the Purina sales force, dealers, and customers. A survey of health care and disease in geriatric horses aged 30 years or older. By combining all of the above most older horses put weight back on. Although your type of hay may be consistent and it may even be coming from the same supplier, the quality may have changed. Vitamin E, Oxidative Stress, and PPID in Horses: Is There a Link? Clegg, et al. Her research concentrated on mineral requirements of resting and exercising horses. 45 pounds of gain in 90 days is 1/2 pound per day, a safe goal to aim for. Older Cat Not Gaining Weight. A 23 year old isn't that old but if she's on the thinner build, it can be more challenging to maintain weight. As a horse’s teeth wear, they can develop abnormalities such as sharp edges, hooks and waves that interfere with the efficient grinding and processing of feedstuffs during chewing. Most horses will willingly eat up to a half cup of oil at each feeding. A reader asks: How do I keep weight on my senior horse? Lipomas appear to be more prevalent in older horses (over 15 years of age). Your veterinarian or an equine nutritionist can help you evaluate your horse’s total diet to make sure that the combination of hay and feed is providing adequate calories and other essential nutrients to meet nutritional requirements. If the horse is still able to chew well and process long stemmed forages, providing high quality hay and a calorie and nutrient-dense feed may be adequate to prevent weight loss. 2012. © Copyright 2020 Kentucky Equine Research. Drug-resistant intestinal parasites have become more common, and veterinarians are now recommending new strategies for parasite control. Subscribe to Equinews and get the latest equine nutrition and health news delivered to your inbox. Once you have made diet changes, use a weight tape weekly to track your horse’s weight gain progress. Researchers like Joanne Ireland, B.V.M.S., M.R.C.V.S., from the University of Liverpool in England, for example, have dedicated years of study to reveal key facts about senior and geriatric horses. However, some horses, such as growing horses, horses under heavy training, pregnant or nursing mares, or old/sick horses will need more calories than grass hay or pasture can provide. Tips and Tricks to Get a Horse to Gain Weight. More hay in its feeder or longer grazing time may be all it takes to see weight gain. Prepurchase Exams Important thing to think about before buying a horse. These feeds are formulated to include appropriate forage or roughage sources to partially or completely replace hay and/or pasture in the aging horse’s diet. Protein promotes weight gain. She has worked with Purina for 14 years, initially as a consultant, and more recently as manager of Equine Nutritional Services. In addition to the calories, or energy, gained from the fermentation of fiber in the hindgut, the stomach is healthier and the horse is happier (because he has more to chew). Nutritional recommendations for horses with PPID that need to gain weight are more difficult because the need for more calories must be balanced against the adverse effects of worsening insulin resistance. Pinworms, tapeworms and encysted small strongyles will not be diagnosed by standard fecal floatation exams, so your veterinarian may need to perform additional parasite screenings. According to nutritionists that specialize in these horses, offering moderate-quality forage with a fat supplement is often not sufficient. All Rights Reserved. And, since fat is digested differently, without the risks posed by sugars or carbohydrates, oil is one of the safest ways to put weight on a horse. I recently retired him from showing, though I still hack him on the flat and take him on trail rides. Deworming programs should be tailored to the type of parasites found, the parasite population’s susceptibility to particular deworming drugs, geographic location of the horse and the degree to which individual horses shed parasite eggs. Parasites are a very common cause of weight loss in horses. Larger breeds, such as the Maine Coon, will weigh more. Periodic fecal exams to determine fecal egg count are suggested to help understand the parasite status of each individual horse. I wouldn't feed a large amount of the Safechoice Senior, because it has a NSC of 20%. Older horses Taking care of your old buddy. Have a qualified dentist correct any issues with your horse’s teeth. To maximize nutrient intake in an aging horse, try the following: Feed 1% of a high-quality forage daily (based on body weight). The senior horse population is larger now than ever before, with many horses leading healthy lives into their 30s. Is it an older horse or one without a good hair coat going into winter? Interesting Fact: Fat contains more than twice the calorie content of starch and is safe to … Q. If weight loss is a real, rather than simply perceived, problem, what can owners do? Eat five to six smaller meals during the day rather than two or three large meals. Horses are also individuals so what works for one 23 year old might be too much or too little for the next 23 year old. An excessively thin cat can be a sorry sight. All of the components of your horse’s diet should be considered: pasture, hay, concentrate feeds and supplements. It is safest to put weight on a horse slowly, so let’s take 90 days for this example. Fiber. Part of the aging process is often loss of efficiency of the digestive tract due to decreased motility, digestion and absorption of nutrients. Some geriatric horses have such compromised dental condition that they are not able to properly chew a well-designed senior feed. A couple of pounds of rice bran in combination with beet pulp often does a nice job of putting weight on horses. It's textured, so easier to chew for older horses. How do I put my horse on a diet: HORSE INFO from Cherry Hill - a collection of horse articles and tips on ground training, mounted training, English and Western riding, arena exercises, horse health care, hoof care, buying and selling horses, horse grooming, showing horses, horse barns, and horse facility design and management. In some instances, an older horse may become less efficient at utilizing feed although the dental condition is not extremely poor. This contrasted with the owner responses that reported 23% of the animals surveyed to be underweight and only 3% to be overweight.” Some countries have adopted a BCS system of 0-5, with 0 indicating emaciation and 5 signifying obesity. This means the nutrients are more available to his body. Fibre first. A survey of health care and disease in geriatric horses aged 30 years or older. One common cause of weight loss in horses is a change in hay quality, which affects the digestible energy provided by the hay. So feeding a 10 year old 4# of feed isn't the same as feeding a 23 year old 4#. He took care of you. Q: I'm unhappy with my 14-year-old Thoroughbred gelding's weight. Horses scoring 3 or lower are underweight or thin. Addressing the weight loss could be as simple as providing additional groceries or switching to a concentrate feed that provides a higher caloric density. The high fiber content in senior feed is of value when you have to reduce or eliminate hay (long-stem forage) from the horse’s diet. Of the three major energy sources for the horse, fiber is the most important, most underestimated and the safest. Feed 1% of a high-quality forage daily (based on body weight). You can use corn, peanut, canola, or vegetable oil. And, since fat is digested differently, without the risks posed by sugars or carbohydrates, oil is one of the safest ways to put weight on a horse. My recently retired 20-year-old OTTB gelding has started having a hard time keeping on weight. Shuster is 16.3 hands (170 cm) and ribby. It is possible that your horse’s dietary caloric intake has decreased even if you have not changed your feeding program. About 4500 additional kcal per day over the normal amount fed should achieve half a pound of gain per day. I’m especially concerned about him as winter approaches. The best ways to promote healthy weight gain in horses are: Provide free-choice access to quality hay or pasture grass around the clock Feed in smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day – at least three or more When trying to put weight on horses, adding extra hay like you’re doing is always the first and best option. In these situations, it may be beneficial to add water to the feed to provide a mash or gruel, which will be even more easily edible for the horse with extremely poor dentition. Senior Weight Accelerator contains Lactobacillus acidophilus, which helps with intestinal health and digestion, has anti-fungal properties, and plays a crucial role in preventing Candida overgrowth. Sign up for free now! Dr. Young earned her bachelor’s degree from Missouri State University, and her doctorate in equine nutrition and exercise physiology from Texas A&M University. Start by adding just a 1/4 cup of oil to your horse's feed per day, adding another 1/4 cup within a few days. The weight loss is a disease of older horses with higher digestible fiber at a minimum of 0.5 body. Times if necessary senescence or dental problems three large meals at processing and absorbing nutrients amount of roughage or oil. Equine Research dietary caloric intake has decreased even if you have not changed your program! 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'S textured, so easier to chew how to safely put weight on older horse older horses often have difficulty eating hay because their teeth either! Aged 30 years or older parasites may not be reflected in a fecal....

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