need help/advice for emaciated pony

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by NewChickenMom, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. NewChickenMom

    NewChickenMom Songster

    May 16, 2008
    Omaha, NE
    i rescued this pony 4 days ago. he is around 20 years old, severely underweight, had lice all over his body, still has winter hair and seems anemic. i have wormed him, given him his shots, treated him for the lice and i brush him at least once a day. i've also been giving him ad lib alfalfa pellets and bringing him out to graze for a couple hours a day. he is out in a pasture with very short grass so he keeps busy during the day. i just need help/advice on what to do to get him better. he just seems so sad. here are pictures of him and then a comparison picture next to my pintaloosa teaser pony.

  2. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    A cup of calf manna a day does wonders.
  3. okiehen

    okiehen Songster

    Oct 25, 2007
    Bless your heart and his.
    I'd have the vet check his teeth probably needs floated at his age. This will help I'd keep hay out for him as well as keeping him on good grass.
    Best of luck.
  4. birdnutz

    birdnutz Songster

    Mar 6, 2007
    I think your doing everything right. His health problems are probably the reason he seems sad. Food and company will eventually bring him around. Good luck.
  5. s6bee

    s6bee Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Western, NY
    I'm sure he's just shedding out, but Cushings maybe??
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    First, good on you for rescuing him, he sure did need it!

    I guess the most obvious thing would be to have a vet look at him. Make sure how his heart, lung and eyes are, you know? It is possible the unshed winter coat is just from malnutrition but it is also quite possible he is Cushingoid (will require bloodwork) in which case you would want to know so it can be managed.

    In the meantime, *to me* he does not look so emaciated that he couldn't be wormed -- there are several schools of thought on when and how to worm seriously underweight horses, though, and I would suggest finding out what your vet would recommend so that you are both on the same page. It may involve a 5-day course, or several doses repeated in a different arrangement. Don't use Quest (moxidectin) at this point. If the horse seems *really unusually* subdued, you might wait to make sure he doesn't have other issues that could complicate it.

    Alfalfa sounds good. Looking at his feet I get the feeling he is a past laminitis patient and you might really want to reconsider that grass pasture. I know it's short grass but actually, ounce for ounce, that can be worse than mature taller grass. The ideal thing would definitely be to put him in a totally bare dirt pen with a big ol' net or feeder of the best alfalfa hay you can find.

    Best of luck to both of you,

  7. helmstead

    helmstead Songster

    Mar 12, 2007
    Alfordsville, IN
    I agree with Pat - I suspect he's metabolic and those hooves look like they've foundered. I would say a vet check and dental check are in order.

    In the past with emaciated horses, I've started the deworming process with a daily dewormer and a low class paste dewormer. You don't want to kill too many worms at once and cause colic. I use the daily dewormer until I've gone through 4 classes of paste dewormer and have a clean fecal. Always use ivermec or monodex LAST...use the lower classes first. Avoid the power pack until you're one month in, too.

    The alfafa is great, but consider adding a concentrate with beet pulp and rice bran gradually to help him out. Because he might be a cushingoid, go for one of the newer low carb feeds. I'd soak all of it, feed and pulp, for 8 hours before feeding it in case he has bad teeth. Then you'll have a way to supplement with a digestion aid, too. I love probios for thin really helps them rebound.

    Also, please consider body clipping him. Being hot under that leftover winter coat will not help him gain weight. It also makes delousing harder because the bugs have so many places to hide.

    Thank you for taking him in, he looks like a kind soul!
  8. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Yay! Another sweet soul rescued from the idiots of the world! Some TLC from you and he won't be sad for long!
    The poor little fellow. What's his name?
    All great advice has been given, and I second Kate's opinion that you consider a body clip.
  9. texasreb

    texasreb Songster

    May 18, 2008
    I agree with the others who have stated that he might have cushings and a history of laminitis. Also agree that you need to get a vet out ASAP so that you know what you are dealing with.

    Until you know what you are dealing with metabolically I would nix the pasture and get him on a good forage hay--a nice clean, bright second or third cutting from last year would be perfect. Give him as much as he can eat, as it is the foundation of his diet. To that you can keep the alfalfa and add a good concentrated feed with a low amount of NSC's (non-structured carbs). For this, I like ration balancers. For additional calories and fat, but not NSC's you can add the rice bran and/or wheat bran. The last thing would be a good probiotic.

    Avoid any type of sweet feed, weight builder feed, alfa-mo, oat-mo or anything with a lot of sugar (NSC). Sugar and horses just don't mix as well as people think. It can cause ulcers and a host of other problems.

    By the way, the above feed routine would be good for your other pony too. His weight looks fine, but he is far from being , "the picture of health", IMO.

    Good luck to you and your pony. You are a wonderful person for saving him.
  10. Skyesrocket

    Skyesrocket Songster

    Mar 20, 2008
    Good for you for taking the old guy in! You got a lot of good advice.
    He should start perking up some with your care. No telling what he has been through. Once he realizes he is at "home" and he is feeling better he should perk up. I have rescued several horses and it's always a thrill when they start coming around and start calling to you when they see you.
    Around here ponies always seem to be the last ones to shed out. We finally got some high temps this past week and I brushed a huge pile of hair from my pony yesterday. He looks 1/2 his size
    Your new guy will be pretty when he sheds out!

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