Not gaining weight as quickly as I'd like...

This teenaged bay Arabian gelding is in rehabilitation. Watch his progress as he goes through eye surgery, gains weight and returns to his original beauty!

Postby Juliane on Thu Feb 15, 2007 9:26 am

No I do not think Buddy is IR or has Cushings. The vet was concerned because of the ridges in his feet and prolapsed soles - so the did not want Buddy on the Equine Senior that I have been feeding him. He said it was a possibility that Buddy may have foundered in the past and suggested x-rays to detect if there had been any rotation.
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Postby schwung on Thu Feb 15, 2007 11:07 am

I had forgotten about the concerns about his feet and the fact that he might have previously foundered. Yes, ridges alone can just be from sudden dietary changes but the prolapsed soles (Vanna has these) is a sure sign of some type of laminitic episode. Interestingly enough, because Vanna is a TB and somewhat of a hard keeper my vet is not concerned about her foundering again - according to my vet it is very hard to founder a TB, their metabolisms are just too high (unless of course they get into grain or something). Vanna likely foundered due to a massive diet change - I have always suspected it was the free-choice alfalfa at the feedlot but no one knows for sure. Vanna now gets a 50/50 alfalfa/grass diet, along with a high-fat grain, rice bran, Cool Calories. Fortunately, she had only mild rotation on xrays and is completely sound.
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Postby ptownevt on Thu Feb 15, 2007 12:50 pm

Sorry to be a pain in the butt about this. I just interested as I do have a pony that has foundered and my natural trim farrier is an anti grass zealot; not that I have any grass, 4 horses on 2 acres. I always end up feeling like a horrible horse mother when she leaves. What are you both calling prolapsed soles? My TB mare had very flat feet, shallow grooves next to the frog, but it only lasted a very short time and the grooves went right back. She has nice concavity now.

I'm also curious about the TB/founder comment by your vet Jaime. That was my thought also, but my natural trim farrier thinks that grass and carbs are problems for all breeds, period. I guess I'm a bit sensitive about this issue. Sorry if I offended anyone by asking more than once.

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Postby schwung on Thu Feb 15, 2007 1:01 pm

Vanna's prolapsed soles are more than just flat feet - although that is part of it. Where it is very flat is out towards the toe - she has nice clefts on either side of her frog but from there out the rest of her foot is flat and somewhat convex - thus she has developed a toe callous about an inch or so behind the tip of her toe. This is also common in previously foundered horses. When she gets trimmed she is sore for a day or two until the callous hardens up again. She has otherwise GREAT feet for a TB, nice hard walls, and has done great barefoot despite the prolopsed soles - but she does have trouble on rocks which is why I have finally decided to put front shoes on her (maybe pads as well) to help her on the trails.

I think ANY horse can founder on grass, if not used to it at all and then thrown on a pasture full of lush spring grass, just like any horse can founder if they eat 30 lbs of grain in a single feeding. It is LESS likely with a TB. I get a fair amount of grass in the spring and would never just throw a horse that was not used to it out on it, but ease them on it. But for a TB that is used to grass, they are not likely to grass founder in spring just because of the richness of it (whereas a pony or a Morgan might). I keep my pony off the pasture in the spring/summer altogether. It is way too easy to founder a pony. I think that was the point, not that you can't founder a TB, but for Vanna, its not like I have to pull her off grass in the spring just because she foundered before.
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Postby cat_67 on Thu Feb 15, 2007 3:27 pm

I agree with Schwung that any horse will founder on rich spring grass if you don't introduce it slowly. We used to start with 15-20 minutes and work up from there. That's what I believe in.

I'm not at all anti-grass though. C'mon, common sense tells you that horses are biologically designed to live on grass. Where I've seen problems is when people keep horses in a sacrifice area so that the grass grows up nicely and then, wham, throw them out on it. If you use a little judgment, grass is the perfect horse food - fresh and dust free. When I had my 2nd farm in Wisconsin, my Thoroughbreds lived out on 5 acres of what used to be alfalfa hayfield but hadn't been seeded in over 5 years - nobody foundered and everybody was fabulous weight and had a mirror finish coat. (But I guarantee you, someone is going to read that and go OMG! alfalfa field! Ack!)
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Postby kidholly on Mon Feb 19, 2007 6:41 pm

I have never liked to see a horse gain weight while confined, even if they're on the thin side. It makes all kinds of warning bells go off for me. During confinement, thin is in.

You've got plenty of time to get him gaining when you can start working him again. Weight gain while being worked is the best kind of gain.

Juliane, you're doing a really great job with Buddy....don't worry about him gaining weight right now. He's been through alot! :)
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