Skinny pony.

(76 Posts)
MissBrown Thu 31-Jan-13 19:11:59

Hi all. Looking for a bit of advice. I have 2.5 yr old section B gelding who lives out. He has lost a bit of condition over the last couples of weeks, and I want to get his weight back up. He has been having approx 1kilo of nuts and a large handful of chaff every night and adlib haylage in his field.

However I have just changed his food to include barley rings but he won't eat them, he just sucks all the chaff off and spits them out! Cheeky monkey!

He was wormed a couple of months ago but I'm not sure what with as my friend did it with a bulk buy wormer she has.

I will be worming him tomorrow with a brand the saddler has recommended.

Any ideas to get my little man a little bit bigger!

MissBrown Fri 01-Feb-13 23:35:02

I wouldn't say he was an unhappy pony, he is very friendly and interested in everything around him. He is extremely sociable with other horses at the field and comes to call every time.

I do, however, think I will give the vet a ring and see what they say.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:52:39

I don't mean mentally. Just his all round appearance. I know he's standing differently, but he's much longer in the second shot, and his back end just doesn't look right, IYSWIM. He reminds me of my wee chap when he had his abscess. Something underlying going on...

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Fri 01-Feb-13 23:53:01

Sorry, much longer in the first shot.

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 08:16:10

Tbh, I thought his back end looked a bit odd in the picture but it may be the camera angle. I'll put another one of him walking in a straight line. Thank you for taking the time to look at these for me.

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sat 02-Feb-13 09:02:00

Just a thought but with the patches of scurf is there any chance he could have lice? It might sound bizarre but lice can really thrive during winter, especially under warm rugs. Lice also seem to attack an animal who can be run down for some reason, so if wormy, he might be a target for them. If I were you I would organise a worm count straight away but I would also call a vet out to him. You might want to get a general blood test done to check all is ok and you can get an injection to treat both worms and lice, if the vet deems it ok. I looked after a pony who came to me in a similar condition you describe. It took a while but we managed to turn her round completely. Best of luck x

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 09:18:33

He still looks scrunched up. Look at where his tail begins, it's halfway down his bottom. His neck and bum are thin, but his tum is still big. I'd expect his middle to look like a greyhound to match his front and back. I agree that for a start you definitely need to look for lice. Looc in his forelock and down his neck. Your basically looking for headlice. I'd still have the vet though.

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 09:34:26

Thanks for all your replies. I'm going down there soon so I'll check for lice. I've made sure his insurance is all up to date so I can cover all eventualities.

He had always been scurfy so fingers crossed it is nothing too sinister. Wouldn't lice cause more symptoms that scurf though? I have never seen him scratching and stamping his feet which I know can be a problem in horses with lots of feather.

Again, thanks for everyone's input, I really appreciate it.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 09:42:22

The youngster we bought had them chronically. She was unhandleable. Didn't scratch much though.

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sat 02-Feb-13 17:07:12

No lice don't necessarily create more symptoms than what you described. Your description of how some of his mane has come out and the patches of scurf sound highly typical to me. It can also be extremely difficult to see lice too. My vet told me that whenever he sees scurf he usually considers lice. As well as checking the forelock and mane they also run along the spine, so if you part the hair on the withers and a bit further down along the spine and sit and wait for a while you might well see some running about.

Because it sounds like he's rather run down the lice might just be part of the whole package - just like with the girl I inherited. At this stage I'd nearly bet my bottom dollar he has them, so you could do a pre-emptive strike on those with some louse powder all through the mane, down the withers and along the spine. Wear gloves and really work the powder in by pulling the hair back and using your gloved fingers.

At this stage I really, really would recommend a vet call-out because he doesn't sound right at all. Yes two year olds can look a bit gawky and he might not have wintered well, but there's no way I would consider starting to back him etc if he's not 100% sound. Sorry I cant see your photos on the mobile app but, if Saggy saw them and thought he didn't look right in the photos, I would get the vet in.

Hope he was ok when you saw him today.

Good luck x

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sat 02-Feb-13 17:20:28

Sorry I'm back again as I managed to log on through the website and look at your pictures. Is the very first photo (where he is being led) the most recent? If so, I definitely think you should call the vet. From the slightly blurred photo I would still be sure that there are worms and the coat looks very dull and patchy and so I would suspect lice.

Did you have a look under his tail around his anus? Sometimes you can see evidence of worms (the worm itself or a crusty looking area around the anus). Has he rubbed out any tail hair or rubbed any patches around his bottom?

Not all worms can be found by doing an egg count, so you might want to presume he has something like pinworms, but still do the egg count just in case. Your vet can advise you on appropriate treatment.

If you would like any more info please don't hesitate to ask. X

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 17:51:24

The vet should be able to sell you something called SWITCH. It's a sweet itch treatment, but works fabulously for lice and is a spot on, so no inhaling powder and getting covered in it. I've found in the last few years that louse powder isn't that good anymore.
Hope it all goes well with the vet, good luck.

fortyplus Sat 02-Feb-13 17:59:07

I'm surprised no one so far has said get his teeth checked smile
Scurf does sound as thoug hlice is a possibility but they won't in themselves cause weight loss - they are usually an indication of a poor, unwell animal.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sat 02-Feb-13 18:06:48

I didn't automatically think teeth, because his belly is out of proportion with his neck and arse, and hes all hunched up, which makes me think its something going on inside, not that he's just generally thin.

Pixel Sat 02-Feb-13 18:32:47

If you are treating for lice, don't forget to do the rug as well wink.

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 20:49:29

Hi all. Update on Ffred. I first went to the stable this morning and as usual he came straight to me. He munched through a small feed while I took his rug off gave him a brush. I had a good look for lice but couldn't see anything. I will still treat though. Turned him out and he went straight back to his pals.

I then rang the vet and he advised me to treat him for lice. I told him that I thought he was wormy and had been wormed yesterday. Spoke of lost condition etc. He advised me to keep an eye on him for a couple of days and see if he perks up, if not he will come and do blood tests etc.

I went back this evening and he was playing games with me in the field, chasing me and then stopping, like trying to play tag. I then spotted him poo so I picked it up with a poo bag and had a good look. I could see some tiny redworms in it and I think some very tiny white worms. So definitely worms!!! I brought him in and he ate another small feed.

His coat looked much better after not having a rug on all day and he seemed really content. I am going to watch him carefully over the next couple of days (well, forever now!) and if no signs of improvement I will call the vet again.

His teeth were recently seen and no problems were present so not worried about that.

Thanks for everyone's replies, it is really helpful to know that there are people willing to give up their time to offer a complete stranger advice.

Miss Brown and Ffredi.

fortyplus Sat 02-Feb-13 21:50:48

Gosh if there are visible worms that's an extreme infestation. Hopefully the reason you're seeing them now is because of the recent dose of wormer.

Do please get his teeth checked next time the vet is out - even young ponies can get very sharp edges on their teeth that will restrict the amount of food they eat and how efficiently they chew it. smile

MissBrown Sat 02-Feb-13 22:01:06

His teeth were checked by the vet in November. He has no problem eating. I stand and watch him every day. He has a great appetite and really enjoys his feeds. I used a good wormer and have a programme set up to avoid this happening in the future.

Thanks again for everyone's replies.

CupOfTeaSandwiches Sun 03-Feb-13 00:25:06

I'm glad to hear you're getting to the root of the problem. If you google pinworms do they look a bit like the white worms you saw in his dung?

There was a widespread problem with Pinworms in the last year and a lot of horses were getting them. If you have a quick read on Google you will see it's because you can't detect them on ordinary egg counts (they lay their eggs outside around the anus) and they are very hard to kill with just one dose of wormer.

The reason I'm asking you this is because everything you mention about your boy and the picture I saw reminded me of the mare I looked after last year. It took me a long time to clear them and you need very specific wormers (normally a Pyratape type). The best course of action is to treat with an enema as well as an oral or injected dose so you kill the worms near the anus. I also had to smear some wormer around her anus too to kill the eggs.

I can't emphasise highly enough that you need to be very specific about what the worms are and how you treat them.

If you need any help or advice about pinworms then I will gladly help, but I really think he needs a vet visit too. It does sound like he is quite badly infested.

Ummmm.... stupid question.but we always keep ours in 24 hours after worming. I know not everyone does this but if.you're looking at pin worm you need to worm the whole herd....

MissBrown Sun 03-Feb-13 12:27:04

Unfortunately we have no stables available to bring him in. Everyone at the field is worming together.

I have checked his tail and anus and all seems fine. He is not rubbing or scratching at all. Obviously I realise that this does not mean he is clear for pinworms. I am going to worm for tapeworm as well and treat his programme like he is a new horse.

He looked much better today already. His coat was shinier and he already looks less 'wormy' if that makes sense.

I will definitely call the vet if he doesn't improve more. I am keeping a photo diary so I will be able to see if he is improving.

Thanks again for everyone's advice.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sun 03-Feb-13 19:23:58

Something else to consider, which my friend pointed out, is that this wee pony has been lugging around 2 high neck rugs for weeks! this is a lot for a little chap. Now the weather is better, downgrade to 1, and change to a normal or half neck if you have one. On good days, let him go rugless. An unridden native really doesnt need to be rugged. They grow perfectly adequate coats. Next year, Id think very seriously about just letting him go naked.

MissBrown Sun 03-Feb-13 19:52:51

Thanks Saggy, I did think that myself. He only had 2 when it was really cold but only has one now. I have tucked the neck in and took it off both days this weekend. I can't do this in the week as can only get there in the evenings on work days.

However his coat has improved enormously since removing his rugs! The scurf has reduced an awful lot and there is shine to him. I may consider naked next year! Thank you for following this thread. You have given some great advice.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sun 03-Feb-13 19:54:11

Seriously, he will grow a coat like a polar bear if you leave him!

MissBrown Sun 03-Feb-13 21:15:26

I did leave for a quite a while without to let him get a thick coat- it is already about 2inches so would be quite a sight with it even thicker. Thinking about it, the scurf could be due to being too warm.

SaggyOldClothCatpuss Sun 03-Feb-13 21:43:44

The thing about a thick coat is that it needs freedom to puff up to keep them warm. It acts like a duvet. It's the air trapped in it that warms up. Putting a rug on just flattens it.

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