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Horse losing mass

10 year old gelding has lost quite a bit of mass over the past few months. Has gone from large foundation QH to looking like a race horse. No ribs just not that plump round QH that he usually is. Exercise has been increased but he has always been heavy set so this new “look” concerns me. Sorry I wish i new how to post pics to show the drastic change.

Free fed grass mix (90/10)
Hay was tested and added Mega-cell to compensate for any nutritional deficiencies
1 lb renew gold
1 lb oats
5 pounds alfalfa pellets
Excel EQ

Teeth done in Feb (nothing dramatic, routine easy float)
Scoped for ulcers, found nothing but still treated for 30 days
30 days of succeed for hind gut ulcers
Blood work- normal
Hoof X-rays to see if maybe there were some angle changes that caused him to use himself different- negative on one hind so we are addressing that now.

Any one else have some ideas they can throw my way. Would like to hear some input on what I can look into health wise or supplementing him with.

Recent fecals? Has he been wormed with praziquantel this year?

You said his workload has increased, what was he doing previously and what is he doing now?

ETA - You can link to a photo sharing website like photobucket, Instagram or dropbox. Pics may be helpful :slight_smile:

When you say he is losing “mass”, do you mean muscle mass or fat?

If, despite being in work, your horse is losing muscle mass, I would think along the lines of EPM or Lyme. With that possibility in mind, have you ever seen (even briefly) signs of stumbling, ‘knuckling over’ (standing on the front of the hoof instead of the bottom), reluctance to back up, swinging outer hind foot to the outside when turned in a very small circle?

Any of these things can mean the VERY early stages of a neuro problem (which will also cause a horse to lose his muscling). Talk to your vet about the possibility.

[I know that people on this BB are very quick to say EPM or Lyme, but my horse exhibited very subtle neuro signs as much as a year before I had to put him down. He had 3x EPM tests (blood and spinal fluid) because vets (at New Bolton) were sure it was EPM. Sadly, it wasn’t, but very advanced bone degeneration which could not be repaired. ----- BUT if it had been EPM, and I had reacted as soon as even the vague neuro signs began, he could have been made good as new…] So I am now eagle eyed when considering even the smallest possibility of a neuro problem.

Do you keep him at home or board?

What is the competition like for the “free choice” hay? Is there a situation in the herd that means another horse is getting 75% of the hay?

Has anything changed? Hay suppliers, herd dynamics, etc.? That’s where I would start.

Obviously a fecal test and deworming is always a good idea.