Senior PPID - appetite stimulant ideas?

My boy is 27. He’s PPID on half tab of Prascend with the most recent bloodwork this month showing a normal ACTH.

He’s always always been a picky eater. That’s about the only negative thing about him. We moved barns last March. Started Prascend in July I believe. I feel like the pickiness has been worse. Somedays he doesn’t eat morning breakfast grain. Some days he does. It’s back and forth. We’ve had fluctuating weather this week with a day that started in the 60’s and dropped throughout the day. That morning rain came through before turnout. He went outside naked. A rain shower came through at some point shortly after. The barn contacted me shortly after turnout that he didn’t seem right. The vet was there for other horses. I had him seen. Low body temp of 97. Bloodwork normal. We believe he was wet, chilly, not moving and not eating (there is a round bale in the turnout). I got there around 12:30 and the temp was in the mid-upper 50’s, but it was windy. So he’s been fine since. These days that have wide temp swings are hard to manage for sure, but I’m very attuned to weather and conscious of trying to blanket him correctly. He has quite a coat. So I’ll take the mistake for this day and lesson learned.

However - I’m just wondering if there’s anything to encourage a horse’s appetite. I’ve medicated cats before and they turn ravenous. It seems there isn’t really an appetite stimulant for horses. I can’t say this is due to Prascend, maybe. He has gained weight since a big drop last year when we moved barns and overall looks better. I want him to seek out the hay bale in the pasture. There’s not much grass there at all, but given it’s winter there’s nothing. I’ve read about APF in other threads and thought about trying that. I’ve read it can help with the prascend veil, but I’m not really sure that’s what we are dealing with at this point. I’ll take any suggestions! Thanks

It took my horse 6 months on Prascend before he developed pergolide veil symptoms.

Try APF. That has been a very reliable appetite support supplement for us for the last 8 years. You know your horse, so I trust you when you say that pergolide is probably not the whole story. But, it’s likely that it’s part of the story.

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I mean Prascend could be a player for sure. I’m not sure it’s the whole story though. We did work him up to 1 tab initially. And had on and off eating issues. Ironically we drew blood to test his ACTH. Then ended up backing him to half tab to see if eating improved (it didn’t really)before we got the bloodwork back. Cornell had a receiving issue with the blood and couldn’t run the test. I opted to leave him on half tab long enough to just test the ACTH at half. So we did that test and the ACTH is in normal range. So I want to leave him at half as I prefer his personality at that doseage. Last March we changed barns, changed grains, added prascend. . . so lots has been going on. I’ve had him 20 years though and he has long been picky. This is the worse it’s been.

Do you give APF once a day? How soon would I expect to see results?

I would definitely give the APF Pro a try. It’s made a WORLD of difference for a lot of horses on Prascend.

Also, one potential cause of low appetite is low B1/thiamine. He may be having more trouble making his own, and it’s pretty cheap to supplement. HorseTech makes a B-complex product, but you can also get some straights. I think Su-Per makes a liquid B1, but there are certainly other products that are powders and pellets.

Do you think APF Pro is what I should try vs APF? I’m not totally sure I understand the difference.

Wouldn’t I need to get his B levels tested before supplementing?

IMHO if you’re going to spend the $$ on APF, I’d just go with the Pro and know that if it doesn’t work, it wasn’t because you used regular vs Pro

B vitamins are water-soluble, there’s no harm in supplementing, especially short-term. It will either work pretty quickly, a few weeks tops, or it won’t. It’s cheap enough you can try this first, and if you don’t see results, then try the APF Pro

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Good point on the Pro. I think I’m going to try that first. I’ve read reviews on this and it seems like it could certainly help more than just appetite with my guy. I don’t know how long it would take to see improvement, but I will get the B vitamins in mind.


I give 4mL APF Pro twice a day. When inappetance has already set in I tend to see a difference in 2 weeks or so. When I catch him before he gets depressed and stops eating (summer is hard- he wilts in the heat, so this is predictable) he just doesn’t stop eating. I tend to leave him on it for 2-3 months and then take him off and he keeps eating. A friend’s senior Cushings horse is on it year round, so mileage is variable. I fed the Pro because it allegedly offers gastric support and I figured why the heck not.


I’ve found fenugreek seeds increase appetite. I just add a couple teaspoons to mash, grain … I’ve seen a difference within a couple days.

Surprising, once I started adding it to her feed, I saw it listed on feed labels.

our pony who lived to 44 or 45 we put applesauce on his senior feed, for his last ten or so years that was all he got as he just pretended to eat hay.

He had stopped eating altogether that is when we started with applesauce (tired a mash of senior with apple cider which he “liked” but would paint the walls of his stall and paddock fence with the mixture).

I am pretty sure the makers of applesauce now wonder why their sales collapsed

We have two miniatures on Prascend, I have never seen them not want to eat any or everything

you are lucky in terms pf Prascend. Inappetence is a very common side effect unfortunately. While my has always been rather picky - in terms of grain he never has been. He always cleaned his grain and if didn’t there was a reason, such as colic. Now he randomly eats it and randomly doesn’t. This is not his normal behavior.

My senior (23) suspected Cushings horse was seriously losing his normally good appetite.
He’s not on Prascend-another long story of him starving himself when on it, but I recently
started him on Smart Pituitary Senior pellets and within a couple days his appetite really improved so that now after a couple weeks, he’s eating almost normally. I was pleasantly surprised.