Horse Forum
Home Forum Home Search Horses for Sale Other ClassifiedsNEW! Post an Ad Help

Go Back   Horsetopia Forum > Horse Advice > Health & Nutrition
Note: Forum logins are completely separate
from your Horsetopia classifieds account or wishlist.

Thread Tools
Old 01-31-2010, 05:44 PM   #1
Newborn Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: scotland
Posts: 0
Exclamation Old horse won't eat

My horse is around 40 years old. She has recently decided she doesn't like food. This has persisted for around a month now. It is cold but she has plenty of coats, the vet has seen her on numerous occasions and tried all they possibly can on the medical front. The problem is, she just will not eat. We have tried sweet thing, bread, buns, cookies, polos, molasses, apple chaf, honey, liquidising it, heating it, putting sugar in it and NOTHING is working. On a few clear days we put her in the garden with rich grass and she grazed most of the day but then went off it the following day. It is the regular pattern; indulge for 5 minutes then never eat it again.
We have exhausted everything we can think of but cannot get her to eat and she is losing alot of weight. She seems very happy and content though.
Please help, i am really at a dead end with what to try. We just have to get her to eat!!!
girltazuk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 10:38 AM   #2
Yearling Member
Reyvin's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: indiana
Posts: 972
first. congrats on having a such an old horse. they can be very hard to take care of.
second... she may be telling you its time for her to go.

if she is refusing to eat and you cant find anything medically wrong with her.. stones, ulcers, teeth, digestion, et she may just be tired and ready to go. best to put her down humanly then see her slowly starve to death.
Wind Wolf Farm
~a horse's heart runs free in fields we can only dream of~

gaylaah kaizar magic
Reyvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 11:25 AM   #3
Long Yearling
livinthedream's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,469
I sure would like to see a picture of her???
livinthedream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 11:35 AM   #4
Long Yearling
Sharon Danielson's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Vashon Island, WA.
Posts: 1,007
Wow, amazing to have a horse live to that age, I don't think I have heard of it before. How wonderful to have had her that long a combination or fabulous genetics and good care. It is hard to say what is going on with her, teeth, mouth, she could have liver or kidney failure and just doesn't feel well in her gut. Have you had a blood panel run on her? That could probably clear up a lot of questions.

Realistically, she could just be coming to the end of her life. Lots of elderly critters just don't eat much. It is just a way of slowly letting go of their time on Earth. I might be tempted to spend the money on the blood panel and then just love her and spoil that girl until the end.

Big Hugs to you and that good old girl...
Don't mess with the old dogs... age and skill will always overcome youth and treachery! Brilliance only comes with age & experience.
Sharon Danielson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 04:57 PM   #5
Bombproof Member
sundancer maiden's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Udall, KS
Posts: 7,722
Between the ages of 33-35 my old girl would stop eating. Most of the time a B vitamin shot worked, a couple of times it took a steroid shot. But that was all it would take, by the next day she would start eating and keep going for many months. I had talked to my vet about the fear of prolonging her life if she was ready to go. He said that if the shot worked and she continued to eat then she must not be ready. She developed a blockage when she was 36, was in pain, so I had the vet euthanize her. I have always felt blessed that God took the choice out of my hands. What you are going through is one of the things I was most afraid of facing. I am so sorry you are going through what I feared!
The only thing I can suggest is to have a serious talk with your vet. Since she seems happy I would probably wait just a little longer, but be watching very closely. The second the light in her eyes even begins to dim, let her go. Have the vet know what you are doing so he/she knows to be ready to come right away and euthanize her before it gets bad.
This is the most painful part of love. You will do what is best for her. I'm so sorry this time has come for the two of you! (((((hugs)))))

You don't have to be crazy to be my friend,
but it helps!!!
sundancer maiden is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 05:19 PM   #6
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Arcadia, Florida and Las Cruces. New Mexico
Posts: 2,275
We had a younger horse, a palomino TWH gelding, go anorexic. Hauled him 300 miles to a vet school after local vets could find nothing wrong.

He had gastric squamous cell carcinoma. The cancer was either literally filing his stomach, or was blocking the hunger response, so that he felt "full" all the time.

We would eat grass. So we put him out to pasture. After about three weeks, edema set in, and kidney failure and respiratory distress followed, so we put him down.

Equine geriatrics are tough to figure out. I've got a 28 year old TWH that we're having real trouble keeping weight on. Right now, he's grazing his head off in a rye grass paddock, and ignoring his Equine Senior. He's on a steroid (dexamethazone) for allergies/respiratory problems. He literally costs me as much to feed as our other three horses put together. Economically, I'd be better off putting him down, but he's been with me nearly 18 years. He still can go down the fence line in a running walk, and pouts when I ride one of the other horses.

But the day will come...and sooner, rather than later.

Hope your old one snaps out of it!

Blessings from the bear!
theoldbear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 05:31 PM   #7
Coming two
jules1962's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Georgia
Posts: 1,574
My old mare (who is gone now) also quit eating at about age 40. I tried everything as well, including steroids and B-12 injections.
She finally decided that she liked a feed called Spillers Senior, it was imported from Britain, and very aromatic with herbs. I really felt like she would not eat it becasue it smelled so strong, but she loved it and ate it for three more years until she passed at age 43.
I don't know if you can find something comparable in Scotland, but it is worth a try.
If not, she may be telling you it is time to pass.
Good Luck with your mare, they are so special.
One Spoiled Horse
At The Barn
jules1962 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 06:38 PM   #8
Pasture Pet
horselady's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: albany new york
Posts: 14,999
Not alot of advice from me, just wish she would eat. but you can not make them, just make comfortable until you make the right decision for her.
We just lost one that was 38 and not sick a day in the 14 years that I knew him, just decided to colic and not eat and was gone within hours.
horselady is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:31 PM   #9
Greenbroke Member
BabyMay's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,620
Welcome. Its great to hear of a horse living that long. She must have very good care and lots of love. I agree that she may just be coming to the end. I know it is hard to face, but it may be what is going on.
For the love of all animals.

BabyMay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
Bombproof Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,429
My old gelding never went off his feed and ate well, hay, soaked seniors, additional soaked beet pulp, boiled flax, corn oil, the lawn and he just kept dropping weight until much too skinny to consider taking him into another of our brutal winters. He outlived his parents by more than a few years.
Slim Pikkens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2010, 10:07 PM   #11
Coming two
Rafflesgirl's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Ohio
Posts: 1,620
Send a message via AIM to Rafflesgirl
Wow you have certainly given her a great life for her to live that long! One of my old horses who was 28 loved to eat and would eat anything you put in front of him and yet was still quite emaciated. Now let me tell you people can say all they want about old horses shouldn't get thin if you take care of them, but realistically they do sometimes get thin or emaciated despite the best of care. My gelding was checked out by the vet and was fine, still loved to eat but was thin then one day stopped eating. Turns out the vet felt he probably had some sort of cancer that we couldn't see as he was a gray gelding. So as long as she is happy maybe try different things, such as the different foods and vitamin shots, steroids etc, but once she seems not happy you will know it is her time.
~He is the lord of all horses and has been my friend through many dangers - Shadowfax Lord of the Rings
Rafflesgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2010, 08:23 AM   #12
Coming two
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: where the blacktop ends
Posts: 1,596
Does she have a companion? Some old horses get lonely and just ready to give up on life. Having a goat or donkey sometimes wakes them up a bit. One old mare was like this every spring until the foals arrived. Then she would perk up. Guess she missed being a mom. Thinking good thoughts that she will pull through.
"You are responsible, forever, for what you have tamed." the little prince
dunamovin is offline   Reply With Quote

  Horsetopia Forum > Horse Advice > Health & Nutrition

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Feed questions/concerns Redman Health & Nutrition 51 01-07-2009 02:25 PM
HT Horse Show---Stallion/Gelding cascy Shows 6 08-07-2008 03:19 PM
Horsetopia Halter Show -- RESULTS!!! Renae Shows 19 05-17-2006 08:52 PM
Can “bleeders” be cured!? Drafty Health & Nutrition 6 12-17-2005 10:24 AM

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:09 AM.

Board Powered by vBuletin ® Copyright © 2000 - 2007 Jel Soft

Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.2.0