If your horse is losing weight, then you are not a single owner facing such a condition because weight loss is a common issue most horses face. There are many reasons behind weight loss in horses, and some of them are frustrating, but most are simple and easily treatable.
Few breeds of horses mostly experience weight loss; for example, thoroughbred and Arabian breeds are more prone to this medical condition. Veterinarians diagnose and devise ways to overcome horse weight loss issues as a horse owner. You must be aware of symptoms, causes, and solutions.
Horse Weight Loss Symptoms:
All the horses are not physically similar, so you have to analyze different areas of the body to evaluate the overall health and weight indicator. Behind the shoulder, ribs, tail head, the crease down the back, the weather, and the neck mass is the best indicator for diagnosing the overall health and weight of the horse. Following are a few symptoms that will help you realize that your horse is underweight.
Lameness in horses is responsible for the change in their gait. If your horse faces pain in the limb, it will cause lameness. It is a prominent symptom that your horse is losing weight due to lameness. It can be due to infection, but your horse will lose weight rapidly.
Horses require a natural and peaceful environment to live and work. If you are not providing such an environment to your equine, then it will cause depression. Depression in horses leads to poor appetite and hence results in weight loss.
3. Dull Coat:
A dull coat is another symptom of weight loss in horses. If your horse faces any chronic disease, it will lead to a dull coat and weight reduction.
If your equine shows unusual aggression, it is one of the common symptoms of weight loss. An underweight horse will be more aggressive because it is not getting enough nutrition to maintain a healthy weight.
5. Exposed Ribs:
One of the most common symptoms of weight loss in horses is visible ribs. If the ribs of your equine are exposed, then there are more chances your horse is facing weight issues.
6. Cracked Hooves:
When a horse is not getting enough diet necessary to maintain its weight, it will result in cracked hooves. Keep a regular checkup on your horse’s hooves, as it is another common symptom of weight loss.
Causes of Horse Weight Loss:
1. Poor Appetite:
Suppose your horse is not taking enough necessary food to fulfill its energy and protein requirements. In that case, you will experience a reduction in body mass and overall weight. Without eating the necessary nutrition, your horse will start losing weight.
2. Digestion Issues:
Digestion issues are the leading cause of weight loss in horses, and it can be due to enzyme deficiency. If your horse is not digesting its feed correctly, then it will lead to weight reduction.
3. Energy Loss:
A horse that is experiencing energy deficiency will rapidly lose weight. An equine body requires such nutrients to maintain its energy level.
4. Dental Diseases:
Unfortunately, dental diseases are common in senior horses that can lead to weight loss. Dental issues can also arise in young horses and lead to weight loss.
5. Exclusion of Natural Supplements in Diet:
Natural supplements are the best source of maintaining the horse’s weight. We recommend you add a natural supplement to your horse’s diet. If you are not supplying a natural supplement in the nutrition of horses, then it will lead to weight reduction.
6. Kidney / Liver Diseases:
A horse that is suffering from any kind of kidney or liver disease will not be able to maintain its weight. Reduced kidney or liver function will result in poor appetite and weight loss.
7. Horse weight loss and diarrhea:
Diarrhea is also a significant contributing factor to weight loss in horses. It can be due to many reasons: infections, dietary management, viruses, and toxins linked with diarrhea in horses. If your horse is suffering from diarrhea, it will start losing weight, and you will not be able to maintain its healthy weight by including protein and minerals in its diet. Treating diarrhea initially is better for keeping your horse healthy and active.
Horse Weight Loss in Winter Season:
In winter, horses need to burn more calories to keep their body warm and fight seasonal changes. If your horse is thin, it will have to struggle a lot in winter to keep the weight at an ideal level. A horse has to use more energy to maintain a body temperature, which is only possible by including the necessary ingredients in its diet.
If you are not adding a natural weight gain supplement to the diet of your equine in winter, then it will start losing weight. Provide a warm environment and add more protein to your equine’s diet so that it can fight with cold in winter.
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