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Underweight and pregnant, Zera was in bad shape when rescued.

condition score of five. Being a senior, Frankie did not need a lot of exercise. So, like all rescues at HPAF, he lives out in a grass paddock for free choice exercise. Morgan updates us on modern-day Frankie, “He now trots and gallops around daily and is a whole new horse, looking more like a spry teenager than the weary old horse we first met.”

Zera, saved by the Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society, recovered and was able to be ridden.

Director Morgan Silver. After the third colic, he was started on ranitidine and given a mineral gastric drench, which alleviated the colic episodes. By day 30, Frankie had gained 79 pounds and was taken off of ulcer medication. Sixty days after his arrival at HPAF, Frankie had gained 181 pounds and had a body 26


| 2018 Health & Nutrition Guide

The Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society in College Station, TX, acquired Zera at the age of 15, with a body condition on the Henneke scale of about two, and pregnant. She is guessed to be a Quarter Horse, according to President Dr. Jennifer Williams. Zera came to the rescue from a law enforcement case where she, along with another mare and a gelding, were all removed from negligent owners. “We did not know Zera was pregnant when she arrived,” shares Dr. Williams. “She came in with a gelding and there was no mention of a stallion on the property, however as she gained weight, she began to look pregnant and we had her pregnancy checked about a month and a half after she arrived.” The vet could not get a good ultrasound image but estimated, based on palpation, that she was due in March or April. For Zera, the biggest challenge was finding out she was pregnant about six weeks after she arrived. When a horse is pregnant, their dietary needs are much different. “We moved her (slowly) to a higher protein feed and carefully monitored her health and development of her foal,” states Dr. Williams. We really wanted to have her at a healthy weight before he was born, but we had to balance that with the need to avoid re-feeding syndrome.” Re-feeding syndrome can occur when there is a quick introduction of large amounts of concentrates that causes organ failure. Bluebonnet has an uncommon approach to feed and supplements. “For feed, we generally find the type of feed less important than the amount and the care taken when introducing feed,” states Dr. Williams. And as for supplements, they hardly use any at all, a course of action that was approved by their vets. Since Zera was pregnant, Bluebonnet felt she did not need to be forced exercise. “We kept her in pasture with a submissive horse; we did not want her kicked while pregnant and we wanted to make sure she had access to food,” Dr. Williams shares. When her pregnancy became more advanced, she was moved into a stall with a paddock, so she could move around freely but was not pushed to exercise. Zera gave birth successfully to a small, but otherwise healthy colt, who is now a yearling. Dr. Williams shares, “We were lucky to get her weight up before her foal was born in early February.” Once her foal was born, Zera and the colt were moved out to pasture together, again, giving her the opportunity to exercise freely. After her foal was old enough to wean, short exercise sessions on a longe line began. She moved up to line driving,



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2018 Health & Nutrition Guide  

Published by Equine Journal

2018 Health & Nutrition Guide  

Published by Equine Journal