teampenninglady123

Should Grossly Obese Horses Be Handled By Ac Like Underweight Ones Are?

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(Nick suggested this would be a better topic in Debate Board...since it is Horse related and a semi-new idea to ponder...)

We all know that the AC steps in ( or should step in...lol w/ sarcasm) for emaciated or grossly underweight horses...

What about grossly OVERWEIGHT?

I call it abuse same as neglect to feed. Especially if horse is also NOT being exercised.

But if you are the AC person standing there, how do you handle it? Or do you/can you?

I know there are a few 'checklist things' they use to determine abuse/neglect:

. body score, dehydration, stall/turnout conditions, proper shelter, proper clean and access to water, type of food ( not brand...such as are they feeding horse bread and apples and calling it a meal)...minus grain and hay...for example), feet conditions and then are there any health related issues not being addressed such as gaping wounds not being treated etc.

What if all of that was in place except the horse is painfully severely obese?

Can the AC step in or do they have to let it be?

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that's an excellent question. you don't see much of that in germany, but i've seen pictures of horses in other locations which have REALLY prompted me to think that it's as much of a health hazard for horses as it is for humans. i also think there's a (hesitate to call it a mental disorder) *mindset* in some people to feed and feed and feed. take a look around at all the overweight children--guess who's enabling them?

but how do you enforce healthy feeding and exercise practices, and wouldn't a lot of americans be up in arms about somebody trying to tell them what they should do with their own property? they get ticked off enough when the government tries to enforce *full disclosure* about fast food menu items. ("it's an infringement of my civil rights!!")

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One of my soapboxes/pet peeves is overweight animals. Nothing makes me more frustrated, except perhaps long toenails on dogs -_-.

So in a perfect world, yes, AC would step in on grossly obese animals.

However, I think that rather than the animals be seized, there should be a protocol for educating owners/ensuring the horse is being seen by a vet (for medical causes of obesity/losing weight at a healthy rate).

I do think when it comes down to it, severely underweight horses are at a more immediate risk of dying than grossly overweight horses, even if it is just by a day or two, so I do feel that those horses often need to be removed from the owner and placed elsewhere.

I do think we should concentrate the AC's efforts on the far ends of the spectrum-- very overweight and very underweight animals (and of course clear abuse cases). It is annoying when they are called out for horses who are at a healthy trim weight with--gasp-- a hint of ribs showing. Those times could be used to investigate truly obese horses.

But, at least in our area, AC is dispatched at the complaint of a Good Samaritan. The issue is less convincing the AC to investigate fat horses, and more educating the public about what is healthy and what is not so thye know when to call.

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Honestly I don't think there would be enough man power or money to back up something like that. I know in my area it's hard to get anybody to investigate underweight horses. They just stand out there and suffer. Only on a few instances have they actually done something to help the horses around here.

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I think a lot would depend on the local laws. There are laws regarding what a horse needs but I don't think there are any for too much food. Being grossly overweight is as dangerous for a horse as being underweight. This would probably be an educational visit from the AC.

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Grossly obese animals are a pet peeve of mine. I can understand medical issues, but its not the same as if you or I are obese, animals depend completely on us for what they are being fed and how much, it's like they always have their own dietician and personal trainer, no excuse barring medical issues. There are a lot of people who kill their animals with kindness, think the more food they give them the more their animal will love them.

I just recently read this blog about fat dogs... http://thedogsnobs.com/2013/05/06/your-dogs-a-fat-***-feed-it-less-a-rant-by-fang/

However I don't think getting animal control involved is the best course. Perhaps free or low cost educational classes offered through the state or county extension office about the proper management and care of equines, could work well for both extremes (emaciated/grossly obese) Then again, you can't make owners have any ambition to actually attend any of these classes either. I have known more people that "have done it this way forever, grandpaw did it this way and never had a horse die" type people who just don't want to learn, but their horses are foundered horribly and clearly in pain while still eating lush green pasture. In which case a warning from AC could benefit their animals greatly, or just push the owner to send them to auction.

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Last time I checked, the welfare departments in each county do not investigate obese kids, but they do underweight/emaciated kids.



Until people wake up and realize being obese is just as harmful, the ignorance will continue.



I've never really understood obese pets. Feels like it should be a no-brainer to me.


Edited by Blondyy

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I too have an issue with the grossly obese animals. I recently came across this by attending my first 4H meeting with the local group and a girl was riding this HUGE gelding hard. Poor guy was being asked to lope all the time, do hard stops, etc and you could just tell he hadn't been worked in forever. I tried politely mentioning it to the leaders, as I'm not an official leader yet, and turns out he belongs to one of the other leaders who "knows everything".

I like the idea of educational opportunities, and Purina does a pretty good job of these with their HOW seminars, but they tend to not really be well advertised. The other thing is you can't make people attend these, so maybe AC does get involved just for an awareness perspective? Either that or the state providing material for vets to disperse?

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But, nick, how many angels do fit on the head of a pin? :rotf:

This is a tough one. My horse is an air fern and when I leased my neighbors pasture and was responsible for feeding her, I had a really hard time not giving her too much hay in the winter. Now that she is boarded, one of the biggest reasons I do stall board is so she doesn't have her head buried in the round bale all night during the winter and isn't eating grass 24/7 during the summer. She's been in much better shape since i've had her at this place.

That being said, I don't think anyone will ever enforce anything regarding obesity - be it animals or humans. Didn't the airlines start saying that if you couldn't fit in your seat you had to buy an extra ticket? They don't do that. I was on a flight to Jamaica and the woman next to me was going to leave the seat divider up. I very nicely asked her if she minded if I put it down. It wouldn't go all the way down, but while I felt bad for her, I paid for my seat, I didn't pay to share my seat.

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Although in the broadest sense of the word obese is detrimental to the animal's health - no - there should be no "intervention"

We already have enough regulations. And if SKINNY is in the eye of the beholder...........FAT - is an even MORE nebulous determination.

I say rather than wasting additional money, time and effort caused by doo-gooders in the obese department, put more people on staff and be more attentive to the starving suffering animals. Even if the "help" comes by way of a trip over Rainbow Bridge.

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okay. euthing is an option when it comes to your *livestock*. still seems like a shame when a little common sense when it comes to feeding and exercise practices.

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I have an older couple that live next door that have 2 horses and a very old pony, they are all in good shape, but there farrier really sucks, he is makeing them toe out real bad and makeing the one mare very flat footed, I did bring it to bobs attention,

The two horses are mother daugher, the daughter is 7 and has never been broke has no ground manners and get little turnout grazzing time,

The grandson of the older couple who is 14 rides the older mare and runs her all over town, well i had a nice talk with him, and I am teaching him that there is more to horses that just getting on and running off.

I am working with the 7yr old mare, she is real sweet, I have taught her allot of ground manners already, she already excepts the saddle, she really loves the attention and she loves to learn new things every day.

The pony is 35, and my real concern is his hooves they are like tinkerbell shoes, they are real bad and its hard for him to walk, the farrier just cuts the toe off..... I really don't know anything can be done for him.

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AC in our area's actually give warning, put people on probation, will do periodically check on the progress of the animal.... the problem is once the owners are off the probation period the AC clears them they go back to their old ways feeding their animals.. Also have to remember not many AC officers knows anything about livestock. As it is, as long as the owner has food, water, adequate shelter. on their property The AC won't do anything. They consider an obese horse in better shape than a horse ,who looks like a skeleton ,then it takes a few days to get an order from a judge to remove the animal..

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Last time I checked, the welfare departments in each county do not investigate obese kids, but they do underweight/emaciated kids.

Until people wake up and realize being obese is just as harmful, the ignorance will continue.

I've never really understood obese pets. Feels like it should be a no-brainer to me.

Actually we have had investigations on morbidly obese kids who had medical issues like diabetes whose parents refused or were incapable of following the doctor's orders regarding diet and medical care. It's called medical neglect.

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Last time I checked, the welfare departments in each county do not investigate obese kids, but they do underweight/emaciated kids.

Until people wake up and realize being obese is just as harmful, the ignorance will continue.

I've never really understood obese pets. Feels like it should be a no-brainer to me.

Topic is about obese horses... not obese children

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I think that if the horse is exhibiting signs of health issues along with being overweight, then yes.

I'm pretty biased, though... My oldest mare is an EASY keeper. I mean she is dry lotted, on average quality hay, and she looks like she's about 8 months pregnant. :ashamed0002: I really can't cut back on the hay anymore, or she gets destructive and starts chewing fence posts and anything else that *might* be edible.

However, I am lucky in that she never develops a cresty neck, strange adipose deposits, or has issues with her hooves indicating that she might have the onset of some metabolic issues. So, I'm ok with it. She will start getting more work in the summer as I use her to gather cattle, and that will help some. I will gradually increase her workload. I'd love to ride her everyday... but that's not possible.

She's not an extreme case (I'd score her at a 7 probably). I just think the authorities cannot keep up with the ones that DO need fed... and in some instances having them put weight on a horse may be easier than taking it off. How would they determine how much they can safely cut food intake? What if cutting back on the feed creates more issues? Are they going to force exercise?

I can see them forcing an owner with a horse exhibiting health issues (laminitis, cushings, etc) to get some help... but for those that are fat, but otherwise fine... probably a waste of resources.

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Heavy critters drive me crazy too. Just as others have said, we are loving them to death. I know how bad I feel with all the extra weight I carry (and medical tests indicate how hard it is on my body) and would always do everything I could to make sure my animals are at healthy weights.

Sure, it would be great if AC could follow up on cases of obesity (many of the health issues don't show immediately or obviously), but I don't think it's feasible in most cases. I tell my friends and relatives when I think their animals are too heavy and warn them of the possible dangers (based on my own issues, which I think helps them not feel as attacked), but after that I let it go. Unless one of my people had a dog like Obie, in which case I'd feel compelled to keep harping on it.

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Actually we have had investigations on morbidly obese kids who had medical issues like diabetes whose parents refused or were incapable of following the doctor's orders regarding diet and medical care. It's called medical neglect.

That's a different ball game when you get into medical neglect though. I mean, if you do not give the child the medicine it needs, of course that would be considered neglect.

But what about the 10 year olds that are 180-200 lbs that, at the time, do not need medicine? There is no sort of intervention that can happen with them, I do not believe?

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Topic is about obese horses... not obese children

I am aware of what the topic is about but why would they enact laws in regards to overweight animals when our own children are overweight and nothing is being done except in the type of cases that Wire Wieners posted about.

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