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Hello, that you for contacting us at Just Answer. I am a licensed veterinarian and will do my best to answer your questions and help Doodle. Can you clear up what you need help with? Are you concerned that he won't eat the soaked hay or that he is overweight?
Thank you, ***** ***** the clarification. Have you had his teeth checked? Will he eat other hay and just not the soaked hay?
He sounds like a clever pony to hold out on you like this! Rather than doing a rapid switch on him, try mixing half of the soaked hay with the other hay to encourage him to eat it. You need to mix it together well so that he can't just pick out the parts he likes. If you can get him eating this mixture, then over the course of several days you should start reducing the amount of the other hay and increasing the soaked hay. This will be a bit of labor on your part to make sure it is well mixed and he is eating it, but eventually you will be able to switch him fully over to the soaked hay. I have had some smart ponies and horses that once I get them fully transitioned, they still require a small handful of their preferred hay sprinkled on top of the soaked hay, but then they eat their full meal. They can be smart and spoiled, can't they?
Well if there is a way to increase his activity, that will naturally burn some calories from him. Since he is kept in during the day, is there an option for getting him out for some light activity in the daytime a couple times per week? This wouldn't have to be everyday, but even a good hour of walking with some trots will be beneficial. I wouldn't look towards any supplements or hay restriction without trying to get him a bit more active first.
Laminitis is quite frustrating and concerning. He is at higher risk because he is a pony and he is overweight. I decrease or discontinue any grain in my laminitis cases, and stay off rich grass. If you can offer soft bedding or sand for him, that will help. Most importantly, having your vet out to examine him, prescribe anti-inflammatories, and looking for any possible abscess is needed. Catching it early will give you a better outcome, so if you can manage to get the vet out there soon that would be best.
You are welcome, best of luck to you guys!
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