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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2004
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    Default Horse is irritable when touched...

    One of my girls is irritable if you touch her on either side of her belly near her stifles. She makes faces and even offered to kick. We noticed this yesterday when my friend was grooming her. She is eating, drinking and pooping fine. She also has great gut sounds on both sides. Today she was really gassy. Could she have gas built up that is making her sore?

    She has been really ouchy since the ground froze, she has been barefoot since the beginning of October. I put Old Mac G2's on her front feet to give her some relief. She is not moving around nearly enough in my book, I can tell this because she is stocking up which she does if she doesn't move around enough. I've been taking both horses out and hand walking them for a bit to get them moving because my younger mare who is a lot less stoic is gimpy as well. The farrier didn't even take off that much hoof in Oct.

    I also thought she had injured her left hind when the ground froze because she was off on that leg for a bit. We haven't ridden her and have only been hand walking her like I said. She isn't on stall rest, has 24/7 access to the outside. I never lock her in because she stocks up. She seems to be ok on that leg now. Hard to trot her out to see with the ground so slick.

    Yesterday when my friend was grooming she noticed the ouchy spot on the left side first and we thought uh oh she injured something up higher, but then she did the same thing on the other side.

    If it continues I will call the vet. I was just wondering if anyone had any thoughts.
    Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

    Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
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    3,516

    Default

    Ulcers
    Lyme
    Needs a chiro/ rib 'out of place', etc.



  3. #3

    Default

    She is in winter anestrus, right? I assume so at this point, but some mares seem to happily come into heat all year round.

    And yes, it could be gas colic too.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2006
    Location
    New England
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    205

    Default

    I have seen this 3 times with my mare. Once when she first was exposed to another mare after being the only one with the boys and went into a raging heat cycle. The two other times, when she has Lyme.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 19, 2005
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    Default

    Consider the most likely causes first. From what you describe, sore hooves, being gassy and irratable, I'd suspect diet first, a diet possibly too high in NSCs from grains, perhaps also includes soy, which can really cause issues like this.

    EPSM horses tend to have increased hindend sensitivity for example. It seems like they're almost trying to crawl our of their skins.

    I knew of a mare who was always VERY, VERY cranky, the poor girl and she was getting straight alfalfa plus senior feed. Owner was simply clueless about how diet can affect a horse's well being and behavior. She was also very irritable when being touched and would threaten to kick.

    What does your horse get in her diet?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 18, 2006
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    NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    Consider the most likely causes first. From what you describe, sore hooves, being gassy and irratable, I'd suspect diet first, a diet possibly too high in NSCs from grains, perhaps also includes soy, which can really cause issues like this.
    Honestly, this is your answer to everything! Why would we consider diet first v. injury or illness if there hasn't been a dietary change? Sorry to snipe but it seems like this is your suggestion for everything.

    I just had a similar conversation with my vet re: my mare and the possibility of ulcers, based mainly on similar symptoms. His thoughts were the same as have been mentioned here - ulcers; a painful, transitional heat cycle as it's that time of year; Lyme disease. And obviously injury due to frozen ground, especially hoof soreness if your horse isn't shod. My mare is the same; she pulled her shoes 3 times in the mud season so we pulled them but when the ground freezes she is not a happy camper. So it's hard to know exactly what is going on with her; and with this crappy weather it's even harder.

    My vet also suggested that the change from pasture to hay can be difficult for some horses, especially if they have ulcers. Frequent mild or gas colics can be a sign of ulcers, and hay is harder to digest (as well as possibly not moving/eating as frequently as they do when on pasture).

    In my case, I'm starting a weeklong trial of ranitidine starting tomorrow to see if it has any effect. If so, we'll work out a long term plan. She is not as miserable as she was 2 weeks ago, so a transitional heat cycle may also have figured into the mix, but we're going to try one thing at a time and see what happens.

    Good luck!



  7. #7
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    Oct. 19, 2005
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    Default

    Honestly, this is your answer to everything! Why would we consider diet first v. injury or illness if there hasn't been a dietary change? Sorry to snipe but it seems like this is your suggestion for everything.
    That's because I (and plenty others) keep finding that DIET has such a HUGE influence on overall health. Too bad you are one of the ones who are NOT aware of this.

    Fortunately research is starting to back more and more of this up now as well. Thank God!

    Every doctor should look a a person's/ critter's diet first, and eliminate any possible problems there before considering that something else might be causing the problem. In most cases an unhealthy and unbalanced diet sets the person or animal up for disease anyway. Too bad you cannot see this[hopefully] yet!

    Oh and btw, in case you do not know yet, the number one contributing cause for ulcers is feeding grain, especially before feeding forage. So what came first, the ulcers , or the incorrect diet that set the horse up for ulcers??!!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 19, 2004
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    New Hampshire
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    Default

    Diet wise, we don't have pasture so there was no transition there from grass to hay (someday in my dreams I will own a farm with pasture). She is an extremely easy keeper and I can't give her free choice hay because she just gets too fat. On a side note I made myself some hay feeders this weekend to slow down their hay consumption so it lasts longer during the day.

    She gets a pound of Blue Seal Hay Stretcher twice a day. Once a day she gets accel vitamins, salt and Omega Horseshine.

    I have added in some soaked alfalfa cubes on the really cold nights I've never weighed them but it's only like 4 handfuls, not what I would consider very much. I've tried looking for timothy cubes but no one sells them. I do this to get the extra water into them because this particular mare had an impaction colic about 6 years ago that scared me, especially when I almost made the decision to put her down when we couldn't get her to pass manure, thank god for miracles. She is not presenting like she did with the impaction colic, that time she was just not interested in food and lethargic. She then had a gas colic after she passed the impaction and she was up, down, rolling and you could tell she was not happy.

    She is bright eyed, interested in food, just not moving around much. I suspect I will have to have the vet out. Although the ground softened up again and she is moving around this morning.
    Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

    Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
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    England
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    Default

    Could you boot all four feet and see if that changes anything? Maybe pad the inside of the boots so they're more cushy too.

    Good luck
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!



  10. #10
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    Dec. 18, 2006
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    That's because I (and plenty others) keep finding that DIET has such a HUGE influence on overall health. Too bad you are one of the ones who are NOT aware of this.
    What would make you think I was not aware of this?

    My point is that without asking whether there was a change in diet (or even what the horse was eating), you assumed diet was the cause. If the horse was sound and happy a week ago and had no change in diet, I think other factors ought to be considered first.

    Not everyone feeds 8 lbs of sweet feed a day to their fat, pasture fed puffs and then wonders why they founder or have ulcers. There are a lot of intelligent people on this board. Maybe you shouldn't assume.

    Cashela, maybe try beet pulp instead of alfalfa cubes for extra water intake? My mare always did well on alfalfa but a lot of other people say their horses are different when on alfalfa? Or just water to the hay stretcher (or soak 1/2 the hay stretcher so it's not all mush) if they don't like mush.



  11. #11
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    Default

    Diet wise, we don't have pasture so there was no transition there from grass to hay (someday in my dreams I will own a farm with pasture). She is an extremely easy keeper and I can't give her free choice hay because she just gets too fat. On a side note I made myself some hay feeders this weekend to slow down their hay consumption so it lasts longer during the day.
    In this case you may also want to consider having her insulin and glucose levels checked to make sure she's not possibly developing IR. Easy keepers are very prone to the condition and the pasture and hay she's getting could be high enough in sugars to cause problems for a horse like her

    And I'd definitely take the hay stretcher away - has too many ingredients that could potentially cause problems. Use hay pellets and a low NSC vit supplement like Equipride instead! All the highlighted ingredients can be bad. Alfalfa can be too, but it's not enough in this case I would think to cause issues.

    Ingrediensts: Dehydrated Alfalfa Meal, Wheat Middlings, Oat Mill Product, Soybean Hulls, Cane Molasses, Calcium



  12. #12
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    Default

    I wonder who sells hay pellets. I know you can buy alfalfa pellets.

    *sigh*
    Missouri Fox Trotters-To ride one is to own one

    Standardbreds, so much more then a harness racing horse.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 20, 2000
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    According to legend, lurking in a dark alley.
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    Default

    Touching the belly often will trigger a common reflex that mares have.

    It is used to warn a foal he is getting too rough nursing.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 6, 2003
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    WA, Land of the damp Thongpend
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by S1969 View Post
    What would make you think I was not aware of this?

    My point is that without asking whether there was a change in diet (or even what the horse was eating), you assumed diet was the cause. If the horse was sound and happy a week ago and had no change in diet, I think other factors ought to be considered first.

    Not everyone feeds 8 lbs of sweet feed a day to their fat, pasture fed puffs and then wonders why they founder or have ulcers. There are a lot of intelligent people on this board. Maybe you shouldn't assume.

    Cashela, maybe try beet pulp instead of alfalfa cubes for extra water intake? My mare always did well on alfalfa but a lot of other people say their horses are different when on alfalfa? Or just water to the hay stretcher (or soak 1/2 the hay stretcher so it's not all mush) if they don't like mush.
    Mine had ulcers and was on no sweet feed. He was on UlcerGard for 180 days and still had issues. We finally allergy tested him and he was and is allergic to all grass hays save fescue and ryegrass (which I can not get here) so off the timothy and on to alfalfa and increase the beet pulp (he is allergic to neither of these). His allergies resulted in colics and ulcers. He is much better now.

    It isn't all about stuffing them full of sweet feed. There are many factors that cause ulcers. For mine, probably the allergies caused his ulcers or the ulcers caused the allergies, due to large molecules of the food proteins getting through the mucosa, no matter, we finally figured it out, after two years. We tried everything else first.

    To the OP - I hope you and your vet are able to figure the mare out sooner rather than later, to save you all a lot of worry.



  15. #15
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    It is interesting taht you say this Seal Harbor, because we know in humans H.pylori is responsible for a large percentage of ulcers. I read recently that the organism has also been identified in some horses. So perhaps it is really a bug that's the root cause of many ulcer cases in horses as well.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cashela View Post
    I wonder who sells hay pellets. I know you can buy alfalfa pellets.

    *sigh*
    No feed dealer in your area sells just hay pellets? You could use alfalfa pellets too - I don't think it would be enough to cause issues necessarily.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by BornToRide View Post
    It is interesting taht you say this Seal Harbor, because we know in humans H.pylori is responsible for a large percentage of ulcers. I read recently that the organism has also been identified in some horses. So perhaps it is really a bug that's the root cause of many ulcer cases in horses as well.
    That must be recent data since everything I have read in the past year has indicated that H. Pylori is not associated with ulcers in horses. Do you have an article you can cite?



  18. #18
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    Apr. 14, 2001
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    Default

    I'd also be interested in seeing an article showing H. pylori in equines.



  19. #19
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    Not H. pylori, but a member of the same genus:

    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12657

    Mind you, the presence of the organism does not mean that it is the causative agent for gastric ulcers in equines.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghazzu View Post
    Not H. pylori, but a member of the same genus:

    http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=12657

    Mind you, the presence of the organism does not mean that it is the causative agent for gastric ulcers in equines.
    Is that it? I was expecting something a lot more ... concrete with how often BtR has brought it up. They didn't even scope the foals to see if they HAD stomach ulcers and this newly discovered Helicobacter sp. wasn't even found in the stomach? It was found in the lower bowel?

    That's rather anticlimactic.



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