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  1. #1
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    Default Xanex for horses??

    Ok, so I know there isn't Xanex for horses but is there anything out there for horses with anxitety attacks?

    I have a 23 yr old TB who has always had anxiety issues (he's a redhead too...just for the record ). He would pace the fence relentlessly when he decided his turnout time was over (seems to have gotten over that due to the farm he currently calls home ). He stall walks to the point where he was tied every time he was in a stall by a previous BO because the walking made them nuts (I understand, it drives me nuts too but I have never tied him ). He is VERY herd bound. He is fine to ride, take out of the field and work with, etc. but in his stall (at feeding time usually) he will get upset because of the opening and closing of stall doors...I'm sure he figures it's time to go and he doesn't want to be forgotten.

    I've had him since he was 9 so what? 14 years/almost 15 actually. I've dealt with him being this way and although he drives me nuts most of the time I just do my best to ignore him. The current BO is used to him too. They don't like it any more than I do but they understand that's just who he is.

    He seems to be trigged by the change of seasons. In the spring he'll have some "attacks" but the winter is worse. The thing that changes about winters are the turn out patterns. There are 7 horses total (and he's herd boss so this plays a huge role in his anxiety). They are out 24/7 but will stay in over night if it's 15*F or below (or if we are getting a wicked ice storm). The spring, I'm not sure why he's set off in the spring as the horses come in to eat twice a day like normal and that's about it. I just think the spring is a freshness sort of thing...we all get spring fever, his is just in the form of anxiety.

    Anyway, this has become super long-sorry! Last night it was cold so the horses stayed in. This AM when the BO fed, he heard all the stall doors opening and closing. He, of course, stall walked most of the night but went totally nuts at the AM feeding-to the point he didn't finish is breakfast. He neighs over and over again. Stall walks at record speeds - sometimes he whacks his head on the wall or runs into his water bucket because he's going so fast! Ok. I can deal with that. He just wanted to be out with his herd and didn't want to miss a single moment of that time (or rather have them go out without him--the boss). Tonight though. Tonight he didn't eat his dinner at all. They were out, eating at the round bale, I let them in, fed them all but Logan just freaked. This isn't the first time he's done this but I don't want to do this all winter. He's getting too old for this sort of stress and it worries me-from a health perspective.

    I tried to calm him down etc but I know there is no reasoning with him when he's like that. I spent 40 mins with him but only managed to get a couple mouthfuls of food in him. I gave up, turned him out to an empty field as all the others were still in the barn (and yes, he can see the other horses/has a stall with a horse right next to him/has lived on this farm for 5 years and followed the same routine day in and day out the entire time). I let the other horses out, he stopped neighing, and burried his head in the round bale. Hay is good-if he didn't have hay I'd be way more worried but still...

    Any ideas? Any drugs? I've tried those calming supps but I don't think they did much for him. I'm willing to try another one if someone has had great success though! I just want him comfortable and don't want a long winter of cooling him out in 5* weather because he worked up a sweat in his anxitey attacks if there is something we can do to avoid it most days. Horses really should have an equivalent to Xanex
    Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
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  2. #2
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    May. 31, 2007
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    Ace is horsey Xanax. You can't ace him nightly, so could you and the BO put your heads together and figure out a way to have him a stall with paddock access or something that eliminates his worrying about being left behind?



  3. #3
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    I used to own your horses twin brother. He drove me nuts. If he couldn't be out 24/7 to watch his buddies or if ~anything~ on the entire property changed he would pace and fret and be so herd bound he'd rapidly lose weight. And he was normally a butterball so that was a lot of fretting. Even worse he'd take his "herd" and keep moving them around the pasture all day so none of them could relax or eat either. New horse anywhere, a mare in season, a goat, a new cow next door, bugs, rain, a new person feeding.... anything could send him into a tizzy. Putting him in a stall was guaranteed to make him fret. My vet seriously talked to me about Prozac for him.

    The only thing that really worked for him was to keep him in a barn with individual turn out where he didn't have a herd to worry about. That or just forget about putting him in a stall ever and feed him in the pasture while the rest of them came in. He was cool with that for some reason.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by equinelaw View Post
    Ace is horsey Xanax. You can't ace him nightly, so could you and the BO put your heads together and figure out a way to have him a stall with paddock access or something that eliminates his worrying about being left behind?
    But... there is something else that you can give a horse - not Reserpine - that people will sometimes give to horses as a last ditch effort.. never used it so I cannot remember the name.. probably an off label use. Maybe someone will read this and help out. Starts w/a P I think, and is injectible.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  5. #5
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    Mar. 10, 2006
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    Ummm--some of the herbal/amino acid things work at my house. I'll bet you've tried them all, but Calm and Cool*, Quietex, and B-Kalm and Rescue Remedy** work on some of the horses here. Our results with these are on a level with oral Ace. Also, at least one of the horses has mildly responded to a handful of chamomile flowers daily tossed in with the feed.

    * Comes as both paste for one-time use, and pellets for long-term use.
    **This has been very effective, but is best used for "special" situations--people or other animals.

    Good luck in finding some help.
    Barbaro Cultist, Metabolic Nazi



  6. #6
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    Yeah, I absolutely won't ace him for this issue. There have to be ways around it--I just haven't found them yet! I'd ace him if there was a dire reason to stay in the barn (he's hurt or something like that) and I didn't want him to be a greater danger to himself but since I'm mostly worried about him eating I don't think ace+eating is a good idea...especially since he chokes sometimes

    Silver2 - I actully popped in this AM to read before I went off to feed and kept your "That or just forget about putting him in a stall ever and feed him in the pasture while the rest of them came in. He was cool with that for some reason." idea in mind. When I let the horses in the AM he went to the other side of the field and started screaming-so weird for him as he's usually one of the first ones in. I lured him slowly and fed him in the aisle by the doorway. He seemed comfortable with that and ate most of his food. We have a horse that opens his door if you don't watch him carefully and unfortunately he got me this AM so as soon as that door opened-swoosh, out to the field went Logan. I just grabbed the bucket of feed he had left and followed him out there. He got part way down to the round bale, turned, screamed, then stuck his head in the bucket and finished his breakfast while I stood there with him.

    I called the BO and asked her to feed him in the aisle and warned her that he will leave if Oatis opens his door . The coolest thing about this farm is they are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the horses happy...within reason of course. Weekday AM's are hard on us all as we feed before we go to work (we split the week so no one does it day after day after day). We may not be able to cater to Logan and follow him to the field M-F but if will eat 80% like he did this AM it's better than not eating and fretting like he did last night.

    Such a simple solution really! I did think of it but expected him to just leave the barn after a few moments of standing there freely. Since I started feeding him that way this AM and kept him from getting worked up first, it worked! I'll go with that for now I suppose.

    EqTrainer-I'll keep my eyes and ears open for a possible P something or other that he can get---just so long as it doesn't alter his ability to chew and swallow...don't want to help him choke since I went through a lot to find him a food/water mix that keeps that from happening 99% of the time.

    I'm EBO - quitex does work BUT it doesn't work fast enough. I need something that can be fed long term so he stays sorta "bla" from an anxiety perspective or something I can give him, like a xanex, when an attack is coming on so it takes effect and he can settle enough to go back to normal in a short time period (not likely to happen for horses but ya never know!). I haven't tried B-Kalm or Rescue Remedy...I may look into those. I did try Calm and Cool - didn't seem to help him enough. I think, if I remember correctly, it did help some of the field tantrums but not the stall ones.

    I'll admit I'm far too lazy when it comes to the all natural stuff like chamomile flowers but maybe I'll just have to suck it up and look into them. I know of an all natural store up the street from me that actually sells stuff like that for horses - maybe I'll hit that place up tomorrow night when I head out for some shopping!

    Thanks guys for the suggestions so far...keep 'em coming!! Someone may just have the trick of the centruy up their sleeve
    Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/2_tbs
    *** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB***



  7. #7
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    Jun. 11, 2004
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    I gotta ask -- after all these years why is this suddenly a big issue?

    You don't want to be drugging a 23 yr old horse! Tranking them causes a reduction in internal temperature control (among other issues), which you certainly don't want to do in the winter. These drugs are NOT without side-effects (like stressing the liver/kidneys, which you certainly don't want in a geriatric horses) and should not be used lightly.

    BTW, this includes "herbal" supplements. They can be toxic too!

    And ace should NOT be used on stallions & geldings.

    I suspect it has nothing to do with the season, but more to do with the fact he's not turned out with his herd as much in the winter.

    Can't he see other horses from his stall? Touch noses, etc.? I suspect if you stalled him with a best buddy on either side that he could touch noses with, the behavior who reduce.

    Or, instead of bringing him in, leave him in a smaller paddock with a shelter, a buddy or two and a good waterproof/breathable blanket. Feed him with a nose bag out in the pasture.

    There are many more solution that are far better than drugs.

    Beside, I think this bothers you more than it bothers him....



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyzteke View Post
    I gotta ask -- after all these years why is this suddenly a big issue?
    It's an issue now because for the first time he's not eating. He's in his stall, in a panic, and not stopping to eat. I can't have him not eating. He's been an easy keeper his whole life so I wouldn't normally care actually but coming out of last winter he never "bloomed" like he normally does. With the excessive heat we had this past summer it was near impossible to get weight on and keep it on without feeding him tons of food. He finally packed it on and has been maintaining-I'm trying to avoid that again. (for the record, lots of older horses had weight issues around here this past summer-too hot, not enough rain, poor quality grass etc).

    I've been thinking his feed might be an extra trigger, though I haven't seen a difference until now. He's never been a sweet feed eater (can't handle all the sugars-makes him super super hot). He's on TC Senior and is getting a little more than he got of other feeds before (always got about 2 lbs of a complete pellet or a 10% high fat semi-sweet). Still not getting much-maybe 2.5-3 lbs each feeding. I started thinking maybe that's enough to put him over the edge and causing the extra reaction (the not eating part)?? Since he's a choker AND had weight issues I have to be really careful now about his feed. I might end up back at the drawing board on that one in light of these new issues!

    I don't want to drug him, really. But if there is something he can take that will allow him to relax enough to eat his food then it's worth it. I certainly don't want something that will cause other issues but I'm sure we will only have this issue through the winter so it won't be permanent long term. He's been called an enigma by everyone who has spent any amount of time with him--he's a step beyond quirky that's for sure! I might not have this issue next month but I don't know until he decides to change.

    He can see the other horses in the barn when in his stall. He has a good friend next to him-they an sniff through the boards sort of but that doesn't matter. We've even put his best friend IN the stall WITH him! Didn't matter-he was still upset and just circled around him.

    I'm not trying to stop the behavior. I know this is him and I've accepted that. I'm just trying to keep the stress down as much as possible and allow him to eat. The turnout patterns do mess with him but the season changes trigger the reactions. In the summer I can do whatever, whenever, and he doesn't care (not like this anyway). Horses go out for rides, get turned out in the other pastures, etc - he doesn't care beyond a 5 minute "OMG OMG OMG". In the spring if something changes up-he freaks. In the winter-he freaks. You can actually see the changes in him as the seasons change - he's more tense, more worried-it's in his eyes.

    I do what I can to help make his life as easy as possible but I can't be there for him 24/7. This is a new hurdle and I'm trying to find a way to get around it if we can. I want to do what's best for him--stressing and not eating is definitely not in that category.
    Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/2_tbs
    *** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB***



  9. #9
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    Such a simple solution really! I did think of it but expected him to just leave the barn after a few moments of standing there freely.
    Our barn was totally enclosed in a little fenced area so i could just leave him there or in the adjacent paddock to eat and mine was happy.

    His behavior also got dramatically worse one winter and it took about a year after that to get him diagnosed with cataracts (had to go to the vet school because he had some other weird eye thing as well). I think as his sight deteriorated he got a lot more herd bound.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by silver2 View Post
    Our barn was totally enclosed in a little fenced area so i could just leave him there or in the adjacent paddock to eat and mine was happy.

    His behavior also got dramatically worse one winter and it took about a year after that to get him diagnosed with cataracts (had to go to the vet school because he had some other weird eye thing as well). I think as his sight deteriorated he got a lot more herd bound.
    Our barn and winter pasture aren't really connected but we have electrobraid running from the pasture gate to the door so we sort of made an "enclosed" path. We open the gate-in they come. We open the stall doors-out they go. Works out pretty well.

    We'll just have to close the gate after the last horse so if he does go back out he's "trapped" on the pathway - at least we should be able to get him back in the barn to keep eating or can feed him on the path. An inconvenience for us but if he'll eat happily it's TOTALLY worth it!

    Our vet said he had the starts of cataracts last fall. Thing is, this vet sees cataracts in a lot of eyes so I'm not sure I believe her. Maybe I should have one of the other vets out to do a work up to see if his vision has changed any? He seems fine/normal for Logan in the visual deptartment but maybe it's changed enough to make him worry more (the snow we just got and dreary days could be having an effect on him if his vision changed). I didn't really think of that..added it to the list!
    Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/2_tbs
    *** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB***



  11. #11
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    Nov. 7, 2008
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    19

    Default stall spinning and Bach Rescue Remedy

    I am too familiar with this. The horse I ride is 25 and has recently gone blind in both eyes. He would spin in his stall even when he was sighted. Rain storms were the worst. He began "spinning" ,which I have found is fairly common in sight handcapped horses, pretty badly this year. None of the supplements were working,Ace worked, but, I don't want him drugged all the time. Not good. So, after "talking " with some blind horse owners , Bach Flower essences were suggested. I thought, yea right. WELL, THEY WORK!!!!!! I give him a few drops on a treat every few minutes if he doesn't settle. I am very lucky that he is boarded and the people who own the barn and work there are dilgent about getting him his drops if he needs them. He used to work himself into a drenching sweat. I use the Rescue Remedy and the Rock Rose. No more manic spinning. I usually get it at a health food store,pet store or drugstore. It can also be ordered online. It's well worth trying. Best of luck to you and serenity to you and your horse. Oh, I don't know about showing and blood testing.



  12. #12
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    Sep. 9, 2008
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    Valerian works



  13. #13
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    I do know that 1/2 mg of Xanax is perfectly safe for dogs (my size dogs, would be more for larger dogs, less for tiny dogs)... Now for horses, I don't know. I would imagine that it would be, but PLEASE ask your vet first.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by EqTrainer View Post
    But... there is something else that you can give a horse - not Reserpine - that people will sometimes give to horses as a last ditch effort.. never used it so I cannot remember the name.. probably an off label use. Maybe someone will read this and help out. Starts w/a P I think, and is injectible.
    Are you thinking of Prolixin (fluphenazine)? Should definitely only be used as a last resort: http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...208&A=2521&S=0



    One drug I'd be curious to know more about as it relates to horse anxiety is buspirone. A while back I was looking for options for my horse who has separation anxiety issues and came across this article:

    http://www.freepatentsonline.com/5314888.html
    An adult horse was presented to the Medicine Department of Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine for evaluation and treatment of a behavioral problem. The problem was that the horse, when confined inside a building in a stall, would become extremely agitated and aroused by the sound of rain falling on the roof, by wind noise, and by the sound of thunder. Reportedly, the problem was much worse in stalls with low roofs and manifested as extreme excitement, including bucking, rearing, whinnying, and pacing to the point where the animal would damage itself by colliding with the walls of the stall. The horse had previously been in a barn which collapsed during a storm when lightning struck the building; and this was believed to be the likely cause of the high arousal noted under similar circumstances.

    On physical examination, the horse appeared to be in good condition apart from some minor abrasions on the skin. Buspirone was selected as the treatment of choice, being most likely to reduce arousal without causing serious side-effects. Treatment was started cautiously, giving 30 mg of buspirone three times daily; and the dose rate was increased by 10 mg per dose per day until the total daily dose reached 210 mg. There were no side-effects at this dose and the animal was maintained on buspirone at this dosage from the remainder of its two week stay in the hospital.

    Toward the end of the two week period, the clinician in charge had occasion to contact personnel on duty during a violent storm to which the horse would normally have been expected to show signs of arousal and fear. The observer reported that the horse was standing quietly and in a composed manner, apparently undisturbed by the storm. The horse was later discharged back to the owner with medication to be continued for an additional two weeks. In the last report received (some weeks after medication had been discontinued), it was stated that the horse continued to maintain its improvement--being undisturbed by wind noise, rain noise, the noise of thunder or low roofs. The buspirone treatment was considered a success by all persons involved.



  15. #15
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    Yes, I think it was Prolixin. I have never used it but know someone who has, when it was the last resort. I am not sure what the outcome was.

    The Buspirone looks very interesting tho'. As we know, if you can alter the behaviour in horses for a little while, they often never go back to the previous behaviour.. as the horse in the study shows.

    Might be worth the OP contacting Tufts.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  16. #16
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    Full senility has not set in yet! He was "normal" as of last night *huge sigh of relief*. He came in the barn, went into his stall, and ate merrily as usual.

    This morning he wasn't as easy but once I got him in his stall he ate without issue. He was more than ready to get back out once I opened the door (he may be old and creaky but he can go from 0-25 in the blink of an eye when he wants to! ).

    I ordered him some of the Rescue Remedy after reading up on it and doing a search here. I'll see if that helps him when he's having an attack. If it doesn't work for him, I'll use it on me to help me deal with him when he's like that I just feel bad for him. He shouldn't have to be that worried - he lives a good life and has for years. I just wish I could tell him in a language he understands!

    Thanks for all your help guys. I'm super relieved knowing he ate last night and today so far. We'll see what happens the next time they stay in for a night - fingers crossed he remembers it's just for one night like it always has been! I've printed this thread for reference in case I need other ideas in the future
    Lord Stanely, Lord Stanley - come back to Pittsburgh!!!
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/2_tbs
    *** I LOVE PUIKA FAN CLUB***



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