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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2006
    Location
    North of the Frozen Tundra, but I can see it from my house.
    Posts
    1,296

    Default Flehmen response

    At noon today my 6 yo filly greeted me with a smile. Her upper lip was pulled up, showing me her pearly whites. I took a few photos of this, as it was cute. It became less cute however, when she continued to flehmen (smile) in my general direction, and didn't want to eat hay or even sugar. She was not exctending her neck while she did this, as a horse might from an odor, but just watched me calmly, smiling and not eating, as I went about the barn. I have not seen this before. She is fine now.

    Has anyone else seen this? A text with photo to my vet has not yet been returned. Maybe she was bitten by a bug? She is fine now, but it was weird.

    This filly does have a flare for the unusual...



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,640

    Default I don't worry about it

    I have a mini with lots of "personality" that does this all the time. I'm not sure what she is trying to tell me but I think when she does it she is a little annoyed....



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 6, 2006
    Location
    Warren County, NJ
    Posts
    3,586

    Default

    In my experience it's often related to some minor pain somewhere. Be it a little intestinal gas pocket or when given an IV, mine will flehme to say, I'm a little outchy.

    Mine also flehme when they smell weird things, but like you say, they'd be extending their necks, doesn't sound like your filly picked up on a weird sent.

    She could have had a little intestinal cramping from some minor gas that went on its own fairly quickly.
    Considering she's acting normal again I wouldn't worry too much, but just be observant like you are.
    If it happens more frequently, ulcers is a possibility, but than again she's seems a little young for that.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 28, 2008
    Posts
    4,004

    Default

    A horse of mine does this when he gets colicky from his spring vac's. He's had gas colic once before as well and did not do the flehmen.
    Worry is the biggest enemy of the present. It steals your joy and keeps you very busy doing absolutely nothing at all... it’s like using your imagination to create things you don’t want.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 25, 2009
    Posts
    150

    Default

    Mares also do it just prior to foaling.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 26, 2006
    Location
    North Central Florida
    Posts
    1,379



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2011
    Posts
    100

    Default

    I know a horse who does this as one of his only pain indicators. During a recent colic episode the farm vet thought his presentation was rather mild, but the horse's continual flehmen response didn't set well with the owner, and he was soon shipped to the veterinary hospital. He collapsed a few hours later and went in for surgery.

    You know your filly best and know if this is just a sense of humour or perhaps indiciative of pain. Perhaps she's just being a ham!

    Good luck



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