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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Georgia
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    Unhappy What would you do if your horses' pasture neighbor looked rough?(pic added)

    So, our neighbor brought his other horse over, and I just now got to see him up close. He looks bad. It is obvious he has COPD pretty severe. He has a huge barrel, and ribby, and strains with each breath. So, what would you do? Slip him some Prednisone? (kidding....sort of)
    Speak to the owner? (who is a good ol' country guy who rarely even gets a farrier out) Call Ga. Dept. of Ag? Or just not do anything? (I'm not sure I can look at this horse every day and do nothing)

    I took a few pictures of him tonight, if someone wants to post them.

    http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y89...MH/Snapbucket/ <-----picture
    Last edited by Freebird!; Oct. 17, 2011 at 09:37 PM.



  2. #2
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    Dec. 31, 2000
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    El Paso, TX
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    I'd probably mention to the owner that he looks rough and is having problems breathing, and that there are some drugs a vet can prescribe sometimes that aren't too expensive that can help. Gently try to encourage him, and explain that if he is ribby now, it will be worse in the winter.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    I would sure try to talk to the owner first.
    The horse may have seen a vet and if it is his heart, been told to watch him and when he seems too bad, call and then decide where to go from that.

    While we have to see after our own critters, when it comes those of others, we need to be a bit more cautious about how we are reading the situation, much less making diagnosis on our own.

    See this article, where both extremes are shown, those that overreact without clear facts and those that really were abusing their animals and the bystanders that were trying to help.
    These issues are complicated by animal rights groups wanting such tight regulations that eventually no one can comply without being taken to jail for this or that violation.
    Remember, their quest is to eventually eliminate all use of animals by humans.
    Those of us with animals feel we have to fight to keep a minimum of control on what we can do or not with our animals, that the guidelines not be so burdensome and give AR groups so much power we end up not being able to care sensibly for our animals:

    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...xt%7CFRONTPAGE



  4. #4

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    The above article had some issues.

    First of all, the Farm Bureau and Extension agents seem to think that it's ok for an old horse to be skinny. With proper care, old horses don't have to be skinny at all.

    "Then, there are people who call to complain that there’s a bull out alone in the pasture, and it seems lonely. Or that they can see the ribs on their neighbor’s 30-year-old horse. Or there’s a flock of sheep left out in the rain."

    A elderly horse that is not properly being taken care of is not the same thing as people who don't understand herd management of other species.

    "Other cases fall in a grey area. Families that are struggling to provide the average $2,000 worth of care the average horse requires per year."

    That is an actual paragraph. Umm, how is starving a horse "a grey area"?

    "If nothing else, it would be nice if people stopped sending hate mail to the Locke family farm in Franklin. That bony-looking horse grazing by the road is Candy, the family’s elderly paint. She’s under a veterinarian’s care, with plenty of food and shelter and a potbellied pig for company, said Gina Locke, 18, who has caught people trying to slip food to the "hungry" horse."

    Why is the horse bony in the first place? Plenty of food that isn't appropriate doesn't make the horse gain weight. Again, elderly doesn't mean the horse should appear "bony."

    Sure, it's annoying to have people stop and complain about things they don't understand. But as the original OP pointed out, the new pasture mate is clearly suffering and she just wants to do the right thing.

    As farmland shrinks, and urban areas grow, the interaction between urban and rural people will grow. It's an issue farms are going to have to deal with whether they like it or not. For every frivolous complaint, there are real cases of animal abuse that deserve to be investigated.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill View Post
    The above article had some issues.

    First of all, the Farm Bureau and Extension agents seem to think that it's ok for an old horse to be skinny. With proper care, old horses don't have to be skinny at all.

    "Then, there are people who call to complain that there’s a bull out alone in the pasture, and it seems lonely. Or that they can see the ribs on their neighbor’s 30-year-old horse. Or there’s a flock of sheep left out in the rain."

    A elderly horse that is not properly being taken care of is not the same thing as people who don't understand herd management of other species.

    "Other cases fall in a grey area. Families that are struggling to provide the average $2,000 worth of care the average horse requires per year."

    That is an actual paragraph. Umm, how is starving a horse "a grey area"?

    "If nothing else, it would be nice if people stopped sending hate mail to the Locke family farm in Franklin. That bony-looking horse grazing by the road is Candy, the family’s elderly paint. She’s under a veterinarian’s care, with plenty of food and shelter and a potbellied pig for company, said Gina Locke, 18, who has caught people trying to slip food to the "hungry" horse."

    Why is the horse bony in the first place? Plenty of food that isn't appropriate doesn't make the horse gain weight. Again, elderly doesn't mean the horse should appear "bony."

    Sure, it's annoying to have people stop and complain about things they don't understand. But as the original OP pointed out, the new pasture mate is clearly suffering and she just wants to do the right thing.

    As farmland shrinks, and urban areas grow, the interaction between urban and rural people will grow. It's an issue farms are going to have to deal with whether they like it or not. For every frivolous complaint, there are real cases of animal abuse that deserve to be investigated.
    I think you are missing what they were saying in that article, that we all need to see to the comfort of all animals, not only ours, but that we should not let those that don't know any better get to determine what is proper care and that more and more out there are such other clueless ones.

    Yes, some horses, old or young, may be skinny for other reasons that bad care.

    A friend has a 39 year old AQHA gelding she had since he was two and she started him under saddle.
    He is fine, holding his weight, no problems.

    Another friend had an appy she had all his life, she breed him, that at 32 was blind and skinny while under the care of the best vets in town, but was healthy otherwise.
    For him, skinny, according to the vets, was fine.
    She had animal control called in on him time and again.
    She finally had him euthanized and said it was a relief not to have to keep answering why he "was blindfolded (face mask) and could not find his food and was so skinny".

    On the other hand, there are some really skinny horses around, reported with good reason, someone is not feeding them.



  6. #6
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Georgia
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    Is there someone who could post a picture for me? I think I am going to gently talk to the owner. I don't think I can stand seeing him struggle to breath every single day.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2003
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    Tennessee
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kwill View Post
    The above article had some issues.

    First of all, the Farm Bureau and Extension agents seem to think that it's ok for an old horse to be skinny. With proper care, old horses don't have to be skinny at all.

    "Then, there are people who call to complain that there’s a bull out alone in the pasture, and it seems lonely. Or that they can see the ribs on their neighbor’s 30-year-old horse. Or there’s a flock of sheep left out in the rain."

    A elderly horse that is not properly being taken care of is not the same thing as people who don't understand herd management of other species.

    "Other cases fall in a grey area. Families that are struggling to provide the average $2,000 worth of care the average horse requires per year."

    That is an actual paragraph. Umm, how is starving a horse "a grey area"?
    Kwill, you completely missed the point of the article. I assure you that the vast majority of our Extension Agents in Tennessee DO understand (most all too well) the difference between abuse or neglect and proper animal husbandry.

    There are most certainly gray areas in many of the cases that they get called out on. A horse whose ribs can be seen is not "starving". Less than ideal in many cases, yes, but hardly abuse. The vast majority of these types of borderline cases fall into one of three categories: (1) The owner simply needs to be better educated about animal nutrition and management and is willing to change with a little help; (2) the owner cannot afford to do any more than he/she is doing and needs help improving conditions or can be convinced that the animal should find a new home; or (3) the animal is very old or is suffering from a health condition, is being treated by a veterinarian, and is actually in good shape considering the circumstances.

    It is extremely rare for an Agent to get called out on an abuse case and find that the animals are being deliberately and willfully mistreated. Those are the cases that make headlines, and for good reason. Most of the time it is for "starving" horses with BCS scores of 4-6 and all the hay or grass they can eat, "dead" horses that are in fact just sunning themselves in the pasture, "blindfolded" horses wearing fly masks, or other ridculous claims.


    OP, I would ask your neighbor about the horse's story. Maybe he is already under a veterinarian's care, or maybe the owner really doesn't know what he is doing. The only way to find out is to ask in a non-confrontational manner.
    Last edited by Montanas_Girl; Oct. 16, 2011 at 06:24 PM.



  8. #8
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    Mar. 16, 2003
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    Wet and Windy Washington
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    Talk to the owner, then if he does nothing, call your local animal control, then if they do nothing (which I hope they would do something) ask him to remove the horse from your property.
    I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.



  9. #9
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    Feb. 28, 2006
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    The rocky part of KY
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    I'm afraid I can't post a pic for you, but I would one up JSMom. Talk to the owner, let him fix this himself, if he won't ,then the owner allows me to call the vet out and feed and medicate appropriately (at his expense too) or remove the horse from my property.

    I'm hesitant about calling AC, OP do you think this horse is in seizable condition? BCS 2 or lower, obviously in distress with the COPD?
    Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2007
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    I'd also start by non-confrontationally approaching the owner. It's kind of tricky because you want to educate him, but you don't want to come across as condescending or holier-than-thou. But if you can just do it in a friendly way, that's definitely the place to start. What's your relationship like with this guy?

    It's tricky if that doesn't work. I guess I'd want to know a little more detail about the situation because I handle these things in a very situation-dependent way. I am not afraid to call the Livestock Board (our reporting agency), and I have done so more than once when I've shown up at a client's barn or to look at a horse or whatever and seen something terrible, or gotten the feeling that the person didn't care about fixing it. But I've also taken other approaches when things were clearly not good but I thought I could help more directly, if that makes sense. It's a tough question sometimes.

    If he's really not willing to do anything I'd probably report him, though. If the COPD is bad enough that the horse is straining to breath like that and not able to maintain weight, then it should be under veterinary care. I'd just try other approaches first if you can.



  11. #11
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    May. 8, 2004
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    I would urge you not to make any snap judgements before you talk to the owner. But if the horse is having trouble breathing, don't wait; talk to him soon.

    I've had many old horses. Some hold weight well while others, if they are fighting issues such as Cushing's, may lose their topline and muscle mass no matter how much you feed or medicate them.

    It's nice of you to care, but before you call in any authorities, make sure you have the whole story.



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by chai View Post
    I would urge you not to make any snap judgements before you talk to the owner. But if the horse is having trouble breathing, don't wait; talk to him soon.

    I've had many old horses. Some hold weight well while others, if they are fighting issues such as Cushing's, may lose their topline and muscle mass no matter how much you feed or medicate them.

    It's nice of you to care, but before you call in any authorities, make sure you have the whole story.
    I agree. We have mostly, fat, round little hunter ponies running around. However, last year we finally had to put down a 33 year old Cushings mare that was receiving the very best of care and looking just awful. The amount of food she was receiving was insane.

    I think you should talk to the owner, nicely to try and get his position, reaction and as much information as possible. At least you will have more to consider before taking any other possible steps.

    Good luck.
    www.Somermistfarm.com
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  13. #13
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    Aug. 9, 2007
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    A call to 404-656-3713 during weekday business hours, 8:30am to 5pm. Everyone who has horses in GA knows this agency.

    The GA Dept of Ag, Equine Divison, will sent the agent for OP's area out to look at the horse. If all is well, the agent will do nothing. If something is wrong with the horse, the agent will tell the owner to correct the problem(s). And the agent will come back on his/her own to double check.

    Our dept of ag equine division does a great job! My agent, who lives way over in Pierce County, comes over in 100 degree heat the very next day, even on a Friday, to check on horses in Effingham County. I have his cell # so I don't have t o call the main office. Ricky is a wonderful agent. But the ladies in the main office are great too. And I'm sure they'll have OP's agent go over there pronto.

    And there's no accusatory visit. The agent just goes to check the horse. No harm, no foul if the horse is OK.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 30, 2005
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    GA
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    Quote Originally Posted by cloudyandcallie View Post
    A call to 404-656-3713 during weekday business hours, 8:30am to 5pm. Everyone who has horses in GA knows this agency.

    The GA Dept of Ag, Equine Divison, will sent the agent for OP's area out to look at the horse. If all is well, the agent will do nothing. If something is wrong with the horse, the agent will tell the owner to correct the problem(s). And the agent will come back on his/her own to double check.

    Our dept of ag equine division does a great job! My agent, who lives way over in Pierce County, comes over in 100 degree heat the very next day, even on a Friday, to check on horses in Effingham County. I have his cell # so I don't have t o call the main office. Ricky is a wonderful agent. But the ladies in the main office are great too. And I'm sure they'll have OP's agent go over there pronto.

    And there's no accusatory visit. The agent just goes to check the horse. No harm, no foul if the horse is OK.
    I would call them. A farm near my old house had two horses that continued to loose weight as the grass dwindled more and more. I knew that the horses were being fed at least some grain and a small amount of hay was being thrown out as I would see two teenage boys in the afternoons taking care of them. I called the Dept of Ag and after the agent came out I noticed a huge improvement. Round bales were given and the pasture was divided in half so that one side would be allowed to grow. In this case I didn't feel like the horses were unloved, just owned by some uninformed teenagers that needed guidance. Good luck!



  15. #15
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    I'm on my iPod, so it's hard for me to upload pics, but this link should take you to the picture I took the other day: http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y89...MH/Snapbucket/ (it goes to an album, but it's the only picture in it). See the flaring nostrils, ribs and big barrel? Really breaks my heart. I don't want to offend the guy to badly though, because he said he was going to fix the fence, and take down all the wire etc - yuck.
    Last edited by Freebird!; Oct. 18, 2011 at 04:28 AM.



  16. #16
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    Jul. 19, 2005
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    washington state
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    Does he know the horse has copd? Could you do a "wow, he looks like he has a pretty bad case of heaves, but there are some treatments that might help him" type of comment. SOmething that might open up a discussion, rather than put up a wall?
    It might be obvious to you that he has heaves but his owner might not know what is going on or what to do about it.



  17. #17
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    You get more with sugar than vinegar. I would talk to my neighbor and offer some help. Sometimes a little education and understanding that it doesn't have to cost a fortune to treat a horse can go a long way. I had a boarder who wouldn't test a horse for "Cushins" because she was afraid she couldn't pay to the treatment. Horse was a classic Cushings case. I worked on educating her about the options, so that when she finally had the vet test for Cushings, she had an plan on how she could affordably treat the horse.
    Where Fjeral Norwegian Fjords Rule
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  18. #18
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    Aug. 1, 2002
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    Georgia
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    I never even see the owner, but I am going to send him a Facebook message, and offer to feed (medicate) his horses, if he "needs the help." I think that if I call the Ga. Ag that he will probably suspect I did it, and I hate to burn that bridge with him, so I am hoping a friendly email will help. Honestly, if it were my horse, and I had tried everything, I would put him down. You can hear him wheeze from across the pasture.

    OK - Facebook Message sent - hope it helps!



  19. #19
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    Mar. 26, 2005
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    Default ???

    I must be a dinosaur.
    This guy is "good old country" but has a FB page?
    WTF.....

    IIWM I'd talk to him face-to-face, ask if horse has COPD or another issue that accounts for his appearance and trouble breathing.

    You're neighbors, not FB "friends".
    IIWM#2 - I'd be offended you addressed the problem on FB where the World can read it, rather than come to me for facts before advertising.

    What is this World coming to...<old geezer broad stomps away in a huff>
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
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  20. #20
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    The owner may not realize the horse is in distress and thank you, or may know and already be doing all it can.

    Ask, listen and hopefully your concerns will be addressed and if not, you have numbers to call so they are.

    Our veterinarians get to see so many horses people kept waiting to the last minute, they are on the camp of rather a bit early than too late, when the horse is in a crisis and suffering, when that could have avoided with a bit of foresight.

    That horse may just need different care, may be already be getting all the support they can, or may need to be euthanized.
    I am not sure the OP has enough information to judge, that is why looking for some answers before deciding the horse is not being taken care of best they can seems like a sensible first step.



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