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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
    Posts
    6,354

    Default Lazy horse.... normal or somethin' up?

    Middle aged thoroughbred, has always been on the lazy side but in the past few months has been more lazy than usual.

    Gets decent turnout (8 hours), eats simple oats and a combination of first/second cut hay (alfalfa based). In good weight, muscled and pretty fit considering. Shown moderately throughout the summer, and jumped approx 1-2per week, however nothing strenuous as he is not green.

    Had vet out, and he is not lame/sore. Tried 3 days bute, no change. On Polyglycan - no change. Feels great, just lazy. Saddle has fit fine for the past 5 years. Teeth checked and are good.

    He does sometimes trip, but cant honestly say if its more than normal or if its anything significant. No other neuro signs.

    He WILL get going when jumping a larger course. which makes me think that he is just lazy and a good school is in order. However, something in the back of my mind needs to rule out anything like EPM/other issues.

    Does this type of behavior sound like any strange equine condition? If so, are there ways of testing?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2010
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    1,196

    Default

    My horse was lazier than usual a year or so ago. Found out he was anemic and we started him on Lixotinic. That cleared up, but then recently he had other health issues pop up. Regardless of that, we started feeding him more and his energy level has sky rocketed past what it used to be. He was starting to lose weight, and energy of course, but now that we upped his feed he has been doing great.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/NBChoice http://nbchoice.blogspot.com/
    The New Banner's Choice- 1994 ASB Mare
    Dennis The Menace Too- 1999 ASB Gelding
    Dreamacres Sublime- 2008 ASB Gelding



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2011
    Posts
    405

    Default

    you may want to check for lyme disease (make sure you do the cornell version) and ulcers.

    you could do general blood work.

    had horse do the same kinda thing - had ulcers.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    15,983

    Default

    When mine came up lethargic this fall, he had lyme and was low on Vitamin E.
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 31, 2000
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    970

    Default

    is he eating as much as he normally does - does he have a good appetite?



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
    Posts
    6,354

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dmj View Post
    is he eating as much as he normally does - does he have a good appetite?
    He is a very good eater, he has packed on a few extra pounds in the past two years. I wouldnt consider him overweight, but maybe a little on the heftier than average size

    I dont think he has ulcers (no other signs, not crusty/cranky etc) but I can certainly put him on omeprazole for a few weeks and see if there is improvement.

    I will get a CBC on him and check for anemia. He doesnt have any obvious signs, but cheap enough to run so why not!

    Regarding Lyme, not really in a hotspot for it, but I suppose its a possibility. There is no lameness, stiffness or other signs of lyme, is general lazyness a normal sign?


    Just because I'll be on a hunt here, what do you guys think is the best test to start with?

    ETA, he does have a thyroid adenoma...could this cause any changes to the thyroid (hypothyroid?),as far as I knew these were benign?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,108

    Default

    So StB, what was the result?

    I have a really lazy OTTB, and at first I just thought he was quiet. After he was on stall rest for a week (he's 5) and I was able to ride him bareback in a hackamore with no lunging/prep while other horses were spooking in their paddocks. Weird right?

    I had a nutritional analysis done, he's "okay" in everything but needs a good 40% boost to be "normal". My guy is quiet because he's not getting all the calories/vitamins/etc. he needs!
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2011
    Posts
    1,395

    Default

    Hay and oats only?

    No vit/min supp nor RB? If that is the case and this horse also does not access to very nice pasture on very good soil you can pretty much bet he is def in vit A and E.... likely Cu, Zn, and Se too. I think I would be lazy too.

    My vote is to over haul his ration.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2011
    Posts
    297

    Default

    While I agree that looking into his nutritional program is a very good place to start, I'd also look into some neurological causes. Before the two experiences we've had at work, I'd never have thought that.

    We had a hunter that occasionally tripped or whose knee buckled. Nothing to give anyone pause. It happened very rarely, was never dramatic in that he never hit his knees or went down. It never caused any concern. He was a very quiet animal, beautiful, consistently bringing home tricolors and never gave any other signs (that we knew to look for!) that there was anything wrong. He was also a horse you would describe as lazy, but was known to wake up when jumping, just as yours did. He showed with us for about three years, and before that had had a pre-green and a green conformation year. Then he tripped in the middle of a two stride with his owner on him, went down on one knee, somehow managed to pop up and pop up over the jump to avoid crashing through it. Terrifying, and so my boss and the owner had the vet out to look him over. He couldn't conclusively identify the cause - tested for EPM etc. Dr. Reed, a neurological expert, was flown down and they x-rayed his neck. Turns out he had some lesions and compressions in some of the vertebrae in his neck, and was deemed unrideable. I don't want to scare you, as it sounds like your guy, if he is neurological, is VERY minor. But it's something worth considering, especially since some of the ways his "laziness" was displayed turned out to be very nuanced symptoms of neurological issues.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2002
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    786

    Default

    Back during '99, my wonderful 9 year old OTTB started to "run out of gas" VERY quickly, plus he was prone to stumbling on his right hind just in flat work ... eventually the vet thought to do neuro tests on him and my boy wasn't good: spinal tap => EPM diagnosis.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2005
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    1,219

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by laughATTACK View Post
    While I agree that looking into his nutritional program is a very good place to start, I'd also look into some neurological causes. Before the two experiences we've had at work, I'd never have thought that.

    We had a hunter that occasionally tripped or whose knee buckled. Nothing to give anyone pause. It happened very rarely, was never dramatic in that he never hit his knees or went down. It never caused any concern. He was a very quiet animal, beautiful, consistently bringing home tricolors and never gave any other signs (that we knew to look for!) that there was anything wrong. He was also a horse you would describe as lazy, but was known to wake up when jumping, just as yours did. He showed with us for about three years, and before that had had a pre-green and a green conformation year. Then he tripped in the middle of a two stride with his owner on him, went down on one knee, somehow managed to pop up and pop up over the jump to avoid crashing through it. Terrifying, and so my boss and the owner had the vet out to look him over. He couldn't conclusively identify the cause - tested for EPM etc. Dr. Reed, a neurological expert, was flown down and they x-rayed his neck. Turns out he had some lesions and compressions in some of the vertebrae in his neck, and was deemed unrideable. I don't want to scare you, as it sounds like your guy, if he is neurological, is VERY minor. But it's something worth considering, especially since some of the ways his "laziness" was displayed turned out to be very nuanced symptoms of neurological issues.
    Definitely get the neck looked at. Just last month I had a scare with one of my horses who was getting "lazy" and would sometimes trip--that in itself is very out of character but it was hot and he's older so I attributed it to that.

    He (practically overnight) became quite lethargic, body sore and almost unwilling to walk let alone work. He passed a neuro exam but we drew blood for Lyme and EPM just to be on the safe side. He was low positive for both but high enough to treat based on his symptoms. After being on the meds for two weeks he was improving a lot to the point that I could resume light flatwork.

    At that point we decided to take a set of neck films just to cover all our bases. They showed arthritic changes in C6 and C7 which we injected. Within five days he was pushing from behind and happily dragging my a$$ around again!

    I am definitely going to finish out the other course of meds but I really think that the majority of the "laziness" was coming from his neck.
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2008
    Location
    Landlocked in Western Mass.
    Posts
    283

    Default

    Yes, lethargy can be a symptom of Lyme. Can also be a dietary deficiency as others have suggested. It'll probably take @ a week to get results back for Lyme from Cornell, but I'd run it along with a Vitamin E, selenium, etc. check as well.
    Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 5, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,108

    Default

    My guy was also tripping a bit... we started shoeing him on a 5-week schedule and are now giving him 1 cup of Purina Trimax (for the calories/energy) per meal on top of his regular HFHF diet and the tripping totally went away and is now powering around the arena.
    A quick tutorial on interval training: Conditioning your horse for eventing



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
    Posts
    435

    Default

    Sometimes I give a Legend shot for kicks.. usually makes them feel wonderful for awhile while you build up their schedule



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2006
    Posts
    2,527

    Default

    Well you could do a bone scan, but that would be a big investment and may or may not show something suspect.

    Good luck!



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