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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    Question What might this be? Elderly former broodie displaying very odd behavior

    "Sly" is 29. Has gone completely deaf in the last 4 years. Has mild Cushing's -- but has been otherwise happy and healthy. I've owned her since she was 6. Clearly, she has become what I can only believe is somewhat senile as she seems to get confused at times as she's aged. Not an issue.

    She's living with one of her daughters (now age 20), who she relies on for her hearing -- always stays close by her. Big pasture, lots of turnout, etc.

    I had them in last night. Today when I let them out, Sly started bellowing for horses in the adjoining pasture. Walked the fenceline most of the day -- not in a frantic way at all, but would not leave the fenceline wanting the others to come over., Bellowing every so often. Completely left the security of her daughter.

    She would not graze, eat hay or do anything she otherwise normally does. She's always been low man, very easy, and affectionate. Would not even come over to me.

    She did wander over to drink some water, then just back to the fence line.

    What is wierder is that she was sniffing manure, then peeing on it. Did this off and on all day. Marked manure with urine.

    When the gelding in the next pasture came of she teased to him. Sly hasn't had a heat cyle in 9 years! Even then, she never displayed this kind of behavior when she was an active broodmare.

    It's the marking of manure so incessently, as well as her leaving the security of her daughter that has me miffed. Thoughts?


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 9, 2007
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    9,131

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    I have no idea what is wrong with her, but I think that it is great that you keep your old mares.

    If she were a dog or cat, I'd say she had a mild stroke.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    You know, that was the first thing that crossed my mind, too.

    When she walked out of her stall to the pasture she looked mildly hitchy in a hind, but chalked it up to arthritis, have been in a stall all night (which is why I'm so pro turn out all night -- but for other reasons had to keep her in last night).

    Frankly, I'm also not sure if her eyesight seemed different today as well.

    All I know is I know my horses..and my "gut" says neurological something, but what, I don't know. Would an ovarian tumor present in this way?

    Called my beloved vet (who has been hers most of her life) for a conference.

    She's such a kind, sweet gal. My best and last mare standing from the old breeding days.

    No suffering here, but a bit addle-brained and that's kind of sad to see.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    The elderly gentleman who lived here until he was 35 or so did things like that periodically. Over the course of about two years he slowly deteriorated until one day his hind end and front end were no longer coordinated. We figured it was a long series of ministrokes. He was a happy camper and didnt even seem to care that his body parts were not under his control but it was dangerous. So we put him down.

    Just an anecdote for you.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    Thanks, Eq. I suspect this might be the case.

    I cross posted to the Horse Care forum to in case I can glean any other info that may help me.

    It is her son, my lovely "Kingsley" that I lost a couple of years ago from a sudden brain aneuryism (sp?), at age 18. Perfectly sound robust one minute then a dreadful situation I hope I never see again in my lifetime. Still haunts me. I wailed about it for pages on this forum, it was so horrific. I was so distraught having witnessed that.

    I'm sure they are not related, but I would never want to see her go that violently. If they are mini-strokes, we can deal with that.

    A day at a time with my wonderful old lifetime friends.


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  6. #6
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    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Just talked to my vet who called me while on vacation in Iowa...how wonderful is that.

    His first though ovarian tumor.

    Second thought was mini stroke.

    Told me to put her on Previcox and he'll run an arm into her when he gets back on Monday.

    If it's a tumor, can only be addressed with surgery. At 29 and having Cushing's she's not a surgical candidate.

    If it's a mini stroke, hopefully what she's doing will pass.

    So bummed right now.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Awww Sid. A big hug for you. I remember Kingsley, such a tragedy

    if it was a ministroke and she follows the big guys path it will be gradual and relatively easy. Just wierd sometimes LOL One thing I will caution you about, is that he became very careless with his body. I was the only person who handled him in those two years because he would do things like turn and oops! Knock you down. So be a little extra vigilant of your safety.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    I thought I was the only one who vacationed in Iowa! Sorry to hear the potential bad news, hope it's one of the lesser alternatives.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 8, 2009
    Location
    Ontario
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    I am so sorry to hear Will keep my fingers crossed!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2003
    Location
    Ballston Spa, NY, USA
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    Is her Cushings being treated? Cushings can cause a large spectrum of symptoms, including some repro symptoms. I had a mare in her 20s with Cushings who began lactating one spring (she didn't have a foal at the time). Ask your vet about that too. Please let us know what the vet says after he sees her.
    Maryanne Nicpon
    Minglewood Sport Horses
    Ballston Spa, NY



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 23, 2001
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    Catharpin, Virginia
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    Yes, her Cushing's is under control...well for long as you can. I've had several horses with cushings. The last one left me at age 31.

    EQ...whether from Cushing's or other muscle or neuro issues, I'm lucky to have raised, trained and cared for so many, I have a real good sense of watching myself when the 1,500 lb. body isn't doing what it I want it to do...whether deliberately , or through no fault of their own. I'll be careful.

    Thanks for the reminder.



  12. #12
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    Nov. 23, 2001
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    FYI for those who may be interested.

    Mini stroke...not an ovarian tumor. She came back to normal and the whole farm settled down after her episode in about 3 days.

    It's amazing how other horses in a closed herd like mine is (for 25+ years) will tell you when a horse may be dying...they just want to get away from them. Herd instincts.

    My old girl is no worse for wear from this, though clearly it upset all horses and me as well. She's been happily munching hay with her daughter. Peace has resumed. So sad to see this, and I'm guessing it will again. Sort of like the downhill slide with my Mom with dementia. You find a new normal as things change to help them through the dying process

    This is better than the ovarian tumor scenario for sure.



  13. #13
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    Jan. 31, 2003
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    Glad to hear it!
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 2, 2006
    Location
    Colorado
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    Thanks for the update. I'm glad it isn't a tumor.



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