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Giving shot to a down horse?

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  • Giving shot to a down horse?

    Is there a 'safe' technique for giving a shot to a horse that is aggitated and lying down?

    Would you stand at the top side to avoid flailing legs and give an IM/IV shot in the neck?
    "I never mind if an adult uses safety stirrups." GM

  • #2
    Only had a situation like you are describing once....vet stood at horse's back, near top of the neck, put a knee on the neck just behind the jaw/ear area and held the head down...the horse couldn't flail around as well without being able to raise his head, gave IV in jugular.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV

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    • #3
      I have had this happen before with colic. Definitely stand behind the horse's neck, in case it starts thrashing or tries to get up. It's very hard to inject IV, but IM can be done easily in the hindquarter or neck.
      Kim
      'Like' my facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Calla...946873?sk=wall

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      • #4
        Yup, behind the horse- kneeling on it's head so it can't get any up momentum.

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        • #5
          Covering the horse's eyes (or uppermost eye) and kneeling quickly and confidently on the neck will almost always still a horse for long enough. Never under-estimate the power of the blindfold.

          I had a pony once at a kids event drop down with serious colic, used a jacket to cover its head - and immediately all the kids started screaming because the effect was so dramatic they thought I'd killed the pony (not the intended outcome!). Once blindfolded we were able to remove the tack safely and then get the pony up and to stalls so the vet could treat.

          The pony and the kids all made a full recovery.

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          • #6
            I've done it twice now...once IV on a mare having a dystocia and I honestly don't remember where I was standing. I do recall being amazed that I got the vein on the first try and she was not still...in a lot of distress obviously.

            Second time was a cast horse in a stall and I could not get into position to go IV. I did an IM shot the best I could into the neck.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
              I've done it twice now...once IV on a mare having a dystocia and I honestly don't remember where I was standing. I do recall being amazed that I got the vein on the first try and she was not still...in a lot of distress obviously.

              Second time was a cast horse in a stall and I could not get into position to go IV. I did an IM shot the best I could into the neck.
              This may be a dumb question but what and why would you need to give a shot to a horse that is cast? I've dealt with a least a half a dozen.....I simply just flip them back over and they end up standing on their own?

              Dalemma

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              • #8
                Dalemma,

                Not a dumb question and I should have explained. The horse was a boarder and was not cast in the true sense but was down in her stall at feeding time and would not (or could not) get up because she was in chronic pain from an injured stifle. This horse would go down and lay flat for hours. It's a long story and one I've told on here before actually. At the time no one realized how bad her old injury was...later rads showed an old fracture, no hope for comfort, and she was euthanized.

                I did give her Banamine per the vet's advice on a call that day we could not get her to get up. She was thrashing around and hitting her head on the walls when we tried to help her up, etc...so it was not just a horse laying down and not wanting to stand but one that was very uncomfortable. I would have much preferred to give her the Banamine IV but in the position she was in up against the wall, I could not get a safe angle to do an IV shot.

                It did work and about 20 minutes later she got up on her own. We also found out later that there were ulcers involved so she might have been in pain from that also.

                I can see though if you have a panicked horse that is hung up or cast that sedation is not necessary a bad idea sometimes...so in that situation you might want to give a shot to cast horse also.

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                • #9
                  I went through the Technical Large Animal Emergency Response training a few years back. Protocol was to work standing along the horses back and leaning over the horse to do anything. Even if a horse was sedated or under anesthesia.

                  I've dealt with MANY downed horses and unless it was absolutely necessary, you never stood by their feet.
                  Only two emotions belong in the saddle: One is a sense of humor. The other is patience.

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                  • #10
                    I've done IM kneeling on the horses head/neck, from behind. Would not want to be on the side with the legs!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Daydream Believer View Post
                      Dalemma,

                      Not a dumb question and I should have explained. The horse was a boarder and was not cast in the true sense but was down in her stall at feeding time and would not (or could not) get up because she was in chronic pain from an injured stifle. This horse would go down and lay flat for hours. It's a long story and one I've told on here before actually. At the time no one realized how bad her old injury was...later rads showed an old fracture, no hope for comfort, and she was euthanized.

                      I did give her Banamine per the vet's advice on a call that day we could not get her to get up. She was thrashing around and hitting her head on the walls when we tried to help her up, etc...so it was not just a horse laying down and not wanting to stand but one that was very uncomfortable. I would have much preferred to give her the Banamine IV but in the position she was in up against the wall, I could not get a safe angle to do an IV shot.

                      It did work and about 20 minutes later she got up on her own. We also found out later that there were ulcers involved so she might have been in pain from that also.

                      I can see though if you have a panicked horse that is hung up or cast that sedation is not necessary a bad idea sometimes...so in that situation you might want to give a shot to cast horse also.
                      Thanks for explaining that........guess I've been lucky with cast horses.......everyone of them pretty much laid there till I had ropes on the legs and never struggled with the flip over.

                      Dalemma

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                      • #12
                        Yep, even if a horse is anesthetized, never stand anywhere near the legs (or in front of the front legs) unless you have to do something to a leg (like putting ropes on to flip it). Also don't stand with your back to a down horse if you are in the immediate vicinity, and try to squat rather than kneel on the ground (kneeling on the horse's neck, your feet should still be touching the ground to stabilize you and so that you can stand up quickly if needed). They can paddle all they want but they can't get up if you are holding their head down (note, I am told this does not work with cattle). Covering their eyes definitely helps.

                        For trying to give an IV shot on a down horse, if the horse is calm enough, see if you can get a towel or blanket or something underneath their neck - it makes the vein stand up better. Also remember that there's nothing wrong with sticking the needle in down the neck as opposed to the usual way, and it may be easier depending on the orientation of the horse and whether you're right or left handed. If they are calm enough, it can help to extend the head some, too. Placing just the needle first, then attaching the syringe, helps you make sure you are in the right place, since it can be tempting to go too deep on a horse that is down.
                        The plural of anecdote is not data.
                        Eventing Yahoo In Training

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                        • #13
                          DItto the above advice.

                          However, sitting on a horse's head is no guarantee they will not toss you off of their head. I saw a sedated tbred toss three people quite easily trying to struggle to get up. They were sitting on his head and neck.
                          Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.
                          ? Albert Einstein

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