• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

ideas on these signs/symptoms?

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • ideas on these signs/symptoms?

    My horse has had some interesting symptoms/changes over the past few months, and I don't know if it's related to training, weather, diet, or some physical cause. these are all pretty mild, but can anyone see a connection/possible cause here?

    Background: 5 y/o ASB gelding in light work as a hunter, recently started dressage lessons ~3 months ago. Also broke to drive and loves this, but haven't driven in a few months due to spookiness (one of the symptoms). No obvious signs of lameness or illness, eating normally, no change in feed (gets Triple Crown Senior with whole flax seed and MSM, basically free choice grass hay, round bale outside, soaked alfalfa cubes after I work him). He's an easy keeper, probably about a BCS of 6, low/neg fecal counts and dewormed regularly when needed. Saddle custom fitted and flocked last summer by master saddle fitter and it fits really well, flocking just adjusted in October. Teeth floated about 6 mo ago by vet. Turned out about 8 hours/day with 2 other horses. Usually very laid back and easy going.

    Okay here are the symptoms/changes I've noticed:
    1. Spookiness- unusual for him, but has been very spooky and jumpy for about 3 months since some new jumps/equipment were placed in one end of the arena (usually he gets over changes quickly, but he is just persistent and wound up over this, even our dressage instructor comments that he looks worried at times). He is just more reactive in general than usual. This really interferes with his concentration and makes dressage work tough.

    2. girthy- this seems fairly mild, but he never used to react to having the girth tightened, this has been about 3-4 months. I talked about this with my vet and he thought it could be due to the fact that he was a little bit heel sore around the time it started, and that girthiness and heel soreness are often connected. There's no obvious foot problem anymore and I haven't noticed obvious lameness. He also often moves when I go to put the saddle/surcingle on his back, he's done this off and on for years, but it's been much more consistent lately, usually he's too lazy to care.

    3. avoiding bit contact/teeth grinding. This I think is complex, but has been going on about 3 weeks now (he did used to grind/chew his bits a couple years ago, but it resolved spontaneously after a few months). I think it's probably because we're learning new things in our dressage lessons and he's frustrated, but he's ducking behind the bit and BTV more than he ever did before and raising his whole neck up and being generally less consistent with contact, frame and speed than he usually is- I suspect this is partly because he's been so edgy/spooky too- he lifts up when we go by the scary end, then I can't get him to lower/take contact until about when we're back by the scary end again.

    4. loose stools- not every BM, but the barn help comments that usually a couple of the piles in his stall look more like cow pies than horse piles. this has been going on for probably 6 months, didn't think much of it because he had nothing else going on when it started. he also has pretty much always had a different odor to his poop than the other horses, ? MSM?

    5. head shaking- did this about 2-3 times over the past month during rides, usually just a brief shake like he has a bug on his neck/head (but it's winter), then nothing more the rest of the rides. . .

    6. skin sensitivity- about 1-2 weeks, some tail swishing, flinching/moving away when being brushed around the flanks and back of his belly, more on the right.

    Could all of these subtle things be connected? I'm hoping it's all just a winter funk (or me being a total hypochondriac), but between the spookiness and lack of connection on the reins, we haven't been getting much done under saddle. . . and I'm sure not going to hook him to the cart with him acting this way.

    Thanks in advance, and sorry for the length.

  • #2
    at the risk of being chastised by those with more horse knowledge and experience.....
    Ulcers?? Check with your vet and give him a short regimen of banamine and see if it helps.

    Comment


    • #3
      My guess is ulcers or Lyme.

      You "might" consider removing the flax and MSM for a couple of weeks and see if you notice a huge difference. There have been threads on here about some horses ending up having a bad reaction (spookiness, crawling out of their skin behavior) after being on MSM. And jet reacts really poorly to flax. Gets really spooky/nervous/takes hours to settle down.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ulcers would be my first thought too, nd tht's not usully my go-to thing. You could try some Zantc for severl dys nd see if tht helps.

        My other thought would be not enough mgnesium. I use epsom slts, bout 1/4 cup per dy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Since many of your horse's symptoms sound like my guy's symptoms, and I treated my guy for ulcers with wonderful success, I'm voting for ulcers here.

          Unless there's an actual bleeding wound so that diagnosis is black and white, I'm convinced that most horse ailments come with additional symptoms that make diagnosis more "interesting."

          Good luck to you!

          Comment


          • #6
            My best guess would be ulcers also. Seems like some of the symptoms may be unrelated but there are some that certainly point to ulcers. Good luck! Hope you win the lottery to pay for the meds!

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              thanks guys. Yeah I was thinking ulcers/tummy too, but I wasn't sure if it was just me looking for signs with all the hype we hear about ulcers these days. . . and I hadn't heard that much about nervousness/spookiness being related to ulcers, but the more you look. . . haha. I can't imagine the couple episodes of head shaking is related except maybe to frustration/discomfort. And I'm not sure if loose stools is a common symptom of ulcers or another red herring. I am going to start him on some low dose Zantac tonight (last time I talked to my vet about it when I talked to him about the girthiness, he recommended that if I was going to try it, to try a lower dose than the recommended 6.6 mg/kg, so I'll start with 3.3 mg/kg and if no effect in a few days, increase it to the 6.6 and see if that helps). I think my vet was more concerned about some low grade impaction than ulcers when I talked to him, but I don't see how that could really be if he's got looser stools, is not off of his feed, has great bowel sounds, and shows no signs of colic. Anyways for the Zantac, I can really only realistically dose it twice a day due to barn help schedule, but if he gets a dose a few hours before I work him in the evening, I think I'd see a difference if it's going to help. I hope we don't have to go to Gastroguard, will have to search the forum more to read up on some of the other omeprazole options out there if the Zantac doesn't do it.

              I forgot to mention that I also caught him chewing on a fence in the pasture the other day- not sure if he's learning to crib from his pasturemate or maybe another sign.

              I will ask the vet to check him for Lyme this spring when they come out, I just pulled an engorged tick off of my hubby's walking horse the other day (and mind you it's winter in MN. . . wierd).

              Thanks for the help guys, I'm open to any other thoughts you have too.

              Comment


              • #8
                My mare would jump out of her skin on flax... Otherwise it does sound like ulcers.
                It's a small world -- unless you gotta walk home.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You might also want to give the alfalfa cubes before riding.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yes, possible development of ulcers, but I would consider your facts. It seems he started this behavior approx the same time you started doing a bit more work, i.e., dressage lessons. The dressage work or generally asking more of him, might of tiggered an exisiting issue un-noticed at the time. I would check many things, saddle, back, other areas for possible soreness, he may be avoiding wanting to go into work, be bridled, saddled etc i.e, having fear of pain if he goes into work, thus panics in an attempt to "TELL" you something is not right. This overall, would cause ulcers too.... but I would check everything and perhaps have a chiropractor out.

                    Also, he might be an overly-sensitive guy and going slow maybe the key. Slowly building up trust in each stage of development process.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Your horse is young enough that changing his work routine (even if he is very laid back) could be causing him some pain and/or anxiety which could be leading to stomach upset.

                      From the facts you have provided, it seems like there are many different factors at play here and you will want to take a look at all of them and how they factor into the bigger picture of the mental and physical health of your horse.

                      Ulcers/stomach upset are a likely end result, but I would look at what is causing the recent change in behavior. If his behavior gets better with your ulcer treatment, you might want to consider putting him on a daily probiotic supplement to see if it helps with loose stools and odor -- and I agree with whoever said to give the alfalfa cubes before your ride.

                      Lyme testing is not a bad idea, but you might want to look into other sources of pain, possibly in his back and/or hocks. Since you have changed his workload, he is more than likely using his muscles differently and stressing his back/hocks/etc. If he was in light work as a hunter, how much more intense is his dressage work? Does he need better conditioning? Would a chiropractor/accupuncture session help?

                      Just as importantly, I would look at how he is handling his new work program. Are you asking him to do too much before he is mentally ready? Do you need to take a few steps back to make sure he is confident with what you are asking him to do? Is he feeling confused and needs some time back at the basics?

                      Finding the answer(s) to his behavior change will take some time and detective work. Good luck!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Paddys Mom View Post
                        You might also want to give the alfalfa cubes before riding.
                        yes this would be ideal but my husband would have a freak out if I spent another hour at the barn so that I could soak them, let him eat, then give him a few minutes to digest before riding/working him. It would be more ideal, but not practical. I did pick up a bottle of peppermint tums, which he likes, so I will plan to give him some of those before riding.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sounds like ulcers to me too. In addition, I think checking tack, back pain, etc due to change in riding discipline would be wise just in case. Yes, loose stools can be a sign of ulcers (among many other things). Rather than Tums and Zantac, why not put him on Ulcergard of Gastrogard for a few days? If it is ulcers you should see a significant improvement...my vet feels 48 hours to see improvement. I only mention that because he seems to be showing some stress or "unhappy" signs pretty evidently. I don't know that I'd be trying Tums or Zantac - unless you are going full dose Ranitidine which is effective too. I know it's expensive though which stinks but I think you'd have a clearer answer faster.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            My first thought was Lyme. But ulcers are also a strong possibility.

                            At the USEA annual meeting there was a speaker (from SUCCEDED) who said that increased senitivity on the RIGHT side is often a sign of colonic (as opposed to gastric) ulcers.
                            Janet

                            chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              The problem with using something other than gastrogard or ulcergard at the treatment dose is if it doesn't work you have no idea if the horse didn't have ulcers or if whatever you tried didn't do the job. Use the only thing proven to heal ulcers as a diagnostic tool then once you get your answer you can try to find an alternative that works for your horse.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                My gelding exhibits some (not all) of these symptoms on orchard grass. Vet has no idea why. Just a thought.
                                Surgeon General warns: "drinking every time Trump lies during the debate could result in acute alcohol poisoning."

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I know some people swear MSM causes spookiness. Good luck!!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I would say ulcers too, especially with the wood chewing/cribbing added.

                                    I read a facinating article afew yrs ago, in The Horse I think, about how the horse's saliva contains a chemical akin to sodium bicarb, and cribbing increases the production of saliva, which they swallow. When horses do this they may be trying to sooth an upset or ulcerated tummy.

                                    Hope that made sense

                                    LBR
                                    I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

                                    R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I would say ulcers-my guess

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by salymandar View Post
                                        Your horse is young enough that changing his work routine (even if he is very laid back) could be causing him some pain and/or anxiety which could be leading to stomach upset.

                                        From the facts you have provided, it seems like there are many different factors at play here and you will want to take a look at all of them and how they factor into the bigger picture of the mental and physical health of your horse.

                                        Ulcers/stomach upset are a likely end result, but I would look at what is causing the recent change in behavior. If his behavior gets better with your ulcer treatment, you might want to consider putting him on a daily probiotic supplement to see if it helps with loose stools and odor -- and I agree with whoever said to give the alfalfa cubes before your ride.

                                        Lyme testing is not a bad idea, but you might want to look into other sources of pain, possibly in his back and/or hocks. Since you have changed his workload, he is more than likely using his muscles differently and stressing his back/hocks/etc. If he was in light work as a hunter, how much more intense is his dressage work? Does he need better conditioning? Would a chiropractor/accupuncture session help?

                                        Just as importantly, I would look at how he is handling his new work program. Are you asking him to do too much before he is mentally ready? Do you need to take a few steps back to make sure he is confident with what you are asking him to do? Is he feeling confused and needs some time back at the basics?

                                        Finding the answer(s) to his behavior change will take some time and detective work. Good luck!
                                        You do have a good point, and there are some training factors that I'm sure have contributed. For instance, I practiced a mistake in the way I was asking him for lateral work for a couple of weeks between lessons, then had to change the rules on him at our next lesson. He is frustrated and I'm sure he thinks i'm confused too. We've got that all ironed out now and it seems to be going better, he's got his lateral work down really nicely at the walk for the most part, but I'm still trying to keep that work really brief as I want to reward him for doing it right.

                                        Something that has always been a point of frustration for us is the canter, he always has tension surrounding when I ask him for the canter, since we struggled for a very long time with leads, I think even though he's getting his leads now, he's still frustrated/anxious about the canter. I can pretty much guarantee after I canter him for a short amount of time, he'll suck his nose back off of the bit, grind his teeth, and try to trot/canter/jig instead of relaxing at the walk. Eventually he settles down, but to him, even when he canters really well and I tell him that, he still makes a big deal out of it.

                                        his back used to get sore, but we have really not had that problem since I got this saddle and had it fitted. I check his back for soreness regularly, and there has been no increase in back pain or tenderness that I've noticed in the last several months (knock on wood). We had a chiro out in October and adjusted him. I noticed no significant difference from before to after. My vet has done chiro/accupuncture on him which has helped slightly, it might be placebo effect, but I'm not convinced that it's a miracle treatment.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X