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Could these symptoms be caused by too much grass?

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  • Could these symptoms be caused by too much grass?

    We took in a Perch X in February of this year. He was previuosly out on 15ish acres with about 14 other horses with some grass (not a lot) but was supplemented with hay.

    A few months ago, he started coming up lame randomly. He doesnt really get ridden or used for anything, he's just a pasture puff. When he's lame, you can tell at the walk, and its basically just that one side is much shorter strides than the other. We contributed it to the new farrier, because the day it started was the first day being trimmed by him. After a few weeks, he was still randomly lame, more so in the dry lot (rock dust) than on grass.

    He blew an abcess 2 days ago, but has shown no improvement.

    Throughout all of this, his personality seems to have changed. He is basically always standing in a stall or the run in alone when he could be out on 150 acres with his 4 buddies. All 5 have pretty much always stayed in a pack until now. Could it be that he just doesnt want to walk far because his foot hurts?
    I've checked for pulses, and theyre not elevated or strong. He never has the founder stance, and is only ever off on one leg.

    Could this be metabolic? Or have something to do with the excess grass? He never had health issues until he came here, so we're trying to figure out whats going on. (he also had major problems with over heating in August, with resp over 100 and a temp of almost 105.) Vet did mention that he needs to lose about 100 lbs, which we are trying by dry lotting him about 14 hours a day.

    The vet will be out Monday and will do a thorough exam. If necessary, he can go back to where we got him (my SO's parents owned him previously).

    Any ideas would be appreciated, and im sorry for my thoughts being all over the place!
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.

  • #2
    Yes, the grass may be the issue. Perchies can show Equine Metabolic Syndrome... in rare cases, Insulin Resistance.

    Also, there is prevalence of EPSM in drafties, so anytime you can eliminate sugar & starch from the diet, including removal from all grazing, do it.

    I have a rare percheron with both EPSM and insulin resistance. After consulting with both Dr Beth Valentine (initially) and Dr. Frank Reilly (last October), I dry lot her 9 months out of the year, feed a sugar-free diet as low in starch as I humanly can and upped her Vitamin E to 15,000 IUs a day.

    No laminitis in 3 years.
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    • #3
      Difficulty regulating body temperature, depression, possible IR, abscessing, footsoreness are all symptoms of PPID, aka Cushing's.
      Fall is an especially bad time due to season rise of ACTH. Get him tested for baseline ACTH.
      Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org


      • #4
        A bunch of things could be going on, but for starters, if he's extremely overweight, he should have a muzzle on if you can't restrict his access to grass. Founder is ALWAYS a risk with obese horses, whether or not it's due to IR or Cushings.

        A fever of 105 would really alarm me in an environment where ticks are an issue--erlichiosis and any number of other diseases could cause a fever to spike like that, and any temperature over 102 should trigger an immediate consultation with a vet.

        Agree that a vet should be called in at this point to assess the situation.
        Inner Bay Equestrian