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Water streaming out of horse's nose after he drinks

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  • Water streaming out of horse's nose after he drinks

    I'll preface this by saying that I am going to give my vet a call on Monday. Just wanting to hear if others have any experience with this in the meantime.

    I just got a new horse about 2.5 weeks ago. He's a 20yo OTTB, former Prelim eventer who is going to be doing dressage and very light jumping and hacking with me. He has also proven himself to be 100% husband-friendly, so we'll definitely be getting him the care that he needs to be as healthy as possible. He shipped up to New England from the South and had a very runny nose when he arrived; I called my vet and monitored his temperature per their advice. Within about 48 hours the mucus became quite clear and he never spiked even a nominal fever. He's got plenty of energy and eats, well, like a horse But, he is still having a moderate amount of clear, sometime white, discharge from his nose. Yesterday I happened to be in his stall while he had a good big drink and I was shocked to see what I thought was water streaming out of both nostrils when he lifted his head out of the bucket. Today I watched very closely when I put him back in his stall after a light ride; he did drink a good bit and again water came streaming out of his nose. He did not submerge his nostrils at all into the water, just lips. I touched his nose to check, and it is definitely water. He's not concerned about it in the slightest: ears were forward, hoping for a treat, then he went straight back to eating his hay.

    This horse also appears to be unable to truly whinny. He tries, but it's just very breathy. I had a prepurchase exam done and specifically mentioned the whinnying to the vet so she could check it out; she reported that his respiration was normal. She did also check his teeth, and her only comment was that I should plan to have them floated within the next few months. I do feel that she was quite thorough, however we didn't do a super in-depth exam due to this horse's age and the conditions under which I was getting him.

    Due to circumstances beyond my control I know very little about this horse's history beyond the past couple of years, during which time he's just been babysitting foals in a pasture. I can pull his competition history through USEA and the Jockey Club, but that's not really all that helpful.

    Any one ever seen anything like this? I'm speculating that maybe he has a palate issue? I've just never even heard of anything like this!
    "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

    Trolls be trollin'! -DH

  • #2
    Sounds to me like your horse has had a tie back surgery when he was a racehorse. if thats the case what your seeing is normal.
    Often when they drink water and sometimes grain if they recently ate will run out their nose.
    I wouldn't be to alarmed about it , just keep an eye on the colour of the mucus as sometimes they can't get a bit of an infection .
    If your vet scopes him they can confirm this.


    • #3
      Sounds exactly like my guy. He is 13, had tie back at 2 which has subsequently failed. Feed him on the ground and lower his water bucket- it helps. I had my boy scoped and we found a partially entrapped epiglottis - but he has a few issues which are not related to the original tie back.
      Don't wrassle with a hog. You just get dirty, and the hog likes it.

      Collecting Thoroughbreds - tales of a re-rider and some TBs


      • #4
        Definitely had a tie back. They sound like little girlies when they whinny!
        McDowell Racing Stables

        Home Away From Home


        • #5
          Interesting. Just curious: What is a "tie back" surgery, and what is it's purpose?


          • #6
            I'm amazed that after mentioning the whinny to the vet he/she did not scope.


            • #7
              My horse had his flapper lasered off and water comes out of his nose when he drinks and he can't whinny. You didn't mention coughing - you're lucky - mine coughs, a lot.


              • #8
                Originally posted by gallupgirl View Post
                I'm amazed that after mentioning the whinny to the vet he/she did not scope.
                Why would you scope if the horse isn't having any problems? The cause is obvious.
                McDowell Racing Stables

                Home Away From Home


                • #9
                  Because she paid the vet for a pre-purchase exam and specifically mentioned her concern that the horse had a funny whinny. If I was buying a horse and paying for an exam and mentioned the funny whinny I would want to know if it had tie-back surgery........

                  There were several non-veterinarians on this forum that immediately said "it probably had tie-back surgery at some point".


                  • #10
                    Probably the difference between race horse folks and veterinarians that deal with the racing industry and veterinarians that only do farm calls with pleasure/show type horses.


                    • #11
                      Interesting, I had no idea that water coming out of the nose could happen after tie-back. Glad my horse hasn't done that!

                      Definitely make sure the horse is fed low as horses who have had the surgery are prone to choke. I've never had an issue (knock on wood), but I was warned about it by the vet hospital when the procedure was done.