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Older horse falling down?

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  • #21
    Our older guy lives out with a run in but we bring him in every afternoon for about 6 hours of "nap & quiet" time in a stall. Gives him a chance to eat, drink and sleep without anyone bothering him.

    We keep pretty close tabs on when he does or doesn't lay down or looks like he is having a stiff day and will give a bute now and then along with some tractgard to buffer his stomach.

    If he goes a few days without "his time" you can see a big difference in his level of alertness - he will fall asleep on your shoulder and you can see his knees buckeling!

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
      You said he is a TB - any chance he ever raced? Has he ever been treated for ulcers? Over 90% of racehorses have gastric ulcers, and constant pain can prevent a horse from achieving REM sleep which will eventually cause Sleep deprivation.
      [snip]
      Another thing to keep in mind: some horses that are too "on guard" will not lay down to sleep because they are edgy and are keeping an eye out for the herd or if alone, themselves. My mare is also this way (which contributes to her ulcers...)If a horse will not lay down for ANY reason, they cannot get enough REM sleep and will become sleep deprived.
      He's definitely a quirky OTTB. I bought him off the track when he was 6. He's never liked eating hay much, cribs and acts a bit like a paranoid psyzophrenic (sp?) when he's not being handled or ridden. We have laughed for years that we should make him a tin foil hat to help protect him from 'the aliens'. I've tried ulcer treatments a few times over the years hoping he would start eating more hay, but that never made a difference. His teeth are fine, too. It's just him, Ive always had to be a bit creative to get him to eat. Anyway, ulcers are a good thing to keep in mind but I don't suspect them at the moment.

      His anxiety is what Im worried about most as a cause if it isnt arthritis. What on earth could we do to help him if thats the case? Nothing has changed in his world for a long time (same place, same feed, same turnout situation and buddies) though, so I have no idea why he would be having increased anxiety. He seems like his normal self, but I will try to pay close attention in case I can pinpoint something new.

      Originally posted by jetsmom View Post
      Sometimes older horse's "stay apparatus" gets worn out, and doesn't hold them up. If that is what it is, you can safely ride them, as it is only when they are trying to sleep standing up that it's a problem. You can buy boots to protect the fetlocks and ankles for when they are not being ridden.
      I actually ordered some for him yesterday!

      Originally posted by KnKShowmom View Post
      Our older guy lives out with a run in but we bring him in every afternoon for about 6 hours of "nap & quiet" time in a stall. Gives him a chance to eat, drink and sleep without anyone bothering him.

      We keep pretty close tabs on when he does or doesn't lay down or looks like he is having a stiff day and will give a bute now and then along with some tractgard to buffer his stomach.

      If he goes a few days without "his time" you can see a big difference in his level of alertness - he will fall asleep on your shoulder and you can see his knees buckeling!
      This makes a lot of sense for my guy. I am hopeful that keeping him in the large paddock on his own at night with access to the comfy sandbox will help him feel more comfortable to get some deep sleep. Hubby said he will get another truck full of sand for the box this weekend, too, in case it needs to be 'fluffier' for him.
      Work - feed - ride - shovel poop - repeat.

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      • #23
        I wonder if the fact that you don't bed your stalls is making it so he doesn't lay down in his stall, so gets over tired / narcoleptic and has the falling spells.

        Especially since he is seen or shows evidence of rolling and laying down in other locations.

        I would try bedding his stall or add extra sand, something soft to his paddock area to see if this would improve him.

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        • #24
          He's definitely a quirky OTTB. I bought him off the track when he was 6. He's never liked eating hay much, cribs and acts a bit like a paranoid psyzophrenic (sp?) when he's not being handled or ridden. We have laughed for years that we should make him a tin foil hat to help protect him from 'the aliens'. I've tried ulcer treatments a few times over the years hoping he would start eating more hay, but that never made a difference. His teeth are fine, too. It's just him, Ive always had to be a bit creative to get him to eat. Anyway, ulcers are a good thing to keep in mind but I don't suspect them at the moment.

          His anxiety is what Im worried about most as a cause if it isnt arthritis. What on earth could we do to help him if thats the case? Nothing has changed in his world for a long time (same place, same feed, same turnout situation and buddies) though, so I have no idea why he would be having increased anxiety. He seems like his normal self, but I will try to pay close attention in case I can pinpoint something new.
          What did you use for ulcer treatment? A 28 day course of GastroGard? Because your horse is a PERFECT candidate for ulcers, and has many of the symptoms. Also, a horse with ulcers can become that nutty anxious horse because of the pain (my mare was calm after we treated her, but as her anxious nature returned, so did her unwillingness to eat, indicating to me that her ulcers had returned. We're dealing with this right now, in fact).

          If I were you, ulcers would be my FIRST suspect at the moment.
          "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #25
            Originally posted by SuckerForHorses View Post
            What did you use for ulcer treatment? A 28 day course of GastroGard? Because your horse is a PERFECT candidate for ulcers, and has many of the symptoms. Also, a horse with ulcers can become that nutty anxious horse because of the pain (my mare was calm after we treated her, but as her anxious nature returned, so did her unwillingness to eat, indicating to me that her ulcers had returned. We're dealing with this right now, in fact).

            If I were you, ulcers would be my FIRST suspect at the moment.
            I know, he really is. I was really surprised that 30 days of ranitidine and 30 days of BPR made no difference. Obviously ulcers can develop quickly so I'm not ruling them out, but I really think those quirks are just him. Hes been like that since he was 6. Right now he is acting/eating normally (for him), except for the falling when sleeping. If his anxiety has increased it could definitely be a factor though, so I'm watching him closely to see if anything has changed in his environment that I haven't noticed yet.

            I haven't seen another falling episode (knock wood) since changing around his turnout. He now is in the large paddock with the sandbox every night, comes into the stall/small paddock for breakfast, then goes out with his buddies in the big field midday thru evening feeding time. I think he can get up and down ok, but needs the extra softness of the sandbox + the alone time at night to relax enough to use it. He used to sleep in the smaller paddock outside his stall on the nights he was in there, but I think he doesn't anymore. It's got some cushion (buckshot footing) but not nearly as much as the sandbox. I know as I get older I'm pickier about the softness of the couches/chairs I sit on, so that makes sense. Fingers crossed that we've found the solution!
            Work - feed - ride - shovel poop - repeat.

            Comment


            • #26
              Since you haven't treated him with the ONLY proven medication (GastroGard or UlcerGard) I wouldn't be convinced that its not ulcers. I have used the BPR myself (in fact, treating my mare with them for 28 days as soon as they arrive, I orderedt hem today). BUT...my mare is a confirmed ulcer case, we scoped her and she did have ulcers. We treated her wtih 28 days UlcerGard, 1 tube daily, adn then rescoped to confirm they were healed (adn they were). Now that her symptoms are reappearing, I'm going to do 28 days of BRP and see what happens. That beign said, if her symptoms don't subside with the BPR, I will do the treatment dose of GastroGard again, because I KNOW these symptoms for her are ulcers.

              I wouldn't put stock in 30 days of Ranitidine healing ulcers if he had them, and I certainly wouldn't put stock in BPR since we really have no way of knowing they do waht they say they do (I realize there are anecdotal accounts, but that is not proof).
              "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."

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