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Mystery Ailment... Any ideas??

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  • Mystery Ailment... Any ideas??

    I'm turning to the COTH crew to see if anyone can shed some light on this super-odd situation. You guys always have experiences and suggestions outside the box, so you never know...

    Mr Perfect Horse is acting out of character. Many odd symptoms that aren't always consistently present. If we didn't know the horse well, we'd say it is all behavioral and he needs his fat butt beat... but we do know him and no one (owner, BO, trainer (me), barnmates) can quite believe it's just attitude. Horse is generally a perfect 2'3" packer for his adult owner that has a line waiting to own him if she ever sells him.

    - Weird "hop" at trot tracking left only, usually when he doesn't want to go forward, like he's hopping into a canter. Works out of it once you get him going. Doesn't do it on the bit or when going forward or on circles. However, he has a history of doing this and we suspect it is not necessarily a symptom and is just a thing he does because he's pokey and lazy.
    - Horse is otherwise completely sound.
    - Major attitude change. Grumpier than usual. Tried to attack me multiple times when I tried to lunge him. Teeth bared, ears pinned, charging me at the center. Really glad I had a lunge whip. :/
    - Sensitive under belly. Tries to bite you or cow kick you when you touch him there. SOMETIMES! Other times, couldn't care less!
    - Doesn't want to go forward on lunge line (with or without tack) or with rider. On lunge line he charged me. On his back he'll reach back and try to bite you, kick out, buck, pin ears, etc. However, if you DO get him going, he will trot and canter beautifully on a loose rein or in a frame, bend, collect, etc. No problem. But if you stop for a minute and try to go again, Mr Evil comes back.

    Other info and what we've done so far:
    - Horse is a 11yo QH pinto gelding
    - No recent changes except body clipping (which he's had before with no issues) and chiro apt. Chiro says he's the most fit, soundest she's ever seen him and the soreness in his back he's previously had is great. No major issues.
    - Vet came out. Also says the most fit and sound he's ever seen horse. Can't figure out what is wrong.
    - Ran panel, no issues.
    - Doesn't suspect ulcers (which was my guess)
    - Lymes test came back "mildly positive" - you know, like every other horse in NJ will... Horse is on doxy now, just in case, but that's not the problem.
    - EPM test negative.
    - Hooves are good.
    - Teeth were done a month or so ago by a quality dentist

    We are taking him to MidAtlantic tomorrow, hoping they can come up with something everyone else has missed. I'm thinking the next step is animal communicator... We just don't want to believe he's being this much of an @$$hole for no reason... ANY IDEAS???
    ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
    Proud member of the artists clique

  • #2
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


    • #3
      Ulcers would be my guess too


      • #4
        I third the ulcers


        • #5
          1 Ulcers of the Hindgut. They are difficult to diagnose, but all your behavior issuse
          are consistant with HGU. Try soaking 1/4 of an alfalfa flake in hot water and feed it just befor you ride, or lunge. If it helps even a little try one of the hind gut suppliments. Triple Crown has a new one Alfa-something.
          2 Any chance he is cryptorcid ( has one teste retained in his abdomin) this would also explain his symptoms esp the agression.
          NEVER work an agressive horse alone.
          3 could someone be abusing him? It sounds like on the lunge his flight or fight kicks in and since he can't run away he gets agressive instead of trusting and being submisive.


          • Original Poster

            I'm still hanging on to my ulcer idea too... Part of me hopes that's all it is since it can be handled fairly easily. However, home vet thought it was "unlikely, but possible". I will definitely be bringing it up tomorrow at MA. Horse is already on a gut supplement of some variety that I can't think of right now.

            He's definitely not abused, lol. Spoiled, maybe a little, abused, definitely not.
            ...for there are wings on these hooves, the speed and power of foam-capped waves...
            Proud member of the artists clique