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Another horse NQR thread

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  • Another horse NQR thread

    First off, vet scheduled for Thursday, he didn't think this was anything urgent. But... I'm still worried.

    HOrse is just not himself. it's very subtle. Saturday horse was sluggish under saddle, but that could have been me not having a lot of energy. Sunday am, found horse had not eaten his dinner but thought it might have been hard to get at in porta grazer (weird slow feeder). Horse didn't eat his lunch Sunday. Unfortunately i didn't notice that before I rode him. He was ok to ride, but not very energetic. BUT after his ride, horse did NOT WANT his peppermint or cookies! Now that is not my boy. My boy is all about food, and treats and trying to eat my clothes. Txted vet. Vet said observe overnight and call in the am. When I left horse was eating some hay.

    Today, horse had eaten a good chunk of his breakfast but not all (its normally gone after about 3-4 hrs). He only ate the alfalfa meal out of his lunch wouldn't eat the pellets. No temp, gums pink and moist, has gut sounds. He is happy to graze, I hand grazed him for an hour Sun and an hour Mon. BUT while grazing he would occassionally open his mouth and move his tongue around like he was having trouble moving food around in his mouth. Called vet, vet said sounds like a possible problem in mouth he will come Thurs, give some bute until then.

    Ok horse does not seem to be in distress, but he definitely doesn't feel right with his personaility being so subdued. The only thing that has me worried is I had him up for 4 hours and NO POOP the whole time. But no kicking at himself, looking at his belly, trying to lay or anything else.

    Anyone? I love this boy dearly, don't want him hurting, and just wish he could tell me more clearly what doesn't feel well.

  • #2
    The lack of poop would concern me. I would continue to monitor that and, if possible, the amount of water he drinks. Also would definitely measure heart and respiration rates. And then call vet with the info. Does he seem distended?

    If you have an impaction, the last thing he needs is more food. If he has ulcers brewing, the bute isn't going to help that.
    The Evil Chem Prof


    • #3
      No temp and good gut sounds is good. Given that you think he's a little funny about his mouth--any weird smell in there? Anything you can see with a flashlight?

      No poop for four hours is concerning but not out of the realm of possible if he's not really been eating. There are, though, some impactions that do not create a frantic horse so I wouldn't completely rule out something gastric.

      As long as there is poop in the am, and the horse is the same, I would wait for the vet, and continue to monitor temp, hydration and gut sounds.


      • Original Poster

        Thanks, the lack of poop bothered me too. Unfortunately for monitoring, my boy is in pasture (well the NOrCal version of pasture which right now is mudpen). If he still seems off to me tomorrow I might ask to see if he can come up to a stall for a couple of days to assist with monitoring input and output.

        I did take a feel inside the mouth, didn't see or smell anything funny, but couldn't see very far back so...

        Ulcers had occurred to me to, altho he has a low key lifestyle, but he didn't eat the bute I tried to give him anyway

        I just HATE having the feeling something is wrong and having it be all based on "gut feeling". If he was biting at his belly or laying down or had a stinky mouth there would be something to tell the vet start here. I just know that he doesn't feel right. Maybe its nothing, but I know somethings wrong and while it may just be a little thing I can't help him feel better when I don't know where he hurts! I guess the thought that he could have an impaction and just not be showing pain is what I am really concerned about.


        • #5
          Yikes. Bummer that he's still out and you cannot monitor his poops (or fluid intake?) FWIW, that NQR feeling and no manure in four hours would be an excuse for me to put him in the barn overnight.

          I hope all is well in the morning and he's just feeling a little low due to some sort of virus!

          (Is he on a round bale at all? It's worst case and it does not sound like he's progressing like this, but I do worry about botulism if a horse seems to be having difficulties eating.)


          • Original Poster

            No round bale, he gets grass hay in am and one flake grass and one flake alfalfa at night (our flakes are approx 10 lbs ea big bales here). Hay appears to be good quality, we feed on Sat and Sun so get to have a close look at hay on a regular basis.

            If he is still funny tomorrow I will ask BO if I can bring him up for a few days. PRoblem is she looked at him today and said "he looks fine". But she is a good person and friend so I think she will go for it since we have a few open stalls.

            I may need to redye my hair this weekend, I can feel the grey hairs multiplying.


            • #7
              I think a horse off his feed is a serious 911 and a vet should be brought in right away. Yes, I tend to over-react and bring in vets for things that are often nothing, but my opinon is there is something wrong with your horse that needs vet attention now.


              • #8
                Might there be red stem filaree in the paddock? It is very common in Ca in the winter. Very high in sugar and rapidly fermentable short chain fructan. Can cause colic or exacerbate ulcers.
                Are you feeding your horse like a cow? www.safergrass.org


                • Original Poster

                  Just looked up red stem filaree and nope we definitely don't have that, at least not right now. All that is in his paddock is mud right now, ugh.

                  update, the stable hand texted me this am and told me my boy finished his dinner last night. I am getting ready to go check on him and hand graze him some more. HOpefully he will poop for me today and prove he is doing that!


                  • Original Poster

                    update: my boy was totally normal yesterday! Attacked his peppermints, and ate his breakfast with gusto (and the previous nights dinner). Ran on the lunge like an idiot when the tractor made a funny noise, and basically was his wonderful self!

                    So... big question, do I still have vet out tomorrow? Money is tight, if it wasn't I would definitely stil have him out to at least do a dental on him, but now... And my son just called, he and his gf went to the snow and got stuck, so now I have to give him money for chains!!! ugh. any opinions are welcome!!!


                    • #11
                      My personal opinion? Yes, still have the vet out. It would be good to have him double-check the mouth, since you mentioned earlier it looked like he had some discomfort there. Plus, you'll have peace of mind, which to me is invaluable.

                      Naturally, horses like to be absolutely fine (or do their best impression) once they get wind the vet is coming.

                      I had an Appy with a tender tummy who presented symptoms like you mentioned. He had a full-blown colic once under my care, but he would gas colic frequently as well- just pick at his food, mope a bit. Banamine and observation, and he would usually poo for me and return to his food with gusto! Ulcers and tooth issues are also likely candidates too.


                      • #12
                        Have the vet out.

                        Better to pay for a routine look, including teeth even if money is tight. That eliminates the possibilty something is wrong that is going to get worse and you end up spending hundreds if not thousands on emergency care. Or worse.

                        The off it's feed, fatigue, lack of vigor and some oral discomfort worry me a bit even if he is not as bothered at the moment.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                        • #13
                          You're all but guaranteed that the horse will get worse if you cancel the vet--that's seems to be the way it always works for me, at least. Sigh.

                          Better to have the vet out now to tell you it's nothing that to have him out at 10 pm on a Saturday for an emergency.


                          • #14
                            Definitely still have the vet out to take a look. It could be a tooth issue that just calmed down for a day. The vet out now could prevent needing to surgically remove a tooth and abscessed tissue and jaw bone and a lengthy hospital stay and....

                            Trust me, the barn call and a quick exam is cheaper.
                            Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.


                            • #15
                              I would get the vet out anyway after my experience..... In Nov, I lost my gelding to a bad colic with symptoms that were a lot like this leading up to it. Horse had been treated for ulcers. Would go off his feed here and therebut usually perked back up in a couple of hours and cleaned his plate. The day before I lost him to a bad colic, he was just punky and tired, off his feed, still passing manure. I'd had the vet out the evening before because he just wasn't picking back up the way he was before. Of course, in the 40 minutes it took the vet to get out to the barn, he perked up and was acting pretty much like his normal self. Sadly the next day I was not so lucky. I would definitely have the vet out, just in case. Better safe with a vet bill to pay than living with "I wish I had done...."


                              • Original Poster

                                Well I have decided to keep the vet appt based on everyones advice, thank you! Now I just have to hope that he actually comes. Sometimes he gets so many emegency calls that the "less urgent" scheduled visits get rescheduled. I know that is bad, but am not sure how to feel about it. If I were the one with the emergency I would want him to drop everything and come. But as the one who may occassionally get rescheduled, its sometimes rather inconvenient after you have waited 3 hours only to be told he can't make it. Oh well, keeping my fingers crossed that all goes well, he comes out and gives my boy a clean bill of health


                                • #17
                                  Fingers crossed that all is well!


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Thanks everyone. Turns out that my boys teeth REALLY needed doing. he had something called caudal hooks on the bottom, rostral hooks on the top, and 2 big nasty sharp hooks on each side. Vet said he was definitely sore enough in there that it could have caused his problems on Monday. Then had him look at my older mare, and ended up having her done, she also had points and was starting to develop pockets so... It ended up being a fair chunk of change but was definitely needed. I feel like such a bad horse mom!


                                    • #19
                                      Ah, but now it's fixed, you've learned something from it and it won't happen again! :-)