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Unexplainable "anxiety attacks"

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  • #21
    I once owned a very nice qh pony who was lovely in just about every respect, but he did have one strange issue, seemingly random panic attacks. Not on the scale as described by others, thrashing and bucking and falling down. No, he'd just go on high alert, be nervous, a bit lost looking, and sometimes get a trickle of nervous sweat behind his ears. It was occasional, random, short lived and I never really gave it much thought.

    I sold him - for completely other reasons - and when the buyer had him vetted, he lost it when the vet shone a light in his eye to check it. He was a lovely horse with decent manners, but absolutely lost it over the light. She found a small tear (someplace, I really don't remember where) and said he'd likely be sensitive to light but it was small and insignificant.

    Years after he was sold, I was dealing with another horse who had extreme panic attacks, this time ulcers. Brainstorming one day, I thought back to the qh pony, put 2+2 and wondered if catching glints of light off metal or changing light was the culprit that set him off.

    just random musings.

    good luck w a tricky case.
    Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
      Omeprazole does NOT act like a buffer/antacid in relieving pain instantaneously, and should not be used immediately for relief of perceived pain/stomach upset. It takes a couple of days to ramp up to maximum efficacy, and even then does nothing for pain per se; it only stops acid secretion. Things that are hurting still need to heal and that takes time.
      Intellectually, I know this, but I've also seen a horse TOTALLY change about 15 minutes following that first tube of Gastrogard.

      Could the component that buffers the omeprazole also buffer the stomach and provide relief?

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      • Original Poster

        #23
        Originally posted by Simkie View Post
        Intellectually, I know this, but I've also seen a horse TOTALLY change about 15 minutes following that first tube of Gastrogard.

        Could the component that buffers the omeprazole also buffer the stomach and provide relief?
        Certainly seems like it. While it didn't work last night, when he did this a few weeks ago, about 10 or 15 minutes after I gave the UG to him, he settled a bit and ate most of his breakfast. While he was still on edge, he definitely settled and felt comfortable enough to eat. Maybe it purely coincident.
        Amanda

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        • #24
          Are there any pigs, even pet potbellied-type pigs, within scenting distance?
          PA Hi-Ly Visible [PA Hi-Noon (by Magnum Psyche) x Takara Padrona (by *Padron)]

          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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          • #25
            Reading your post I thought I had come across a client of mine who has had this exact thing happen to her horse and responded the same way. For him they were both at night (in the dark). His stall is in the middle of a 18 stall long row with a window out the back looking toward another barn. None of the other horses were freaking out and he calmed down after being pulled out of the stall and walked around but recommenced freaking out when put back in the stall.

            I think talking to a optometrist seems like a good next step.

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            • Original Poster

              #26
              No pigs that I know of.

              Can those of you who suggest getting his eyes checked explain why these two instances make you think that? Not trying to be snarky. I am very curious what brings you to that conclusion. He's not a spooky horse by nature. He is brave and bold to his jumps, and just doesn't seem like a horse who may be having trouble with his eyes. If there were other issues (spookier than normal, stopping at fences, etc), then I would be more inclined to see the thought pattern. So, can you expound on your thinking a little?
              Amanda

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              • #27
                Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                Intellectually, I know this, but I've also seen a horse TOTALLY change about 15 minutes following that first tube of Gastrogard.

                Could the component that buffers the omeprazole also buffer the stomach and provide relief?
                It's possible, but an awfully expensive experiment! 10-12 TUMS would be a much cheaper way to find out and give the same immediate effect. Otherwise you're throwing away $40 because one random dose of omeprazole here and there is very nearly worthless.
                Click here before you buy.

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                • Original Poster

                  #28
                  They have to eat them, though, DW! NEIGH won't even eat Tums And Toby, being the super picky pony that he is (don't even get me started on the peppermint debacle), is even less likely to!

                  But I get what you are saying. I still need to order him pop rocks....once I do that, I think we will definitely do a solid course of them.
                  Amanda

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                    They have to eat them, though, DW! NEIGH won't even eat Tums And Toby, being the super picky pony that he is (don't even get me started on the peppermint debacle), is even less likely to!

                    But I get what you are saying. I still need to order him pop rocks....once I do that, I think we will definitely do a solid course of them.

                    90cc of Maalox via oral syringe?
                    Click here before you buy.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                      Can those of you who suggest getting his eyes checked explain why these two instances make you think that?
                      Not the ones who suggest but I think the common thread is the change in light. Like flipping the lights on? I might be more inclined to follow the creepy critter line of thought though.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                        Can those of you who suggest getting his eyes checked explain why these two instances make you think that?
                        Your comment "Does my horse see dead people?" is what prompted me to share my story because I had the same thought about the pony I owned. He was lovely and solid, and he certainly didn't act like there was anything wrong with his eyes. He was a jumper and VERY brave, not a stopper at all, no more spooky than any average horse. The couple of times he became wary over what appeared to be nothing were very out of character for him.

                        As I mentioned, it wasn't until he was vetted that anyone had a clue there was a slight problem. And the vet stressed slight.

                        Horse also disliked cameras every so often. Not all the time. I thought it was the sound of the camera, but in hindsight it was probably the flash.

                        I know of another person with a horse who has a confirmed low grade vision problem and he's lovely and solid 99.9% of the time but every rare once in a while gets worked up over seemingly nothing and then settles down quickly again. Everyone shrugs and says 'probably his vision'.

                        Mainly just tossing the idea out there for you though.
                        Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.

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                        • #32
                          Once at my barn all the horses on one side of one aisle started to flip out for no apparent reason. Saavy BO noted that a livestock farmer had just walked down the aisle and some scent on his clothes must have set them off.

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                          • #33
                            My horses all start acting strangely when my farm's fox is nearby, within 100 yards or so. The TB acts just like you describe or worse -- pacing the stall, half-rearing in the corner of his stall, snorting, refusing to eat, and otherwise acting like a total idiot. Enough of an idiot I won't go in with him when he's having a hissy fit. Once the fox departs he returns to his normal placid self. The QHs either seem to not notice at all or just lift their heads a little. Any possibility he's sensing a fox? The skunk might do it too.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                              They have to eat them, though, DW! NEIGH won't even eat Tums And Toby, being the super picky pony that he is (don't even get me started on the peppermint debacle), is even less likely to!

                              But I get what you are saying. I still need to order him pop rocks....once I do that, I think we will definitely do a solid course of them.
                              Have you tried the peppermint Tums?

                              Edited to add: Oh sorry, I missed the part about the peppermint debacle! My inability to believe a horse could dislike peppermints must have blocked it out the first read-through. lol
                              Last edited by grayarabpony; Mar. 8, 2013, 10:24 PM.

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                              • #35
                                Check his poll

                                If the two bones of the poll feel uneven, your horse might need a chiropractic adjustment. I've seen horses yawn, take a deep breath, and settle down after this adjustment.
                                Please keep us posted, as I'm curious as to what is going on.
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                                • #36
                                  A couple thoughts not mentioned:

                                  I have one horse that does that when on MSM. Panic attacks out of nowhere. I don't give him MSM period.

                                  I have also seen similar behavior in horses with a history of long-term fluphenazine administration, which is unfortunately common in some race/show barns.
                                  Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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                                  • #37
                                    You might check for Lyme disease. Sometimes there can be neurological symptoms. When my mare's lyme titer was high, she started going off her feed and pacing/spooking.

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                                    • Original Poster

                                      #38
                                      Interesting about the MSM. He is on it, although he's been on it for ages and this is a very recent development.

                                      Not on fluphenazine.

                                      He has been checked for Lyme several times and has always been fine.

                                      grayarabpony, he LOVES peppermints but they MUST be the hard starbright peppermints. He has forcefully spit Lifesaver peppermints at me, and he thinks those big, soft ones are an abomination against nature. I went to pick up the proper peppermints last week while in town, and they didn't have any. So, I thought, I'll get him sugar cubes. Who doesn't like sugar cubes?!? TOBY does not like sugar cubes. Nor apples. Nor the majority of (rather yummy smelling) horse cookies that cross his lips. He is super-duper picky about treats. I can't imagine him eagerly eating Tums of any variety, especially if my retired guy, Neigh (who'll eat ANYTHING) won't eat them! I should see, though. I think the bottle I have is peppermint.

                                      We have lots of foxes in the neighborhood, and have encountered plenty while hacking, and I've seen them trot through his pasture many times without him caring one bit. I DO wonder if it is our resident skunk, though. I could see that making him squirrely.

                                      Interesting thoughts about his eyes. I'll keep that in mind, though the morning episode it was quite bright out, so I don't think there was much of a light change. The other night, yes, definitely, but it isn't like it doesn't happen every night.

                                      The night after this happened, the BO did night check and told me he was sound asleep when she came in. She quietly put his bedtime snack in his bucket so as not to disturb him, and he eventually lazily got up, stretched, yawned, and happily ate. THAT is far more like him at night check. If he's up but dozing, he makes his "argh. Bright lights" face (I wish the barn had a night light instead of turning on ALL the very bright overhead lights!), but is usually otherwise very happy and relaxed.
                                      Amanda

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                                      • #39
                                        I have a horse that "got crazy"periodically. He would be totally unmanageable for about 2 days, trotting incessantly no mater what the temp, very uneasy. It turned out to be the postictal phase of a seizure. We did not know this until we witnessed the seizure, then saw the behavior.

                                        I wish you and your horse the very best, this was very difficult to deal with.

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                                        • #40
                                          I wonder if getting a stall buddy for him would help, get him a goat maybe?
                                          Jeanie
                                          RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

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