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Dead Quiet horse suddenly SPOOKS & BOLTS at everything

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  • #41
    Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
    You could try a week of bute and see if his behavior changes.

    There is no chance this horse had been on a longterm sedative when he first come to your barn?
    If he has ulcers he may not tolerate the bute, but then, that in itself could be a clue! As in, if yo give him bute and he flips out, then he definitely has ulcers!

    Have a vet or other knowledgeable person check his eyes.
    Melyni (PhD) PAS, Dipl. ACAN.
    Sign up for the Equine nutrition enewsletter on www.foxdenequine.com
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    • #42
      This may be totally in left field,but is there a chance that a bear or something spooked him in the field??If he's new to the place the other horses would be used to that and he would be totally freaked out.My one horse gets just like that when the bear comes through.


      • #43
        What is his feed schedule/amount now and what was it before? I'm wondering if something there has changed.
        Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


        • #44
          I would suggest testing for Lymes disease. I knew a horse who had it ,probably for quite a while ,and it went undetected until he began having a personality change such as the OP described. he got very spooky ,and started bolting.he got so you couldn't get a bridle on him. Finally,the vet thought to test for Lymes and it turned out that it had progressed to his brain.he was treated for it and recovered somewhat ,but was retired to his original home.


          • #45

            Just to chime in here.....Ya know....since sept. the weather round here has really changed and my own horses are goofier in this cold, fresh and WINDY weather. They are slugs all summer and hotties all winter and they're draft crosses!!! YUP! I vote weather!!

            Maybe he's got better grass at your place! More calories? Early laminitis?
            Fat horse+24hr grass+fall=laminitis???

            I thing catarracts usually manifest themselves most when the horse goes from dark to light or light to dark. Like going in/out a barn or into/out of the woods. They get used to the cloudiness in their vision because it happens gradually. Catarracts do not just suddenly appear. Most old horses have them.

            A simple ulcer presence test. Give him 90-120 cc's of cheap human antacid (mine like Walmart mint flavored!) and then lead him down hill or see if he's spooky. I use it as preventative with feedings. It stays in their stomach soothing & neutralizing acid for 2 hours per my vet. She recommended this and it works. ProCMC is the same thing btw! Ulcers frequently manifest themselves at feeding time. Pawing, lip curling, colic symptoms, reluctance to eat or dig in (because it hurts!) etc.

            Vets recommend Ranitidine and Cimetidine all the time to cure ulcers and it works in both horses & humans. Been here/done this! Ranitidine is about $75/for 2 weeks or so at horse size doses and 300mg tabs. But I just paid $15 for a 10 day course of Cimetidine. Read up on these drugs. On human medication weblines I mean versus the proton pump inhibitors which is the omeprazole drug. We don't always have to use the bestest, most expensive drug out there to do the job for animals ya know.


            • #46
              Originally posted by Fharoah View Post
              You could try a week of bute and see if his behavior changes.

              There is no chance this horse had been on a longterm sedative when he first come to your barn?
              I would suspect this, too....


              • Original Poster

                Long term sedative? It would have to have lasted a month? Nope, the owner rode him at the farm he lived at previously with no issues. I have an AWESOME connection to cheap scripts so I now have him on GastroGuard for 7 days then Ome.... for 30.
                The Galloping Grape
                Warrenton, VA


                • #48
                  Originally posted by GallopingGrape View Post
                  Long term sedative? It would have to have lasted a month? Nope, the owner rode him at the farm he lived at previously with no issues. I have an AWESOME connection to cheap scripts so I now have him on GastroGuard for 7 days then Ome.... for 30.
                  Fluphenazine would be my first guess - look it up. Did you draw blood for testing as part of the PPE?


                  • #49
                    Poor guy

                    Ok - I agree that sight changes and ulcers can and will cause the spooking but have you also considered that this horse has not been ridden in two years and has a newbie owner? Perhaps with the physical changes he is experiencing combined with a new inexperienced rider, he is looking a "herd leader". Without a confident person on board things can go badly when the spooking is not recognized and stopped before it starts! Then it becomes a vicious cycle.

                    You sound very confident and experienced with horses. Would the new owner benefit from extra ground work under your supervision? I agree it is important to treat the ulcer/pain symptoms but it also sounds like the new owner could use some confidence building as well!


                    • #50
                      I agree that this behavior could be everything from ulcers to newbie rider also fluphen (which would last 30 days) The one thing I have noticed is that it seems the behavior started just week or so after beginning the bute daily. (or am I just misreading) If that is the case, maybe the bute is having some effect on the GI system. If the horse must be on bute, (which I also am lost as to why he does) what about trying the new NSAID Equioxx who's drug name is firocoxib. Oops nevermind just looked it up and I think it can only be used for up to 14 days. (Huh, I work in a small animal clinic and we have our arthiritis patients on it long term -- called Previcox in the small animal world -- guess doesn't work for horse long term.) Anyway it is suppose to be much easier on the GI system.

                      Good Luck Grape, your a wonderful soul to try to help this guy out.
                      "We have an obligation. We are their keepers." ~Roy Jackson


                      • Original Poster

                        Thanks for the Ulcer Advice

                        Day 9 of gastroguard and he's getting back to his old self. No more grumpness, no biting when cinching, no ears pinning... spooking has definitely become less traumatic.... he's getting back to normal. Thanks everyone!!
                        The Galloping Grape
                        Warrenton, VA