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Lethagy and just not acting quite right

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  • Lethagy and just not acting quite right

    Some background:
    13 year old Quarter Pony mare. History of mild colic (mostly due to not drinking...she gets soaked feed, bran, and electrolytes everyday to help combat and thus far she hasn't had an episode.) She is on pasture 24/7 (more like dirt lot right now with greener pastures to rotate into during afternoons and evenings) with run in sheds. Nothing in terms of feed has changed. Vitals are normal.

    So yesterday morning, my usually health pony was found shivering at feeding time. It had been a chilly night and she is pretty well shed out. I put her in a stall and immediately the shivering stopped. Threw on a turnout sheet since it was already warming up and she was fine. Ate fine, drank, all was well. But from yesterday afternoon to now, she just seems terribly lethargic. She'll eat and graze a but, then just stand there resting a foot. Or even laying down.

    She doesn't seem in distress, just tired. No sweating, no apparent pain, no stretching and pawing like when she has colicked, manure seems normal. I am at a loss!

    I will probably be calling the vet tomorrow (which I hate to do since she is coming in a week and a half to do shots, but of course I won't wait that long if something is wrong with my girl.)

    Any ideas?
    The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.
  • Original Poster

    And apparently I'm too worried to spell right...LETHARGY. Sorry.
    The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


    • #3
      Did you check her temperature? I always do that first when they don't seem right. Hope she's OK. I'd let the vet know you have a problem.
      She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


      • Original Poster

        Yup temp, resp, and pulse all seem normal...although I'm a bad mommy and haven't done any "healthy" TPR readings in the last year or so, so she may be off slightly.

        I should add that they are due for deworming which I was planning on doing on Saturday when I will be home all day to keep an eye her and the rest of the herd.
        The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


        • #5
          A vet should come listen to her heart, and pull blood at the least. Her signs are nonspecific.


          • #6
            Any pain anywhere? Foot - bruise, abcess? Swellings? Cuts? Sore back?

            Some horses will react strangely to pain that is not obviously apparent at first glance. When was the last time you rode her - what was she like?

            On a side note, I have Banamine if you don't and you think you might need some. You're not far away.


            • #7
              I would have the vet check your horse's thyroid level. With horses that are easy keepers like Morgans, QHs and any breed that may have Morgan in it I suspect the thyroid. If the thyroid is out of whack that could cause colic (and founder also) and account for the lethargy....

              According to this article on hypothyroidism it could also account for your horse's inablility to keep herself warm: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5043310_eq...-symptoms.html
              Have we learned nothing from the Romans???


              • Original Poster

                Thanks, I ran my hands all over her with pressure and no flinching, nothing. She was up for a while grazing and now she is down resting again.

                Thanks, PC. I have a pretty good supply of Banamine. Last time I rode was Tuesday before Rolex, I believe. She was full of it that night. Chased her a bit in the pasture and she did not appear to be off or stiff in any way.
                The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


                • #9
                  If she's getting up and down, I think I'd call the vet.

                  Any heat in her feet?


                  • Original Poster

                    No heat yet. It's not the sort of up and down I usually see with her colic...more like "oh, I'll graze for a while..(and hour later)...oh, I'm kinda tired. Maybe I'll take a break and lay down for a bit."
                    The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


                    • #11
                      Hmmm. Something's hurting somewhere, I think. Could be an abscess brewing, maybe, especially if she's resting a foot.


                      • #12
                        Second on the thyroid check for sure. That was one part of mine's lethargy - it took 6 months to get everything else figured out. Grade 2 ulcers, screwy blood counts... he's fine now after 8 months of you-name-it. I even found an "equine fatigue syndrome" in my web searches to try and figure out what was going on with him, along with what the vet could find and we could actually treat! Sort of an Epstein-Barr in horses...


                        • #13
                          My first thought was abcess, too. My SN namesake was the KING of abcesses. More experience there than I care to admit.


                          • #14
                            If she got cold she used a lot of energy shivering. It may take her a day or so to bounce back. If she is eating well and her res. rate and temp are normal thats a good sign.
                            We have been having wild temperature changes here so we have seen similar behavior in our horses sometimes.


                            • #15
                              If the pony has frequent mild colics you may want to consider ulcers.


                              • Original Poster

                                Pony update:

                                Still lethargic...maybe even more so. Has a halfhearted appetite.
                                Temperature of 105.5 in the shade and resting
                                Pulse: 50 bpm
                                Breathing rate: 12/ min

                                A message has been left with the vet so now it's just waiting for the call back. Hopefully she can come tomorrow Jingles for the pony please.

                                Misty Lady
                                The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


                                • #17
                                  Are there any strange weeds sprouting in the pasture? Could it be toxicity of some kind, if she ate something poisonous? All sorts of plants are coming up now.
                                  I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                                  • #18
                                    Does Banamine bring that fever down to normal? I'd be cold hosing also (especially legs/feet) until the vet can get there.
                                    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Another update:

                                      Vet isn't coming. After discussing the symptoms with her and the fact that Misty (the pony) appeared to be back to normal this morning (eating well, normal-looking manure in the stall, and a temp that dropped back to 99.5), a trip out wasn't necessary. She still seems normal and had a normal temp this afternoon so hopefully whatever it was has passed. I will continue to monitor the temp, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this is over.

                                      Thanks for all of the responses and ideas everyone!

                                      @Guin- not that I know of. I wandered the pasture today and didn't find anything out of the ordinary. I had checked and rechecked today the temps of the 5 other horses in the herd and all were normal.
                                      The only thing the government needs to solve all of its problems is a Council of Common Sense.


                                      • #20
                                        Glad to hear she's better today!
                                        <3 Vinnie <3
                                        Jackie's Punt ("Bailey") My Finger Lakes Finest Thoroughbred