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Buying a horse with thumps?

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  • Buying a horse with thumps?

    So...I have been leasing an amazing seven year old Hanoverian gelding to do the 3ft and 3'6 equitation on, with a lease to buy option. We have only been leasing him for a few months, and honestly, he is perfect. Buying him would be a better deal than leasing him. But, a few days ago, he just stopped eating his food, wouldn't drink, and once in a while he would have some hiccups. He was a bit lethargic, but other than that, he was fine. We had the vet come over, who confirmed that he had thumps (hiccups), which was most likely caused by an electrolyte deficiency. We've put him on an electrolyte supplement these past few days, and he seems to be doing much better. The vet said that it most likely wouldn't be a problem. But him having thumps has made me reconsider whether to buy him or not. I would use him for the rest of my junior career, and then I would lease him out - but would anyone lease a horse with thumps? I don't know. So, what do you guys think about this whole thing? Do you guys think that it would still be wise to buy him?

    Thank you!

  • #2
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't thumps specifically linked to dehydration/electrolyte deficiency and is not an on-going or genetic condition?


    • #3
      Oh, dear, the "thumps"!

      Listen to your vet.. and if you don't trust your vet, get a second opinion.


      • #4
        I have been around the block a couple times in terms of equine veterinary care and conditions on my accident and "condition" prone horses, but I honestly have never heard of "thumps" or a horse having the hiccups before! Is this definitely a real condition?

        If all you have to do is feed him electrolytes and then he is good to go, I would not worry at all about future leasing possibilities. Seems like a minimal inconvenience for a perfect horse!
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        • #5
          Originally posted by klmck63 View Post
          I have been around the block a couple times in terms of equine veterinary care and conditions on my accident and "condition" prone horses, but I honestly have never heard of "thumps" or a horse having the hiccups before! Is this definitely a real condition?

          If all you have to do is feed him electrolytes and then he is good to go, I would not worry at all about future leasing possibilities. Seems like a minimal inconvenience for a perfect horse!
          Yes it is real, and I think often caused by electrolyte imbalance but isn't it also caused by a calcium deficiency? I have never had a horse with this issue but know someone who did and I thought it required some tweaking of the diet because it was calcium related? Horse in question is now doing fine, so I also think it is not usually an ongoing condition.

          You could move this to Horse Care for more responses, or search hiccups or thumps because I think there was recently another thread.


          • #6
            Wouldn't stop me if it could be managed easily.


            • #7
              It sounds like it's managed easily with supplements so yes I would still buy or lease him.


              • #8
                Thumps has to do with a horse using up too much of the electrolytes in its body, including but not limited to K+, Ca2, Na+, etc. It happens more frequently with unfit horses or horses that sweat a lot. I would be more concerned with why the horse was not eating or drinking. Side note: until the horse gets some fluids into their system, never give electrolytes because it will dehydrate them even more.


                • #9
                  I had this same problem. We discovered it over a year go. Afterwards I put my horse on an electrolyte supplement daily and over time weaned her off. Now she only gets electrolytes once a week with a soaked bran mash - or more if we are showing in the heat.

                  I would consult your vet for a supplement plan that works best for you horse, but it is defiantly manageable. And an inexpensive problem to have.

                  By the time you were to lease the horse out, you will have found a program that works for your horse. It should be easy for the leaser to continue it.