i dont know whats wrong with my horse! help!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by CourtneyBrooke*, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. CourtneyBrooke*

    CourtneyBrooke* Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 2, 2011
    London, KY
    Today when I went to feed him he hadn't eaten any of his hay from yesterday and only some of his feed..he got out of his pin this morning and was acting really stubborn and grouchy. He is elderly id say nearing 20 yrs..he didn't even want any sweet treats, I will just die if I have to put him down, and my hubby could care less and its breaking my heart [​IMG]
  2. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    What do you mean by he 'got out of his pen'?

    Did he get out into somewhere where he could have eaten a whole bunch of grass, or where he could have gotten into your feed room? You got any bagged feed where he might have gotten some? Say in another stall or room he might have gotten into?

    Was he out for a long time? Maybe over night? What is around where he got out, that he could have gotten in to? You got any other horses or animals around? Are they sick? Did any other horses come and go off the property recently.

    Is there any chance he could have eaten something different than he usually eats? Amount or type of food?

    Was there anything different about the last couple of days? Could he have gotten more or less exercise the last couple days?

    Has he made the usual amount of manure?

    What I would suggest you do is call the vet and have him/her come over and find out what is wrong.

    Since it is an older horse, and since it got out of its pen, since the horse did not eat its feed and did not eat its hay, and MIGHT have gotten into some grass or feed, there are a couple things this could easily be, but you need a vet out there.

    A couple more questions - is he standing in a funny position? Does it look like he is trying to get weight off his front legs? Is he standing with his front legs stuck out in front of him or otherwise seem to be standing funny?

    Take his temperature, pulse and heart rate. You got a stethoscope and know how to take pulse and heartbeat? Can you take his temperature?

    Is he trying to lie down, look back at his belly? Groaning? Any sweat on him, even a fine sweat just on the end of the hairs? Especially check his face and forehead for sweat.

    Does he seem in pain?

    When you say grouchy, do you mean when you try to get him to move he don't want to move, or what exactly?

    Ideal is you get a vet out right away, but if you don't have the money or can't people can try to help but no one can do as good a job as a vet who is there and can see the horse.

    If he got out and overdosed himself on grass or bagged feed, I mean really ate a lot of feed, my worry would be laminitis. His pulse, heart rate would be up higher than normal and you might even feel his feet seem too warm to the touch (on the hoof).

    If he is just having a belly ache (colic) that can be due to not moving around for a while, not drinking enough water, coarse hay, etc. Colic can be mild or severe. Most people would try to treat mild colic themselves. They would walk the horse for a couple hours and see if he was doing better, maybe give some banamine paste by mouth(it is given by weight so you would need a weight tape to estimate his weight).

    But those are all guesses. He could have an infectious disease, it could be a lot of different things. Vet is best.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  3. CourtneyBrooke*

    CourtneyBrooke* Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 2, 2011
    London, KY
    I spoke with my vet and he is coming out tomorrow and gave me a syringe full of banamine. He said it was most likely mild colic. He was wet looking and had mud on him where I assume he'd been laying down and getting back up..I had just never had to deal with any of my other horses having it. I think he got out of his large, fenced in lot and ate a lot of grass..because my feed room door was closed so he didn't have access to the sweet feed. So will he easily recover from this or what?
  4. Okie Amazon

    Okie Amazon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2011
    Midwest City
    Ideally you need to keep him moving until his bowels unload. In repeated getting up/laying down they are more likely to cause a torsion (twist) of a gas-filled bowel loop, which is extremely serious.
  5. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Yes, if colic is suspected, keep him up and moving. Employ friends, family, neighborhood kids, etc. to take shifts walking him. I've done it before, not fun, but necessary.
  6. BobwhiteQuailLover

    BobwhiteQuailLover Country Girl[IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.

    Sep 25, 2010
  7. 2DogsFarm

    2DogsFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Do not think you have to keep ypur horse walking - you can stress him doing this.
    That advice is at least 15 years out of date.
    Illinois Equine told me as much in 1991 when I arrived at their clinic at 1AM exhausted from walking my colicing horse since 8PM the night before.

    Ask your vet & he/she will tell you as long as your horse is lying quietly when he's down & not thrashing there is NO NEED to get him up.

    I hope the banamine has helped him over the colic by now & that your vet will confirm it was nothing worse than a mild colic.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
  8. Kelly G

    Kelly G It's like herding cats!

    Quote:^ this ^

    The only time you really want to walk a colicing horse is if you need to keep them from thrashing about or your vet tells you to (they usually won't). Now, they really want you to keep the horse quiet and comfortable.

    Good luck. Colic is scary. Laminitis is terrifying.
  9. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    I go moderate on the walking advice. I don't completely NOT walk the horse but I don't walk them to exhaustion. I just walk them around slowly in a comfortable, quiet area where other horses are near and the stress is as low as possible. Lots of resting, relaxing, spongeing with water if it's hot.

    If a horse is in the midst of an extremely severe colic, and is really in bad shape, walking isn't likely to help. The animal needs a vet - fast.

    And - my vets tell me to walk the horse. All do - the old vet and the young vet and the middle vet, say the same thing.

    What they do NOT say is that

    1.) A horse will twist a gut by rolling - what they generally say is that a horse will roll and thrash because he twisted a gut.
    2.) Never walk a colicky horse.

    A little gentle movement can indeed help a colic, but walking all night, no I don't.

    I may come out several times during the night and check on them and get them to walk around a little bit. I take it easy.

    Suggestion - get a stethoscope, and learn to take heart rate, pulse, respiration. Keep a tube of banamine around, and learn how to get the banamine into the mouth.
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    What they said about NOT "taking shifts to walk him all night". You just end up with an *exhausted* colicky horse, which is no help, especially if he should take a turn for the worse rather than better.

    I'm with welsummerchicks. It's really worth trying some movement because sometimes that'll get mild colics worked out. But if it doesn't do good in a short period of time, stop, unless you are having a lot of trouble keeping him from rolling (and quite honestly, if you get a severe thrashy-roll-y colic, the horse's odds have become quite poor no matter *what*)

    The other thing to be aware of, if this was caused by getting out and snorking down a lot of spring grass, is LAMINITIS. Feel his feet frequently, to see if they should feel ice-cold or hot, or if he should develop a bounding pulse in the digital artery; and be alert for if he should become reluctant to walk and "walk funny" or start standing with his front feet parked out in front of him. If you have ANY suspicion that he might POSSIBLY be coming up with laminitis, DO NOT WALK HIM AT ALL, stand him in a deeply bedded stall and call the vet. The earlier it is caught and the more aggressively it is treated, the more chance of reasonable recovery.

    Not trying to scare you, it's just that this is a pretty common "other half" of what can happen from spring-grass overload and you need to keep your eyes peeled. Hopefully he will in fact get over his tummyache soon and have no other consequences, of course, but you want to be watchful

    Good luck,


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