Horse laying down a lot...questions

Last post 06-27-2010 4:44 AM by walkinthewalk. 6 replies.
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  • 06-24-2010 7:52 PM

    Horse laying down a lot...questions

     So I have a call into my vet but she wont be out until late next week. Malibu is laying down a lot more than she normally does. She has always laid down several times a day. My barn owner can tell me exactly when she lays down. Once in the morning and once or twice in the afternoon. Lately, after our ride, she rolls then just lays down like i've worked her to death. She will lay down for 10-15 minutes, then gets up and goes on her way. This concerns me some. She isn't being worked hard at all. She lays down like this only if I put her away after she has been hosed off. She works 4x a week and never more that 15-25 minutes at a time. The longest she is worked is on Saturday when we join in one of the group lessons which are a little over an hour. She never works the entire time because she isn't jumping courses. She is worked on the flat w/t/c with the occasional cross rail thrown in. We are asking a bit more of her like moving her haunches over, keeping her shoulder straight, etc but it isn't anything that should make her that tired. She isn't foot sore or lame(just got over that 3 weeks ago thank god.) and I don't feel like I am asking her to do anything she isn't capable of doing. She is already on the VERY lazy side. I ride in spurs and a whip, without either its a nightmare to get her to actually move forward. She is quiet, doesn't spook, pretty much nothing bother's her, but this laying down thing is worrying me.

     Im wondering if she may be missing something from her diet? I am going to have my vet pull blood work on her just to be on the safe side. She had an allergic reaction to something that made her hock swell up. The vet flexed her, poked her, etc and she isn't lame at all. She was foot sore but she has been over that for about 3 weeks. I just don't think its "normal" for her to be that dull, if that is the right word. She is quiet on the ground, sleeps the entire time were grooming, will stand for 20+ minutes of grooming, but she still is alert and responsive. Any ones horse ever went through something like this? Maybe she is growing???

    Sorry so long winded. Can you tell I lay in bed at night worrying???


    2006 TbXConnemara mare-Malibu-
  • 06-25-2010 10:22 AM In reply to

    Re: Horse laying down a lot...questions

    I'm so sorry VM that you are so worried, I know I would be the same way because we are the only ones who know them and can tell when something is just "not right".  I know non-horse people would look at us kinda funny if we told them something like this.

    I'm sorry I don't have any suggestions other than some blood work which you already have planned, because for a sound, normal horse she is certainly not getting too much work.  I'm sorry but I don't remember how old she is? 

    Is she eating/drinking normally?  If so it sounds to me like she is just out of energy, run down, which may mean she's lacking in something that is showing up this way, and I would think an exam and blood work (maybe anemic?) would show something your vet could work with. 

    Good luck with this, keep an eye on her (as if) and let us know what you find out.

  • 06-25-2010 12:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse laying down a lot...questions

    Is that her in the picture?  If so, here's my thought because what you describe is exactly how my TWH started out when the insulin resistance exploded on him - then he went from being overweight to dropping weight very quickly.

    She is overweight (if the picture is the horse you're talking about).  If she is in the early stages of insulin resistance, believe me it is what is wearing her out and making her lie down all the time.  To repeat myself that is exactly what happened with my horse.

    I would try to get the vet out ASAP and ask his/her opinion as to whether or not she could be I-R.  The vet can do an ACTH test and will be probably come back "levels normally high and inconclusive".  Whatever you do, if the vet does suspect a metabolic issues, don't let them do a dexamethasone test (dex test).

     My horse has been formally diagnosed with i-r for three years and has never foundered.  He is still out on pasture 12-14 hours daily but is on a very strict diet.

    What is she getting for feed?  My thought for now would be to take her off all her feed except for hay and vit/min supps --- meaning no feeds that contain oats, corn, or soy just in case she is on the verge becoming a Type II diabetic, which is what I-R/EMS essentially is.

     She may even have a UTI for all I know as I have all geldings and things are pretty basic with them. 

    I hope this helps and please let us know what the vet thinks. It's possible I am way off base, but for sure, something is wrong for your horse to be lying down as much as she is.

  • 06-25-2010 1:10 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse laying down a lot...questions

     Thanks txspots. She is a 4yr old connemara, TB cross. She eats just fine, drinking is the same no temp. I do believe it is time to get some blood work done on her. 

    Walkinthewalk, That is her in the photograph. She was about 70-90 pounds overweight when I bought her two years ago. She has always been an easy keeper. She has lost more weight since that photo was taken. Not much but we have finally gotten enough off of her that makes me comfortable. The weight thing has been a constant battle with her and I now have her at a good place. Right now she is getting a flake of grass hay in the am and a flake of grass in the pm along with her platinum performance supplement sprinkled on her hay. She gets no grain at this time because she really doesn't need it. She lives with a 12H pony and she is basically on a dry lot 24 hours a day. I will definately mention what you suggested to the vet. I will keep everyone posted. Was it normal for your gelding to come out alert and awake? When we are tacking up she is quiet but alert. She watches whats going on, talks to me, watches my every move, ect. It's just after a lesson where she acts like I have worked the snot out of her, when we haven't done THAT much. She at one point had a lot more energy. But it was cooler then and she wasn't working 2 extra days. She has never been one to play hard, but she will still buck and run in the AM during feeding time if someone gets her going. Darn horses............................


    2006 TbXConnemara mare-Malibu-
  • 06-25-2010 6:25 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse laying down a lot...questions

    VodkasMom:

     Was it normal for your gelding to come out alert and awake? When we are tacking up she is quiet but alert. She watches whats going on, talks to me, watches my every move, ect. It's just after a lesson where she acts like I have worked the snot out of her, when we haven't done THAT much. She at one point had a lot more energy. But it was cooler then and she wasn't working 2 extra days. She has never been one to play hard, but she will still buck and run in the AM during feeding time if someone gets her going. Darn horses............................

    Yes it was normal for Duke to come out in the morning with energy, although not near what he used to come out with.  He is the alpha-dominant in my herd of four and like your mare has never been one to initiate play or get involved in play.

    Your mare sounds very much like Duke - lol lol  When Duke gets annoyed at human mess-ups or I don't do things quite in his time frame, I will see the whites of his eyes and he will huff - lol lol  He's been my bud for 19+ years so I well know what those "huffs" mean, and he delights in intimidating "intimidatable" people by letting them see the whites of his eyes as well - lol lol  He has never once offered to bite, kick, rear or buck, but he sure talks with those eyes and the huffing- lol lol He is the horse in my avatar when he was 16.

    Gosh you are already doing everything one should do with a horse that has metabolic issues or the tendency to be that way.  Sprinkles of Platinum Performance sure aren't the issue

    While it isn't that common for a horse that young to become metabolic, it does happen, but based on everything you say,  the next thing I am wondering if she might not have some sort of female infection going on?

    That would be Question #2 for the vet.

    I'll be curious to hear what the vet says and yes dam horses------------------Big Smile

  • 06-26-2010 5:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Horse laying down a lot...questions

     Thxs! The female thing is next on my list!!! She didn't lay down today when she was worked, but thats because she wasn't wet. Thankfully her appetite hasn't changed. She still thinks I starve her and she must make a mad dash for any piece of food lying around!!!


    2006 TbXConnemara mare-Malibu-
  • 06-27-2010 4:44 AM In reply to

    Re: Horse laying down a lot...questions

    VodkasMom:

     She still thinks I starve her and she must make a mad dash for any piece of food lying around!!!

    I'm glad she was better after the last workout.

    A ravenous appetite can be indicative of metabolic issues.  That is one of the early warning signsTongue Tied

    Here's the link to Dr. Kellon's Equine Cushings/Insulin resistant horse website; it is not her Yahoo cushings group so you don't have to wade thru all the drama  cliques on that site; plus they like to play 20 Questions before they give you an answerZip it!

    There's some great information here that might arm you with some "artillery" when your vet comes this week. 

    http://ecirhorse.com/index.php/philosophyco-owners

    Some vets are not near as up-to-speed on equine metabolic issues as they should be - whatever they cover in the textbook in college is about it.  I know because I have a wonderful "good ol boy country vet" that is like that.  Had I not done my own research the year Duke's I-R exploded on him, Duke would have been in BIGEE-BIG trouble.

    I almost think I'd rather hear your mare has an infection of some sort because then it could be dealt with and be over with.  Metabolic issues mean specialized care for the entire rest of her life.

    I have four horses and how did I get so lucky as to have a second one trying to head down that path?Sad


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