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Discussion on Stressed, dehydrated, tying up, or what?

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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 407
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Saturday, Sep 15, 2007 - 10:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi DrO! I just returned home from a kind of stressful organized trail ride that included a bunch of drunken yahoos galloping and causing a ruckus. My 8-year old Arabian gelding was living up to the war horse stereotype as the yahoos ran by multiple times, and my boy worked himself into a lather as I kept him contained. We finished a 4 or 5 hour ride in which we took a water break, and after a hose off he started shaking profusely. When I touched his back he sank a few inches and all four legs were shaking. A skin pinch test showed a little dehydration and his gums were slightly pale--is dehydration what could have caused all the shaking? Does this sound like the beginning stages of tying up? He wouldn't drink very much water or take in electrolytes, but he enjoyed my Sprite which I let him have. When I finally got him home he was on high alert, running around his pasture and would not eat (unheard of!). He did drink a small amount of water, but he looks all all sunken in. He's listening to me, but acting very nervous. Any ideas?
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 408
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, Sep 16, 2007 - 5:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

DrO, today he has spent a lot of time laying down sleeping - at least three 20 to 60 minute naps, again not very normal for him. His back is very sore, sinks down and bubbles up depending on where you press--mostly hips and "lower" back area.

Could he be sore from maybe almost tying up if that's what happened, or do you think it could be something with his kidneys?

The riding we did yesterday was not out of the norm--we usually trail ride at least once a week for 2-3 hours, and he wears a treeless saddle that has been blessed.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19224
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Sep 17, 2007 - 12:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello cp,
Your description is not enough for me to make a diagnosis of your horse. It does sound like he became dehydrated during the ride but as to whether it was enough to explain the symptoms or whether there are other issues really will require a complete physical exam. I am uncertain what you mean by the skin bubbles up but it also sounds like his back has become quite sore in spite of your treeless saddle. If there are still worrysome issues present you should have your vet out for a exam.
DrO
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 411
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 11:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thought I'd follow-up on this post. I had my vet out to check on him and she found he was very sore in his lower back and the pain went down into his hocks--his back legs were pretty well tucked under him and he didn't want to be touched. She gave him some acupuncture treatments and recommended I have the saddle fitter back out to check on our gear. She also ran a blood panel to see if he had tied up and to make sure there wasn't anything internal going on, and luckily there wasn't.

The saddle fitter thought our gear fit fine, but would like to see more padding on either side of the spine of the treeless pad (I might retire it altogether). She thought the issue has probably always been there and was maybe aggravated by the ride (maybe I was doing improper hind-quarters under stress?). So she recommended chiropractic care.

Had the chiropractor do an adjustment, which my horse didn't like one bit, and will do a follow-up this week. I gave him 2 weeks off, but have been trying to ride him more regularly since, doing more trot work to strengthen his back muscles.

So the other day I was watching the boys play out back and I saw my youngster jump on his back and squash his hinds to the ground. All these feelings of guilt I had for hurting him, and it may be due to rough play!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19338
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 12:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hmmm...back legs tucked under a horse cp is a typical stance for founder rather than tied up. In either case there should be stiffness and if present should be pursued. For more see the Localization of Lameness article and the Bilateral Lameness subtopic. For further diagnostic on each of these diseases follow the links from that section of the article to the article on Tied Up Horses and Foundered Horses.
DrO
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 412
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 2:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

really? Foundered in the back? He seems okay now, but if founder is something I'd need to watch for then yikes. He's always been a skinny guy, that was the last thing on my mind. None of the 3 experts I had look at him suggested that--I'll review the articles for similarities though!
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Holly Wood
Member
Username: hwood

Post Number: 2369
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 2:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

cp, horses can founder in the hinds, although it's usually in the front before the back, and if it's in the back, it's usually in the front, but

a stance with the hind legs under the horse often means he's trying to take weight off the front legs . . . Is your horse shifting weight on the fronts a lot? Lifting one and then the other? Or laying down more than usual?
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 413
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 3:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well he was laying down a lot that second day after the ride. I understand about the hinds being in that position due to the fronts now that I've read the founder article.

I've ridden him 3 times since Friday, twice on lovely 1 to 2 hour trail rides with about 20 minutes of trotting and he did great. I'll definitely check him more closely when I get home though--I'm worried now I may have ignored something that's still hurting him.

I saw my first foundered horse the other day while doing volunteer work at the rescue. A gorgeous thoroughbred with huge padded feet slowly making her way down the barn aisle. I felt so sorry for her, but guess she was worth saving since they decided to do so after the vet recommended putting her to sleep.
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Erika L
Member
Username: erika

Post Number: 1021
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 5:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

CP, there are lots of causes of laminitis/founder. Not all are related to weight. Road founder in particular may be a suspect in your case. Hard ground and stress can do it. Read the articles, I'm sure I saw some info on it there.

Hope you find out what's bothering your boy.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 19340
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 5:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

If the horse is not stiff you do not have to worry about founder or tying up for that matter but why the odd stance, I wonder?
DrO
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 1413
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 6:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

CP he may have just had a case of laminitis, instead of founder. 2 years ago Hank had a bout of laminitis and he always stood with his rears tucked under, it was the ONLY sign he wasn't stiff moving and I rode him also...before the diagnosis. He was a little more mellow under saddle than normal. His was a mechanical "laminitis" the vet said because of his extremely long toes.

Have you tried giving him some bute or banamine?
I am not saying it couldn't be something else but might be worth considering. Here is how Hank stood, until we figured it out

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Angie J.
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1442
Registered: 6-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 7:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

My flat footed little mare, Gem, who was a starved 6 month old when we got her 5 years ago, stands like that. A mechanical problem there too, from not being trimmed and cared for early on? Just now learning to trim and working on keeping the toes short.

A horse that has sore rear heels, and/or sore tendons in his back legs maybe would stand like that too? Do you check his legs for heat? Any puffiness in his legs? Does he pick them up quicker if you squeeze his tendons?

Lots of horses will go along fine being sore, they enjoy being out I think, then suffer when the ride is over.
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cp
Member
Username: cpacer

Post Number: 414
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Oct 9, 2007 - 8:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Interesting, it is kind of like he stands, like he's on a circus ball. But he's always stood kind of funny, just more so for those few days. When I got him he had been getting his feet trimmed by students that the pre-purchase exam vet said were the worst in town. He now has a very reputable and certified barefoot trimmer. As for mechanical, the saddle fitter did say she thought it was something that's always been in him that got aggravated. He also used to have a club foot and an ewe neck, so maybe it is and he's still adjusting to his new life (it will be 3-years in November).

Erika, there were people cantering on the pavement on that crazy ride, but I wasn't one of them. These guys had saddle bags full of beer, would stop and drink then run by everyone, then stop and drink again and do the same thing, over and over.

He had definitely gotten very stressed and dehydrated on the ride, and was certainly in pain for a few days after, but I think he's doing better now. I really appreciate the concern and suggestions!
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