Better information makes for healthier horses,
Horseadvice.com is where equine science and horse sense intersect.

Discussion on Backend incoordination, stopped eating, drinking, pooping, urinating.

Use the navigation bar above to access articles and more discussions on this topic.
Author Message
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 9
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Dec 29, 2006 - 11:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a 26yo Arab gelding who has been a healthy horse all his life. This morning he was in his stall over night, and after eating his breakfast, I went to turn him out with his normal pasture mates. He raised his tail and acted like he needed to poop, but did not. When I took him out of his stall I realized he was walking very strangely behind. He tracked straight, but his hind end appeared tucked up under him, and he appeared tense and tight through the flank area on both sides. Walking caused him to appear painful in his face and breathing. Turned loose in the stall he stood perfectly still with his back end slightly underneath himself. His temperature was 99, heart rate 36. The vet suggested that I give him 10cc of Banamine and 2 grams of bute and watch for improvement. I noted that when he was free in the stall he would pivot on his back end and not move it except slightly. If I pushed on the hip from either side he refused to move. If I pushed on the neck from either side he would pivot on the back end again. 6 hours later there was no improvement, no evidence of urine or feces, and small clumps of chewed up hay that he had spit out without swallowing. He appeared interested in feed but did not eat it. The vet came out and a rectal exam revealed somewhat dry manure, but no sign of impaction. The horse still appeared very tight in the muscles on his sides and flank, and there were occasional spasms in the muscles over the shoulders. A sheath cleaning caused a lot of discomfort and a bean was found and removed. He received another 10 cc's of Banamine and 3 grams of bute, and was given water via tube. Now it is 12 hours since this started and he is walking around the stall with a little more ease but the back end still appears weak. He is still not eating, urinating, or pooping. I am at a loss for what to do and the local vet is not a great diagnostician. I would have to trailer him about 2 hours for a good evaluation, but I am not sure he could handle the trailer ride. Dr. O, do you have any ideas?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 10
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 9:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Update - Overnight the horse urinated twice and had two small manure piles. He appears less distended, but his hind end is still unsteady when he walks and he is not eating or drinking. He is interested in his feed but nibbles a few bites and spits it out. He has not touched his water. I am wondering if he is having trouble swallowing, but he cleaned up his feed yesterday morning before all of this started.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Cyndy
Member
Username: Hpyhaulr

Post Number: 12
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 10:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK, I'm pretty new here, and my 2 cents probably is worth just exactly that....but here it is...
Ok, you are no longer at the edge of the cliff looking over... but neither are you out of the woods. My knee jerk response says run, don't walk to the VET you discussed earlier. You are in a 3 day weekend with a horse who could go south very very quickly as he is already pointed in that direction. If you don't deal with this, it will deal with you!
If it takes 2 hours to get there, it is what it is. If you have the ability to do it, you have the obligation to do it or condemn yourself to a lifetime of what if's. This is one of those things that CAN be a life/death issue. Most of us would drive all day to tip the scales in the horse's favor. If you are concerned about his ability to endure the trip, talk to the vet you are going to (before departure), to see if there is anything you can do to get the horse in condition of the trip. Also, use your cell phone if you have to, but take at least a short video of the horse as he presents now. Don't take it for granted that he will present the same way when you offload him. Good luck and keep us posted. Now get going.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1666
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 10:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nwalken,
Your horse is clearly in distress, and I wonder if you can call in another vet for advice? Would the vet who is 2 hours away be willingt o do an over-the-phone consultation or recommend someone else who can see the horse? Dr. O. may be away for Christmas break, and it sounds as though your horse may need to be seen by someone very soon, although the Banamine may have helped as he sounds like he's doing a bit better than yesterday.
He could have injured himself rolling in his stall . . . could have some impaction . . . could be showing signs of some disease putting pressure on his spinal cord . . . it could be many things that a vet who can see the horse can best decide.
Best wishes as you seek to find out the cause of his discomfort.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17354
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 10:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Walken,
Lets look at the specific symptoms, with consideration of the normal temp and pulse, one at a time and in order in which they appeared:

1) Walking stiffly, with the hind end tucked under: maybe even incoordination. (See Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Localizing Lameness in the Horse there is a section on rule outs for the stiff horse)
2) Decreased appetite and fecal production. (See Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Colic in Horses » An Overview of Colic, and the section on impactions.
3) Chewing but not swallowing his feed. (Consider choke and botulism)
4) Normal pulse and temperature.

It is difficult to put all these symptoms together under a single disease with the confusion aspect the combination of colic and gait changes present. Impactions, the most likely cause for not eating and not pooping, do not normally cause gait changes, even when severe.

If what you are seeing is really weakness and incoordination, botulism comes to mind as a cause for such symptoms, for more see Diseases of Horses » Nervous System » Incoordination, Weakness, Spasticity, Tremors » Diagnosing Incoordination, Ataxia and Weakness.

From a diagnostic standpoint it is increasingly important to try and define the cause of the stiffness/gait abnormalities and if things do not change quickly remember there are really very few horses that cannot make a trailer ride if done carefully. From a therapeutic standpoint maintaining hydration is the most important goal (see the section on impaction referenced above for more on this).
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 11
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 11:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The small amount of feed that I placed in front of him this morning along with 2 tablespoons of salt is now gone. I did this hoping it will stimulate him to drink. He appears to be moving around better, but there is no more manure production or urine. He still has not touched his water. The local vet is coming out in a few hours to examine his mouth to make sure we are not missing something there that is complicating the issue with his spine.
Cyndy- I appreciate your note of encouragement, and believe me if I thought there was something to be gained from the haul to the vet I would have done it long ago. I have no problem driving anywhere and have done so many many times. As I mentioned I have consulted with this vet and he knows me well. If he thought he could do something beyond what we are doing he would tell me to come in a minute. I plan on calling him after the local vet leaves and we will make a decision then based on what the local vet finds in his mouth, if anything. I have hauled on holidays and late at night, I have gotten up every two hours for a week straight in the dead of winter to care for a sick horse, so rest assured that I will do it. I know you don't know me, and I would probably have had the same concern that you had.
Dr. O- I will check out the articles that you suggested. I read some of them last night in my search, but I did not see the one on botulism.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Christine Holmes Bukowski
Member
Username: Canyon28

Post Number: 152
Registered: 8-2003
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 12:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Make sure your vet tubes him with some water if he has not been drinking. did he tube him with oil when he came before? the weakness also worries me, I saw a horse with botulism once and it was pretty bad. You didnt say where you live, but botulism isnt that rare in the midwest and southern states. the botulism posts are above this one in the same area. hope you get some answers today.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Cyndy
Member
Username: Hpyhaulr

Post Number: 13
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 12:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Walken,
Glad to hear you are not as dense as I am!!!!
I did not know you were already in touch with the "OTHER" Vet. I must have managed to miss that. 10 years of running an animal hospital in NY taught me to assume NOTHING and address myself to the lowest common denominator in the
equation which most often is the the biped. I never meant to imply you wouldn't go if necessary, I just was afraid your options would be running out with the holiday upon us. I too am nearly 2 hours from the "good Vet" and sometimes that scares me!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 12
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 12:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

He did not give him oil but did give him a full bucket of water. We will do that again for sure. I have been reading the botulism articles and it concerns me greatly because we have been having wet weather with alternating warm and cold temperatures. Many of his symptoms are consistent with botulism, but would there be improvement in the hind end weakness with Banamine and bute if it was botulism? I have not noticed any problems with his lips or facial muscles, and when we tubed him yesterday he fought the twitch like a trooper.

I am in Missouri. I feed square bales of bermuda, but we do use feeders in the pasture and there is always loose hay at the bottom that builds up. I clean them periodically but clearly not as often as I should be. I am going to do that now as it rained all last night.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17360
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 6:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nwalken, don't fall into the common trap of depending too much on putting together chronological events that may or may not be related: you rule in or out the possibility of botulism by looking for signs of muscular weakness.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 14
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 11:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I headed for the barn about 11 this morning ready to do some evaluation on the muscle weakness in the hind end with a few of the tests I read about in the article. When I entered the barn, my horse greeted me with his usual whinny that means "I'm hungry!" The double handful of Equine Sr. I had left in his feed bin was gone along with the loose salt I had placed in there. He was bright, alert, and appeared to be walking normally. There was about an inch of water gone from his bucket and then he walked over and sipped a little more in front of me. He then urinated and appeared to want to poop, but did not do so. I still thought things were definitely starting to improve, I was wrong. The local vet arrived about 2 hours later and I asked that he oil the horse because there was still no manure passed since the night. He sedated him with Ace (which I have since heard is contraindicated in colic, is that true Dr. O?) and did a rectal exam that revealed more manure, still fairly dry, and acorn pieces. This horse has lived here for the last 20 years and while I have a couple of horses I keep out of the pasture with oak trees this time of year, he has never been one of them. The local vet passed the NG tube and brought over his bucket of solution filled with blue liquid. I asked what was in there and he said water and electrolytes, (NO OIL). He gave me some reason why he thought that was more important than the oil, but it made no sense as it had something to do with muscle strength, not gut protection. Shortly after the vet left, the horse became extremely painful, pawing and pacing in his stall, shaking his head up and down, and groaning. I called the 2 hour away vet and made arrangements to take him immediately. I gave him 10 cc of Banamine, then walked him a little before the trailer ride and he expelled a large amount of gas and about 12 fecal balls on two attempts. He tolerated the trailer ride well. The exam by the new vet revealed a heart rate of 46, normal temp, normal gums, and adequate hydration. The rectal exam produced a couple of fecal balls, and no indication of any displacement. A peritoneal tap did not produce any fluid so we could learn nothing there. He did not draw any blood because the lab is closed until Tuesday. I brought the horse home and I am to keep him comfortable on Banamine every 8 hours until the morning, and will evaluate him then. At this point he is walking around his stall fairly normally, no indication at all of the ataxia he demonstrated yesterday. I plan to watch him carefully and as long as I can keep him comfortable, give him a chance to work this through. Hopefully things will have improved in 24 hours.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Susan M. Herrick
Member
Username: Quatro

Post Number: 467
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Saturday, Dec 30, 2006 - 11:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nothing to suggest, only sending you good wishes for you and your horse. It is a tough way to end the year, in worry land! Hang in there.
suz
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

jojo
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 900
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 12:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nw... same situation I had with my girl a couple years back, i couldn't understand NO OIL? but the soapy ingredients he did use were what was needed.And most progressive. I'm not sure what they were any longer (i'm sure i posted my displeasure on here somewhere at the time) But, realized that oil is not always the best thing to give them. I'll have to look it up now...

I'd do a search on ace and acorns here too and see what others went thru (don't just read articles, sometimes the posts are just as informative.)
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Lee
Member
Username: Paul303

Post Number: 824
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 12:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

What a way to welcome in the new year. Bummer. Don't hesitate to apply pressure, if needed, for your horse.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

jojo
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 901
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 12:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

found it... (is the sight getting easier to navigate? grin)

for what its worth this is what i had written down in my post regarding the concoction the vet used to "oil" the horse. "10 liters of water with electrolytes and MgSO4 which i believe is an epson salt substrate. 4mgdebomidine/500mg of banamine IV. Double that since they have done that twice now... they switched the debomidine for 250mg of xylazine on 2nd go round"...

So the vet is probably doing the right thing. and i'm hoping for you its just a mild gas colic episode like i had. Drinking is a good sign. Good luck.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17361
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 9:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Jojo's soapy mixture was probably DSS and you will find more on this and our ideas on the use of water vs mineral oil in the article Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Colic in Horses » An Overview of Colic. I don't know of any rigid contraindication for acepromazine and colic Nwalken and almost all drugs we use have some effect on bowel motility, for more on ace see Treatments and Medications for Horses » Sedatives & Anesthetics » Acepromazine. From the information available I would have preferred the veterinarian keep the horse to monitor drinking and hydration but it does sound like he is doing a bit better.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 15
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 10:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks to all you guys for helping me research this and understand it all. The horse is doing much better this morning in the gut part of this, but the ataxia has returned big time. As of this morning he has his bright, alert appearance, drinking a little water, and after some hand walking, passed two good sized piles of very dry manure full of acorn shells. He ate his double handful of Equine Sr. with gusto. Now for the hind end, he appears weak, and has difficulty maintaining his stance when turning. His butt tends to drift to the left when walking up a slight incline, and if you turn him you have to do it slowly to allow him to keep his balance. He is dragging his toes in back as well. I don't know if the trailer ride irritated something. I also wonder if being confined to a stall with hand walking is aggravating an arthritic spine.

As for the Ace with colic, maybe contraindicated was too strong a word for me to use, but the non-local vet said they avoid it because it decreases blood pressure and may increase pain sensitivity. I can say that the local vet had a very hard time getting my horse to relax with the Ace, but the Rompun used by the other vet worked quickly and relaxed him perfectly. I just wonder what is most commonly used?

I am going to read the info on oil vs electrolytes. Thanks so much to all of you!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Melissa Boschwitz
Member
Username: Amara

Post Number: 202
Registered: 7-2000
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 11:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

i cant add much here but i have heard that ingestion of acorns can cause similar symptoms...

good luck...we'll be thinking of you...
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

jojo
Member
Username: Jojo15

Post Number: 902
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 11:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, DSS.. thanks for the recall Dr. O... NW i think the acorn poisoning is one thing, and the colic is the secondary part of it. But if he's still up and about and has an apetite that is a good thing.

I would stop the grain and just feed hay though. And is the vet giving him anything for the toxic aspect? i have used activated charcoal in times my horse got into something toxic. Does he have a fever? pulse and heart still at normal rates?
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 16
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 6:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The non-local vet is not convinced that the acorns have truly poisoned him, beyond causing the colic symptoms. The vet wants to believe that the hind end problems are not related because if he were poisoned by the acorns to cause that level of ataxia and hind end weakness, he would have other symptoms beyond the constipation, which by the way has resolved. The last two poops were very soft, not cowpie consistency, but semi-formed and with mineral oil. I am glad we got the oil down him last night to help protect the gut. I would think the charcoal is way too late at this point. He has not had exposure to acorns since Thursday.

DrO, I am more convinced that the hind end problems are related to the acorns because I have never seen him roll to injure himself, and he has no marks on his body to indicate he did any thrashing around. His coat is completely clean. He has not even laid down during all of this. As for kidney symptoms, he seems to be urinating normally, but without blood work it is hard to know. I am hoping that he will start to improve in the hind end over the next few days. Is that a safe assumption, or does it take longer? Would it be worth having the local vet come back to tube him with more water since he is not drinking nearly as much as he should? The weather is cold and wet and he is just not thirsty I fear. I am adding salt to his feed twice a day. I am only giving him handfuls of Equine Sr. every couple of hours until the morning per the vet. He wanted me to hold off on hay because the horse was not chewing it well.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Holly Wood
Member
Username: Hwood

Post Number: 1672
Registered: 3-2001
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 8:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

As a matter of course, I add water to my seniors' grain a.m. and p.m. because they get a higher volume of dry feed more quickly than the other horses who "graze" on hay. Adding water to your horse's grain will help increase the amount he's ingesting if he is drinking less and will help ease your mind a bit. Glad to hear he is doing better.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 411
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 8:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've had some colic problems due to acorns plus some toxicity problems (rough coat, kidney/liver indications that cleared up) that went beyond colics. I wish folks on this service would at least post what state they are located in on their profiles so we could advise if there are other toxins in pastures in our area during a certain time of year. I have had rear-end incoordination that resolved itself within a short time, of unknown origin (and also severely swollen hind legs). This time of year in central Florida we have a variety of toxic weeds that can cause DEATH without too much warning.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 17
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 31, 2006 - 9:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

HollyWood-Thanks, I have added water before and I started doing it again tonight. He acts like he is starving to death so it is killing me to just give him a couple of hand-fulls at a time.
Vicki-Thanks for the encouragement that this may clear up fairly quickly. I have an even older horse that has always been a chow hound on acorns with no adverse effects before this, but he is busted now too. I wish I had a vacuum for acorns.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

LL
Member
Username: Frances

Post Number: 333
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Monday, Jan 1, 2007 - 7:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

... and have you considered adding hot water to the cold in his water bucket to take the winter chill off it? And/or a little apple juice, if he likes it?

All the best
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17362
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jan 1, 2007 - 8:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The bit about the ace vs xylazine is a non-starter in my opinion and there are more published reasons not to use the xylazine in a colic, see the article on xylazine for more on this. By the way, if I need sedation during a colic, I still use both depending on the need and indications, these indications are explained in the articles.

Incoordination is a unlikely primary symptom of acorn toxicity and you are missing other important symptoms to indicate this is the problem. These symptoms are explained in our article on acorn poisoning at Diseases of Horses » Poisons , Venoms & Poisonous Plants » Poisons, Poisonous Plants, and Venomous Animals > Acorn Poisoning and Oak Toxicity.

From a diagnostic standpoint it is hard to put the colic an incoordination together, other than botulism, so consider two separate lists until a clear indication they are related. If you think poisoning is still likely you should have the horse tubed again but with at least one dose of oil. Water as needed for dehydration.

The first step in diagnosing the cause of the incoordination is to localize the probable site of the lesions causing the symptoms and this is described in Diseases of Horses » Nervous System » Incoordination, Weakness, Spasticity, Tremors » Diagnosing Incoordination, Ataxia and Weakness.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 18
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Jan 1, 2007 - 10:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks DrO. I have read all these articles and I will keep re-reading them. He has symptoms that first made me think botulism after you mentioned it, then when all the acorn husks appeared in the manure I thought about the other. There is an internet site in the UK that listed neuromuscular symptoms associated with acorn poisoning that really made me sit up and take notice because he had all of them. It is easy to read that and think AHA!, that's the answer when it is really just a red herring. The good news if that this morning he is doing better on all counts. The incoordination is still there, but I see signs the strength is better than yesterday, so I am hoping it is going to resolve itself. He has had no Banamine since yesterday AM and has a normal appetite, regular manure production, and urinating normally. I am soaking his Equine Sr. in warm water to up his water intake and he is accepting it. His water bucket is heated by the way, but I will try the apple juice LL. Just to cover all the bases, I am taking all precautions against botulism or acorns.

As for the Ace vs Rompun, I appreciate your clarifying that issue. Sometimes we get info thrown at us that just comes out of the blue, and we think it means more than it does.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 412
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, Jan 1, 2007 - 11:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good luck, Nwalken. Hope things continue to improve. The horse does not have any lumps -- or tenderness -- on his head (between poll and ear), does he? Nerve damage from a blow to the head can be a cause of such neurological signs, but there would probably be more nervous system indications than just hind-end instability (eyes, tail, holding neck to the side). Dr. O's precautions about Botulism seem very well-founded.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 19
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007 - 6:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I need some advice on softening his stool at this point. He is passing manure regularly, but I just watched him poop and he is still straining and it is pretty dry. I started soaking his Equine Sr. in about a gallon of warm water each feeding (3x day) and he is accepting that well. That gets him about 3 gallons of water a day, but I know that is not enough. He is receiving no other food other than the occasional bite of hay he grabs when I have him in the barn aisle. We took hay away because of the concern that he was not chewing it properly because of his poor teeth in back. I put about a cup of apple cider in a gallon bucket of water and he took a couple of good sips and seemed to like it, but that is still not enough. I am adding 2 tablespoons of loose salt to his feed twice a day. Does anyone have any other ideas?

He is off all meds, and the only persistent symptoms include weakness in the rear (right side particularly), and dry stools. He has a strong appetite and bright attitude. He acts like he would like to get out and play.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 2036
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007 - 6:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

He sounds so much better than before! Have you tried 7-UP or KoolAid in his water? My horses usually gulp it up. They also love "tea" made from grain or alfalfa soaked in hot water awhile, then drained. Hope it helps.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 414
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007 - 8:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Triple Crown has a new product -- Safe Starch -- that is composed of grass forage that is a huge step above regular hay. Easily digested and makes the manure softer. I believe it has helped me to avoid some winter colics this year. It is grass hay, but orchard grass and timothy harvested at a time of very digestible and easily processed carbs, plus some pellets of vitamins and minerals. My boys like it so much they prefer it over their usual grain. Also, Triple Crown sells T & A forage cubes, that when soaked with water, work very well. Good luck! No, I am not a Triple Crown Rep. -- but have had very good luck with their products!
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 20
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007 - 9:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Sarah and Vicki. I am going to try the "tea" and look for the Triple Crown products. They all sound like great ideas and you know it works. That's the best.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Shirley A. Johnson
Member
Username: Shirl

Post Number: 422
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2007 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Nwalken,
You might also add some molasses in a pail of water. I've never had to use it, thankfully, but others say it works.
Good luck
Shirl
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17375
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 3, 2007 - 6:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Walkin, by filling out your horse management information, we might be able to give more directed advice on how to improve fecal water content. Particularly important is the pasture situation as pasture is naturally high in water content. The chewing stimulates drinking and the crude fiber in grass and hay is an important component for normal digestive function and the fibrous material helps to hold water in the stools.

Perhaps directly addressing the tooth problems or modifying the diet further for the teeth while including more roughage might help. Increasing (the Eq. Senior already has some) the beet pulp might be one way to do this and can hold substantial amounts of water. For more on feeding beet pulp see Horse Care » Equine Nutrition, Feeds, & Feeding » Forages for Horses, an Overview. Lastly the article on colic I reference above gives laxative suggestions.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 21
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jan 3, 2007 - 12:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks DrO. I just updated my profile, but my pasture at this time of year is very poor. I had a friend suggest beet pulp but I had only heard that used as a way to put weight on a horse, and I disregarded her suggestion because this horse is in very good flesh. I will definitely try that. This horse has his teeth floated and/or checked every six months. His back teeth are worn down to the point they are not very effective, so the vet said he did not think I should feed him bermuda hay because it is more prone to causing impactions. Is this true? My horses seem to love it and eat it much better than the prairie hay.
He is urinating very regularly so I am tempted to think he is hydrated enough, but needs something to hold the moisture in the stools. The beet pulp might be just the answer.
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17388
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jan 4, 2007 - 6:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

As you say your horse is in very good flesh and therefore if the stools are truly dry, not a usual condition in well hydrated horses, I would reconsider the beet pulp and instead use the laxative ideas in the article on colic instead as they are not fattening. Many feel coastal predisposes to impactions, though millions of horses do well on it.
DrO
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message

Nwalken
Member
Username: Nwalken

Post Number: 22
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jan 4, 2007 - 11:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

DrO, I am reading and re-reading your article on diagnosing ataxia and weakness. There is a lot of very helpful information. The manure moisture content seems better this morning, so I am going to continue as we are for awhile with soaking the Equine Sr., feeding only a half flake of the hay twice a day, and adding apple cider to his water once a day. I think I am seeing evidence of both proprioceptive ataxia (crossing over behind, winging out, and swaying, all more pronounced when circling or on an incline), as well as weakness (dragging his toe when walking straight, easily pulled to the side when walking and I pull on the halter and tail). So, I believe now that there is probably some tumor pressing on his spinal cord that may also be slowing things down in his gut. For now he is happy and comfortable, so I am going to let things be knowing that sooner or later he will get into bigger trouble.

Thanks to all of you who helped in getting us through this episode. This is a terrific resource!
Post a Message to this Discussion
Posting
Instructions:
Full Service Members may post to this discussion and should address the orignial poster's concerns or other information posted here. New questions about your horse should be started in a new discussion. Use the navigation bar at the top of this page to return to the parent article and review the article and existing discussions. If your question remains unanswered "Start a New Discussion", the link is under the list of discussions at the bottom of the article.
Post:
Bold text Italics Underline Create a hyperlink Insert a clipart image

Username:
Password:
Options: Enable HTML code in message
Automatically activate URLs in message
Action:
Home Page | Todays Discussions | Search | Top of Page Administration
  http://www.horseadvice.com
is The Horseman's Advisor
Helping Thousands of Equestrians, Farriers, and Veterinarians Every Day
All rights reserved, © 2014
Horseadvice.com is a BBB Accredited Business. Click for the BBB Business Review of this Horse Training in Stokesdale NC