*sigh* Sedative? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 06-26-2009, 03:16 PM Thread Starter
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*sigh* Sedative?

I really don't want to use a sedative, but we've been working daily with AZ for about 2 months to get him to stand for the farrier and he still refuses. He won't even lift his feet for us for more than a second or two. I know it's past abuse that causes this and it will take time to get him comfortable with it, but in the meantime, his hooves desperately need to be trimmed.

What do you recommend for a sedative for trimming of hooves? He's about 950-1000 lbs. Is there any over-the-counter stuff available?

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post #2 of 11 Old 06-26-2009, 03:23 PM
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Unfortunately, you will probably need a vet to come out and administer the sedative before the farrier works.
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post #3 of 11 Old 06-26-2009, 03:36 PM
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we have had to buy Demosidan (spelling?) before or you could probably buy a shot of Ace. Demosidan is definitely the good stuff though..
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post #4 of 11 Old 06-26-2009, 03:40 PM
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I got ace from my vet and was able to administer myself and it worked well and its pretty cheap, I heard you can actually get it in pellets too
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post #5 of 11 Old 06-26-2009, 03:41 PM
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you can buy bottles of Ace from vets in our area. I don't know if its the same for you. But when my horse started coming back into work after a stifle injury, she was dangerously hot (she was off all winter). So the vet gave us some needles, syringes, and a bottle of sedative. Gave us instructions, and told us to use it if needed. We didn't end up needing it but Ace is a good thing to have on hand anyway.

My horse doesn't respond to Dermosidan AT ALL. She usually has to have a bit of a "cocktail" of drugs to get her to even relax her lip. haha.

as another suggestion, have you thought about maybe trying a different farrier? I had a rescue horse who had been castrated very violently and without sedative at his former home, therefore he wouldn't let anyone near his back feet. Our former farrier was very impatient and it made the problem worse so we switched farriers and the new farrier helped him tremendously. He now picks up all four feet.

Just a suggestion.

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post #6 of 11 Old 06-26-2009, 04:00 PM Thread Starter
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eventerdrew: We had a different farrier when he was boarded and he was the same way. The farrier we have now has actually been able to trim his hooves once or twice, which no other farrier has been able to do. He's great.

AZ's problem is that the person who had possession of him before we rescued him kept him and 7 other geldings in a little paddock full of car parts, and various other hurty things. Ooooh I get so angry when I think about it. We're working with him, and he's getting better, but he still has some issues he's recovering from. Slow process, but he's worth it ♥

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post #7 of 11 Old 06-27-2009, 03:31 PM
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We've had to sedate our app gelding to get his hooves trimmed a few times.
After the trim, we'd work immensely on teaching him that it's OK to pick up his feet for more than a few seconds. We used different methods, having someone hold him in his stall, in the aisle way, letting him graze, after we exercised him a bit. We wanted to see when he would be more comfortable with us picking up his feet.
Gem is very food motivated so we used that as his reward, and we still use that when the farrier comes out to trim him.

The hardest thing was letting Gem know that no one was going to hurt him and that what was happening was going to make him feel better.

It's been over a year since we've been doing everything and while he still has his moments when picking his feet or getting trimmed, he no longer needs to be sedated.
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post #8 of 11 Old 06-28-2009, 05:36 PM Thread Starter
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AZ is hugely food motivated as well. Did you give Gem treats while picking up the hooves? How did you go about using the food as incentive?

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post #9 of 11 Old 06-28-2009, 05:42 PM
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Yes. When I was by myself, I would ask him to pick it up. I didn't care for how long, but I had to pick it up and put it down (he couldn't take it away). After I put it down, he'd get a treat. I would start at just holding it up for a second, and then slowly progressed it.
I also scratched/pet him to let him know he was a good boy and there was nothing to worry about.

When my fiance would be there, hed give the treat, instead of me.

This also helped him overcome his fear of being cross tied (I'd use one cross tie and give him a treat when he stood still and picked the hoof up.

When the farrier comes, we have a bag of treats and will pick and choose when he gets a treat. Unless the farrier is doing his bad leg (the right front) than we give him a supply of treats so he doesn't freak out.

It may not be the right or proper way, but its worked.
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post #10 of 11 Old 06-28-2009, 06:17 PM
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Hi there..
Before my horse arrived here to me and was at my parents breeding farm I would always hear about how hard it was for them to get him to let his right rear be worked on. When I would visit with my family I would always work on this issue but because it was not a daily thing I made no progress. I watched as the farrier came a few times while I happened to be visiting. It was like this tremendous ordeal to trim and shoe my horses front feet!?? Out would come the crain bowl to try and get him to stand still.
While I do not like the use of food to get a horse to do something I am fine with the rewarding of good behavior or doing the right thing verses the wrong thing.
Well since my horse has been here now, a month ago yesterday. I have had to work on the right hind diligently.
I have not used food as an insentive. Only rubbing and love...
Still on an occassion he will want to make a bit of a fuss about it but no where near anything like it once was.
In fact this was one of the first thiings I started to chip away at because I already new about the issue.
I think at first i was uncertain if there was a reason that he did not want to stand on the left rear or maybe the position of the right rear when lifted was an issue.
Finally I figured it to be more of a habbit. "if I put up resistance long enough I will get the grain bowl" well Not in my posession.
This is what I have done over the last month. You have probably already been doing some of this stuff...
The first thing I do when I halter and tie up my horse is pick his feet. When I first started doing this as a routine he would expect and anticipate that I would eventually get to the problamatic foot. I strated with that right rear by just asking for only a few seconds...3 seconds....I worked alot whilegrooming him on touching this "oh no don't touch me there spot" The more and more I exposed him to touching there...and not just touching with my hands but touching with other things as well...brushes, cotton cloths, my hands. etc.
Eventually he would let me pick the foot up and then pick the foot out.
Now he stands completly quiet with the farrier there.
Does it still give me trouble...yes on some days. But I make sure not to give in and let him get away with me not picking the hoof out.

So I used an approach and retreat sort of method.
When I asked for him to pick the hoof up as soon as he did I eased off with the presure in asking for the foot. Each time inbetween picking it up ...meaning if he gave me the slightest try I eased up with the pressure of asking. I rubbed him and talked to him'Eventually we have made it to the point that I can now pick up and hold onto this hoof long enough to clean it quickly but it is still a work in progress. I am a one man team and have no one to help so to speak so when he give me a problem witth that foot I will put the lead line through the tie up but not tie it.
I will hold the end in my hands that I use for picking the feet. It is a bit of a balancing act while having to hold the rope, but I sometimes have to give a little tug on that rope to remind him that I am asking something....just a little tug.no jerking the rope or anything like that.
Another thing that might help this horse is if you do some excersises on the ground where your tossing a rope with a short end over the top line until he stands still, eventually being able to go over the entire topline and increase the length of the rope.
In the begingin he may kick at the rope and I would just continue on with the excersis until he settles down with the idea that the rope touching his legs or feet is not going to hurt him.
I did this along with the rest of the things I suggested or mentioned....
I also have done a lot of rubbing when I see the horse give me his attention drop his head and either blink or lick his lips...this is a signal of him/ her being relaxed.
I know you have been working on this for some time but being that he is a rescue and you know some of his histiry...some of his/ her issues may be from fears or from just habbit..."I make a stink about it and eventually they will leave my feet alone!"
I always leave on a good note. Sometime I do not get the hoof picked out to my likeing but...if I get that try from the horse and he lifts the foot long enough for me to work on it a little I won't push to hard...
Sorry so long...I hope this helps...
Good luck and try to be patient with him...Your rubbing and loving on him will probably mean more to him than the treat will....It will show him how much you care and that your the leader and are not out to hurt him in any way
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