Depressed Filly

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Depressed Filly

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  • Filly at risk if around sick horse
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    09-23-2009, 10:36 PM
Depressed Filly

We recently purchased a four year old project filly who seems very depressed to me.

When I took her for a ride at the owners she was extremely quiet on the ground and just wanted you to hold her head, I'm not sure if that's her normal behavior but I'm guessing it is. She seems timid, not as if she is afraid but just a follower to the extreme.

When we picked her up she did not eat any hay in the trailer and has eaten very little since here (She hasn't been here long) she wont eat hay, nibbles at her grain but has not finished any, will not take treats, apples, carrots etc. She perks up and watches the other horses but is to shy to actually walk up to the fence line and meet anyone, she stays away. She is very obedient, thus far has been "perfect" and "to quiet". She did trot around and snort/show off a little tonight but still stays in her spot off to the side in the pasture. She's very responsive under saddle from what I saw and felt like she had go but from the ground she is to laid back. She just stands with her head in your arms or chest and closes her eyes.

This filly also has some conformation flaws that have me stumped, I'll be posting photos in the conformation critique tomorrow and would love input. She is a little thin right now so maybe this is part of it, maybe she's just a more sensitive horse? I'd say more time to settle will fix it however I didn't see much different behavior from her at the previous home.

Regardless, has anyone encountered depression with horses and what can be done? I haven't had much luck finding anything online.
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    09-23-2009, 11:03 PM
Any chance she's just not feeling well? Does she have a fever?
    09-24-2009, 12:19 AM
No fever, no known health issues. I've heard from the previous owners this is kind of her. She's been known to have a depressed personality. It seems like MORE than just how she is as I know "were all different".
    09-24-2009, 01:17 AM
Even though she's not showing a fever, I'd have a vet give her a thorough going-over, including bloodwork. This is not "normal".

We had a horse at our barn that got into a depressed funk, no fever, but she did have a UTI. I've never heard of a horse having a urinary tract infection, but that's what it was and after a couple of days on meds, she perked right back up.
    09-24-2009, 01:53 AM
Sounds like a sick horse to me.If I give grain to any of my hoses and they don't finish it you can bet they'll get a hard look to see whats wrong.
    09-24-2009, 02:36 AM
I'd definitely vet her, a good idea any time you bring a new horse home, especially to a herd.
    09-24-2009, 08:19 AM
Just wondering was she regularly dewormed? It's really strange. I can understand her not eating treats (mine didn't know what it is when I got them), and nibble on hay, but I havn't met the horse yet which refuses to eat the grain (unless it's something strange like my horses don't eat beet pulp, rice bran and such). I'd suggest to do the blood work.
    09-24-2009, 02:58 PM
At the risk of sounding like a broken record..... blood work.
    09-24-2009, 03:10 PM
I agree with everyone else. You know something is not right when a horse refuses grain. Have the vet take a look.
    09-24-2009, 03:19 PM
She sounds like an ulcer candidate - nervous and shy tempered and now dealing with a lot of changes. I ditto the blood profile and suggest that you put her on a good probiotic paste for a week and granular probiotics in the feed for 4 wks. I have mine on dac 911 - I just moved my guys from SC to FL ( and got a new colt last week). I started the 911 a week prior to the move and continued for 3 weeks. The new colt is now on it and is doing well on the stall and diet change. I also give 911 3 to 7 days before and after deworming and any other "stressful" events.

I would also ask the vet to give a B12 shot (not B-Complex) to help her appetite.

Did you continue the feed the owner was giving? Same hay?

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