filly won't walk

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filly won't walk

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    02-25-2012, 10:15 PM
Unhappy filly won't walk

Ok guys, this is worring the beegeebers out of me. We went out to the stable this afternoon. Both horses were in thier stalls because they were on "time out" for having gone through the fence. They had not been turned out since they broke the fence Thursday afternoon other than a few mintues in the arena because the stable manager needed help to fix the fence. I am totally fine with that.

We took my Nation Show Horse gelding, 14 years old, 'fluffy' at about 1300lbs and my daughter's two year old Arab, lightly 'fluffy' at about 650 lbs and turned them out in the arena before asking them to have any brains. They did thier normal GALLOP and BUCK and PLAY for about 45 mintues. During that time, one zigged while the other zagged and they crashed into each other at a full gallop. We didn't think anything about it at the time and they kept playing.

Not too long after that, the filly, who is really starting to bond with my daughter comes up for loves and we halter both horses. She then took the filly into the round pen to see if they could get a join-up. About three mintues in, no go. My daughter sends her around again and the filly stops dead. Thunk. Won't move.

My daughter (20 so not a kid) see that the filly is not going to push, and works on trust instead. (I had showed her the video from the hog trying thread) She asked her filly to be relaxed about using a rope to lift her front legs. In less than five minutes, the filly was completely relaxed, following her around, and allowing both front legs to be held up with the rope.

Great day training. How about the back feet? She gets the rope down on the right rear and the filly flat refuses to take any weight off of it. Odd... Ask for the left rear and though she will pick it up, the filly is now in a full body sweat and shaking!

I get called in and start at the top of the hip, and work slowly down looking for any 'ouchie' spots. I found none. I picked up the back foot (only her fourth time ever having her back foot picked up) and the whole horse is shaking but not giving me any pinpoint ouchie spots. With a halter on, we asked her to walk for us, but she would not put any weight on the left rear.

About the time, the stable owner and manager wander over. Everyone takes a look but other than a slightly odd stance where she is standing with her back end tucked up under her a bit, she is in a full lather at this point, and shaking, we can't find anythign wrong with her.

I ran my fingers down either side of her spine with a LOT of pressure and got no reaction. However, when asked to move, she wanted to, but simply would not use her back legs. After about half an hour, she would shift what back leg she had weight on, but would not even try to take a step.

We put a blanket on her to keep her from getting cold and fed her a half gram of bute - temporarily just leaving her in the round pen. It was two hours later before we convinced her to slowly walk the 60 feet or so to her stall. Once in her stall, she just sort of got 'stuck' again. Willing to pace back and forth with the front end, but not moving either back foot.

In 40 years of horses, I have never seen a horse just refuse to use both back legs like that. I am going to head out in the morning to see if we can hand walk her. She is only 2 1/2.

Any thoughts?

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    02-25-2012, 10:20 PM
Super Moderator
It sounds like tying up syndrome but I don't know that I've ever heard of it in an arab. (not that it can't happen)...
    02-25-2012, 10:27 PM
I used to have a Shire that would tie up - and yes, this was/ is close to what would happen. But when it would happen, he would stomp with his back legs, not get 'stuck' and refuse to walk. This filly flat refused to even try to take a single step. The only way we actually got her back to the stall was she got hysterical only in the round pen without any other horses in sight.

The draft was a genetic thing that was controled by diet once diagnosed.

I have never heard of it in an Arab... she gets fed a high quality Orchard Grass hay three times a day plus treats depending on cuteness.
    02-25-2012, 10:34 PM
Polysaccharide Storage Myopathy - CVM - UMEC, University of Minnesota

Haven't heard of it being common in arabs,but don't think it is impossible,as it is seen in many other breeds
    02-25-2012, 10:34 PM
I agree FarmPony.

To me, the symptoms that your describing is tying up. Years ago, my POA gelding tyed up at my fair. We have no idea why it happened, I was riding him around bareback, just at a walk, then washed him down and was leading him back to the barn when he stopped and would NOT moved. His back was hunched up a little in his back, his back legs had a wider stance than usual. It took over an hour before I was able to get him loaded into a trailer and hauled down to the vet for an emergency visit. He was very pissy (in pain) and was even nipping at me and pinning his ears as people were trying to look at him.

Vet gave him fluids and drew blood. His selenium levels were sooooo low. The vet explained to us that tying up is basically when you have too much lactic acid buildup. He was put on a selenium supplement and he did recover after a few weeks.

Here is some more information...
"Tying up (muscle tension/spasm) involves chronic tension in the horse's muscles due to overwork. When the muscles are active, they produce lactate as part of their normal metabolism. Too much lactate causes lactic acidosis, a lowering of the pH in the muscles and the body in general. This impacts the efficiency of metabolism, giving rise to fatigue. The excess lactate prevents the muscles from relaxing properly following contraction. As a result, large muscle groups tend to seize up, remaining in a state of contraction. In mild tying up, the horse’s muscles are extremely sore and stiff. In full blown tying up, the horse is unable to move.
The areas typically affected by tying up include the neck, back, shoulders, zones of previous trauma and areas where other muscles have attempted to compensate for those already affected."
Horses (equine), tying-up, muscle tension treatments and spasm relief with Recovery eq
    02-25-2012, 10:34 PM
Super Moderator
Do you think she tweaked herself somehow?
    02-25-2012, 10:54 PM
The EPSM the Painted Pastures brings up, that's what my Shire had. Had it to the point that he was a $10,000 pasture ornament. I have a LOT of experience about the chronic signals of this - none of which the filly has... The sweat patterns were not the same...

This episode had some of the same features, and while I won't rule it out, it doesn't sound right. She had just had two days of little exercise, followed by an hour of running and playing - but she is not fed a diet high in starch. She gets no grain or suppliments other than a selenium & mineral salt block.

She is 2 1/2, and not in training. There is no possibility of overwork. Heck, with our schedules right now, she is lucky to get groomed once a week. Today was the first time in over six weeks that we had time to play with her for longer than ten minutes.

The only other option, is that when she and my gelding collided, she pulled something, or tweeked her back, or bruised something, but it took a while before the joy of playing made her stop?????
    02-25-2012, 11:05 PM
So... just in case it is tying up, I guess I go change her diet. Oh I really don't want a chronically sick horse....
    02-25-2012, 11:06 PM
I just wanted to give you well-wishes that she turns out fine.

My only thought would be maybe it's an injury and she has something like a nerve pinched from the collision. But hopefully it's something that will be fine. Please keep us updated.
    02-25-2012, 11:11 PM
I'm curious as to if her being stalled for the past few days, and then her running around for nearly an hour might have "over-did" it for her? It's kind of hard to say, but when she's out in pasture, she's able to move around a lot more then being in a stall so maybe the confinement, then all that playing has something to do with it?

The collision could have something to do with it as well. I might hold off with changing her diet for the time being, could just be a freak thing that happened just this once? If she continues to have problems, a diet change could be in order, but I'd talk with a vet first and see if they have suggestions on what could be going on.

When my POA tied up, I didn't have to change his diet except add the selenium supplement. And it only happened the week of fair. Never before, never after. Maybe the stress of being there? (Although he didn't seem stressed to me at all) He wasn't worked hard at all while we were there. Just walking and trotting around. I honestly think someone sabotaged him.

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