Lethargic, Not Eating All His Food, Sweating Under the Mane - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 9 Old 10-24-2011, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Question Lethargic, Not Eating All His Food, Sweating Under the Mane

Hi there! First of all, as a disclaimer, I would like to say that, yes, we are going to take him to a vet, but we're just working through what it could be in the meantime.


Our (roughly) 16 year old Quarter horse has always had problems with keeping weight and staying healthy - he's a rescue. He has repeatedly had thrush in his front hooves, even though we are vigilent about cleaning his hooves, etc. Then, about 3 - 4 months ago, he was diagnosed with having a tapeworm (we think from some cattle that had been in the area that his pen is now). We wormed him with the Zymectrin Gold, then again a little while later after he continued to lose weight, after consulting our vet. He seemed his normal self but super, super skinny up until about 2 days ago (we've been tailoring his food to give him some extra oomph to help him gain weight back).

Now, he is really lethargic and doesn't want to walk anywhere. He eats but not every last bit of his food (and that's very much not like him). He's drinking okay. He's pooping and peeing fine. He is sweating under his mane, but that could just be me overreacting - we do live in Arizona and it's still HOT here! We don't have a way to take a temp. He doesn't appear to have a runny nose or cough.

Basically, it's just those three things - the lethargy, sweating and not eating everything. Does anyone have any similar experiences that might lead us to the problem? I feel so badly for him at this point that I'm afraid we might need to put him to sleep. But, of course, I want to know my options before it comes to that.

If you have anything, that'd be great. Thanks!
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post #2 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 12:22 AM
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You can't buy a thermometer to take his temp? I would be worried about a laminitis episode or colic. You need a vet
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post #3 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 07:36 AM
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If he has a rectum, you can take his temperature. Just go to Wal-Mart and get a cheap thermometer and keep it for horses only. LOL.

The sweating is a pain indicator. It means he is in pain somewhere. My guess from 1000 miles away would be his feet considering he does not want to move.

If you have been feeding him a high level of concentrates, you need to immediately drop him to hay only. You cannot put on weight by just feeding more grain. Horses are grazers / browsers and do not do well on high levels of grain and supplements.

Carefully watch his movement. Horses founder very easily on too much grain. It is a life threatening condition and needs immediate Vet attention. If he is trying to founder, you will feel that his front feet are warmer than his back ones, he will be reluctant to move, may lay down a lot and will look like he is trying to shift his weight to his back end (squatting or leaning back). If that is the case, call a Vet ASAP.

A lot of people feel sorry for thin horses and try to fix it with more feed. HUGE mistake. Horses have to gain weight slowly and large amounts of starch in the form of grain can very easily kill or founder one. We see it all of the time.
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post #4 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 08:12 AM Thread Starter
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Okay, I understand all of the above. I understand that he has a rectum and, yes, I can take a temperature. I just literally don't have a thermomater around and I live in a small town where shops close up at 8PM and don't open until 8AM.

And I know that you can't pack on the extra feed and grain to make him gain weight. Like I said, we've had a problem with his weight since we rescued him - we know how to do it right. What I meant by what I said, was that we've been feeding a little extra hay with each feeding. He is on NO grain at all, in fact. Grain isn't a normal part of our feeding schedule because we have several drafts who, when any extras are added to their diet, start having hip problems. Everyone does just fine without it.

I think that covers everything. Please excuse if I sound pissy, I don't mean to be, but simply am trying to explain that I am not an amateur when it comes to taking care of horses. I've researched for years and years on the best ways to do things. I was just trying to get others opinions on what might be wrong with him.

Thank you for your replies and help.
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post #5 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 08:43 AM
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It does sound like pain - but it could be from anything. Has the vet checked his liver enzymes? I may be a "Johnny One-Note" but we've recently lost one to a combination of HYPP and liver problems, so I'm stuck on the liver issue.

It could be laminitis, or it could be something as simple as a burdgeoning abscess. Let us know what the vet says!

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post #6 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 08:43 AM
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It sounds like laminitis based on your description. Be interesting to see what the vet says.

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post #7 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 11:55 AM
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I'm in AZ too and a TB at my barn had those exact same symptoms a couple weeks ago. He ended up having a nasty stomach virus and became very dehydrated. His owner was out with him on an IV for almost 24 hours. It looked pretty bad for awhile but he made it through. You should definitely get him to the vet as soon as you can. Maybe there's something going around here? It was really strange because the horse that got sick never goes off the property.
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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I wondered about laminitis. We can't get a vet out until tomorrow - in the area we live there's only one large animal vet and he's about a hundred years old. He's the best vet, but always busy because he's the only one. He keeps trying to retire, but nobody will let him! LOL I'm going to just nurse him through until tomorrow. I just keep telling him, "One more day, bud. Hang on there one more day."

PaintLover17 - Fortunately he seems to be drinking normally, so I don't think I need to resort to IV yet - but I'm ready! That is really interesting, considering that Doc never goes off the property either. And it's not like we're right next door to neighbor's horses (we have a 13-acre spread). Hopefully it is just a virus that's going to pass - I'll mention your story to the vet and see what he thinks. Thank you!
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post #9 of 9 Old 10-25-2011, 02:20 PM
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Did you get a thermometer? You really need to monitor his temperature. That is very important, along with color of gums and capillary refill time and pulse and respiration rates. Those numbers are very valuable to any exam and diagnosis.
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