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post #1 of 16 Old 10-21-2009, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Need Answers ASAP

Our gelding, Happy, is lathargic, seems to be having pain/weakness in his back two feet - the area around the back of the hoof seems hot. I think he even seems to be sensitive in his abdominal area - esp. Toward the back of this hind quarters.
I am thinking laminitis, but he is think, has been thin since we've had him and probably his whole life - he has gotten the same amount of feed - no access to anymore or less. . .

I am guessing the vet isn't going to come out tonight unless it is an emergency, but I am not sure if it is - I am going to page him and explain it to him - what might be going on?

If it is laminitis, what do I expect?

Last edited by farmpony84; 10-22-2009 at 10:43 AM. Reason: changed the title of the thread so deleted the first sentence.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-21-2009, 07:43 PM
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this IS an emergency, especially with the heat in his hooves. Get a vet out.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-21-2009, 08:14 PM
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Yep, I would call this an emergency as well. Get your horse's temperature, respiration rate and heart rate and call your vet to discuss what you are seeing. It could be laminitis (which isn't just caused by a horse being overweight) or it could be any number of things.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #4 of 16 Old 10-21-2009, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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We met the vet a ways down the road for Bute and another pain reliever and explained what is going on - we also are hearing a LOT of gas. He said to call him at 10am after giving the Bute - we gave the other pain reliever/anti inflammatory first, as directed, and let him know what is going on, and if everything is the same - he will come out then.
It sounds almost like Laminitis and colic - with the gut issues. . .
We didn't starting hearing the gas and all until after we'd give the first medication, and we called the vet back, and he'd have had us to Banamine if we'd not given the other.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-22-2009, 02:48 AM
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Good that you got the vet. Let us know what he says tomorrow.

As Ryle said, a horse doesn't have to be overweight to develop lami, and it is generally thought to be caused from a metabolic issue, commonly hind-gut acidosis, so is definitely associated with colic & gut pain too. This problem could also be a reason if he's underweight. What/when/how much is he fed?
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post #6 of 16 Old 10-22-2009, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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He is a rescue, and we've been through all sorts of feeding options, but we always transition slowly.
We have been on a 16% sweet feed and rice bran and flax seend for about 1 month (he got around 3lbs morning, 3 lbs night plus approx. 15 pounds of hay daily - split up twice as well) because our Arab mare had began to look horrible on the non sweet feed pellet, alfalfa pellets, rice bran and beet pulp mix we fed the horses - and she had no underlying problems, so it basically had to be the feed and she'd look amazing when fed the Rice Bran and Sweet feed, BUT our vet had encouraged us to go to a nearly all hay diet, so we had just, in the past two days (but he showed brief signs of lameness in the back feet around 4 days ago), cut back on the sweet feed each feeding and added some Strategy while giving slightly more hay.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-22-2009, 12:47 PM
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How much rice bran are you giving daily? And what kind of hay?
Have you worked him recently?

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-22-2009, 02:43 PM
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This seems to have been going on all day judging by the time log on all your posts. You need to call the vet and tell him you think this is serious.

What are Happy's vitals?
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post #9 of 16 Old 10-22-2009, 06:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deineria View Post
We have been on a 16% sweet feed and rice bran and flax seend for about 1 month (he got around 3lbs morning, 3 lbs night plus approx. 15 pounds of hay daily - split up twice as well) because our Arab mare had began to look horrible ....BUT our vet had encouraged us to go to a nearly all hay diet, so we had just, in the past two days (but he showed brief signs of lameness in the back feet around 4 days ago), cut back on the sweet feed each feeding and added some Strategy while giving slightly more hay.
I'm not sure I follow all of the above. But anyway, I appreciate it is still common practice, but horses don't cope well with grain, starch & excess sugars, so I agree with your vet - stop feeding the 'junk food' and feed them predominantly on (free choice)hay. Especially if you're only feeding the hard feed twice per day, they will be largely unable to process it in their stomachs so it will likely create even more problems in the hind gut. Also as horses are evolved to eat tiny amounts near constantly, a rich feed only twice a day amounts to feast & then famine and the horse's metabolic response can be similar to us when we try some fad diet. These factors may also have contributed to your mare looking 'horrible', tho I'm not sure what exactly you mean by that. Especially given your gelding's troubles, I'd stop it NOW, not gradually reduce it.

What supplements do they get? Chances are, whether they're getting a manufactured feed mix or just hay, they're still likely deficient & imbalanced in many nutrients, so it's important to do a diet analysis(feedXL.com is a fantastic service, IMO) and supplement accordingly. Nutritional imbalance could be the cause of your mare's 'horribleness'. Rice bran, oil(esp cold pressed), & other *easily digested* supps are appropriate options if the horses need more condition/energy.

And I presume you've been able to see the vet by now? What does he/she have to say? Also if he's a rescue(how long have you had him?) then I'm guessing his feet were probably neglected for some time. It's unusual for a horse to go lame in his hinds & not fronts with lami. What kind of shape are his feet in generally? How is he managed? You can post some hoof pics if you would like a critique on them.
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post #10 of 16 Old 10-23-2009, 09:09 PM Thread Starter
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He gets a scoop of rice bran twice a day - reg. Sized scoop.

The food explanation I gave is hard to follow, but the Arab Mare was on a diet of 3 lbs of 12% sweet feed twice a day - nothing added except hay - from her breeder for the last 8 yrs of her life, and when we bought her, she looks amazing, and we transitioned her to the diet our other horses were on, and that was a Zero Sweet feed diet of Stable Energy Pellets, Alfalfa Pellets, Beet Pulp, Rice Bran and Flax Seed plus hay. Her condition declined sharply and quickly, her weight, shine in her coat, and so we thought if that diet had done that with her, we better go back to what had worked with her, which was a sweet feed, BUT we kept the rice bran in the diet.
Now, I began to think with that type of decline in her appearance, we might be better off to get the horses all on the sweet feed as well.
So about a month ago, we transitioned BACK to sweet feed and add rice bran plus hay and loose minerals. The mare began to look better, and then the gelding began to loose a tiny bit of weight. The others stayed the same, so just a past few days before his problem, we began to transition them ALL to Strategy by Purnia - which is a pelleted feed and highly recommended by most horse folks I know, in an effort to find a feed they all do well on.
The vet said no need to supplement, so they get no added supplements.

I am going to get a photo of his back feet tonight. I think they look a bit swollen in the back, but my husband thinks I am seeing things. It doesn't look off in the photos - his legs are larger than usual because he has been an Amish Buggy horse in the past, and he has worked hard.

We are still giving the Bute, and talking to the vet, but he is pretty laid back (he is Equine veterinary professor at Ohio University as well) about things, and we've detailed everything to him, and he seems to think it is under control - but I admit, I wonder. He is a fantastic vet, and he is willing to go out of his way to help, and He seems to think me letting him know through the day and evenings how he is works for now.

Any pain seems under control, he is getting hay only, eating well, and he is pooping well. Drinking well.
When I get him out to walk him, he seems okay, until we get close to the gravel, and he stops - now I've checked his feet and there is nothing obviously wrong - he is fine with me moving them, cleaning the hooves and he now walking fine - I think he associated the gravel with where he was when the pain bothered him most the other night being brought in when it started. All this has been explain to the vet.
I think the fact he isn't rolling or laying down after all this time, is eating hay well, pooping well, ect has the vet convinced it isn't colic, and the fact it is in the back feet makes him feel is probably isn't founder, and he thinks he might have pulled something in the paddock in his back - causing the funny walk, etc. At any rate, he will be out in the next few days if I have to make an appointment - the way it works is appointments only unless he feels it is an emergency as he is the only equine vet anywhere around, but he is great to call right back and look at photos online through email, etc. to determine if he needs to come out.

His hooves look good by all appearances.
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