New Feed/Tying Up

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New Feed/Tying Up

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    08-16-2009, 08:14 PM
New Feed/Tying Up

Okay. My horse has had pretty bad back issues for a whuile now due to an ignorant owner before me. I think i'm finally getting on top of it and have gotten himto a place where he can be comfortable working in his tack and with a rider.

Part of this was getting him treated by a man named Terry last week. He uses Acupunture, Laser Therapy, massage, manipulation as well as a few produts he has imported from the US to treat horses. Bundy was sore in a few places and out in others, but the main thing he found was that he has been tying up. Not bad enough to impede his movmenet severely (I have had one other horse tie up and he could hardly walk; I didn't know there were more 'minor' effects) but enough to cause a lot of soreness in his liver area which was mistaken for back soreness. He treated him with Sore-No-More liniment and Laser therapy to move the lactic acid and has suggest a re-haul of his feeding.

Here's the issue; Deciding on a new feeding regime! At the moment he is getting fed a scoop of Vitality Plus at night, and while there is not a lot of feed in the paddock, a biscuit of lucerne hay. In summer when we have feed in the paddock he doesn't get any hay. The feed is more to keep them friendly and top up anything they may be lacking than to provide energy, etc.

He has recently had a month or two off while we worked out his sorness issues and saddle issues. I now have my new saddle custom made to fit him, and after Terry's session he is free of soreness, so he will be brought back into work. Progressively as it gets warmer he will be ridden more during the week and for longer, as well as competing on weekends.

Terry suggested switching him over to a Hygain Feed: Hygain. He uses Hygain with his horses and says he recommends it to all his clients. He said to find the feed that suits us the most, he has used Release successfully with horses who tie up, but any would work.

Here are the feeds I think are suitable:




Feel free to give any opinions on which would suit Bundy better! Only looking to feed small amounts.

Terry also suggested that we replace the lucerne hay with Lucerne/Green Chaff, as it contains less glucose, which may be contributing to his tying up. If not, then soaking and then drying out the lucerne will get rid of some of the excess glucose.

Now here's the problem... Bundy is in a paddock with my little Arab, Wildey, and a friends lease horse, Buddy. My dad feeds them nightly as they live on the property he works on. Wildey and Bundy so far get the same size scoop of Vitality Plus, and all three horses get a biscuit of hay. Wildey and Bundy finish their Vitality, and then all three swap around hay. Buddy's owner has just bought a bulk lot of lucerne hay cheap off my dad's boss. If we swap Bundy over to meadow hay, then he will simply take Wildey or Buddy's hay (he is Alpha). We can swap Wildey and Bundy over to green chaff, but if they don't like it, again one will swap with Buddy. If it takes longer/shorter time to eat than Buddy's hay, then again bullying will occur. Swapping to Hygain shouldn't be a problem, as we will just feed Wildey the same quantity of Vitality as Bundy gets of Hygain. The only problem will be if Bundy doesn't like the Hygain, as again he will steal Wildey's vitality.

It sn't feasible for dad to seperate the horses to feed them. I don't know what to do!
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    08-16-2009, 09:42 PM
Check out the EPSM thread. Theres talk of food in there. Also, how did he determine he was tying up? The best way to find out is by drawing blood and seeing what his SGOTs are. They will be high if he is tying up, the higher they are the worse he is tying up
    08-16-2009, 09:57 PM
I second the PP. Get a blood, that's the only way to know for sure. There are 2 markers to watch, and which ever is higher will tell you if it is chronic or if it was caused by some stress of trauma if he is indeed tying up.
    08-16-2009, 10:02 PM
First, it sounds like Terry is a bit behind on his information. Tying up is not caused by lactic acid buildup. It can in fact be caused by several different things. Do not trust a non-vet to diagnose and prescribe treatment for a medical condition--they simply don't have the medical background to do this. You need to get your horse diagnosed by a veterinarian and find out what is causing him to tie-up (if he is) and select his diet accordingly.

None of the feeds that were recommended or that you think fit should be used with this horse. They are all going to be high in NSC's and are grain based which aren't good for horse's that tie up.

When you notice him getting stiff, you need to have the vet out to pull blood within 24 hours and test to determine if it truly is tying up. (You can't diagnose it without bloodwork.)

Please take the time to read some good informational articles on this topic:
The Horse | Diagnostic Approach To Equine Muscle Disorders
The Horse | Muscle Disorders in Warmbloods Easily Diagnosed through Biopsy
    08-16-2009, 10:15 PM
I just read the EPSM thread. Terry did suggest adding some baking soda in his feed for the first few weeks of the swap to help dissapate any residual potassium.

I do trust Terry's judgement on this as he came highly recomended by a good trusted friend. He treated one of her horses and said thwe same, the mare was tying up. She followed up with a vet visit and sure enough the vet confirmed that the problem was tying up.

If I can get away with not having to get blood taken it would be great as I just paid $4000 for the new saddle for him so am a bit strapped for cash at the moment. Don't get me wrong though, if it is something I definitely need to do I won't hesitate.

Also, how did he determine he was tying up?
He did a lot fo touching/feeling and as soon as he got to his lower back he said he was tying up. He explained, I will tryt o remember as much as I can. He said that the reason he had soreness there was because that was where the gas and lactic acid was building up, near his liver nodes? May not have been nodes, but liver something, or maybe Kidneys. Whatever it is that's located just under where the rear of the saddle sits. He explained how tying up occurs, which I knew from when my arab tied up a few years ago. He asked me about his workload, how he is to ride, what I feed him etc. and said that the tying up is being caused by too much grain fermenting in his hindgut. Hence the suggestion to switch his feed. He said that all the problems should go away once I swap his feed; If not to give him a call and he will come back free of charge and do another treatment/refer me to a vet if there is still issues. He treated the area with the Sore-No-More liniment, and used laser therapy to encourage the gas/lactic acids to dissapate. He had no more soreness there when I checked him the next day, and the pain reactions I had been getting when attempting to ride were gone.

^ Sorry if I sound a bit scatty and don't know what i'm talking about here. I really have a horrible memory, so if something I quoted Terry as saying sounds horrible off base, I probably was mistaken.
    08-16-2009, 10:19 PM
First, it sounds like Terry is a bit behind on his information. Tying up is not caused by lactic acid buildup. It can in fact be caused by several different things.
Sorry, like I said above I have a really bad memory. The way he described it to me was that the undigested grain was moving into his hindgut where it was fermenting, resulting in gasses? Or lactic acid? Something of the kind.

None of the feeds that were recommended or that you think fit should be used with this horse. They are all going to be high in NSC's and are grain based which aren't good for horse's that tie up.
Even the feed that was developed to be beneficial to horses that tie up? I'm not trying to argue, I just get really confused with all of the technical things involved in nutrition. I understand that too much grain results in undigested grain fermenting in the hindgut, as above.
    08-16-2009, 10:25 PM
When you notice him getting stiff, you need to have the vet out to pull blood within 24 hours and test to determine if it truly is tying up. (You can't diagnose it without bloodwork.)
I really only noticed the stiffness about a month ago at a jumping clinic I rode him at. He seemed to warm up out of it, but is was worse by the last session so I didn't ride him and ponied him home. He got two weeks off after that and then a gentle weekend of competition; He was a lot better than the weeks before but was showing it a little at the end of the second day. After that I stopped riding him until the treatment by Terry and my new saddle. When I rode him to try the new saddle, he felt like a different horse, none of the humping (which was related to different soreness and pressure points) or the stiffness that I had been feeling in the last month or so. I am heading out to ride him in the new saddle tonight. If the stiffness presents itself again I guess I will have to get bloodwork done. The only bummer is that I don't know if my regular vet has the facilities to analyse bloodwork, So I will probably have to use the big fancy vet who charge a bajillion dollars for everything. Might have to borrow some money if I need to got he the big vet.
    08-16-2009, 10:31 PM
*Just a note, when my arab tied up a few years ago, my vet suggested putting him on a selennium supplement as our area has been known to have low levels of selennium.
    08-16-2009, 11:41 PM
The feed may not be the thing causing the tying up. There are lots of reasons horses have this problem, dehydration is a big one. Feed may not be the cause. Stress can do it, or sudden changes in work load - either a sudden increase or even a decrease. And it is the kidneys that are involved , they are located under the saddle. In the old days, they used to call tie up "Monday morning disease", as horses often presented with it after a day of rest. Yes, baking soda can help a lot, and there are many natural choices that work well, such as apple cider vinegar. There are also all kinds of suplements that can work great.
Hope it all works out for you!
    08-17-2009, 12:08 AM
^ Thanks. I do know that there are many causes. Unless he has suddenly stopped drinking strange water then dehydration is not a factor, as he always has a constant water source and always drinks when away from home. I don't think stress is it, or sudden changes in workload as it happened over a period of time, and there were no sudden changes. He was ridden pretty regularly and was in decent shape.

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