Strange Behvior - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By mls
  • 1 Post By SueNH
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-01-2012, 09:00 AM Thread Starter
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Strange Behvior


New to the forum. I have a horse that belonged to my mother who passed away 13 years ago, he isn't registered so I can only guess his age to be in the teens. He is exhibiting some strange behavior, always been very lethargic and not too energetic his entire life, but seems to be more than usual. When walking seems to be moving strange, almost like not sure where the ground and his feet are, like he is blind.
He is a paint with blue eyes and they appear to be fine so I don't think it is blindness at all. Not sure what is going on with him, only change is that I sold a mare last week that has been with my heard for 7 years, stalled next to him. Wondering if this could be just depression or is there something more going on. He is eating and drinking normal, seems to have all the correct bowel movements and urinating normal.
I am stumped, this horse is normally very healthy and has never had any problems.
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-01-2012, 09:58 AM
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Please have a vet out to check him out.
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post #3 of 9 Old 08-01-2012, 10:31 AM
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Agreed. This could be a number of things, all of which need medical attention, please call your vet right away.
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-01-2012, 10:46 AM Thread Starter
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I have tried to find one, there isn't large animal vets that do farm calls in my area. Anyone close wants me to trailer him and I don't think that is a good idea just in case he falls in the trailer. Currently trying to find someone to come out. The vet I always used no longer treats equine, only companion animals! This is so frustrating!
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post #5 of 9 Old 08-01-2012, 07:53 PM
Green Broke
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Does he have other companions with hooves?

Horse do mourn the lose of a friend. Last fall I lost an old gelding and my pony mare went into such a deep funk that she stopped eating. They had been together for 20+ years.Didn't matter that her goat pal was still here. She would just stand in the middle of the field waiting for old King to come charging across like he did. Sometimes she would perk up like she heard something only to drop her head and continue her vigil. She would only take a bite or two of her food. Barely touch hay. It wasn't until I brought 2 mares home that she started snapping out of it. Slowly at first but she must have decided to be Queen of the field again and came around.

She actually still stands quietly near his grave for a moment like she is telling him the events of the day and then goes off to boss around the other horses.

Yes they do mourn.
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-02-2012, 12:18 AM
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Yep, they do mourn & get depressed, some get really sick & I'm convinced one of mine died because he lost his life partner. For others & future reference, it's apparently easier on them if they can see the other horse leave, whether sold or dead. I would be keeping an eye on her, making sure she's got live in company & exercise & if you decide not to do it right now, I wouldn't let this behaviour go for too much longer before calling a vet, to at least rule out other problems.

Sue, your mare story reminds me of an email I was sent recently about the 'Elephant Whisperer dying' Very moving! Did anyone else see it?? Don't know if I can attach email attachments like that here...
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post #7 of 9 Old 08-02-2012, 08:23 AM Thread Starter
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I have a vet coming this afternoon, he didn't want to move at all last evening. No limping, no heat in legs or feet. Has me baffled!
There is other horses there with him, his best friend is my retired 20 year gelding with Cushings and I have a halter mare. Really thought she would be the one to give me the most trouble since the mare that I sold was her buddy in the field, but she is very good at hiding her feelings.
He isn't off food at all, drinking water and body functions all normal, suppose it could be severe depression. I know he is getting older, but I talk through him to my mother. Sounds strange but she was so happy when she called me and bought him. She had a big quarter horse gelding that palomino, Smokey and this is a black and white paint, Bandit, get it. She was a fan of Burt Reynolds. Her best friend took Smokey and I took Bandit. Cared for him the past 13 years and will do so as long as quality of life is good. Just hope it is something we can treat and get him back to normal.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-02-2012, 08:38 AM
Green Broke
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My little mare saw King buried. She actually watched sort of mesmerized. Rocked back and forth like a too long stalled race horse. I wasn't much help for her. I was too upset about loosing the big dumb pain in the butt he was. I could almost hear her mind screaming NO, no, no! She knew but was going to accept the fact.

She stood in that field in cold autumn storms, cold rain and ice and wind. I was very afraid I would loose her too so I started searching Craigslist for a companion pony. Came home with 2 that needed somebody. One was over 16 hands but she was in dire need and that kind of helped me too.

Wouldn't hurt to have a vet check him. You've had him 13 years so there is the possibility that he has some age on him. Just like old people things start falling apart a bit.
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-03-2012, 10:53 AM
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At our rescue/sanctuary we have horses pass more often than we'd like. We always make sure any horse who could have considered that horse a friend has a chance to see them before they are buried. Only once we didn't do this - an arab gelding lost his friend and we didn't think to show him that his friend had passed. He spent the next week calling and pacing all around his paddock, almost unable to be handled. He finally settled down but was horribly herd bound after that - every time we took any other horse out (he was very crippled and stayed out most of the time) he would flip a gaskit, calling and pacing (as best he could).
I have considered doing the same for when horses leave the barn, but I don't want to build a fear of trailers, but I do give them each a chance to see the horse before they leave, maybe that's superstitious but I find it makes a difference.
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