Vet's advice doesn't sound right? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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Vet's advice doesn't sound right?

My friend's horse tied up yesterday, and she was talking to me about what he said to do, why it happens, etc. Now, I have no experience with tying up, just the brief bit I've read on here and my vet book, but for some reason, what the vet said isn't coinciding with what my brain thinks? I could just be an idiot who has no idea what she's talking about, and I do plan to do some more research for her when I get home from work. But if anyone could tell me if what he said is accurate?

He told her it happened because she had too much sugar [?!] and not enough work, and she's probably not drinking enough water. So he said to use a huge syringe and give her salt water [?!] a couple times a day, and not to bother buying electrolytes because it's basically just salt anyway [?!]. He said she couldn't have ANY grain because that's what caused it [his sugar theory]. He also said not to let her move around too much [?!] I think there was something else but I can't remember what... does that all sound right?

I don't know why, it's just striking a cord for some reason. Ugh. Any input is appreciated, or links to good articles you know, etc. I do plan on searching the forum a bit more this evening but I don't have time right now, and figured I'd let this float around a bit. Until tonight! =]

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
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post #2 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 10:05 AM
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Getting information straight from an owner who has spoken to a vet will often get you misinformation and partial information. Then getting it from someone who spoke to that owner often ends up making it worse. So, while it does sound sorta off coming from you it may not be depending on what all was said and done at the exam.

The vet could believe that the horse has PSSM/EPSM in which case removing grains and cutting down on sugars in the diet as a whole is recommended.

However it also sounds like he is sorta shooting at all of the possible causes of tying up.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 10:11 AM
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What he said partially jives with me and some of it doesn't. There are many reasons horses tie up. The only way get a decent idea of why is to take a blood and see which of the renal counts is more elevated. Of course they will both be more elvated in a horse who has tied up, but it depends if it was the AST or the CK.
Anyhoo...the "sugar" theory could be correct. I think he's talking about the glycemic index in the hard feed the horse is receiving. Horses who get high glycemic feeds can be more prone to tie up, as well as horses with intollerances and metabloic disorders. There are special feeds on the market for horses with chronic tie up. Phospherous to calcium ratio imbalance can also be an issue.
Dehydration is a major factor. Does this horse have a source of salt, particularly iodized salt? Salt does many things for the body including increasing water intake. Syringing water into him will do the trick, but why not just put some sea salt into his feed, or start him on a ration balancer instead? One trick that works for tie up is baking soda.
The one point I don't agree with is the not moving around, but hey, I'm no vet. Hand walking should be OK and return to normal work as soon as the horse is comfortable is what I've always done.
Did they pull a blood? It can be quite telling as to why the horse tied up.

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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post #4 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 10:14 AM
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AST & CK aren't renal values. They indicate muscle damage.

Cindy D.
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post #5 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 10:33 AM
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Ooops, that's kinda what I meant, we just refer to them as "kidney count" casually, don't know why? Most racing places seem to. We also call it the "muscle count" which would be the more accuate wording, sorry.

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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post #6 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 10:50 AM
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My friends horse tied up years ago and the only part I remember was the vet saying to keep him stalled a few days and gradually bring h back to work. He said something about the muscles not getting what they need and he could therefore be more succeptable to muscle damage. But it was years ago and I could be way off
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post #7 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 11:28 AM
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Now keep in mind that this is what I learned from my Dad, not a vet, though he has been around horses for more than 40 years. Tying up can happen for many reasons. Sometimes it is "too much good feed, not enough work". I kinda compare that with a person who has done no training and then tries to run a marathon. They are going to cramp up, it is almost inevitable. I have some experience with horses tying up but not a whole lot. Dobe has done it twice in the 5 years I have had him (always when I had to use him hard after a month or longer off). We always just give a dose of banamine and turn them out in a decent sized paddock. Most of the time, they won't want to move while they are still tied up anyway and when they finally stop, being able to walk around helps them from getting too sore. If you have to walk them around while they are still tied up, it will sometimes make it worse. I would often use them again the following day with no problems, though I could feel that they were sore. Of course, that is the course of treatment for a horse that just has a very occasional incident. If it is a common thing, then a vet should really get involved.

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post #8 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 12:07 PM
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Tying up is kind of like a cold---lots of reasons why and millions of opinions of what to do. Listen to the vet. He/she could have been trying different approaches to lower costs for someone who couldn't afford all the tests, etc.
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post #9 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 01:33 PM
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I knew a horse that tied up. We call it Monday morning disease here as it usually happens after rigerous work sunday eg hunting then getting there hard feed on monday but not doing work.

We were also told keep a light sheet on them as you warm up slowly or if your doing slow work keep it on all the time!

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post #10 of 12 Old 06-26-2010, 05:43 PM
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Cindy D.
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