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kitten_Val 08-11-2009 09:31 AM

Urgent! Horse dragging her back feet
So I put Kiara to the stall for the night. She was fine yesterday night. And this morning when we let her out she had issues moving her back feet. Not lame or anything, but looks extremely stiff with the hind. The best comparison would be if you sit on one leg without moving for really long time you have the same issues: hard to move, don't feel it, and then the pain kicks in.

So I started to walk her back and forth and after 5 mins I lightly trotted her and she looked OK (although little stiff). She ate her grain with great appetite (as usual) and she was busy with the hay when I left. Mom checked on her hour later and said she drags one leg again a little. She gave her massage and it was OK again.

So my question is... Any ideas on what could it be? Could it be that no movement in stall for while could bring this problem up? Can it be EPM (I'm REALLY scared of that)? She has that bump between the front legs, so I think that may be after hot compress she felt pretty good and warm, fall asleep and stayed there for too long...?

Anyway, I called my vet and he said to watch her till tomorrow to see what will happen. And I definitely won't put her in stall for while too.

smrobs 08-11-2009 10:18 AM

Is she used to being stalled all night or does she seldom get stalled? Some horses will swell up and get stiff in a stall when they are not used to being confined. That is good that you are getting the vet out. I don't know much about EPM so I don't know if it could be that or not. Don't get too stressed until you find out what the vet says.

EPMhorse 08-11-2009 10:41 AM

Kitten Val,
with EPM or another neurological symptom, you won't usually see the symptom get better with 5 minutes of walking or a massage. Neurological symptoms associated with EPM can come and go, but you would be talking about days, not minutes.

This sounds more like she is stocked up from not moving. With the temperature yesterday, could it be heat related? Make sure she has access to shade, salt and cool water.


EPMhorse 08-11-2009 10:51 AM

Kitten Val,

Can it be EPM (I'm REALLY scared of that)?
There are things that you can do to help prevent EPM. Make sure the diet contains enough vitamin E to keep the blood-brain barrier healthy, have your forage tested to see if there is a mineral deficiency, and give plenty of turn out to help keep the immune system and mental state well.

Keeping the opposum feces off the feed and water is only part of the prevention.


kitten_Val 08-11-2009 12:10 PM

Thanks for response, folks! It gave me some release. :) My vet didn't even mentioned EMP on phone, but I do remember seeing horses with EPM and they didn't walk good.

She's rarely stalled. More often in winter in snow/rain, but always never in summer time. We had REALLY heavy rain yesterday, so I decided it's a good idea, because then they can eat their hay quietly and they really prefer that (otherwise they stand in shelter all the time). Will see how she'll be at night.

EPMhorse, I'm doing my best to keep it from happening (all my grain is in garage and hay is in locked sheds), they both get supplements (and of course, cool water and salt are there 24/7), and I also havn't seen too many raccoons or possums around, but you just never know. I heard it's a terrible disease to pick. :(

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