How long can horses lie down? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 04:26 PM
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why would you think that there is a time limit for horses being able to lay down?
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post #12 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Yes that's what I was worried about. When I came home and looked up heat stress I was pretty sure that's what was going on. Maybe she laid down to nap and got too hot in the sun. As soon as she got cooled down she was acting so much better. I wish I had had a thermometer at the barn to take her temp, I am sure she was higher than normal. Her chest felt hot like when she has been exercised. She was sweating but she normally sweats alot anyway. No skin tenting so she wasn't dehydrated. I think keeping her stalled during the day with the fans (the barn is under some large trees so it stays cooler) then let her out to pasture at night is the best bet until this heat wave relents a bit. It's so hot here that just going outside takes your breath away. gah... I miss winter, then when it's cold, I miss summer, right now I miss spring when it's nice but not too hot.
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post #13 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 08:05 PM
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Mine will lay in the sun, too, especially if the ground is hot and dry...As long as they are eating and drinking normally I usually let them be. Although it is a little alarming, seeing them out there sprawled in what seems to me an unnatural position.
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post #14 of 17 Old 07-06-2010, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Regan7312 View Post
why would you think that there is a time limit for horses being able to lay down?
Horses very infrequently lay down due to poor circulation - it's why they have locking mechanisms for sleeping standing up. If your horse is laying down for EXTENDED periods of time, then yes, you should definitely be extremely concerned because it is ridiculously easy for a horse to suffer problems that will make it unable to get back up if left for hours on end.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #15 of 17 Old 12-04-2014, 12:28 PM
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Just came across this post while looking for something else related to horses laying down. I know this is an old post....but it might help someone else that comes across it. Many of you have made valid points regarding horse habits and idiosyncrasies....every horse is different! That being said....if you don't know (and that's OK....we all have to learn....none of us knows everything about horses) if you have a health or medical question I would suggest you go to reputable Equine Veterinary sites or Equine Universities....they are the experts and best sources of information on such topics :) Here is an article about horses laying down......Horses Can't Lie Down for Long (Pet Columns, Office of Public Engagement, College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Pet Column for the week of February 2, 2009

Office of Public Engagement
2001 S. Lincoln Ave.
Urbana, Illinois 61802
Phone: 217/333-2907
Ashley Mitek
Information Specialist
It's something you wouldn't believe could happen unless you saw it. You walk out to the barn in the morning and start to panic when you realize your horse has cast itself. Somehow, someway, your horse has managed to lie up against a wall and is unable to get its feet underneath it to stand up. Most horse owners know their equine companions can't lie down for long, but exactly why that is remains a mystery to many.

"The longer they are down, the more prone they are to reperfusion injury," says Dr. Elysia Schaefer, an equine surgery resident at the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine. Reperfusion injury can happen because horses are such large animals and the weight of their body in and of itself can prevent blood flow to certain locations. This can cause severe problems when they try to stand up again, and blood flow tries to return to normal.

Because Dr. Schaefer frequently deals with equine patients that must remain on their backs for an extended period of time during surgery, she knows time is of the essence in the operating room. While surgeries in smaller patients, including humans, may go on for countless hours, equine surgeons usually have a window of about three hours to get the job done.

After surgery, WWe usually give them around one to two hours in the recovery stall and let them try and stand on their own," explains Dr. Schaefer. At the Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Urbana, the large animal surgery recovery room is covered from wall to wall with soft blue pads, and the floor is an inflatable mattress to better comfort patients coming out of anesthesia.

Whether a horse is down because of surgery or it has cast itself in a stall, there are several problems that can occur. Besides reperfusion injury, muscles on the down side of the animal, as well as nerves, can become damaged from excessive pressure. Also, the "down" lung of the horse may cause trouble as excess blood pools there due to gravity.

Horses with neurological diseases are occasionally referred to the teaching hospital for intensive care. In some of these cases, the animal cannot stand. "With neurological cases where the patient is down, we are very careful to go in and flip them every few hours," says Dr. Schaefer. Although an equine surgeon worries about several issues if their patient were to be on one side for a long time, horses can get bedsores just like humans too.

While there is no hard and fast rule about how long a horse can be down before permanent damages ensue, the sooner you can get them up the better. Some owners think it is beneficial to pile wood shavings at least two feet high around the perimeter of the stall to prevent casting. However, that isn't fool proof.

If your horse has been down for a long period of time, or it is has cast itself and you are concerned with its health, call your veterinarian. Some horses may be very scared if they can't get up on their own so use extreme caution if you try to move them.
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post #16 of 17 Old 12-04-2014, 12:38 PM
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This thread was posted 4 years ago.
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post #17 of 17 Old 12-04-2014, 01:23 PM
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Interesting- good article
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