I don't think my Haflinger is quite all right... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 163 Old 10-21-2019, 08:56 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Coastal Maine
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I don't think my Haflinger is quite all right...

...but I am not sure.

I have had three vet checks and one chiropractor out to look at him, and they all say he is fine. But now, I have a vet and a chiropractor coming out together, and I really want a thorough check on this guy.

The first checks were kind of casual... "He seems to me to be walking quite oddly... is that normal? It doesn't seem right..."

But he is not 'lame' and they all think he is fine. But~

1. He walks with his hinds legs kinda far apart, and he stomps his hinds down quite emphatically.

2. He often stands sort of parked out. Not always, by any means, but often.

3. He is reluctant to pick up his lift hind hoof, and does a little dance, where he lifts his right front hoof first, puts it back down, and then lifts his left hind.

4. He rushes into his stall and has fallen down twice, that I know of. I made some changes to the barn, and I haven't seen that in about a year (thanks, HorseForum, for the change-the-barn-around suggestions)

5. He has gotten cast three times that I know of. Again, some changes may have solved that.

6. He trips frequently. Just walking around, whatever. Granted, his paddock is rocky and muddy, and he HATES mud. Not to roll in after a bath, of course, then he LOVES mud, he just hates to walk through mud. There is a drop of 9" to 12" coming out of the barn, and he often misjudges it. The other day leading him out, he tripped and almost hit his nose on the dirt. It looked as though he was going to do a circle flip butt over nose.

7. He falls! About a week ago he was walking through a muddy patch (against his will, I admit) and he fell right over on his side! Flat out. He was just walking!

8. He has a small bump on his spine just at the point where the last rib is. Right at the spot that a saddle should not go past. If I rub it, he gets all dreamy eyed and quivers his lips.

9. Oh yeah, and when he first came, and for maybe the first year, he would shrink down when I brushed or touched his back.

10. He bucks. And again, mismanagement could play a significant role here, and may well be the major factor. He is well fed, underworked, and spoiled fairly rotten. I admit it. But still, he bucks.

So a joint visit is being planned for a vet and chiropractor to come out together and check him out. I'm not SO worried about the bucking and I am sure (though I will ask the "team" that his saddles fit. But I am really worried about the sudden falling for no real reason that I can see.

So no riding until after they see him. But anyway, any ideas what might be going on? Anything particular I should ask the team or mention to them?
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post #2 of 163 Old 10-21-2019, 09:15 PM
Green Broke
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Why not get a video tape?
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post #3 of 163 Old 10-21-2019, 09:15 PM
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1. Are the vet and chiropractor that will be coming out together, different than the first vet and chiropractor? I hope so as it sounds as if the first two have missed a lot of indicators.

2. My knee jerk thought is that he has damage to his spine or sacrum or pelvis, or a combination. He could have fractured himself doing something in the pasture, he could have an old injury from who-knows-what and reinjured it.

2.1. Sometimes infections in the vital organs can also cause them to shrink down when being brushed.

3. In this case I'm going to say get out the credit card if your checkbook is low and demand the vet draw blood for a chemistry panel, a CBC, and while he's at it, check for any neurological disorders.

4. If the next vet and chiro visit is not productive, how close is the nearest equine hospital to you? If your horse is well enough to load, I would carry him to the best facility possible and find out what is wrong ---- because something is wrong and it's been wrong since he fell the first time.

Bottom line is that there IS something wrong him but there's too much going on, from your description, for anyone on the Net to hazard a guess.

Hopefully you can find better professional help than the two Bozos who said nothing's wrong your horse because something is wrong:)

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #4 of 163 Old 10-21-2019, 09:18 PM
Join Date: Jun 2019
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Something is DEFINITELY wrong here. Standing camped out is usually a sign of belly discomfort, such as in colic. But that doesn't really explain the falling over. My instincts at that point would be nerve pinching somewhere, a hidden fracture or some joint dislocation, perhaps in the hip? How about hooves - how are those? Horses that have back problems tend not to buck - that hurts more.

Here, check this out: https://horsesidevetguide.com/drv/Di...of-hip-pelvis/

How long has this been going on? And what happened before it started? Was there an instigating event?
loosie and Captain Evil like this.

No diet, no hoof. No hoof, no horse. No horse is not an option!

Last edited by Feathers7; 10-21-2019 at 09:25 PM.
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post #5 of 163 Old 10-21-2019, 09:47 PM
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Since it's so prevalent here, any time I read of a horse tripping, stumbling, falling and generally acting like he's not sure where his feet are, I think EPM. If that's a thing in your area, I'd have them pull blood for that for sure.

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post #6 of 163 Old 10-22-2019, 06:29 AM
Green Broke
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What have the vets done so far?

I would be wanting a thorough neuro exam, pull blood for anything that might be in your area, and xray the spine. That includes the neck.

Get a specialist vet, not a livestock generalist.
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post #7 of 163 Old 10-22-2019, 06:59 AM
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Has he been tested for Lyme?

How is his eyesight?
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post #8 of 163 Old 10-22-2019, 10:30 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Thank you everyone, for your thoughts.

@4horses ~ I don't have a helper, but someone made a video of their horse by hanging their iPhone around their neck... I will try to get some video of him moving.

@walkinthewalk ~ same vet as one of them (my main vet) but a different chiropractor. I don't think the vet took me seriously the first two visits, as I tend to cry wolf...a lot. When I really got into talking with her about my concerns, she seemed to take it seriously, so here's hoping. CC is (gulp) at the ready.

@Feathers7 ~ This is what I mean by camped out... the first pic was taken about a week after he arrived, the second from a few months ago. To be honest, I had to search for pics of it. Mostly he was standing under himself, but I think he stands like this quite often, more often than seems normal.:



@Dreamcatcher Arabians ~ Will do on the EPM check.

@ApuetsoT ~ . What they have done so far is ask me to walk and trot him about a bit, then, since nothing is apparent and he is definitely not "lame", they pronounce him okay. The chiropractor was quite interesting; there were some crystals involved at which I inwardly roll my eyes, but she also did some neck and back work which provoked an interesting response from Boojum; when she was done with each stretch he would repeat the exact movement by himself one or two times, as if testing the new situation or sensation. I asked if there were any issues I should be aware of and if he was okay to ride, and she said he was in fine shape, no issues.

@Acadianartist ~ Yes, he was tested for Lyme about a week after he arrived here: he had a nasty tick on his neck. That was also the first 'vet check' for odd movement. I never considered eyesight, but a problem there would help explain some of his behaviors for sure. So I will keep that in mind when they come out also.

The back shrinking has been gone for at least a year. I think it may have been the way I was grooming him. I got more aggressive brushes and stopped being so gentle, and he now likes being brushed. And he is cleaner :)

But one big thing I neglected to mention in my original post, and the thing that convinced me it wasn't just clumsiness or me being over-cautions was that on the lung-line (we have started mini-lunging: three minutes a side at a walk, then two minutes a side at walk & maybe trot) is this: he understeps with his right hind. His left hind tracks right into his left front hoofprint but his right hind lands behind his right front hoofprint.

This happens both directions. Some days it is only by an inch or so, but some days it can be by as much as 9 or 12 inches.

Our space is limited so our circles are small (hence the slow speeds). One time it looked as though his entire right hind leg kind of pivoted outward a bit, and he took a really lame step, so we quit for the day.

If I can figure out how to take and post a video of him moving, I will do that.

Thanks again for the ideas on how to go forward with this.
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post #9 of 163 Old 10-22-2019, 10:46 AM
Join Date: May 2012
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There's a couple of posts that have already given some of my thoughts - EPM, Lyme, something going on in the spine.
The falling over incidents would make me want to get some in depth tests done.

Probably unrelated - but in the lower photograph I'm seeing what looks to be some unnatural fat deposits which are an early indicator of IR and Cushing's diease

Just winging it is not a plan
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post #10 of 163 Old 10-22-2019, 12:04 PM
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If you stand directly behind him and look at his hips, are they level? Or is one side lower than the other? When you talk about him short striding and swinging his leg out to step, made me think of this. If so, your chiro can definitely help with that, but I wouldn't dismiss medical causes either, just yet.
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