Rusty lying down - is he just weird?
I know I'm not the only one who would freak out a little seeing her horse lying down often in the pasture, but I also have a history of being a little paranoid. He did colic last fall, so anytime he lies down repeatedly, I keep a close eye on things.
- just turned 7, Appy gelding
- he was de-wormed on Friday. No worms showed up on fecal, but I de-worm twice a year regardless.
- they were switched to a new pasture Saturday. Not seeded, not particularly rich (in fact, there are bare spots where grass doesn't even grow). There are some dandelions though, and he loves those.
- when he colicked last fall, he went downhill fast. My first clue was lying down and not wanting to eat. Within about an hour and a half, I could no longer get him up and the vet arrived just in time to tube him. This is different but I'm still on high alert just in case.
- they were let out on pasture around 11 am. By around 4-5 pm, I noticed he was lying down. Didn't pay much attention, but I was doing chores (picking manure) so within a few minutes, noticed he had gotten up and was lying down again. Not up-down-up-down, just a few minutes standing up, then a few minutes lying down. Not biting at his belly, not rolling, just... taking a nap. Literally. I see his eyes close, his head gets heavy, sometimes he rests his chin on the ground and naps for 10 minutes, then gets back up to eat some more.
- I panicked, and brought them into the dry lot (easier to keep them together rather than stress him out). I walked him around a bit. He wasn't thrilled with the idea, but didn't attempt to lie down, so I decided to leave him for a bit.
- They got nothing to eat for an hour or two, but I noticed Rusty was not laying down, was playing with Harley as usual, energetic and frisky. I gave them hay in slow-feeder nets and he happily ate.
- As a precaution, I kept them dry-lotted for the night with some hay nets.
- This morning, I let them back out around 10 am. It's 10:22 and both Rusty and Harley are laying down. Rusty is not rolling or nipping at his sides.
Other symptoms absent:
- As of last night and this morning, there are gut sounds, he's passing stool (I literally just saw him pass it 20 minutes ago and it was normal, ball-shaped not liquid), his hooves aren't hot or sensitive (quite cool in fact). He's not acting differently other than laying down frequently.
- I should mention that this new pasture is directly behind my house so I see him all the time. The other pasture was behind trees so I couldn't see him. Maybe he was laying down before and I just didn't see it. Maybe he just likes laying in grass (cool and soft)? I should mention we have a lot of flies right now. He wears a fly mask but his belly and sheath are exposed when he stands (not so much when he lies down).
I know dandelions are a diuretic. Could he just be feeling that? I also know they're high in sugar, but these are not new shoots, in fact, they're older, overmature plants.
Obviously I have the vet's number ready if needed, but it's Sunday and I'm broker than broke so I won't call unless I see something off. Right now he is acting completely normally other than laying down more than I would think is normal.