Biting after girthing - Page 7 - The Horse Forum
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post #61 of 72 Old 02-27-2016, 12:24 PM
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I don't like the sound of the way his droppings look - that's the sort of thing you see in horses that have a heavy burden of encysted worms (cyathostome).
Attached 2 photos
One of what they look like in the dropping when they emerge - I've seen some ponies shed so many in one go it looked as if they were bleeding
One of what they look like when in their encysted state

Harley sounds to be such an otherwise nice natured little horse and very willing to ride that it would worry me to write off his behavior when girthed as being naughtiness without the really thorough investigation that you're doing so I think you're doing the right thing
Ulcerguard (Omeprazole) available off prescription - there are others on the market but this is the only way that's FDA approved to say that it works and contains what they say it contains
https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail....gZwaAuoz8P8HAQ

Some good info on hindgut ulcers - and since reducing fermentation there by feeding less starch based feeds so all digestion takes place in the foregut where its supposed too I would personally not suggest feeding whole oats
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post #62 of 72 Old 02-28-2016, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee View Post
I don't like the sound of the way his droppings look - that's the sort of thing you see in horses that have a heavy burden of encysted worms (cyathostome).
Attached 2 photos
One of what they look like in the dropping when they emerge - I've seen some ponies shed so many in one go it looked as if they were bleeding
One of what they look like when in their encysted state

Harley sounds to be such an otherwise nice natured little horse and very willing to ride that it would worry me to write off his behavior when girthed as being naughtiness without the really thorough investigation that you're doing so I think you're doing the right thing
Ulcerguard (Omeprazole) available off prescription - there are others on the market but this is the only way that's FDA approved to say that it works and contains what they say it contains
https://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail....gZwaAuoz8P8HAQ

Some good info on hindgut ulcers - and since reducing fermentation there by feeding less starch based feeds so all digestion takes place in the foregut where its supposed too I would personally not suggest feeding whole oats
Gosh, those are some pretty pictures Jaydee!!! Why isn't there a projectile vomiting emoticon? ;)

Just kidding. I appreciate it very much. Fecal samples were collected and dropped off for analysis. I did not see anything in his stool that looked like this, but I really don't like this constant loose stool. It runs down his hocks and cannot feel good in his gut. At this point, part of me is actually hoping they'll find something that would give us some leads. But if they don't, we will still treat as planned and see if that brings about improvement. If not, I will continue to investigate other possibilities.

As for his feed, I will not be making ANY changes for the next little while. This isn't a good time to be messing with his diet again. He will just eat the BO's hay and pellet feed for now and changes in his diet will be made in consultation with the horse nutritionist but only after we've analysed his diet and his needs. And then it will be done gradually. The last thing he needs right now is for me to go changing his food again.
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post #63 of 72 Old 02-28-2016, 01:42 PM
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I agree with not changing the feed - as log as he's getting enough hay every day with no long gaps in between feeds and the pellets are good quality - not high starch/sugar based then its best to leave him for now
The loose droppings are a warning sign that something isn't right in his digestive system and combined with the grumpy attitude when girthed might make me give him a little break from riding until its resolved - perhaps some quiet work on the lunge?
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post #64 of 72 Old 02-28-2016, 02:48 PM Thread Starter
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I agree with not changing the feed - as log as he's getting enough hay every day with no long gaps in between feeds and the pellets are good quality - not high starch/sugar based then its best to leave him for now
The loose droppings are a warning sign that something isn't right in his digestive system and combined with the grumpy attitude when girthed might make me give him a little break from riding until its resolved - perhaps some quiet work on the lunge?
Except that he had loose stool since the day we got him, on October 3rd 2015 (literally, I remember because it's the first thing he did when he got on the trailer and the seller just said it was because he was nervous... but it has never gone away). This isn't new. We've been riding him all that time... and he's happy when being ridden. It doesn't mean I'm not going to keep trying to figure out if this is something we can change. It's entirely possible he's been living with this for quite some time. Or it's possible this is just how his stool is... he does drink a lot of water. And yes, I know, it might be a sign of IR or Cushings, but the vet and BO do not not think so. Just in case though, we are avoiding anything with high sugar or high starch in his diet. And if the worming and ulcer treatments don't help, we will do a full bloodwork analysis.

I know some of you think I'm over-thinking this and others think I should be more aggressive with treatment... yet others think I should just deal with it as a behavioral issue. I really do appreciate hearing a diversity of opinions because it helps me consider all possibilities. But believe me when I say I am exploring ALL of those possibilities, consulting with vets, the trimmer, a saddle fitter, an equine massage therapist, a horse trainer, and a horse nutritionist to get to the bottom of something that only bothers Harley about 2% of the time. Because 98% of the time, he looks and behaves like a happy, healthy horse. He is nippy for about 5 minutes after he is girthed, which is about 3-5 times a week. And I can't start changing everything around too quickly because it might aggravate the problem and we might then see a sudden improvement and not know whether it was the wormer, the ulcer meds or the change in diet that did it. I feel it's necessary to work through this by a process of elimination and give each treatment some time to work. Knowing the cause will help me make the lifestyle changes that will prevent it from recurring.

Of course I'd like to see my horse be happy 100% of the time and I do take nippiness very seriously. But it may take some time. I will keep you all posted!

Oh, and yes, he gets hay to munch on all day and part of the evening. It makes up the bulk of his diet.
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post #65 of 72 Old 02-28-2016, 03:27 PM
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Excitability pooping is common - K does it when she knows she's going on the trailer - but as soon as we arrive wherever we're going she's back to normal
One of the indicators of a horse's health is how its droppings look so a horse that's always loose should cause concern
Re. the excessive drinking - well I'm surprised at your vet's and BO's attitude towards that. The Cushings test is simple enough and not hugely expensive. Excessive drinking, diarrhea/loose droppings and a winter coat that's thicker and maybe coarser than it probably should be for the breed considering he's stabled and blanketed are all early signs that shouldn't be ignored
If he is positive then getting him on pergolide now could give him a lot more years of healthy useful life
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post #66 of 72 Old 03-06-2016, 09:08 AM Thread Starter
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Just thought I'd come in to say that the fecal tests have come back negative on both counts: no worms and no indications of ulcers.

We are nonetheless going to treat him with Omeprazole as planned. I will begin treatment in a week as this is not a good week to start. He is going to a three-day camp with my daughter at the coach's barn and I will be out of town for a funeral. I figure there's no point in giving it to him when he's likely going to be stressed.

We rode him yesterday and I got my daughter to tack him up since I usually do it, but she'll have to do everything herself at this three-day camp. Because she's not as strong as I am, when she put the girth on, she was much more gentle. Harley didn't even flinch! No tail swishing, nothing. In fact, he was half asleep when she did it. I led him to the indoor though, because it's icy, and he was nippy with me. So now I am wondering if this is just a learned behavior. He was also very fidgety when I tightened the girth before my daughter got on.

I will not be worming him until after we are done the ulcer treatment so as not to overwhelm his system.

Here's a video I took of him - not sure you can view this. Don't mind my daughter, she is being kind of lazy (she performs better in front of her coach and yes, she is wearing a skirt over her riding pants - her idea, and as a mom, I pick my battles), but you can see in this video that he is happy and relaxed. Also, he looks much better after having shed some of that winter coat! He does still have muscles, they were just hidden under all the fuzz.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B31...ew?usp=sharing

Let me know if you can't view the link.
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post #67 of 72 Old 03-06-2016, 10:09 AM
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He's so cute. And I fully support skirts over riding pants. :)

I'm glad you're being proactive with his health, as you just never know! The fact that he seems so happy & healthy most of the time is a good sign, I think, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't investigate. I think it will all be easier to monitor once he's at your house, too.
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post #68 of 72 Old 03-06-2016, 02:08 PM
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I think you're right to still do the ulcer treatment as the fecal test would really only show blood in the sample if the ulcers were bad enough to be bleeding and as already said - the worst worms for causing internal pain - the encysted ones - won't usually show up on a fecal sample
It probably is better to do the ulcer treatment before worming
Its possible that your daughter doesn't do the girth up tight enough to cause him discomfort - but possible also not tight enough to keep the saddle in place!!
He looks pretty good on the video - but she really does need to shorten her stirrups - she's having to really reach down to keep her foot on them and when she tries to lower her heel her leg shoots forwards
You might find that with correct stirrup length she'd be able to sit down more deeply in the saddle and hold him better in canter too
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post #69 of 72 Old 03-06-2016, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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I think you're right to still do the ulcer treatment as the fecal test would really only show blood in the sample if the ulcers were bad enough to be bleeding and as already said - the worst worms for causing internal pain - the encysted ones - won't usually show up on a fecal sample
It probably is better to do the ulcer treatment before worming
Its possible that your daughter doesn't do the girth up tight enough to cause him discomfort - but possible also not tight enough to keep the saddle in place!!
He looks pretty good on the video - but she really does need to shorten her stirrups - she's having to really reach down to keep her foot on them and when she tries to lower her heel her leg shoots forwards
You might find that with correct stirrup length she'd be able to sit down more deeply in the saddle and hold him better in canter too
The sirrups are a little long because I had just ridden him and she didn't want to bother shortening them. She'll listen to the coach, but not to me so as with the skirt, I pick my battles. I am well aware that her form in this video is pretty sloppy. My point in showing it was to show that Harley is happy when he is being ridden and that he really does not have the shaggy coat of a Cushings horse (the BO has a senior horse with Cushings and I can see a big difference). According to the coach, he is actually pretty fit so maybe he hasn't lost muscle over the winter after all - they were just hidden under his winter coat which is now coming out. And yes, I know he could still have Cushings, but I want to focus on dealing with one issue at a time.

As for the canter, the issue wasn't her ability sit it out, but her inability to get Harley to transition back down to the trot. She canters her lesson horses all the time. Harley is just a little more excitable than her lesson horses.

Finally, I agree that when my daughter tightens the girth, it isn't tight enough for the saddle to be secure. Which is why I always tighten it before she gets on him. Her coach does the same. It was just interesting that he didn't react at all to her putting it on him. I'm wondering if his negative association is with me putting it on. Maybe I've been a little too rough/quick in tightening it.
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post #70 of 72 Old 03-06-2016, 03:59 PM
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You're the one who is making it really tight, and that's the part he doesn't like. I wonder what would happen if her instructor or someone else did that last tightening of it?
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