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Discussion Starter #1
My 3 year old Gelding has recently been laying down at least a couple times a day. I really started to notice it Friday when I left the house, thought nothing of it til Saturday when he was down twice.

-No change in appetite
-No rolling, sweating, or discomfort
-Normal movements when up (from what I can see at least)
-Overdue for trim (although i go longer in the winter cuz his hooves don't grow)
-Been nice lately, for about the last week... (in the high 30's to mid 40's)
-Gets up when I ask him to

those are kinda the facts that I know.
I did have to put my TB down 2 weeks ago tomorrow (due to liver failure)... they were really attached, could he be depressed? I'm at a loss right now. I'm gonna call the farrier tomorrow and get him out in case it's that simple. Will probably place a call to the vet too just to ask him a few questions about it.

Also, when the vet was out here he did the yearly's on my 2 and pulled coggins... if something were to be virally wrong would it show up on there or would they have to test specifically for something?

Thanks guys!

 

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you have to specifically test for each disease so no, it would not show up on coggins. Since he doesn't seem to be running a fever, and is eating drinking urinating and defecating normally it isn't likely that there is a systemic infection. I would take his temperature and monitor his heart rate as these go up with colic, but it is very possible there are a few things going on.

He could be sad and depressed, I would be surprised if he wasn't missing his buddy actually. It could also be going through a growth spurt which takes a lot out of them. Also, when you say the vet did yearlies I assume vaccinations were part of that? These can wipe an animal out for a little bit, especially if he is growing/working hard. If the heart rate, temp and food intake and output all seem normal I would give him some time to grieve and adjust but it can't hurt to have a call in to the vet to get their opinion (since he just saw/knows your horse!) Good luck with him, hope he gets to feeling better soon.
 

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I don't see being depressed is the reason. Yes, I'm sure he misses his buddy [as I'm sure you do too, I'm sorry for your loss] but I've never heard of a horse laying down from depression. Usually it's a loss of appetite or energy. You say it's been nice, it's very possible he is enjoying a good nap in the sunshine. I know my horses have. You also have to remember that horses need to lay down to sleep to get that REM sleep. Sleeping while standing isn't enough to keep them going for long.
 

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In nice temps, I see all the horses lay down at different times in the warm sun! lol. somtimes they look dead.... o_O
Anyway, I agree with tealamutt
 

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This above post reminded me to add he could very possible be moving to stay in the sun, explaining why you see him up and down so often. It's when he doesn't get up for a meal that you should really start to worry.
 

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You also have to remember that horses need to lay down to sleep to get that REM sleep. Sleeping while standing isn't enough to keep them going for long.
Never heard that one before! How interesting! I didn't know that they *needed* to lie down to sleep regularly. Googled it & in wikipedia under horse_behaviour it says that they need 2-3 hrs of REM sleep every few days to meet minimum requirements. Under Hitting the Hay - equine sleep habits it says... "Typically the adult horse expends approximately 45 minutes in actual REM sleep which usually occurs in nine periods of five minutes each."
 

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This may be a little off topic but a horses hooves grow in the winter about the same as any other time of year. Your horse still needs regular trims.
 

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This may be a little off topic but a horses hooves grow in the winter about the same as any other time of year. Your horse still needs regular trims.
Hi kevin, I don't think it necessarily sounds like the horse has a problem at all, but I don't think your comment's OT, considering hoof problems & pain are common & could be a possible prob in this instance.

I agree fully that horses need regular trimming at any time of year. But IME it depends on the horse & his care & management as to how much hooves grow at particular times of the year. For eg. exercise is a big factor of growth, and many horses get a lot less during winter, so growth may slow. Diet is also another consideration, and if nutrients are lacking, growth may slow. Hopefully this is far from a possibility for a 3yo horse, but overall bad health, hoof pathologies & constant, long term shoeing can also inhibit hoof function & growth. Another thing is laminitis - often due to lami/founder it *appears* that a horse's feet - well, more commonly just the toes - don't grow as much.

What I'm getting at is if my horse's feet weren't growing, I'd be wanting to analyse what was wrong in the situation & change it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Wasn't saying they don't grow, but in him they tend to grow slower in the colder months, so we usually push the trimmings out a week, maybe 2 since in the winter the budget is tight due to lack of hours at work.

but I have the farrier coming out in a bit today, I've been messing with his feet and he seems to have some heat above the hoof... I've been cleaning them out and putting bannixx on them, I'm thinking either thrush since it has been really muddy with the warm weather melting the show or he has an absess coming in *sigh*
The farrier will know for sure today, hopefully what ever it is stops, I may have to get antibiotics for him if it is bad. I freak out when he's down, although he gets up right away.

Thanks for all the info tho! I had read about the REM sleep before.... most people thing horses only sleep standing, I get that question a lot from non horsey people when I tell them I have horses.
 

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I've never heard of thrush getting so bad that your horse has to lay down to relieve the pain. Nor have I ever heard of putting a horse on antibiotics for thrush. The trim will allow more air to get into the area, and a good thrush treatment for a few days will clear it right up. I just highly doubt he's laying down because he has thrush. o_O
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I had a mare who needed antibiotics for absess, not thrush, I was referring to an absess when i mentioned antibiotics. I had that mare go lame with thrush tho, she layed down when she had the absess.

Anyway, the farrier left, found nothing in his hooves, no abnormal heat, he said the heat i felt was normal and I probably overreacted (which sounds like me) but you can never be too careful. So hooves good other than being a tad long (which i knew). He said that he would guess he's laying down because of the warm weather, finally minimal snow on the ground since its been in the high 40's for a few days.

He also said that me having to put down my TB could have a lot to do with it, it may just be sinking in that Magic is not coming back and he's depressed/sad since he was with Magic for almost 2 years, just them 2 for the most of it. He was pretty much raised by Magic, from a yearling til now.


I'll keep an eye on him and go from there.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Alright, I had the vet out today to do a physical on him.

He's got a bit of a belly ache from what we gather since the only thing that has changed with him is his laying down. All vitals are good, Thank God!

I need to start a good bran mash on him I'm going to get the stuff tomorrow but am not quite sure what to get since I've never done one before, any ideas?
 

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my horse has been lying down more recently, i think because of the temperature increase, spring is coming!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I wouldn't notice a difference if he wasn't laying down every few hours, he's obviously in some discomfort.

My mare is laying down more too with the weather being nicer just not as much as my gelding.
 

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So the vet agrees he is in discomfort/has a problem? Said it's likely a bellyache? Why? What made him think that? What does he think the cause is, or how does he propose to find out/treat it? One question that hasn't come up yet is his diet/feed regime, which is the usual cause of colic. Analysing what/how much/how often you feed will be helpful if you would like further advice.
 

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Lets see if I can answer all of your questions:

Yes the vet said he most likely has a belly ache because he is frequently laying down and all vitals are good and strong. And there are no signs of colic. fecal came back clean as well.

Cause unknown so far but he told me to feed bran mashes once a day for 3 days and see if that helps.

As far as feed, he was on a safechoice, alfalfa pellet, 12% all grain sweet feed & pellet mix, with a ratio of 3 to 2 to 1. For hay, they are fed off square bales but they are just about never out, they have continuous hay, it's a alfalfa/grass mix.
My vet had me add some Purina Senior feed to his grain as well as some bran to help clean him out.

Old feeding regime:
-grain 2x day, approx 8:30am & 3:00pm
-hay all day

New feeding regime:
-Bran mash in the morning, 8:30amish
-safechoice, purina senior, bran, applesauce & molasses
-grain 2x day, 3pm & 10pmish
-same as above with the addition of senior feed & some bran
-hay all day

Unfortunately I must feed around my school and work schedule.
 

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Applesauce and molasses are both very high in sugar and aren't going to do your horse any favours.
Bran mash actually has no laxative effects on horses and can actually be quite detrimental to a horse's digestive system.
I can't comment on safechoice or purina senior, have never used either.

I disagree with you vet on the feeding regime. Nothing she has suggested (except for perhaps the removal of grain) is actually good. If you want to add fiber, fat and weight gain to your horse's diet, beet pulp is the best way. Were it my horse, I would keep him on free choice hay and water, add a free choice mineral supplement and then feed him beet pulp twice a day.

No matter how you are altering your feeding regime, please make sure to do it slowly and gradually or you will have a colic on your hands.
Good luck!
 
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