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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For anyone who takes the time to read this post, Thank you in advance. If you have any ideas or information you feel could be helpful please by all means share it. So far we are at a loss as to the problem or the solution/treatment.

So heres an idea of the situation as things are currently.
Approximately 10 months ago we purchased a piece of property and moved in. In the process of the move we began noticing that our nearby neighbors had 2 neglected horses basically wasting away in a trash filled 1 acre field with no fresh water source or protection from the elements. In addition these horses (1 17.5h arab cross and 1 14.0h palamino cross) were being sparsely fed obviously moldy hay. Over the course of the next month in our new residence we had tried speaking with the neighbors regarding the horses current conditions on several occasions, Hoping that being put "on the spot" would force better care. It quickly became obvious the horses were destined for increasingly poor conditions despite several conversations with the owners. We then tried contacting the local sheriff as well as the humane society. We were sadly informed that basically nothing was going to be done regarding the horses almost non existent care. At this point I felt the only option was to purchase the horses, Coincidentally it was nearing my wifes birthday and she had always wanted a horse since having one as a kid/teenager. So although we are not "horse people" and were in no way looking for a horse let alone 2 horses, i bought them knowing that no matter what my wife and I could atleast give them a much better life than they had at the time.

Ok, So the Horses were moved onto our property approx 8 months ago, It took us a week or so to properly prepare and fence an approx. 2 acre field before being able to take them. So upon receiving the horses both were very very thin, Vitamin deficient, Likely full of worms, etc. We immediately called our local horse vet for a wellness check along with any immunizations required. The vet did a full blood workup and very thorough physical as well as making a few supplement suggestions to help them recover. Overall the vet diagnosed both horses as being in pretty great shape other than the obvious diet and nutrition issues. Being neglected horses with a bad diet the next step was to de-worm and call a farrier. We found a recommended local farrier who did an exhaustive almost 2 hour session on the arabian cross (Sam), However the Palamino cross (Buddy) wanted nothing to do with it. In the end we had to schedule a a new appointment with the vet and the farrier to have Buddy the palamino sedated and trimmed.

Ok, So fast forwarding approx six months, Both horses have put on a lot of weight and had another wellness check just to be safe. Up until a week ago they were both doing Great! Excellent health, Happy, Becoming Sociable, Etc.
At this point they are on a standard diet of quality hay and small amounts of 50/50 grain/oats. Literally the only issue lately is they have both gotten a tad bit over weight, But bear in mind they had been starved long term so we arent too worried about them enjoying good fresh hay grain fruits and veggies a little too much.

The start of the problem
About a week ago Sam the large arab cross slowed down a little and became a little lethargic. Over the next few days we babied him some and encouraged him to take it easy for a while thinking it was a mild pulled muscle or a sore hoof. Around the third day we awoke to find him laying flat out on his side, Although we realize this isnt as bizarre or unheard of as many new horse owners think, A few hours after full sun-up when he was still down and refused to rise we called the vet. The estimated arrival time of the emergency barn call was 2 hours. Shortly before the vet was to arrive our son happened to come out to visit, He was somehow able to get this giant draft size horse back on his feet. My wife and I had tried literally everything we could think of and were sure this horse was never getting back up. Until the moment the horse was up we were preparing our selves think the horse would have to be put down. Fifteen minutes later the vet arrived and did a full wellnes check and took more blood for a full panel. His visit yielded only 1 possibility, Which was a slight soreness in one leg. No temperature, no hoof pain, good gut sounds, heartbeat, etc. Seeing nothing more than a Possibly Mildly sensitive leg the vet suggested a few days of essentially stall rest (We built a nice run in before moving the horses into the field) and some Bute type powder. The next few days sam spent standing in the corner of the pasture all day until around 8pm (Not dark until after 10pm) and not rising until around 8am mostly by force. We are fully aware about the issue of pressure on internal organs so we have been making him bed on a massive hay pile to lessen the pressure as well as making him rise shortly or manually rolling him over every few hours. During daylight hours he has been staying up, So its not like he is unable to stand. A few days ago we called another vet for a second opinion as well as a stronger pain medication as we believe the extended periods of down time are due to leg pain. The second vet had essentially the same diagnoses, Mild sensitivity in one leg. A stronger pain medication was provided and he has now been slowly working his way 20 feet or so from the hay pile grazing and back to the hay pile again by evening time. We also had our trusted farrier come check his feet just to be sure everything was ok, And everything hoof wise checked out with 2 vets and our farrier. Literally no answer as to what the cause is or what else to do. For the last approx 7 days this horse has barely moved and is basically down for 10-12 hours every nigh. We have been taking shifts staying with him making sure he has everything he needs and monitoring him for changes. Every few hours of down time we force him to rise for 30 mins or so out of fear for his organ health and proper blood flow. During the day he eats readily and drinks plenty of water but seems to have no energy or desire to move. We fully realize that from a human perspective this makes sense since the only possible symptom has been leg pain which Would make you Not want to walk or even stand. If we were dealing with a person we would tell them to simply stay off the leg for a week or two and let it heal. But with having to constantly worry about a down horse suffering internal injuries that isnt an option. We discussed putting him in a makeshift vertical sling in the run-in shelter but everyone including the vet said they see no benefit in this case, Also that many horses actually injure themselves reacting to being in the sling itself and end up having to be sedated or removed from the sling having suffered even more injury.

The Horses (Sam) specifics
Background unknown, But definitely neglected before we received him
Demeanor is pretty bulletproof and at some point in his earlier life someone did take care of him and likely trained and rode him as we once tried saddling him and he behaved perfectly, My wife actually rode him for 5-10 mins but that was the only time.
Age approximated at roughly 20yrs
Current wellness check Great health
Bloodwork done by 2 diff vets in the last week say all clear
Farrier inspected hoofs and verified they are in good shape, Though he did a touch up just to make sure he could walk as easily and comfortably as possible.
Current medication Bute powder (NSAID) plus a heavier pain medication (no meds prior to potential leg injury)
Current diet 4-5 fresh clean (inspected) flakes of hay and 2 cups +/- of 50.50 grain/oats split into 2 feedings plus approx 2 cups chopped carrot or watermelon (all split into 2 feedings at 9am and 6pm)
Lifestyle Leisurely field horse, No work free roaming and not ridden so far
Field conditions Meticulously prepared with No holes or tripping dangers. Currently the field is pretty sparse as the two horses have cleared it out, though new growth is now underway since summer hit.
behavior prior to this last week was very sociable and upbeat, Always on the move and very playful


The reason i took the time to write such a lengthy post is I know that anyone who takes the time to try and help will likely have questions, hopefully somewhere in this post there might be some of the answers. Again if anyone has any ideas or suggestion please share them as we are at a bit of a loss, We would appreciate it So Much. The only thing we ever wanted from or for these horses is to be free of the nightmare they previously lived and to be happy and safe. Now we just feel helpless and dont know if we are just WAAAYYY over-reacting or if he is dying or what!?!? The vets say theres no obvious problem, But on the other hand something is very clearly wrong. Like I said, he is eating well and drinking plenty, But he is down a LOT at night the last week. He has also developed some pretty nasty bed sores, Which we have cleaned, medicated and covered. We realize the sores arent all that uncommon but it just makes you feel that much worse for them. So far we havent noticed any fluid in is lungs while being down, But his legs sure so shake after rising for a good 5-10 minutes. The additional pain meds hes been administered the last 4 days have helped marginally as he does seem to rise somewhat easier and shake somewhat less as well as walking a Very small amount the last few days. Our biggest question is are we simply over-reacting or should we be in the panic mode we currently are because something is seriously wrong?

*Anyone who feels like we arent doing enough or are not experienced enough please just keep it to yourself. These horses had no other options and we are doing the very best we can to care for them. If we had plenty of money to throw around we would have Sam taken to a hospital simply to find out What is or isnt wrong. But with both vets giving him basically a clean bill of health plus the fact hes standing all day, eating and drinking well we just cant afford to spend money we dont have on a very expensive hospital bill to find out that there actually is nothing medically wrong. Also please note how we came to have these horses, It was not a case of prematurely buying a horse for fun, The horses were dying before our eyes a little each day. The only reason we got ourselves in soo far over our heads was out of compassion, Not self interests.

*Bizarre Behavior From Second horse
From the very start of the ordeal with Sam discussed above, Buddy has stuck to his friend like glue. Then entire time he is never more than 20 feet away, And at night he specifically beds down with the injured horse Sam. For the last week he refuses to leaves his friends side, We even had to start feeding him next to sam as he refused to be more than 20 feet away. So Buddy is in great health and a much younger horse, estimated at 12 years old. Yesterday morning it was really heating up and the injured horse was standing in the direct blazing sun so we misted him with a hose to make sure he doesnt overheat. Well since Buddy wont leave sams side he was also in the direct sun, So we tried giving him a gently spray as well. Buddy is a more skiddish semi-unbroken horse and did not appreciate the efforts to cool him down. He immediately ran to the other end of the field near the stable and layed down in a sternal position. He has pretty much been there since for almost the last two days. He will get up and graze in a small area then lay back down. There is nothing wrong with him that we are aware of, He literally just seems to be throwing a tantrum over being misted with a hose 48 hours ago and is still pouting! Not really sure what to make of this as i honestly figured he would forget or forgive the spray of water after a few hours. But he seems to be going to an extreme to make a point, Guess I wont be spraying him off this summer! The only other thing we can think of is a new fly spray we have never used, Since Sam has been down with an injury the flies have been driving him crazy so we broke down yesterday and bought a FORTY DOLLAR bottle of fly repellent. Buddy was not sprayed with this, Only Sam was. But were wondering if maybe something about the smell of it spooked Buddy and is keeping him away, unfortunately we cant stop using the spray on sam until he has made it through this as the flies were driving him insane Hopefully it was just the spritz of water that ticked Buddy off and he will get over it soon, He obviously misses his friend and so does sam.

Again, Thank You to anyone who took the time to read this ridiculously long post, Our fingers are crossed someone will recognize what is going on with these horses and clue us in. We are willing to do anything we can manage if it will help this poor horse get back to good health. If were just being over-reacting newbie horse owners Please Feel Free to Say So! We will happily feel stupid about our dire concern if it means our horse is ok. Thanks
 

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It almost sounds like a sling may be for the best.

You may not want to hear it but maybe he's just given up. Age is approximate and it sounds like he's had a hard life.

Why haven't you followed up on the leg pain?

Be careful with the meds, they can cause other issues, such as ulcers.

Kudos to you for all the effort you've put in.
 

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I have nothing helpful for you regarding the older horse Sam, just to say I hope someone will be as kind to me in my old age as you are being to him.

The younger guy, Buddy? LOL! Well, he needs to learn what's what in the barnyard. I'd put a halter and lead rope on him and he'd get brushed, sprayed with fly spray and hosed with water, more than once a day, until he got over himself and accepted that this is the way it is.

I start my young horses on a 12 ft lead rope and have the hose barely misting and I start at their feet and go up to the shoulder. I let them walk around me in a circle or walk off until I run out of hose and then I make them turn around and walk back, and I never take that hose off of them. It takes a few days to desensitize them, but pretty soon, you can spray their feet and up to their shoulders and all down their sides, no problem. Once they're ok with that, I start up the neck and over the top of the back and down the butt and tail. They tend to be pretty protective of those areas so it may take a little bit before he learns that he won't melt. Once I can hose him all over with water and have no hissy fits, I start the same way with the fly spray. It may start all over with the spray because it's a bottle of "hiss". Just keep at it. Maybe dilute some vinegar with water, so you're not wasting expensive fly spray on lessons. The key to the whole thing is, they can walk, they circle, they can back up but they can't get away from the spray. Pretty soon, they figure out that it's really ok.

I'd also be brushing him a lot, finding his favorite spots (his lips will twitch and if you hit a really good spot, he'll make what I call "parrot lip".) and getting him to understand that all good things come from humans.

Here's a horse enjoying a good scratch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxRSrVgq9KM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PuGFI4TkQ
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Time to give up?

It almost sounds like a sling may be for the best.

You may not want to hear it but maybe he's just given up. Age is approximate and it sounds like he's had a hard life.

Why haven't you followed up on the leg pain?

Be careful with the meds, they can cause other issues, such as ulcers.

Kudos to you for all the effort you've put in.
To start with thanks for the very quick input, It is appreciated regardless of it being good news or bad.

As far hes being at the end of his rope i honestly dont think its that time, Literally up until the day this started he was a very healthy, happy and active horse. Ive cared for animals pretty much all my life, From hamsters to parrots to dogs and cats to hogs and peacocks, Even many exotic large breed fish like arowanna's. I have even taken in 2 different elderly relatives for hospice and cared for them pretty much full time through death. And having seen the lifecycle of countless animals and people including death, Barring heart attack or sudden fatal illness you usually get a clear sense of when a life is coming to an end. Sam hasnt shown me any of these signs, Up until the day his leg was possibly injured we was absolutely a fun loving pain in the *** . In the morning and at night when I holler to them that its dinner time you could hear them come thundering across the field. Anytime you enter the field Sam in matching you step for step, nudging and sniffing your pockets. One of his favorite games is to wait until the wheelbarrow if mostly full of manure and knock it over. Or come up behind you and steal your hat which then somehow turns into a game of keep-away. Nothing in his behavior or demeanor says he is anywhere near giving up. And again his health is great and bloodwork all clear.


Regarding the leg pain, It has been been checked by 2 vets as well as ourselves repeatedly and seems that at most is slightly tender. Hes standing all day on his own without any interference from us and is showing no outwardly obvious signs of pain other than the desire to sleep at night laying down and the lack of energy. I have physically felt and applied pressure all over his legs repeatedly, If there were a break or fracture I am sincerely confident he would have alerted to this in some degree. If it is a torn or stretched tendon or ligament an xray would of little help and pretty expensive. Honestly if there was any indication is was related to a broken bone I would have already pulled the money together and had it done. And this was also discussed with both vets and neither saw the need.

Regarding the meds, I do realize that the medication needs to be used as sparingly and as briefly as possible, But him being down for these long periods at night is the biggest fear at the moment and the hope is the medications will help get him marginally active, Obviously he needs to take it very easy but we are very concerned about these long down times.

And the approval is much appreciated, We would like to think any good human being would do what is necessary to intervine in such a situation. It was truly heartbreaking to see them in pouring rain walking in circles starving and hoping to find a weed or something to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Excitable Buddy

I have nothing helpful for you regarding the older horse Sam, just to say I hope someone will be as kind to me in my old age as you are being to him.

The younger guy, Buddy? LOL! Well, he needs to learn what's what in the barnyard. I'd put a halter and lead rope on him and he'd get brushed, sprayed with fly spray and hosed with water, more than once a day, until he got over himself and accepted that this is the way it is.

I start my young horses on a 12 ft lead rope and have the hose barely misting and I start at their feet and go up to the shoulder. I let them walk around me in a circle or walk off until I run out of hose and then I make them turn around and walk back, and I never take that hose off of them. It takes a few days to desensitize them, but pretty soon, you can spray their feet and up to their shoulders and all down their sides, no problem. Once they're ok with that, I start up the neck and over the top of the back and down the butt and tail. They tend to be pretty protective of those areas so it may take a little bit before he learns that he won't melt. Once I can hose him all over with water and have no hissy fits, I start the same way with the fly spray. It may start all over with the spray because it's a bottle of "hiss". Just keep at it. Maybe dilute some vinegar with water, so you're not wasting expensive fly spray on lessons. The key to the whole thing is, they can walk, they circle, they can back up but they can't get away from the spray. Pretty soon, they figure out that it's really ok.

I'd also be brushing him a lot, finding his favorite spots (his lips will twitch and if you hit a really good spot, he'll make what I call "parrot lip".) and getting him to understand that all good things come from humans.

Here's a horse enjoying a good scratch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxRSrVgq9KM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PuGFI4TkQ

We have been working a lot with buddy slowly. When we first starting caring for him he wouldnt let you get within 100 feet. Initially he was extremely skiddish and still is somewhat. He hadnt had human contact in who knows how long, It took us about two months just to get him to trust us enough to eat within 50 feet of us. Since them we have gotten him used to human contact and can now touch and brush him the majority of the time. Hes building trust slowly but surely. We began getting him used to a halter a few weeks ago and have had some small successes leading him for short periods. Again though by far our biggest goal was just to build some trust and show them not all humans are cruel and heartless. Youre definitely right, And its good advice. We will get there soon for sure, unfortunately all life has pretty much been put on hold for the time being due to sammy's current circumstance.

Thank you so much for sharing, I was truly surprised to see several people had already responded. Its really nice to know there are still people who will take the time to try and help.
 

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Does he limp when he does walk? If you insist, can you make him walk a bit faster so you can discern which leg is troubling him? Could it be that his neck is out of alignment , or back or hip, in such a way that you can see ?

Of course , the vet probably checked and hoof tested his feet, with the plier like tools, right ? For heat or over sensitivity inside the hooves.

Is he manuring and peeing a normal amount?

I doubt that buddy is actually pouting for such a long time. Is ther no other reason he would choose that other location, such as cool mud, or shade, or breeze?


Did you change their feed brand?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Does he limp when he does walk? If you insist, can you make him walk a bit faster so you can discern which leg is troubling him? Could it be that his neck is out of alignment , or back or hip, in such a way that you can see ?

Of course , the vet probably checked and hoof tested his feet, with the plier like tools, right ? For heat or over sensitivity inside the hooves.

Is he manuring and peeing a normal amount?

I doubt that buddy is actually pouting for such a long time. Is ther no other reason he would choose that other location, such as cool mud, or shade, or breeze?

First of all thanks for taking the time to respond. We did push him to walk with the vet present and there is no obvious change in his gait or leg preference at a moderate walking speed. However we did quickly observe him shifting feet when standing as if his feet were sore. The vet felt there was possibly a slight increase of sensitivity in his rear left leg. Essentially both vets have attributed it a plain old sore leg/foot.

And yes the vet pressure tested all of his hooves, and did detect a Possible slight sensitivity in his left rear hoof, However he literally said a Possible Slight Increase In Sensitivity. Personally to me it felt like he was just trying to give us some form of an answer to help us mellow out a little. He made it pretty clear that if there was a raise in sensitivity it was minor. From what I could tell sam didnt react in a way that was perceptible to me, no jerking his foot or anything. Both vets felt he just just take it easy and will be fine, But he shouldnt be laying down this much from most of everything ive been told and read. This is the real concern, Not necessarily his leg as it seems to be nothing more than mildly sore. Our biggest worry is him laying down all night, everyone says they shouldnt lay down for more than 4-6 hours at the Most, A lot of what ive read and heard says really its more like 2-3 hours at most. If we let him, I think he would sleep the whole night through laying on his side. Yet come 9-10am he will get up on his own usually and stay up all day, If his leg was hurting badly it seems to me he would go back down mid-day or sooner. If it were okay for horses to lay down all night we wouldnt be that worried at all, During the day hes up and seems mostly fine, Eating drinking, still somewhat social just doesnt really want to walk. Which is fine, if if he has sore foot and he wants to take it easy for a week or two. But for some reason when evening hits he decides to get off of his feet and doesnt always get back up on his own until morning.

No changes in feed, no changes whatsoever really. the medications and fly spray didnt come into the mix until after the vet had made an emergency visit. Hes been drinking and eating eagerly as usual, Same with his bowel movements. one exception is he has really been clearing his bowels until getting upright in the morning usually, But that doesnt strike me as odd as he isnt really eating or drinking at night and very few animals will intentionally urinate on themselves if they can help it. But every morning this week thats the first thing he does in the morning.

As far as buddy goes the location he has chosen is literally identical, no shade, no mud, Exact same. For the first five days of this ordeal he was clung to sammy like plastic wrap, Now its like hes clung to this spot at the other end of the field. Hes not even sleeping next to sam like hes had been all week. It literally started the moment a 1/2 second mist of water hit him 2 days ago. This did also coincide to trying a new fly repellent spray on sam, however we didnt attempt to put any on buddy.

This whole week has been like a bizarre nightmare mystery. Assuming sam hurt his foot or leg we still have no idea how, the ground is well packed and free of any holes or debris and there were no signs of injury visible. We checked the field very thoroughly and the only thing we did find were some small wild cherry pits/seeds that the birds likely dropped. Other than that nothing.
 

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You guys are good people, very touching to read.
However with Sam and his problems, I am not sure what it could be. It's not normal for a horse to given in like that if it isn't something else bothering him. Can the leg be a symptom of something on the inside? Blood work would have shown that I guess.

Do you cool down his legs several times a day? Could you try getting in a third vet, I wouldn't give in untill someone found something. (I would be on my way to a animal hospital)
It seems to early for him to give up on life. I have seen horses push 30 years easily. Especially not after being such a happy pal just a week ago.

I would look in to the sling, slight walking(if okeyed by vet so he dosen't get stiff), call a thirds vet/ animal hospital specializing in horses.

Good luck to you guys, buddy and Sam!
 

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Hi,

Hopefully someone with experience will chime in as mine is very limited. I wonder if it could be some form of laminitis? I would imagine the vet would have been able to detect that. I am just thinking do to the diet they are getting. If you don't mind my asking: Why the grain and the carrots? They are probably getting enough with just hay especially since they aren't working. I am also wondering if the sudden addition of green grass pasture to graze after starving could have caused some sort of laminitis? I don't know. I am just guessing here. But if the vet tested the feet I think it would have shown up. Have you felt the hooves when he is acting very down? Can you feel a pulse in the pastern area?
 

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I had the exact same problem with a horse I rescued 5 months ago. I rescued three horses together from an owner that abused them and neglected them. Two of the horses, Spirit and Maggie, slowly got better, and by two months they were doing great. But the third rescue, Cinnamon, appeared to have just given up. Her condition was the most severe when we had brought her to us, and it was slowly getting worse because she would not eat or drink. She stood at the very back of her stall, and when she was turned out, she would stand in a corner of the pasture and just stand there while the other horses grazed and played. She wasn`t in pain or suffering, she had just given up. Eventually, she began to grow weak from not eating, drinking, or moving, and she was old, so we decided to euthanize her. Hope Sam gets better soon!
 

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Hi,

Hopefully someone with experience will chime in as mine is very limited. I wonder if it could be some form of laminitis? I would imagine the vet would have been able to detect that. I am just thinking do to the diet they are getting. If you don't mind my asking: Why the grain and the carrots? They are probably getting enough with just hay especially since they aren't working. I am also wondering if the sudden addition of green grass pasture to graze after starving could have caused some sort of laminitis? I don't know. I am just guessing here. But if the vet tested the feet I think it would have shown up. Have you felt the hooves when he is acting very down? Can you feel a pulse in the pastern area?
I was thinking this to, but I didn't feel experience enough on the topic to say it. But I was thinking the same with food and little exercise.

Also I did know a horse which where allergic to standing on grass once, she would show some of the same signs every summer. In the end she got rubber soles under neath her regular shoes to keep her from getting sick.
 

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Yeah, I wouldn't think they'd need any grain at their workload. Look into alternatives. Grain feeding with no work can cause problems. if there is a lot of new growth in the pasture and they aren't used to it, that can cause problems. One thing no one has mentioned is the possibility of a toxic weed. Check your field for plants toxic to horses. http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/animal-poison-control/horse-plant-list

If you click on the plant names in the list, you'll be taken to a page with pictures and a list of ailments caused by that plant.
 

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Hi, I think that you are doing everything that's possible, and actually more than your share since you never wanted horses in the first place. No reason to spend the insane amount of money that it takes to hospitalize a horse, if 2 vets did a visit and bloodwork that came back clean.

I can make some guesses; maybe he's hit hard by the heat and he doesn't want to move much, maybe he's one of the horses that makes a scene for every little thing that happens, I don't think he gave up since you say that he eats and drinks and takes care of not pooping in his bedding area. That's the behavior of an animal that thinks he wants to live.

The only real suggestion I can give you is about the flies: stop wasting money on fly sprays. They just don't work in the long run, or to say it better, they work for the same amount of time that a fly spray works on you, which is very little.

Try and buy a fly mask, or even a fly sheet if the issue is not just on the face; maybe a cheap one since you don't know if the horse will accept it or will tear it to pieces on the first day:




http://www.yourhorse.co.uk/upload/3647/images/Derby%20House%20fly%20sheet.jpg

Yes it looks ridiculous, but a lot of horses actually love it because they realize that it keeps the flies away.
The full fly sheet might be a a bit too much, I think you should buy it only if the horse shows serious skin issues, if he looks well enough then you can save the money (2 vets would have told you if the horse had a strong reaction to flies)

As to the other horse? Keep trying to make him trust you, but don't overworry. If he has a shaded place where he can stay if he wants, then it's his choice to stand in the heat. He might be truly terrified by the hose, so keep that for another time.

I agree that horses that don't work don't need any kind of grain, good hay is enough.
 

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Perhaps a change of feed IS a good idea. At least a decrease in what you feed. I would stop everything but the good hay for a couple of months, since you say they are in VERY good weight. It's very possible you are dealing with an allergy to something they are eating. Also, I would have the vets check specifically for tick-born diseases such as Lymes.

Seriously, you really CAN kill a horse with kindness.
 

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I have read through every post and say kudos to you saving those poor horses, and all of the time and energy your putting into helping them.

I suggest getting an equine chiropractor out and have him adjusted. He could have something out of place, a pinched nerve, who knows. Since it just came on so quickly he may have just took a bad step, rolled and twisted himself funny.

My other thought is since he was emaciated and now has gained weight the extra weight may be stressing a joints, if he has arthritis the extra weight maybe just to much for his joints, plus add in extra heat of the summer he may be to heavy. Staying up all day then by night time he is fatigued. I know you said you did not mind them being a bit to heavy, but with horses being to heavy is almost worse then them being to thin.

I highly encourage you to get a chiropractor out and see if that helps.
 

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I have no experience with something like this either, so I can't give great advice.

Question though- what are his vital signs like when he first goes down? Gets up? During the day?

Really hoping you can find an answer to why he's down so much. And as others have said, sounds like you've given these two a wonderful new chance.
 

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Do you have any pictures of the horse? I commend you for taking them on! Perhaps he is storing energy, and enjoying his new life. My stallion spends a lot of time laying down. Some of my others only roll, never just lay.

If he gets up to eat and drink, pee and poop, then he may just have figured out that life is great in this new place.

These are horses, and they think 2 things when they wake up EVERY DAY....what am I going to eat, and how am I going to kill myself.

Good Luck!
 

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Your vets are terrible.

Sam is likely laying down to sleep and then is unable to get up. I recommend investigating the leg issue because just blindly treating him isn't working. Get X-rays and an ultrasound to start.
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I have read through every post and say kudos to you saving those poor horses, and all of the time and energy your putting into helping them.

I suggest getting an equine chiropractor out and have him adjusted. He could have something out of place, a pinched nerve, who knows. Since it just came on so quickly he may have just took a bad step, rolled and twisted himself funny.

My other thought is since he was emaciated and now has gained weight the extra weight may be stressing a joints, if he has arthritis the extra weight maybe just to much for his joints, plus add in extra heat of the summer he may be to heavy. Staying up all day then by night time he is fatigued. I know you said you did not mind them being a bit to heavy, but with horses being to heavy is almost worse then them being to thin.

I highly encourage you to get a chiropractor out and see if that helps.
I read your fabulous first post, and is also commend you for such care and your attention to detail.

In the first post the only thing that stood out to me is that you are feeding them too much. Grain should only be fed to horses needing to keep the weight up, or in hard work. Now that yours have regained their weight they should indeed be on a forage and balancer only diet.

I quoted this from gssw as it makes perfect sense to me - and it seems a very likely diagnosis. I hope it is because it is also solveable!

There are plenty of threads on here about a forage-only diet; you will find them useful to read I think.

And if you can get hold of a good equine chiro - or other recommended back person - your horses will benefit from it regardless of this current problem.

Good luck with all of this.
 
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