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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
**Disclaimer: The horse I am concerned about is not my horse. His owner has become neglectful of his care and, in the hopes of bettering his health I want to educate her about what is wrong with her horse. Please, please, please don't bite my head off.**

My neighbor's horse, an OTTB, has been going downhill for the last three months or so. He's on grass hay (he needs supplements, but isn't getting them), his feet are cared for regularly, he is on a good deworming schedule and he just had his teeth floated a month ago.

Anyways, Sam has lost a considerable amount of weight in the last 3-6 months (I am suspicious he's not being fed enough). Today I noticed some swelling between his forelegs, swelling on the outer tip of the sheath, and a slight distention of his abdomen, towards the flank area/back of the ribcage.

Has anyone else seen this in an older horse? His papers say he's 18, but the vet and his teeth seem to say he's older. What could this be? I am working on getting in touch with the owner.

Help?!?!
 

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Not sure, but whenever my horse has a tick burrowing into him in that area, it swells up to baseball size if I don't catch it soon enough. Any chance there is a tick there? If he's been in bad shape for a few months, he might have chronic Lyme disease. Just a thought.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I didn't look into it further, but it was cool to the touch (certainly not hot). I did do some research, and found that the symptoms he's displaying (weight loss, swelling in said areas, labored breathing, general lethargic-ness) are typical of heart disease.

And what really ticks me off is that the vet didn't check his heartbeat before sedating him for his teeth floating. -.-
 

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I would take photos of the areas and send to a local vet for advice. It could be something serious.
 

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Its not your horse, so you should not contact the vet unless you plan to pay the bill too. You should express your concern to the owner and let it go. At the end of the day, the horse is being fed, watered, wormed, having teeth floated and regular hoof care. There are far more neglected horses out there and going behind the owners back is just going to put you in a bad position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Our local vet is really good about looking at pictures, so I will try and send him some when I get the time again.

The owner isn't a very conscientious person. I am simply looking to put a label or "layman's term" on whatever is wrong with her horse to help her understand what is happening and what should be done. Rest assured that I will never do anything to or for her horses without her knowing.
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taking pictures and sending them to the vet without her permission is just poking a hornets nest in my book.
How so? The OP isn't going to do anything, it's just an inquiry. I wouldn't mind someone taking photos of Sky and asking their vet questions. It isn't harming me or my horse. Regardless I take care of everything, minor or major, right away in the first place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Trust me, this woman knows so little about horsekeeping, it would make any horse-savvy person ill. She trusts my mother and my judgement regarding her animals. We've been "caretaking" her horses for over 5 years now, and sending photos to the vet is nowhere near enough to irritate her. I am thankful for your concern though! :)
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I would be ticked if someone did it to me and my horse. I would rather they approached me and spoke to me in person or on the phone. I also feel like if you take a picture and post it online of another person's horse its a legal issue. The same could be applied to sending it to the vet. In addition, you are asking your vet to a make a free diagnosis which probably bothers them. Afterall, they spent a lot of time, and money earning their vet degree. Its really hard for equine vets to make a living and free advice can really bother them overtime (Thats just what I have seen with the vets I have worked with). You are also taking a photo of a horse, that you feel is not well cared for. If the vet responds that it needs immediate vet care will you be paying the bill? What will you tell the owner?

She may not know much about horse keeping but you are not really giving her the chance to learn. She may like that and if its a situation that works for both parties thats great. Just remember, that its not a situation I can see flying with most owners.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have spoken to the owner already, and for your information I have not had a chance to send anything to the vet. Unfortunately, this woman is not like the idealistic "most owners." She makes no effort to learn, I gave up on that five years ago. She wouldn't care if I had the vet out, he did stuff with her horse, and paid the bill myself. I wouldn't EVER call the vet out without her consent and expect her to pay the bill. I ask that you don't assume that I would do that.

Our vet is a really nice guy - he actually encourages owners to send pictures.

I do appreciate your concern, but this has gotten off-topic. I am trying to help a horse who is deteriorating, and I am looking for equine heath care advice, not a lesson in ethics. Thank you for your input, though! :)
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Again, I'm thankful for your advice, but it doesn't apply to my situation and we're off topic from my original question. What this horse's owner permits and what my vet decides to do with his time is up to them.
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