The Horse Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

My mare (15, OTTB) has always been somewhat thin-skinned, but up until recently, she was never "cinchy". Now she gets agitated when I close the cinch, even when it isn't tight yet. Every time I tighten it, it's tail swish, ears back and a threat to bite. For some reason, when i tighten the cinch again after she walked or was lunged a bit, she is much less reactive.

She is also sensitive when her back or stomach are brushed or even just touched, but not when she's distracted by food.

She has also started to buck quite a bit while lunging, and generally often refuses to trot or move forward at all (and once she does, the bucking/kicking/jumping around starts). All of these behaviors started gradually maybe three months ago, but are getting worse. She has bucked (mildly) under saddle now 3x as well.

I should add that her appetite is great, stools are normal, and she is finally at a good weight. I adopted her in January and she was quite thin (body condition score 2-3), now she is a solid 5. Saddle seems to be fitting, but maybe the extra weight changed the fit and now makes it uncomfortable? She has a pretty stress free life, lives on 24/7 turnout with a buddy and constant access to hay. She is on daily Equioxx (started in July).

I had a chiropractor adjust her about 6 weeks ago, and at first that seemed to have helped - but only for a week or so. When I asked my vet, he said she didn't "look like an ulcer horse", but of course the only way to know for sure would be to scope her (which is expensive), or to just treat her, but at nearly $1000 for a 30 day course of omeprazole, that is not a great option either, since it may not be ulcers after all.

I know nobody can give me a distance-diagnosis, I'm just looking for some advise from people more experienced than I am (she is my first horse) on how to best move forward.

Thank you!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
23,932 Posts
Yep, sounds like she's in pain, sounds like ulcers are one likely cause. What is she fed? How often? And you say she was in a bad way when you got her, so along with being an OT horse, they're other reasons to suspect ulcers are a strong likelihood. Of course couldn't be certain, or that it's ONLY ulcers, if it is. That she was better after a chiro adjustment suggests there may be another issue too. BTW, just because you gave her one chiro treatment & it didn't 'last' doesn't mean anything - esp if she has a number of chronic issues, and if she's not having other treatments/exercises in conjunction, chances are she will need at least a few treatments. Nutrition is another possibility - lack of Mg for example can make horses extra sensitive, tight, sore muscles, and incidentally is also linked with ulcers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,613 Posts
Ditto everything @loosie said - twice:)

if a horse has serious enough injuries, chiro treatments won’t last forever.

One of mine has a twice fractured sacrum. He sees the chiro once a month like clockwork, plus I put a light therapy pad on him every morning, like clockwork, once the night temps drop below 45 degrees(F).
 
  • Like
Reactions: 289134 and Kalraii

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
12,694 Posts
I'll also add that when you purchase a horse low on the body condition score and feed it up you can also be seeing "personality" return.

Just got her in Jan. Low body condition score. Doesn't act this way with food in front of her when tacking. Healthy appetite, good weight and normal stools. I'd say probability that it is a combination. I'd also look into what she is eating and how much as food can cause ulcers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep, sounds like she's in pain, sounds like ulcers are one likely cause. What is she fed? How often? And you say she was in a bad way when you got her, so along with being an OT horse, they're other reasons to suspect ulcers are a strong likelihood. Of course couldn't be certain, or that it's ONLY ulcers, if it is. That she was better after a chiro adjustment suggests there may be another issue too. BTW, just because you gave her one chiro treatment & it didn't 'last' doesn't mean anything - esp if she has a number of chronic issues, and if she's not having other treatments/exercises in conjunction, chances are she will need at least a few treatments. Nutrition is another possibility - lack of Mg for example can make horses extra sensitive, tight, sore muscles, and incidentally is also linked with ulcers.

She eats grass/alfalfa hay, and she gets senior grain twice a day.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll also add that when you purchase a horse low on the body condition score and feed it up you can also be seeing "personality" return.

Just got her in Jan. Low body condition score. Doesn't act this way with food in front of her when tacking. Healthy appetite, good weight and normal stools. I'd say probability that it is a combination. I'd also look into what she is eating and how much as food can cause ulcers.
So if you suspect but don't confirm ulcers, how do you proceed? Are there less costly alternatives to Gastrogard? Would it help to just try the OTC ulcergard for a few days to see if it helps? Or are there other home remedies or treatments that can help? I already have her on hemp pellets as well.
Lots of people tell me its just her attitude, she's gotten fat and lazy, she wants to get out of work. But I'm not really buying that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,016 Posts
You can buy OTC nexium from human pharmacies and give 4-5 caps a day for 30 days. Sometimes it will be enough to resolve ulcers on their own, other times you may still need Gastroguard, but it should at least give you an idea if she responds to the medication. Considerably cheaper for a month (~$75 vs $1000).
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
69 Posts
There is this aloe vera and sea buckthorn juice that costs only $200. It's called UlcerPlus, I would recommend looking that up. Im actually worrying about my horse having ulcers too at the moment. Not fun lol
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top