After a 2 Hr Vet Visit, still no idea what's wrong - Help Please

Maggiemooo

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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Chelmsford, Essex
I know I don't post very often, but I do lurk all the time, but I need your help Guys.

Frank, my 18'2 Warm blood is not a happy ponie and I wonder if any of you have every experienced the following....

Background, Frank is 19, is turned out from 5.30 am until 6 pm daily. Always footy after Farrier, who came Weds and he did have a lot of foot rot with all the rain, so had quite a bit cut off the sides.

Anyway, He was fine Thursday but when I put his feed into his stable Friday morning, he went to eat, shuddered and backed away to the back of the stable, seemed to be stiff and/or in pain, tried to feed by holding bucket, not interested, put him in to field, happy and trotted to end of field. 1st thought, Teeth must be sore so arranged for Dentist Saturday Morning.

Saturday Morning, exactly the same, wouldn't bend to eat, but happy to eat out of bucket being held by me at chest height, again, into field and happy to trot to meet others...

Cancelled Dentist and Called Vet thinking, maybe he's put his back out, maybe hooves are sore.

So vet arrives, we put bucket on floor of stable, no way will he eat, just backing away as if in pain, bring him out of stable, he pulls me onto grass, head down and eats’... get short feed and put on concrete yard, eats no issues, no trembling in legs, nothing to show any pain, back into stable, same bucket on floor…. NOPE…

Teeth checked for anything broken or cut – NOPE

Full Flexion test on both fronts, no lameness, checked for Abbesses.. NOPE

So eye test, as darker in stable so maybe spooking himself, NOPE

Vet now shaking her head and is at a total loss, so decided we should Bute him for the next week and see what happens, along with an injection to get there quickly.

Anyway, same on the last 3 days, goes to eat, pulls away, but now by the time I come back to him after dog walk, he has eaten and is waiting to go out.

Any Idea’s welcome… Anyone ever experienced this? Vet even rang me yesterday to check how he was and could it be he was scared of something in stable, maybe a mouse/rat coming in and scaring him… but I don’t think so.

HELP!!!!
 

bitsnpieces

Active Member
Aug 22, 2007
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Could you get a physio to have a look at him? Maybe he's trapped a nerve somewhere a bit funky that wouldn't necessarily be affected by a flexion test - you know how sometimes if you move in a certain way, something will twinge. He could be holding himself marginally differently when moving so he is compensating for it?

Or he could have some sort of a tooth abscess?

Have you had a good poke all over, particularly from poll to tail to see if he judders away from pressure in any areas?
 

Maggiemooo

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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Chelmsford, Essex
Could you get a physio to have a look at him? Maybe he's trapped a nerve somewhere a bit funky that wouldn't necessarily be affected by a flexion test - you know how sometimes if you move in a certain way, something will twinge. He could be holding himself marginally differently when moving so he is compensating for it?

Or he could have some sort of a tooth abscess?

Have you had a good poke all over, particularly from poll to tail to see if he judders away from pressure in any areas?

I have pulled and prodded and no real reaction, other than Go Away or I'll Bite you, but that is totally normal for Mr Grumpy! Will try again this evening when I get home, maybe do some physio stretches with him and see!

As for tooth, that's what I thought to start, but why would he eat in yard and on grass, but not in stable?
 

Cortrasna

Grumpy old nag
Aug 5, 2009
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I was going to suggest is a rat or something getting in his feed bucket when you aren't looking at some point, and this has frightened him?

I do remember once with Solomon, he started darting away from the corner where his hay and feed bucket were. After a couple of days I realised what it was....we built the stables out of concrete blocks with huge iron girders in each corner. The back of the stable butts onto one of the paddocks that has electric fencing all around it......yep! The electric fencing was touching the outside of the girder and every time he went to feed in that corner he got zapped!

Luckily he soon forgot about it when I re arranged the fencing. I hope that it is something obscure and harmless like this that has spooked your boy and you soon get to the bottom of it.
 

Trewsers

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2004
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On an island
Grass is easier to eat than hay from a net if they have teeth issues - but if you've had them checked....seems most puzzling. Does he have an automatic water feeder? Reason I ask is cos when Storm was on a yard we had one that made a terrible noise when thawing out after the frost and it scared her so much I rang the vet - they came and saw that was the problem. Of course its not frosty weather atm but they can make odd noises and I wondered if your lad has been spooked this way?
Agree that also it could be something he has tweaked and that only a physio might discover. However, when Stormy has had her flu or tet jab she will not bend down and eat in her box but will still eat grass!
Not much help ! Hope you get to the bottom of it.
 

Virago

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Nov 8, 2006
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Sorry to hear my old buddy Frank is not too good, M. No idea as to what it might be, but do give him a scritch and a rub from me. Hope you get to the bottom of it soon.
 

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
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Perthshire, Scotland
Does it happen at night aswell? Is he maybe stiffer in the morning after being in all night so maybe its like a stretching thing?
Sorry, I'm at a loss as well, although I do have to chuckle at the thought of this 18.2hh big strapping horse being scared of a rat or mouse. Poor toot, hope you get an answer.
 

newforest

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
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What are you feeding? At 19 is it possible that what you are offering he just cant pick up and chew. Is it like a chaff or are you feeding something that is more like beet?
Eta-if vet checked teeth and not horse dentist who looks in with a light they may have missed an abscess at the back?
 
Last edited:

Lemme

Well-Known Member
May 22, 2008
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East Yorkshire
I am rather inclined to think it is head/mind rather than Body - Does he eat his hay okay in the stable, is he fed hay at height rather than off the floor, is it just at ground level and is it anywhere at ground level or just the normal place you would put it? is he okay in the stable otherwise - any reluctance in going in etc. If he has been disturbed/upset by something then only by his own reassurance and leaving him with the bucket to get over it will do it, sounds as if he is doing that when you leave it in go away and come back .

Sounds as if all things obvious medical have been elimintated - they are funny things sometimes and it don't take much to upset the balance, outside he should be fine as whatever it is aint out there.
 

Maggiemooo

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
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Chelmsford, Essex
Thanks for all the replies Guys, the weird thing is that he would happily eat his short feed when standing on concrete, on a shingle drive and of course on the grass, but as soon as we went back into the stable, he reacted again.. maybe a mouse has come in and jumped out at him !!! And if so, He is a total Woose....

Don't think it's the actual food, as will eat it if I hold it up for him...it's just bucket on floor in stable....will eat it in field too...

Eating his hay both from floor and net....

God I wish they could talk! But then, I suppose we are supposed to "Talk to Frank" :giggle::giggle:

I will have another prod and poke tonight and see if I can find anything else to report....

Any other idea's more than happy to hear.
 

newforest

Well-Known Member
Mar 15, 2008
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Have you changed the bucket for the stable feed? Or where you put it.

I know when Jack was recovering from op he would not drink from the bucket in the field, but would drink from the same bucket in the stable.
It was a confidence issue that he gradually got over, he would call me when he wanted to come in.

There is always a reason a horse does something..
 

liz_scarlet

Active Member
Jun 6, 2011
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Roslin
Someone suggested that maybe it could have been a Bee/Wasp sting that I missed....another possibillity!

I was going to suggest this after finding one of my friends horses hiding at the back of her stable...we wondered what on earth she was doing as she looked terrified! then we heard her hay net buzzing once we removed it we spent AGES persuading her it was gone and new net was ok to eat :redcarded:
 

Maggiemooo

New Member
Sep 1, 2009
846
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Chelmsford, Essex
Thanks for all your replys, had a long look at him again last night, tried the bucket on the floor in stable, no eat, same bucket, same food on concrete yard, dives in..... wasn't keen to eat again this morning, but he did eventually when I left him to it!

Would you believe I threw out the over the door buckets not 2 weeks ago....tack shop here I come as a very good suggestion, thank you Julie, might solve the problem for now whilst we work out what is going on...

I so wish they could talk! :stomp::stomp::cry:
 
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