Aggressive pony on injection

Elaine26

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Jul 23, 2021
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Hi I bought my first pony in October he was 5 months old with handling has become very friendly. However he got infection and had to inject him with antibiotics . After the 3rd day he has become very aggressive and striking out at the front so much so that I couldn’t inject him. I asked a neighbour that has experience with horses and he couldn’t inject him either.He returns to normal manner again once not trying to inject him. Any advice would be appreciated. Elaine
 

Doodle92

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Apr 6, 2021
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Mine was similar. He had an op on his elbow. He refused to eat his antibiotics at home and his stitches burst. So he went back to the vets for a week. He was being injected twice a day and became so unmanageable he was sent back home again!! They had to put him in the stalls for any chance to get the needle in, but he was messing about so much his neck was getting bruised so he just associated everything with pain. They managed to source other oral abx which luckily he ate.

However I was then left with a needle phobic horse. I had to go right back to the beginning as even touching his neck had him freaking out. Slowly slowly until I could raise the vein without issue and then used a pen to touch his neck. Of course it took time which you may not have now. But lots of work going through the motions without injecting. Also those little mollases licks. They are full of sugar and not something he would normally get so bribery works. Initially when vet came I would shove one of them under his nose and he would put up with him. Glad to vet had injection done before I had “prepared” this week and he didn’t bother.

If he really needs abx and you really can’t get them in the only other way is to take him to horspital and put in a catheter in neck.

Another way, which isn’t ideal but needs must sometimes, is reverse him up to stable door. Someone holds his head and distracts. Someone comes over door and puts jab in bum. It saves you from being kicked.
 

Elaine26

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Jul 23, 2021
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Thanks for the reply I think myself the infection seems to have cleared , but going to keep close eye on him and if needed will get vet and just leave without antibiotics for now. Hope this is right decision.I’ll start going throu motions again as you said and fingers crossed he won’t get cross after this .
 
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Doodle92

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Where did you get antibiotics from if vet hasn’t seen him? Or am I reading that wrong?
 

Elaine26

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Jul 23, 2021
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Vet did see him she gave him first dose and I had to give him next 4 but only managed to give 3 due to him getting aggressive he got worse after each dose .it might sound silly but he got wise to the injection.
 

carthorse

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If the vet prescribed antibiotics then please speak to the vet before stopping them, not completing the course is how we end up with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Also if the infection isn't fully gone it will come back and be far harder to treat.

Another option would be to get some Domesedan from your vet and give him a small amount at least half an hour before injecting. I appreciate sedating isn't ideal, but sometimes needs must,
 

carthorse

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I see you only have one left to give. That being the case I'd twitch him to do it, just give the twitch time to act before injecting - you should see his eyes start to go sleepy.
 
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Elaine26

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Jul 23, 2021
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If the vet prescribed antibiotics then please speak to the vet before stopping them, not completing the course is how we end up with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Also if the infection isn't fully gone it will come back and be far harder to treat.

Another option would be to get some Domesedan from your vet and give him a small amount at least half an hour before injecting. I appreciate sedating isn't ideal, but sometimes needs must,
 

chunky monkey

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May 2, 2007
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I have a very needle phobic horse. I bribbed my lad with some molasses poured onto a bucket lid then add some pony nuts and mix to the sticky mess. Vet was in and out before he knew it. On another occasion i circled the horse round and vet walked around too and slipped the needle in.
Agree about trying to get some oral sedative. Dont make it an issue giving the sedative or it wont work. If the horse gets worked up adrenaline takes over and they fight the sedative.
 
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Elaine26

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Jul 23, 2021
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For the future, Richard Maxwell has a neat way of training a horse to accept injections. Let me know if you want the info!
Hi I’ll look it up I definitely need to learn how to inject horses . As am planning to have Alfie for rest his life. And to be honest after last night I’m a bit nervous of him .
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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It's in his book Train Your Young Horse. Basically he suggests that you use treats (it's the only thing he uses treats for). You have a dummy syringe which you apply at whatever spot you want to train, and you imitate the sting with a stretched rubber band, then immediately give the treat. He says if you get the timing right the horse stands quietly for the jab and just looks for his treat afterwards.

Given Alfie's current dim view of injections, I imagine this would need to be a high value treat!
 
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carthorse

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On a negative note some horses are so phobic you won't bring them round. For those you do what you can to avoid injections, keep Domesedan in your first aid kit in case or an accident when you know the vet will need to inject (speak to vet first though) and do all you can to keep safe. I've been there, nearly 700kg of attack first ask questions later teaches you a lot about management tactics and safety!
 
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Elaine26

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Jul 23, 2021
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It's in his book Train Your Young Horse. Basically he suggests that you use treats (it's the only thing he uses treats for). You have a dummy syringe which you apply at whatever spot you want to train, and you imitate the sting with a stretched rubber band, then immediately give the treat. He says if you get the timing right the horse stands quietly for the jab and just looks for his treat afterwards.

Given Alfie's current dim view of injections, I imagine this would need to be a high value treat!
Book ordered on Amazon . Thank you
 
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Huggy

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I have a very needle phobic horse. I bribbed my lad with some molasses poured onto a bucket lid then add some pony nuts and mix to the sticky mess. Vet was in and out before he knew it. On another occasion i circled the horse round and vet walked around too and slipped the needle in.
Agree about trying to get some oral sedative. Dont make it an issue giving the sedative or it wont work. If the horse gets worked up adrenaline takes over and they fight the sedative.
I had to give Hogan oral sedative for the farrier - very mild, and after 2 visits he didn't need it.
 

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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For an incredibly phobic horses could you not cover the eyes? Or keep the needle out of sight somehow, turn their head away abit? Or is it when the needle goes in they panic? Just wondering not knowledgeable to make any suggestions
 

carthorse

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@Ale as you rightly say it depends on the level of phobic and the reaction too. Some that works with, others not. Jim would only let vets approach if he could see their hands, and if they then put their hands in their pockets or anything else all bets were off. Anything to be used was seen first, it sounds insane but he was so phobic that was the only way to keep him or us safe. Even with domesedan we had to have a plan both of how things were to be done and how to ensure the vet was safe - when he had an issue he was too clever, too big, and too reactive.

Above all else when dealing with this or anything similar I feel you have to have human safety as priority. Some of the things I've seen over the years haven't seemed to factor that in and then they wonder why people get hurt.
 
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