my Horse is baffling me!

Rockchick

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I posted a few weeks ago about my horse "tying up" - which i'm now not entirely convinced he did.

I'll give the history (as brief as possible) and eagerly await your thoughts / input / suggestions

chocolate for those that get through the whole post :)

On 4th October we took henry horse out on a hack- just a walk with a bit of trot - nothing out of the ordinary - in fact less than his usual workload, even so, he was well warmed up and cooled down, put him away and left him for night.
The next day the yard owner text me to say he'd come out stiff on his back end (8am) - we thought he'd just "slept funny" so turned him out anyway and he walked it off and came in from field later (4pm) - totally sound. I had a look at himb at 6:30pm and he was really stiff on his back-end again, decided that we'd see how he was the next day and get vet if no better. The next morning he came out the same (stiff) so left him in and yard owner phoned vet, who diagnosed that he'd tied up.. which baffled me as nothing that casuses this could be associated with henry's "managment / routines" vet ran some bloods and prescribed a mild dose of acp (4x tablets twice a day for 1 week) and bute (1 sachet twice a day for 1 week) I didnt work henry at all over this period of time. His bloods came back as showing elevated muscle enzymes

Once he'd finished his course of treatment he came "sound" and stayed sound :)
I started light lungeing, lots of walking and then slowly introduced trot and built this up slowly.
Friday 21st october i decided to get on him (first time in almost 3 weeks) did 15 mins of walk with a few bursts of trot - again well warmed up and cooled down - was as good as gold!

Saturday 22nd october he came out of his stable - stiff again (panic) so instantly thought its linked to ridden work / tack/ back etc as he had been fine upto this point

Sunday 22nd - had a visit from dawn clow - equine body worker who could find nothing wrong muscular wise and observed him free schooling and again couldnt see anything "out of the ordinary" - had a look at his saddle and instantly it was clear that that was the issue - it was tight/ nipping/ restricting his shoulder - limiting movement etc thus putting extra pressure on his back etc

Saddle not been near him since - just done lunge work - walk and trot, building up the trot work and he's been fine

saddle fitter scheduled for 28th october to fit new saddle :)

Monday 24th & Tues 25th - Light lunge work
Weds 26th - day off

Thurs 27th - came out stiff again

Im not sure what to do now :(
 

maggiesmum

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I'm not completely clued up on tying up but I do have a friend who's horse suffered terribly after being fed buckets and buckets of hard feed because she wouldn't eat her hay!! (friend was on hols and horse was on full livery) so firstly i'd say what is he being fed?
She's had massive improvements from moving to a yard where her mare can live out 24/7, moving around seems to be doing her the world of good.
She found there was lots of info on american sites as its more common in quarter horses so that might be a good place to look, and I believe mineral balancing can help too..
 

Rockchick

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"after being fed buckets and buckets of hard feed because she wouldn't eat her hay!!"

^ he has alfalfa light 2x daily with a General purpose supplement added (and currently a vitamin E supplement too)

Hes out everyday from around 8am -4:30pm and is then stabled with as much hay as he wants (a full haybar as a rough idea)

He's worked 5/6 days a week with a mix of hacking / light schooling/ lunge work/ ground work etc he's never "hammered" :)

He's always warmed up / cooled down properly and well rugged (fully clipped)

Baffled-owner.com LOL
 

maggiesmum

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Looks like you have all basic stuff covered in which case i'd probably be thinking its some kind of a metabolic issue thats behind it. There is a yahoo (I think) group on EMS so they might be helpful - looks around hopefully for someone to confirm that - anyone??
 

Miss L Toe

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Sometimes a horse tying up will react if you run your hand over the back of rump when you are riding, it can feel stiff or even like crackling. Are any blood tests possible?
I would try stable bandages all round at night: a little support, and improve circulation..
The sedatives he has had relieve the symptoms but will not treat the disease [I may be wrong, but that is my opinion]
Another idea: Have a look at natural horse supplies and see if you can find a herb, or ask for a homeopathic vet referral.
A deep bed if he is on rubber matting only.
 
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fatpiggy

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Just a thought - how straight are his hind legs? It reminds me of a young mare I knew who used to have bouts of stiffness when she came out of her box. She had rather straight hind legs and it was diagnosed as persistent locking stifles (although I've seen other cases and she didn't really lock up as you would expect. - Vet said it was her confirmation)
 

rhino

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AFAIK the elevated ck/ast enzymes are fairly indicitive of tying up. It has been less than an month since you initially noticed a problem and episodes of tying up can have significant and/or long term effects; a friend's horse tied up fairly badly and it was about 6 months before he stopped feeling muscle pain and returned to normal. He had good days and bad days throughout this time, sometimes would appear completely 'sound' and happy and other times would be very sore and unhappy.

I would give your vet a call if you are still worried but to me it just sounds like a fairly normal, slow recovery from tying up.
 

Rockchick

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Update:
Had to take a rain check on saddle fitting as poor horsey still isnt right, had chiropractor type person out to him as planned - she did as much as she could (without doing too much) picked up on the muscle tighness and relieved what she could but advised to get vet back out as the cause wasnt clear - and none of the "causes" of tying up apply to him in any way

Had vet back out - she prescribed more bute and 5x capsules of dantrium per day (1x bute and 5 x dantrium am and pm) however there has been no change in him at all

Got the senior vet coming out to him today as this has been going on a while now and nothing has changed - in fact he's taking longer to "un-stiffen" if anything

Lunged gently the other evening and once he'd loosened up he was fine in walk and trot, pulled him up after 6 strides of canter as he wasnt at all happy and was also holding his tail to one side!

he's well rugged, and only fed on a fibre based diet - when he's in work he isnt "hammered" and is always well warmed up and cooled down and in the winter has an exercise sheet on when being worked

Any thoughts?

*chocolate for those of you that have got this far*
 

CBFan

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Sounds quite typical of 'monday morning disease'.

How much Alfa a does he have?

Alfa alfa is quite a rich fibre based diet - it can cause liver and kidneys to work extremely hard resulting in excessive urination amongst other things so if your horse is particularly sensitive or suffers from a metabolic disorder (as the raised muscle enzymes would sugest) it may not be the best source of fibre for him.

I would swap to a grass and or straw based chaff like graze-on or graze on gold blend (straw and grass). You may also want to add oil as a source of energy.

Hope you get some answers from your vet.

Best of luck.
 

Rockchick

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he has 1/4 scoop Alfalfa Light 2x daily - for supplements and so he doesnt have a hissy fit when others are fed (recently has 1 handful of alfalfa in it so he'll take his medicine :)
 

La Fiaba

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I have a horse who ties up, vet advised no alfalfa. She has to be worked everyday 45mins minimum and kept turned out, she has high fat diet and electrolytes everyday. Stabling will not help him if he is tying up as he needs to keep moving about. Regular more 'intense' work will help more than just pootling about for half an hour, ours has to work up a bit of a sweat everyday. However I know all horses react different and sometimes it is trial and error to find the best management. Hope the senior vet can confirm a diagnosis so you can get on with fixing your poor boy.
 

Rockchick

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Further update!

Had my “senior” vet out today and he came to a pretty instant diagnosis……

THRUSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wait a minute before you all faint….. there’s more…….

My horse gets his feet picked out 3 times a day and none of us have noticed anything, he’s been shod and the farrier didn’t pick up on anything! And he certainly didn’t have thrush when all this first started (I doubt 4 people + farrier would have missed it)

Apparently his muscle enzymes were raised as he’s been compensating for being footsore/ un-even weight bearing (he’s never shown these signs and doesn’t so much as rest a foot – unless he’s asleep!)

He’s been having 2 bute a day but still “funny” so it must be some “killer thrush ” and he’s also not “funny” in the field or at any other time other than the first few minutes when he’s been in overnight

Vet noticed he was a little lame on his right hind leg and when turning rather than crossing his legs over he pivots round (and has done since this started) but didn’t seem to count this as a factor too much

So, I’m going to treat the “thrush” whilst getting another independent vets opinion tomorrow!

He’s to have a week off and then re-assess if not better!

I’ll have 3 vet bills from my current vet, which seems like paying for nothing to me

Hmmmm…. RANT OVER!
 

Rockchick

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just a further update: had an independant vet out to my boy - who throughly examined him, did flexions etc (which previous vet had never done) and

hes got a sticky stifle!! as this hasnt happened before she thinks either
a) hes on the grow again (I hope not!)
b) hes slipped/ tripped/ pulled something causing trauma to the area and the other muscles etc "protecting" the area - causing him to hold himself funny and stiffen up etc

going to do nerver blocks and x rays to get the true picture, but the good news is he'll fix and come back 100% right :)

she did a thorough examination of him and could find no trace/ sight of thrush and fully assessed him and his diet and said (as my senior vet had also said) that he hasnt tied up

Im so relieved that finally someone can help me and my poor boy
 

CBFan

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Glad you have (yet another) answer! Lets hope it is the right one this time and with some time and patient exercise he can build up strength and flexibility again.

You might want to look into some physio for him as some gentle stretches etc might help him.

Good luck!
 
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