Older horse becoming nervous :/

puli

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My horse is 20 years old and she has become very nervous for no reason what so ever. She use to be very calm and she would never spook at all but now she is total different. When I groom her she shy's at nearly all her brushes. when I am mucking out if the yard brush go nears her she spooks and when on hacks if she sees anything like a another horse she panics and just runs and will not stop. I don't know why she has become like this she use to just stand there and be fine and she would never spook she is now so different. Yesterday she was tied up on the yard and there was a yard brush next to her haynet the brush blew and made a noise and she spooked and then refused to go near her haynet in till the brush was out of sight. Tonight I was giving her a lick and a dropped it on the floor and she spooked to the back of her stable then refused to come to the front again. Has anyone got any ideas why she has started being like this it has been happening for a while but she is getting worse. It is not her eyes we had the vet come and give her a check and she is fine.
 

rowan666

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my oldie has apparently (hes out on loan) suddenly become scared of trucks, he used to be the most laid back and genuinely bombproof in any and every situation you could possibly throw at him, i suspected cushings but vet insisted he shows no signs and didnt test? and said it sounds more like hes just trying it on, this was the second vet thats said the same thing but im convinced its cushings related and will be insisting on a test in the hope that it is and not just losing his marbles
 

puli

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No I the only person that handles her. She is very head shy and turns her face away from anyone that trys to touch her and she will not let anyone apart from me and people she knows very well near her in the field she just runs away.
 
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interesting post, i also know of a 20yr old thats showing signs of nervouseness etc, is it because we treat them differently due to their age? i thought she had a sight problem as she was flinching at times ..... i have however noticed a few things she likes to try on with us, hooves being picked up, cleaned out etc not liking brushes near her sometimes so have taken to showing her alot of items we use on her first so she can sniff at them.
 

puli

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I don't think I treat her any differently but maybe I am not aware I am doing it. I do the same I show her all the brushes before I use them. The other day I was plaiting her mane and before I started I let her sniff the elastic band and she spooked and she would not let me near her because of the band when I did mange to get near her she was so tense and just went stiff she was really not happy. It is really weird I hate seeing her like that as it is so not her when I pick up the yard brushes someone that does know me would think I was going to hit her with because of how she acts
 

Mickeymoo

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Our horse is 28 and still going strong (competed at Olympia at Christmas) and really healthy.

About 4 years ago he really started to look at things, and we think his eyesight is becoming a little fuzzy. We just take our time with him and make sure he feels safe. Out hacking he does look at more things than he used to and will turn and run.

I never tell him off, just assure him.
 

puli

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maybe it is her eyes then she never gets told off for it she gets assured
 

Nugget La Poneh

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I had this with our old mare. Vets adamant nothing wrong with eye sight though.

But she was diagnosed with cushings after a blood test at the same time.
 

Nitro mouse

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Hi
I am having exactly the same issue with my 23 year old, looks fit as a flea in every way apart from becoming very spooky and anxious coming in and going out. Vet due tomorrow, I will update tomorrow eve x
 

splashgirl45

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I would also say get her tested for cushings as one of the signs can be change of temperament..my mare became very grumpy which was completely out of character but once she was on prascend she went back to being her normal self.
 

puli

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Ok thankyou I have the vet coming out soon to do my other horses vaccination so I will ask about a cushing test then
 

JillA

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Try her on magnesium oxide - it may be as she gets older she can't utilise whatever magnesium is available to her. A couple of weeks on it should let you know whether magnesium deficiency is the problem.
 

oldie48

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Interested to hear that others with a horse with cushings have found this. My old boy can at times be unpredictable to bring in. I think he feels more vulnerable these days so is on high alert when it's windy or getting dark. If someone walks round the back of his field or something unusual is going on, he gets quite wound up and I know I need a longer lead rope, hat and gloves as he can be a complete idiot. This is a horse I've had for 16 years and he never used to behave like this. Most of the time, thank goodness, he's his usual polite self. His eyes have been looked at by the vet who says they are fine.
 

lelly

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My Cushing's pony is slightly nervous now. Not much but I noticed that she's scared of aeroplanes and never has been in the 24 years I've had her.
 

Hawks27

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If confident no one has miss handled her to make her nervous/anxious and personally if something had happened in the night (bad weather / loud noises etc) to rile her I would of expected her to calm back down after a couple of days, I would have eyes and ears thoroughly checked, have vet run bloods and check her temperature to make sure nothing viral/fever
Worse case scenario / last resort consider head investigations to see if its something neurological
Good luck, hope its something straight forward and she settles soon for you
 

sprytzer

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Spot on symptoms for my old boy...bloods confirmed cushings and 25% vision in one eye, i would defo get eyes checked properly.
 

Wishful

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Given that the limit of the vet's ability to check eyesight is knowing that there are no cataracts, ulcers etc and that the menace/dazzle response are present eyesight can be getting worse and not be detectable - it's not as though reading a chart is possible!
 

Archangel

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Another vote for full health check with bloods - Cushings/liver. The startle reflex can become very enhanced with cataracts until they adjust and I have known two horses with liver problems who couldn't bear to be touched, one of them developed an absolute terror of everyday things even though he was handled by someone he was used to and had nothing to fear.
 

puli

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thankyou for all the replys I will talk to the vet about getting some tests done. I have some magnesium oxide which I will try just incase. I am pretty sure someone has not scared her as apart from me and people she has known for years she will not let anyone near her in the field and if someone trys to touch her she backs away so I don't think has scared her
 

fatpiggy

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Given that the limit of the vet's ability to check eyesight is knowing that there are no cataracts, ulcers etc and that the menace/dazzle response are present eyesight can be getting worse and not be detectable - it's not as though reading a chart is possible!
My old girl as she got older was noticeably partially sighted in one eye. She would spook at things like a dustbin, but only as she was passing it. It became obvious that she couldn't see forwards with it, only beside and probably behind herself. SHe started refusing to lunge on the right rein too, and would do anything to turn herself around and go the other way. Once I realised she was having problems I concluded that her right(good) eye was occupied with watching me so she couldn't see where she was going properly. On the left rein her bad eye could still see me prefectly well and her right eye could see forwards. After that she showed signs of very poor night vision and so she probably had cataracts but by that time it wasn't worth bothering the vet about.
 
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