Question for people with OLD horses

kerrieberry2

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My mare is 29, she has cushings, has until last year always suffered with gastric colic 2x a year for around 5yrs! we seemed to get it under control last year, by moving hards

anyway the last the my vet checked her (march) he made a comment that I thought very little about until this morning! "has she stopped laying down now"

I've not seen her lay down since this time last year! so I wonder, do they stop laying down as they get much older, and if you find them laying down, is that bad?

I've been up this morning, her and my 4yr old were napping, I thought she was dead and she didn't get up when I called her (she always used to) my gelding got up and shoed her up and I checked her tummy noises, which were all normal! and she looked happy enough! they followed me for their breakfast! I popped off to weight watchers for an hour and when I came back they were all laying down again! Looking happy enough and eventually she got up for a scratch and has been fine for the last 2 hours!

so is laying down a good or bad thing?
 

Polos Mum

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Mine are't as old as yours yet but all 3 over 20 and they are always sun bathing when the weather s nice - less in winter but 2 or 3 good layng down sessons a day at moment
 

twiggy2

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not laying down can be a sign they find it hard to get up, arthritis may be an issue when this starts to happen and if not already on some pain relief/anti inflammatory then it may be an indicator that it is time to start giving some.

you may find she lays down when the weather is warm and the ground comfy (a bit softer can give more grip for her to get up) as the warmer weather may encourage he to sleep more deeply and rest more in comfort.

you just need to keep a closer eye on her and it sounds like you are already doing that.
 

littleshetland

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My 23 yr old lay down less as he got older. He was arthritic and I wonder that as he got older getting up and down seemed to get harder and possibly more painful (in spite of danilon etc) so he seemed to do it less and less. My current oldie (I'm not sure of her age but well into her 20s) is very fit and well and lies down perfectly 'normally'.
 

Peregrine Falcon

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We hav two oldies 33+ that we look after. Rarely see them lying down but they do roll. I guess that if they lie down for too long they stiffen up and it's more difficult to get to their feet.
 

Rosiejazzandpia

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Not laying down may be due to the weather. If they are naturally stiffer due to age they may not want to get down and get stiffer when it's cold.
I have a 35 year old cob mare who sunbathes most afternoons in the fields, and 5 horses at the yard are over 22 and also sunbath. I wouldn't get too concerned, you sound like you are taking good care of your oldie and taking health into consideration :)
 

sarahann1

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Smartie is around 26/27 and come to think of it, I've not seen him lying down much lately. He'll still go down for a roll and can get back up again without looking too stiff.
 

Ceriann

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My mare is 21 and she will happily roll but rarely lies down. She has a bit of arthritis in the back - I currently give her turmeric and she def seems brighter but she's never been one to lie down since I've had her (15 years) so I don't see it as an age thing with her. I keep an eye on her rolling to see how she finds getting up and all good so far.
 

*hic*

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My 30 yo rolls and lies down to sleep. My 20 yo however finds it tricky getting up and I haven't seen him spend more than a few minutes lying down after rolling for ages.
 

amandap

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I have horses age from 9 to pushing 30 and haven't noticed any lying down more than the others. My pony prone to laminitis did lie down more when she had an acute episode. Perhaps the vet assumed your horse had been lying down more as uwell horses often do or they get up and down frequently.

ps. Lying down to sleep at times is normal.
 
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FionaM12

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I have horses age from 9 to pushing 30 and haven't noticed any lying down more than the others. My pony prone to laminitis did lie down more when she had an acute episode. Perhaps the vet assumed your horse had been lying down more as uwell horses often do or they get up and down frequently.

I think the OP's vet was suggesting the horse may be lying down less, not more. :)
 

amandap

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Doh! Got the wrong end of the stick! The trouble is unless we are with them 24/7 it can be difficult to know if they are lying down sometimes.
 

SuperH

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My 29 year old would roll in the field as she always had. She also lay down in her stable to sleep as normal. The only thing she did differently as she got older is she would stay lay down when I went up in the morning and eat her breakfast in bed! Once eaten she would stand up, stretch and be ready to take out and face the day.
 

Theocat

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Mine is only nine but I've seen him lie down (not including rolling) a grand total of twice in three years. I know he does because he gets covered in stains, but he seems to be shy about doing it in front of anyone!
 

Celtic Fringe

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Mine is somewhere between 25 and 30 and really likes a good lie down, especially in the morning if the weather is good. He has kissing spines - the vertebrae have fused together but this does not seem to impede him at all. He gets down and up really smoothly and rolls right over from side to side despite his back and a dodgy tendon in one hind leg. My main worry is that he will get arthritic and stiff as he get older as I have known two old horses that ended up having huge problems getting back on their feet and sadly had to be PTS. Mine still thinks he is 3 sometimes and hoolies round bucking like a good 'un - very even behind despite it all!
 

MagicMelon

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I would only think with an old horse that stopping lying down might be a sign they have arthritis? But yours only has cushings so I dont see why they would stop lying down. I had 2 ponies with cushings, one had it for about a year and sadly had to be PTS about 2 months ago as she kept getting lami attacks no matter what we did (was on prescend). But my other one who is about 27 has had cushings for about 5 years now, is on prescend and (touch wood) looks great - you wouldn't know he had a problem. The first pony lay down absolutely fine up until being PTS, and the other one lies down as normal. Why dont you call the vet and see what he meant?
 

YorksG

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We have had a fair few oldies in our time, the oldest was estimated to be a 40ish year old Clydie mare :) She enjoyed a good sunbathe, especially if the sun was shining in her stable. Ours have always carried on having a lie down, although they did get a bit slower at getting up.
 

kerrieberry2

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Thanks guys, I feel better now! In fact it makes sense why the vet said about her laying down now. She knocked her knee and he was looking at it at the time, as there was a lump and he said that as well as knocking it she has arthritis in it! though she's still as sound as a pound (touch wood)

she is the ring leader, she races around the field, taking my 4 yr old and my mini with her! so its good that she can still lay down, she didn't have any issues getting up, so will stop worrying so much now!
x
 
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