Strange behaviour with water - any ideas?

maggiesmum

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My gelding is doing something very strange, he puts his nose into his water bucket and swooshes the water around and then out, it has happened before a few times, it lasted a few days then stopped, this latest time started yesterday and he looks under the weather in his eyes - has anyone seen this kind of behaviour before? he has had sinusitis in the past which was thought to be caused by an infection in the root of his tooth.
 

lhotse

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Playing with water can be a sign of liver damage. I would get the vet out to give him the once over and take some bloods, especially as you say he seems dull in his eyes.
 
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Playing with water can be a sign of liver damage. I would get the vet out to give him the once over and take some bloods, especially as you say he seems dull in his eyes.
Now I never knew that!

But I have seen them swoosh it about from time to time - as if they want to drink but there's something funny about the smell of the water? I never really gave it a thought before now.
 

maggiesmum

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Now it's interesting that you say that! We have suspected for some time that his liver isn't up to scratch, he suffers from low grade lammi and I can pretty much make him 'footy' in the space of a few days if I feed him the wrong thing or worm him, he is very sensitive to diet, which we thought was perhaps his liver not being able to flush the toxins from his body.
After chatting with the vet at Global herbs we have been trying him on restore as a liver tonic (using it long term not just a 2 week course), but i'll defo call the vet tomorrow and chat with her about it - thanks!
 

Box_Of_Frogs

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The first thing I would have tried is to change the water! Couple of years ago, my very stomach-oriented horse stopped wanting his breakfast. Would just push it around and then walk away from it. As it is unheard of for my horse to refuse a feed, I was worried. Stupidly, it took me weeks to work out that it was summer and I was still making up the same quantities of Speedibeet that I'd been making up in the winter, that would last 2 or 3 days. Of course in the summer, it goes off very fast. My poor horse was hungry but wouldn't touch the dodgy Speedibeet! I would check your water and water supply for the day/few days before your horse started playing around with it and think what could make it taste funny to a horse. Possibilities: your water source very low and gunge being drawn into the taps; buckets not washed out well enough; buckets washed out TOO well and detergent residue in the water; something died in the bucket; bucket used for bathing the horse and still smelling odd; something dripped from the ceiling; different water source for a few days; heavy rain has washed detritus into the water supply. You get the idea. Sorry if you've already done this!

If you've already ruled this out, it would be worth doing the pinch test to see if your horse was dehydrated. Take a pinch of loose skin on the neck. Let it go and it should immediately return to how it was before. If it stays up for a while in a little tent shape, he's dehydrated and needs the vet.
 

Holly7

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Ok, so now I am totally worried about my youngster !!! She loves to do exactly what your saying EVERY day in her water trough. I put it down to her being a baby and maybe teething or just actually enjoying playing with the water each day, never thought it could be to do with her liver?

However, she has been in hospital recently and I advised them that she likes to play with her water and they never said that it was anything to worry about?
 

lhotse

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I would think that your youngster is just playing, but in a horse that seems off colour like the OP's, then it is something to consider.
 

Mrs B

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It's something I notice my head shaker does on a sneezy, bad pollen day: he'll march up to the troughs on the farm (both on his own and ridden) stick his nose in past his nostrils and swoosh the water around. I always thought it might make his itchy nose feel better and he never does it out of head shaking season.

Don't know if this helps and I hope you get to the bottom of your horse's problem, Maggiesmum...
 
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