Travelling an emaciated horse (also in vet)

silverbreeze

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We sold one of our horses about 3 years ago and we went to see her yesterday; she is a long way away from where we live.
She was in a terrible way and we have persuaded them to sell her back to us as they just obviously can’t cope with the number of horses they have.
She is an old mare but all of their horses look like hat racks and once I have mine back in my lorry I will be reporting the others.
We are picking her up Sat but it is a 4 hour drive for her and I am really worried about how she will cope. A few things I am thinking and I would appreciate any input as I know a lot of people on here have rescued horses:
1. Do we travel her with partitions to give her support or if she is weak could she drop and get tangled in them, so would she be better without partitions and loads of straw?
2. We are planning on stopping every half hour for 15mins; is this enough?
3. Can we give her glucose water or something for energy or will that be too much for her incredibly run down system to cope with?
4. Obviously plenty of water if we can get her to take it and she will have a small net of well aged hay or should she have nothing food wise whilst she is travelling?
5. Anything else I have missed?

The rest of her rehab is going to be consulting with the vet and any advice any of you on here could offer would be greatly appreciated. We really feel like we have let this girl down and I am hoping it isn’t too late for her.
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quirky

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I'm sorry, I can't answer any of your questions .....
just to say I hope you get her home ok and that she recovers.

Poor, poor mare
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welshied

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You could try electrolytes but i couldn't say for def not knowing the state she was in. And i would say 14 mins rest every 30 mins is more than enough. The only other thing you could do is find a stable half way and keep her there for a couple of nights if you don't think this would be too stressful for her.
 

CBFan

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TBH I'd want to get her home as soon as possible and baring in mind that stopping every half hour for 15 mins is going to add another 2 hours to your journey, I'd only stop every hour.

hope you get her home safe xx
 

hussar

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Not an expert on rescue horses but perhaps sugar beet tea might be a safe and palatable way of getting her to drink. Agree with CBFan that stretching the journey too much might be counterproductive - how about a 10 min break in every hour? A lot depends on your route - straight steady motorway driving will take less out of her than twisty rural roads.

Good luck and hope she thrives once back home with you.
 

kit279

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My personal advice would be to travel straight home without stopping. If the journey is mostly on the motorways then stopping and starting doesn't achieve much and unsettles them. When they're going on the straight, they just stand up and balance - it's the turning that tires them out. I'd keep the partitions but make sure she has lots of room so maybe make them wider than normal. Don't worry about the water too much but make sure she has hay and I'd soak it to give her some water without her noticing. 4 hours is not too long and to be honest, I'd rather just get her home asap so she can really have a breather rather than a much longer journey in a box with regular breaks. Make sure the partitions are padded and check for anything she could rub herself on. I'd travel her in a rug as well if she's very thin.

Don't panic - she's made it this far, a considerately driven 4 hour journey should be ok for her.
 

M_G

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I would be tempted to go the thick straw bed and no partitions so she could lie down if she felt the need, JM07, Shils, TGM, BER would be your best bet for good honest advice
 

ProperBo

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get home as quick as. electroplyes in water maybe an idea. if you pm i'll give you the scioring chart for horses condition. to be able to do anything they must score less than 1!!
 

JM07

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give her half the lorry, preferably with a full lenth partition,if not put the remaining partitions close together as possible, and pack straw bales at the base where the rubber is, to back of the lorry before you close the rear gates, to stop her getting her head under the rubber at the bottom of the partition..if you dont have rubber, a large piece of plyboard cable tied on would suffice, and put the bales at the base of the boards.

take off her headcollar and dont boot her up...

plenty of straw on the floor to a depth of at least 9 inches. two nets of well soaked hay, for moisture......ventilate well..............and get home as quickly and safely as possible, without stopping...
 

Shilasdair

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I appreciate she is quite far away, but is there no way that you can build her up a bit before you travel her so far? For example, if you could pop down and move her to a local full livery yard, and give them detailed instructions on care for a fortnight or a month. Then you could pop down and collect her when she's a bit stronger.

If that's not possible, I would agree that you should give her some decent floor covering so she won't slip, and probably leave the partitions in place so she has something to lean on. I'd give her a little haynet for the journey, and possibly stop once halfway to offer water (maybe sugar beet water). I don't think you should stop every 30 mins - it will just prolong the journey. If you can pick motorways, straight roads, that would be better for her.
Good luck with the move.
S
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ETA: Oh, forgot to say don't change her feeding the day you shift her - just give her some dampened hay for the journey.
Once you get her home, try to give her adlib forage, then slowly build her up.
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Bosworth

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Go with what JM07 says - she knows what she is talking about, get her home as quick as you can - then start her rehabilitation. No stopping and starting it causes lots of stress and strain and to be honest there is little you can do until you get her home. I would arrange for the vet to be there when I got home and assess her. It may be that there is nothing major wrong - just lack of decent nutrition in which case little and often with grass and perhaps a balancer. Hard feed will probably be far too much for her to cope with and Dr Green works miracles very quickly. GOos luck. Let us know how you get on
 

Cuffey

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I would be thinking about asking your vets advice first--in case you were stopped on journey--that you are travelling on vets advice
WHW say travelling 1 hour is equivalent to walking one hour--would you walk her for 4 hours in the state she is in?
Sloppy beet pulp for journey is good with soaked hay
Plenty of bedding
This article is good for when you get home--consider sand colic a possibilty and treat with physillium if thinness due to lack of food rather than worms, gentle worming first but not straight after journey
Good luck--hope you manage to put her right, I can imagine how angry you must feel
http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=13547
 

JM07

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i too try to adhere to most "rules and regs"...
..
as i find that stopping sets off the "am i getting off" stress mode...then it takes them a good 15 minutes to settle again.

if travelled loose, a pony/horse will 99% of the time, get itself into a comfy stance and stays put.

it depends very much on the competence of the driver as to how a horse travels IMO...

it is legal to travel up to 8 hours in this country without a stop....by which time you'd be in the sea!!
 

spaniel

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If you can get your foot down on the motorway I would get back with as few stops as you possibly can. Plenty of room and a bed of straw plus some soaked hay.

To be honest whatever you do this journey is going to be risky to a degree and my instinct would be that barring real disasters its better to be at home and deal with anything that crops up rather than on some motorway service station or more frighteningly on the hard shoulder.

Such a shame your old mare has come to this and I wish you every bit of luck getting her home and making her well again.

If you know your route it may be worth getting online and taking down the numbers for a few equine practices along the way home....just in case the worst happens and you do need veterinary help.

Please keep us updated on her.
 

wizzi901

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Not sure how bad she is, but would personally travel her home maybe one stop if you think she needs it and isnt coping, if she seems ok, would carry on and get home. 4 hours turned into 5 or 6 because of stops would be far more stressful, and I would imagine a lot of your journey will be the motorway which should be easier for her.

Give some sugarbeat and electrolytes when you get home, or simple salt to help her hydrate if she has sweated a lot. If we compete all weekend we have been known to give lots of fruit and veg when they get home to perk them up a bit, and a guiness but I am not sure if she isnt 100% now whether her system would take it or it could cause colic.....so maybe not until she is a bit stronger!

Well done on you for taking her back!!! - and good luck!
 

silverbreeze

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Thank you everyone for your advice, the concensus is definately no stop and it is majority motorway. The vet will be consulted and there when we return and good idea about the vet practices Spaniel I shall do that definately.
Properbo; what do you mean by "to be able to do anything they must score less than 1!!" If she is more than that she is on deaths door? I will PM you for the scoring chart.
She has travelled happily loose before when she travelled with her foals so that wont be too traumatic for her.
Fingers crossed everyone; I am sat in work wishing I could go over and put her in my boot.. I am soo concerned about the poor old girl!
I'll let you all know how it goes
S x
 

moocow

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Not an expert but I would def travel with no partitions and loose i.e. no head collar. She can spread her legs out for balance and there is room for her to lie down if she wishes. Its how we have been advised to transport all our rescues.

With regards breaks, I would on a four hour journey have one stop about half way. Give her a drink if she wants it and see how she is doing then get back on the road. you will prob need a bit of a break yourself anyway so it will be good for both of you but I wouldn't stop and start. Good luck.
 

M_G

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Just want to wish you the best of luck and say thank you for restoring my faith in humans... She is a very lucky lady to have you
xx
 

PennyJ

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Good luck silverbreeze, it would be my worst nightmare come true if it was one of my old horses, I wish you all the best with her.
 
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