View Full Version : Spatty horse!
1st Sep 2001, 07:42 PM
Sory for the graphic terminology, but can't think of a better way to describe our 'problem'!
Pageant and his friends were moved from one (eaten away!) field to another one with lots of grass in it a couple of weeks ago.
Within 24hrs most of the horses were doing very good impressions of cows with their bowel movements- very 'splatty'!
We monitored this for a few days and it did improve, but then Pageant and a couple of others had 'filled' back legs and we took this to be a sign of too much rich grass and moved them back onto the 'eaten' field. Within a couple of hours the 'filling' had gone down and within a couple of days their bowel movements were back to normal.
Now we are rotating them- 2 days on one field, 2 days on the other in an attempt to get the 'good' grass eaten down in a controlled manner.
Problem is this- Pageant and one or two of the others (though not all) are still very 'splatty'- all appear fine otherwise & certainly no further 'filled' legs. (All checked at least twice a day)
So...will this 'splatting' do him any harm, or, as someone suggested, will his digestive system adjust its self soon? Obviously I am concerned about laminitis & I know that this time of year is a 'risky' time.
1st Sep 2001, 10:15 PM
It should settle down however with the ones who are still a bit `dodgy' in that department you may want to alternate daily or even do two in the bare field and one in the new one until they calm down a bit.
I know its very difficult sometimes if you dont own the fields but really any change to a horses diet should be done gradually like to the 2:1 ratio from the beginning.
If your hossie is prone to laminitis I would definitely be doing 2:1 or ideally in the new field for just a couple of hours a day and then back in the other one (I realise this probably isnt easy to manage when people have work commitments etc!).
Hope I have been of, at least some, help!
1st Sep 2001, 10:23 PM
If you've got any electric fencing I'd think the best way to control the situation would be to strip graze the new field. That way you don't have to move them backwards and forwards but you ration the amount of fresh grass they can get at each day. It also means you utilise the grazing more efficiently because they can't trample all over the whole field while they're picking out the best bits first!
If you can't do it this year, and depending on your livery situation, of course, you might consider getting some fencing sorted out for next year. Are you likely to have the same problem in spring? It could be useful then, too.
1st Sep 2001, 11:21 PM
Hello Spydgal & Ros, and thanks for your prompt replies!:D
Spydgal- It is difficult to get them rotated daily, as you say, due to work commitments, and the fact that trying to get a herd of 8 onto a bare paddock from a lush green one can't be done alone! Needless to say, some of the other owners aren't quite as- (how can I put this without offending any that may be reading this?) 'enthusiastic' or 'obsessive' as me about their horses health! I don't think Pageant is prone to laminitis- no sign of him having had it before I got him a year ago & the only 'warning' I have had is the filled legs- IS that a warning sign for laminitis? I was just going on instinct!
Ros- the electric fence idea is a brilliant one and something I had thought of- unfortunatley I don't have any and my yard manager isn't happy about strip grazing for some reason. So even if I did fork out the couple of hundred quid I'd need to 'strip' it, I don't think she'd let me! Will ask again though because I'd rather spend the money for the sake of all the horses, than risk laminitis.
We had no problems in the spring apart from them being a bit loose for the 24hrs when they first went out- and it's the same field used in rotation. Will certainly be getting a little more assertive about the situation for next spring- or moving him!!;)
2nd Sep 2001, 02:40 PM
I haven't heard that filled legs can be laminitis related but don't quote me on that. Robert Eustace's book (Laminitis and its Prevention available from the Laminitis Trust) gives a stronger pulse in the digital arteries at the fetlock joint as one of the first signs, particularly if found in more than one foot (in just one it could also be an indication of foot infection); it also says that heat in the foot can be misleading, because in the early stages of laminitis the blood supply to the foot is restricted, which means the foot is actually a little cooler. Also look for "resentment of mild pressure on the coronary band above the toe" or of "tapping or pressure applied to the sole of the foot between the point of frog and the toe". And of course lameness and the typical laminitic stance of rocking back on the heels, by which time some damage has already been done.
You could probably get your vet to show you how to check the pulse - you need to know what it feels like normally, of course, in order to notice any difference.
2nd Sep 2001, 02:55 PM
Thanks Ros, that is all really useful!:D
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