cause behavioural changes?
Q: My normally bright alert and intelligent horse has suddenly developed
a very alarming problem.
when I called him over to the field gate for his feed, he carried
his head very low with his nose almost on the ground. He found the
bucket and consumed the contents but seemed unable to lift his head
more that a few inches.
If I lifted
his bucket he would not raise his head to eat. He was not interested
in anything that was not directly in front of him on the ground
and he seemed wary and spaced-out. He exhibited this behaviour on
a few occasions but because of its intermittent nature the vet always
missed the incidents.
I have now
brought him in for the winter and, to start with, everything seemed
fine. But he has started exhibiting this behaviour in the stable
first thing in the morning. It normally lasts two or three hours
and happens a couple of times as week.
not let us near his head during this period. He has never had an
attack out riding and I can ride him half an hour after his 'turn'
with no apparent ill effects. Blood tests show nothing abnormal,
his eyes have been thoroughly checked and our vet is unable to provide
horse certainly has an unusual problem! It sounds unlikely that
conventional diagnosis and treatment will help a great deal. I suspect
there is a muscular or skeletal problem that is for some reason
causing transient pain in the head and neck region.
This may tie
in with the condition being worse in the morning after a night of
inactivity in a cold stable. I think you should seek the help of
an experienced osteopath to investigate whether this is the cause
of the problem.
If his 'turns'
are more of a behavioural or psychological nature, you might
consider the use of herbal calming formulae to try and ease the
situation. If these are going to be successful you should expect
to see results after about two weeks of supplementation.
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