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Aggressive behaviour after sedation
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equifire
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 Posted: Sun Jul 24th, 2016 11:15 am
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Hi Dr Deb and all.
My sweet natured 4 year old gelding had to go under sedation about seven weeks ago due to parasites on his penis. He came out of the sedation fighting and although he has improved, he is still aggressive randomly.
The vet thought he may have ulcers and he has been treated with a product called Ulcershield. His coat has become more shiny but the behaviour has not changed.
He has his penis out a lot and now that I am bringing him into light lunge work he is urinating early in the session. He never urinated like that prior to the sedation.
I know there is something not right and I don't know what else I should be looking for.
I would love to hear any possibilities.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sun Jul 24th, 2016 08:49 pm
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Dear Equifire: Could we get a little more detail as to what the 'aggressive behavior' consists of -- exactly what does the horse now DO that you interpret as aggressive.

That he came out of anaesthesia 'fighting' is very common. When they begin to wake up, they are often rather disoriented and may flail about quite a bit and/or misinterpret their handlers as a danger to them from which they need to defend themselves. This is all part of every horse's innate need to survive by making adjustments.

It is certain that his struggle upon awaking has no connection whatsoever to whatever he is doing at the present time. But it has that connection in YOUR mind. My suspicion here is that much of what is going on 'now' was actually going on 'before', perhaps in a more subtle form, and that the surgery/anaesthesia has served, as many a horsemanship clinic has also served, as a kind of wake-up to you, so that your ability to notice has received, through this 'crisis', a tune-up, like having your eyes opened for the first time.

Thus with the urination also....we will need to get into a discussion of how to tell when a horse needs to pee. But first, let's have your details on what you consider to be the 'new' aggressive actions. -- Dr. Deb

equifire
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 Posted: Mon Jul 25th, 2016 03:10 am
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Hi Dr Deb,

Ziggy was always a happy boy to work around. He enjoyed being brushed all over with no areas off limits. He was good to pick feet up too.
Immediately after the sedation he was in attack mode and he stayed this way for a few days. That's when I called the vet back and she decided he had ulcers which he has been treated for.
This attacking is like a mean horse going after another horse. Teeth barred, ears flat back, tail swishing and quarters swinging around. Although this behaviour has become less, it happens randomly now. I went to give him a brush in the paddock yesterday (he has his own with company next to him)and only got to his neck and he had ears back and was lining me up with his quarters. It did not matter which side I was on. I did note a small amount of teeth grinding which I have not noticed before.
Ziggy is in agistment and he is well looked after. I have never been as happy with a centre.
I am an EBW and have done a dissection with you in QLD and saddle fitting with Kerry Ridgeway. I am satisfied that there is no muscular injury that he is being protective of.

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Jul 25th, 2016 01:12 pm
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OK, Equifire, there are two approaches I would suggest you try here.

First, I want you to use the Google Advanced Search protocol which is explained in a thread near the top of the Home Page of this Forum. Enter keywords "Pauline Moore" and "magnesium" and it will pull up threads where Institute Friend Pauline discusses the value, effects, sources, and ways of administering magnesium as a dietary supplement.

The reason for a trial of magnesium (Pauline recommends magnesium in the form of magnesium chloride, MgCl, and I agree with this) is that (a) many horses in your neck of the woods appear to be deficient in it, and (b) when supplied at the rate the horse's body actually needs, it acts as a so-called "calming agent". Actually its effects in the body are numerous and crucial; its "calming" properties stem from its activity as a metabolic buffer. Just as a curiosity by the way, was this horse founder-prone before the anaesthesia, i.e. cresty neck, shelly hoofs, hard to keep shoes on, known history of founder, or founder rings evident in the hoofs?

Now, if you were also to consult with our friend Jenny Paterson, who is a Kiwi like yourself, and go to her website or correspond with her by EMail (horsemanshipnz@xtra.co.nz), Jenny will tell you that you probably also need to pay a lot more attention to the horse's diet in other ways as well. This particularly will relate to his access to pasture or hay that contains lucerne, clover of any variety, fescue, or ryegrass. Many NZ farms are entirely ryegrass-clover because that's what makes cows fat, but it makes horses crazy. The other thing that Jenny is probably going to tell you is to up your horse's salt intake generally, and to keep him absolutely away from grass that is in the growth spurt which occurs after a rain. You will be well advised to do exactly as Jenny tells you, and from what you describe, it may well be worth your neck.

Your case will be of special interest to both Pauline and Jenny because you aver that the horse was not like this before the anaesthesia. I still have my doubts about that -- too many years of experience giving clinics where that's what the clients say, once our work in the clinic begins to make it obvious to the owner how deficient and insufficient her work "at home" has been -- in other words, they go to the clinic and they get their eyes opened, or the scales fall off their eyes, or the rose-colored glasses are more or less jerked off.

Nonetheless it is also possible, and a rather interesting thought, that somehow the anaesthetic altered your horse's kidney or liver metabolism, tilting him over into the kind of mineral and digestive imbalance which is characteristic of nutso horses.

OK, that being said, you still have the other half of the problem, which is, that your horsemanship skills appear to need an upgrade. For this, there is no finer help than your attendance at Buck Brannaman's clinics when he is in NZ every other year. Accept no substitutes: we've had a good laugh several times at the "other" horsemanship wannabees who have discovered New Zealand -- one guy is going around telling the Kiwi ladies that they are "buckaroos". OH YEAH, right -- sorry, I beg to differ: what they really are is wives of Kiwi dairy farmers who like to dress up in costumes so that they look like American bucklebunnies. They like to go to the tack store and buy (what in New Zealand is) exotic equipment, and they like to feel that they are members of a cadre, specially chosen, with a particular interest that they can cherish among themselves. What I will tell you about these ladies is -- they are never going to make it.

So you can go to Buck or you can come to my clinics when I'm there -- Buck and I alternate. And you can subscribe to 'The Eclectic Horseman', and you can get Buck's '7 Clinics' tapes, and you can and should get anything you can lay your hands on with Ray Hunt or Tom Dorrance. And you should write in here regularly for specific advice, and read (using the Google search function abovementioned) old threads where many of these things have been discussed. And you should get about it immediately, take it seriously, and believe and act on the belief that you are going to master it.

One of the first things I want you to do in this vein is go to the main part of our Website here, http://www.equinestudies.org. Click on "Membership" and then follow the buttons to find the 2-CD audio set entitled "Mannering Your Horse." Purchase this item, and when you receive it, listen to it as if your life depended upon it, because my dear -- it does.

Let me know how your consultations with Pauline and Jenny go, and meanwhile, use extreme caution around this horse, because he is not in his right mind. -- Dr. Deb

equifire
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 Posted: Tue Jul 26th, 2016 04:06 am
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Wow a lot of wonderful information there to digest. Thank you so much for that Dr Deb.
I am in QLD Australia although Ziggy came from Western Australia and has been here for a little over a year now.
I will follow up with your recommendations.

Ziggy was not prone to founder and his hooves are hard and strong. He is unshod at this stage.

Thank you.

Last edited on Tue Jul 26th, 2016 04:07 am by equifire


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