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3 year old TB with growth problems?
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kskow530
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 Posted: Sun Sep 20th, 2009 10:01 pm
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I was reading about how the vertebrae are the last to develop. I was wondering about a 3yr old TB gelding I know of that all of a sudden had a shortening of stride. Xrays showed no signs of damage to the spine and EPM was ruled out. He is HUGE. He is 17.2 and still looks like a baby! Vet suggested it was that the vertebrae didn't have enough room for the spinal cord in the neck. Just curious as to whether if rest and letting him finish growing could help ot not.  One vet says turn out and let him finish growing, another has different opinion. I am just looking to help this horse so he doesn't end up at a killer sale, so I don't expect miracles. I was just curious what anyone's experience on possible wobblers has been. Wobblers hasn't been diagnosed, but his symptoms resemble them. He's not horribly atxic, but you can tell when he tries to slow down when running, his front end stops and he sometimes trips in the back. He was a racehorse up until a month ago when they noticed his differnce in stride. Thanks for any guidance anyone can give me!

Kerry 

 

DrDeb
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 Posted: Mon Sep 21st, 2009 05:28 am
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Kerry, according to the veterinary diagnostic manual, a diagnosis of 'wobbler syndrome' can only be made if the onset of symptoms begins before the animal reaches its second birthday. True wobbler syndrome is due to stenosis -- narrowing -- of the vertebral canal, which is the tunnel within the chain of vertebrae which carries the spinal cord.

If the animal is older than 2 when symptoms first begin, then there are two likely scenarios:

(1) The animal has eaten or been exposed to something that is toxic to the nervous system; or,

(2) The animal has sprained its neck through taking a hard tumble out in the pasture, getting cast in a fence or stall, or (if the horse has been started under saddle), because the rider has pulled its neck around or upward.

I have discovered since researching and writing "Poison Plants in the Pasture: A Horse Owner's Guide," that most veterinarians have zero training in identifying poisonous vs. nonpoisonous plants. This makes the task of sleuthing possible sources of toxic plants difficult, and almost guarantees that nobody who knows the horse's case will have the time, money, knowledge, or persistence to pursue the necessary investigation. Your veterinarian, as well as your friend the horse owner, should be made aware of Knight and Walter's "Plants Poisonous to Livestock in North America," which is available through the IVIS website (http://www.ivis.com). Any veterinarian can easily get access to the downloadable information contained in this website and/or purchase the book. My own "Poison Plants in the Pasture" supplements Knight and Walter's work with numerous big photographs, the main intention being to make the process of identifying the plant easier and more certain. Knight and Walter's book gives diagnostic and treatment information and in some cases goes into etiology and biochemistry of the toxic substances themselves; I do not cover this area.

As to the horse spraining its neck: the veterinarian will check for local swelling and pain, though there may be little to discover within a day or two of an actual injury. It sounds like the horse owner has pursued the obvious alternatives, ruling out EPM (which should almost always be ruled out anyway). If they have already been riding the horse, they should be informed that the taller the horse and the longer its neck, the later the animal will mature in its skeleton. While most horses are skeletally mature by the age of six, a 'baby Huey' such as the one you are describing here may not be ready for anything more than crawling on and crawling off of him until he is eight years old. For straightforward details on skeletal maturation in horses, go to our main website (click on the 'home' button above), then click on 'Knowledge Base' and download the paper entitled 'The Ranger Piece/Skeletal Maturation in Horses.' -- Dr. Deb

kskow530
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 Posted: Mon Sep 21st, 2009 02:01 pm
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Thanks for the info. I did read that article and I'm glad to know that I haven't been crazy for letting my youngsters grow up before doing any hard training with them. I've had people tell me you should have started that horse at 2, but my now 8 yr old 17.1 h TB gelding is just now mature physically and he hasn't given me any of the resistance he was giving the trainer a yaer ago. So, my friend and I are going to rescue this Tb I asked about, let him have time to grow, and see what happens. he at least desrves a chance! Thanks again, and I will be sharing your info with my friends about how a horse grows!

melanie
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 Posted: Fri Oct 16th, 2009 09:29 pm
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hi this is interesting, I have a thoroughbred four year old never on the track he has just been started in his ground work. He also has grown really fast he was 16 hands when he was a  two year old. That is not huge by any means he is now about two inches bigger than that at four.   Anyway he is a lunk he is learning to control his body, but he sometimes falls down on the corners he is getting more sure footed as time goes on.  After his growth spurt he looked like a moose.  I keep him by himself so he doesn't get hurt the other horses pick on him cause they can get away with it .  I don't like to see it so I protect him.  I was thinking about ways to get him more coordinated and what I was plotting was work on the long lines.(ground driving) Asking him to break at the pole with side reins and working him over caveletti and uneven ground and have him do a lot of transitions. trying to ask for some  collection a bit at a slow trot backing and circles with no weight to balance .      I was just trying to think of new muscles to develope and balance and coordination skills, maybe  try and make awarness of his body and showing him a better way to move by bringing his hind legs closer to his center of gravity. I also liked some of linda tellington jone's stuff on body awarness I thought about that as well.  those are some things I will be trying with my lunk

kskow530
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 Posted: Sat Oct 17th, 2009 12:16 am
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updtae on my baby huey!

He's been doing great at my farm. I am trying to get some weight on him as he was thin, but I can tell he is still growing! I have added a high fat supplement to help with his weight, and the omega fatty acids definately can't hurt! I have just started him on additional vitamin e (without selenium). He hasn' t had any issues with stocking up like he did at the previous farm, even on the days he can't get out due to the weather. He has been moving much better, to the point that he looks like a normal horse now! He actually was able to rear up and hold it while he was outside playing, something he couldn't do before! So, I'm glad I read the article, and that i gave him a chance. I'm not going to hurry anything with him. he can have all the time in the world to finish growing! ---Kerry

melanie
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 Posted: Sat Oct 17th, 2009 01:39 am
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I think horses at the track don't have that great of a job but someone has to do it right.  I hope that some trainers make it as nice as possibe and take care.  I look after a thoroughbred from the track in the off season.  When they brought him last year it took a long time for him to act happy I gave him a friend to hang out with and cozy up to and it seemed about two months till he started to play and not act soar. He gets shots in his knee's. the owner last year didn't want him blanketed and we managed but this year he gets a blanket and his owner is now on the same page on suppliments I had put him on a joint suppliment on my own dime, and I don't know how much it helped he was going to retire him last fall and this year he was in the money and had a win.  he had a change of trainers this summer a beter farrier and I don't know what else. but we will see how he looks this year when he comes for his rest. I sure think he is a sweet guy.  he is a half brother to my four year old thoroughbred you would not know them to be half brothers.  hillbilly is slender and streamlined like a race horse and wolfgang looks like a warmblood in comparison he has trees for legs.  He is nice but I hope he grows into himself.    Is your horse eating his extra fat and supplament so is he a fussy firt?

DrDeb
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 Posted: Sat Oct 17th, 2009 05:09 am
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Melanie, again: you need to look at the other posts in this thread and then if you reply, it would be courteous of you to stick to just the content of the thread. PLEASE do not write us rambling stories about you and your horses: stick to the content of the discussion that is in this thread.

If you want to talk about a different topic, you can start a new thread. Remember to stick to ONE QUESTION AT A TIME PLEASE. -- Dr. Deb

melanie
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 Posted: Sat Oct 17th, 2009 06:34 pm
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Yes sorry.  I didn't understand yeaterday, but I do now.


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