Something odd happening.

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Carly Rae

Well-Known Member
Jul 11, 2015
Reaction score
Queensland, Australia

When I got home from school today I looked out to find the horses and I saw Willow standing in the smaller pen that I lock them up of a night. Thats where their water is so I just assumed she came up for a drink, but I went out back out about 10 minutes later and she was laying down (normally she would be back out eating). I walked up to her and she got up right away. We ran around and everything and she was fine, oh also I have found with her that if you suddenly start making her run, when you stop she will cough a few times then sneeze through her nose and shes fine, I am not sure if thats normal, she is nearly 16 so she isn't a young, young pony.

She was eating a little bit, not much though, I have this grain that I give them to reward them for coming to me from the back paddock. I tried giving her some and she kind of just sat her head in the container and slowly swished her lip through it and only took a little bit. Normally she would be plowing into it trying to get as much as she possibly could. She seems really 'sluggish' and she has been laying down more. I had a feeling that it was colic but when Toby had it there was no way you could get him to eat or drink.

I have been checking on her about every hour or so just to see how she is going and last time I was out she was standing and when I shook the grain container she didn't even come to me like she would normally, so I went to her and put a little bit in my hand and she ate some, but most dropped on the ground.

She has a good supply of water and food and she has shade and everything, she gets taken off the paddocks every afternoon and let out of a morning. I was thinking her hooves maybe? They aren't too bad, they will need farrier work soon though, I was also thinking it may be her teeth, last dentist check up she had to get her teeth filed down because they were all sharp and wonky and stabbing into her cheeks, the dentist told me that she will loose 5 years off her life because of her teeth, they will cause her to not be able to get enough food intake. She MAY be in foal since May this year but I cant see how that can affect her. She still is a bit fluffy and It is getting hot, could she be overheated?

I really dont know, Just to look at her she looks like the same old grumpy Willow that we all know, but I know that the way she is acting isn't normal. Any suggestions?

The reason I found her behavior different because I was out getting photos of her, while I am here I will post a few
These are all from this afternoon

This one was when I saw her laying down the first time and she got up

Just one of her face, this was her expression pretty much the whole time, even when I shake the container normally she has her ears up and everything but today she wasnt interested.(Please excuse the rope on her neck, I was trying something and forgot to take it off)

This is normally her expression to a shake of the seed box, this one was taken about 3 days ago.

These ones are just ones of her and I from today, I set my camera on a tyre and put a timer on and pulled faces, she didnt move while I ran back and forward setting timers and everything, Normally she would walk off.
have you take her temperature at all? Make sure she isn't running a fever and im guessing from what you described there is no nasal discharge etc. If you think her hooves are bothering her you can always put your hand across them, if they are burning up that usually means an abscess or something of that nature. Teeth wise that could effect her not eating, my 20+ year old had two abscesses in the right side of his cheeks (from sharp points) and I had no idea because he was packing his food to help with the problem and was still eating.

If she total has stopped eating and drinking that is a problem and I would have a vet come look at her.
How long ago was her last dental? Some need it twice a year, some once; maybe if there were as bad as you say, she's due again.

You are coming into spring, so perhaps the weather changes are causing a little stress, and maybe some ulcers. Might be mild colic. Could be so many things. How long til she's due?
I have rather limited experience, but changes in eating habits would cause me concern.

I have three guinea pigs:
1) Nicky who regulates his food intake, somewhat.
2) Coco, who self-regulates her food intake to a significantly lesser extent.
3.) Baby, who wouldn't stop eating in the face of Armageddon.

The only one that ever stopped eating was Baby for about 24 hours when she had laminitis; that was a hugely, massively worry-factor for me. Nicky never ever stopped eating when he had some pretty "rude" medical procedures with his eye injury. (Coco hasn't had any bad luck yet.) So, yeah, changes in eating would have me worried/freaked out.

Some questions that come to my mind are (and which some more experienced members can comment upon):
...Is she still drinking water?
...Is she swinging her nose around towards her belly while she's lying down? ( in signs of belly pain?)
...Does she have "gut noises"? (..not sure how you would figure that one out: I had a vet do that.)
...Has there been any abrupt change in her feed?

Regarding, hoof heat. I thought that was an indicator of laminitis (which doesn't fit your description, nor your photos; my one experience with laminitis had Baby with her back legs tucked in like somebody was getting loosey-goosey with a rectal probe.) But since you have other horses there, checking hoof heat is really easy; to my novice eyes/feel, touching "hot hooves" and comparing them to a normal horse, it's easy to identify "hot hooves."

I'm wondering about the dental/teeth diagnosis ideas? Nicky's an older guy--a few years older than your Willow. You mentioned that you had her teeth filed, but you didn't say how long ago. The vet that did Nicky's teeth advised me that he'd probably need it every other year; whereas, Baby (being younger--faster growth) would need teeth floating at a minimum annually. (...all of that based on seeing how it goes with each visit.)

Anyway, maybe my response will elicit some responses from people with more experience.
By the way, the photos of you hugging her neck are just the cutest!
Thank you so much everyone for your replies.

Do human thermometers work on horses? I have only weather thermometers here which wont work, but we can go get one.

I locked them up yesterday night and they were all let out by my dad when I was at school and when I got home (about 10 minutes ago) Willow was standing in the smaller pen again, I dont think she is overheated because she was in the sun.

Our weather here currently is 23 degrees C. I checked her hooves and they were full of mud and some poo (we only just had rain) I picked them out just then and they are warm and smelly but i think the smell is just from the poo. Her last dental was earlier this year so she probably is due. She is also due for worming, maybe a little overdue which we are doing this weekend anyway. Since she was standing in the yards not eating I bought her out into our back ward with green grass and her head was straight down eating, so shes eating.

AngC's questions

...Is she still drinking water? Yeah, I have seen her drink a couple of times.
...Is she swinging her nose around towards her belly while she's lying down? ( in signs of belly pain?). No, not that I have seen.
...Does she have "gut noises"? (..not sure how you would figure that one out: I had a vet do that.) Her belly rumbled before, kind of like a hunger noise? Not sure if thats what you mean though,
...Has there been any abrupt change in her feed? Well we had a big storm come over and she was stalled overnight and all the next day but she was regularly fed and had a water supply.

So I know she is eating and drinking, so Could it still be her teeth or any stomach issues or that shes sick? I now think she has something wrong with her hooves, normally my mum and I do their hooves (Snickas needs it professionally because we cant hold her, she dosent like her feet being trimmed) So maybe if I try get a farrier out tomorrow or something to trim her hooves properly and get them to see what they think, Her hooves are pretty warm but I don't know if that's from standing on the hot dry black soil for a while? Could I try cool her feet with some water and keep her on the grass and see if they heat back up or something? I have a long weekend this weekend so I have 3 days to try solve it before I go back to school again.
Okay so, I just went out and she was eating for a while then she stopped and just stood under our trampoline. She would normally stand and rest once shes full so I am not sure if shes full but I gave her some carrot and she ate it very slow and then kept opening her mouth and twisting her nexk like she had something stuck in her teeth. So it might be her teeth. I am no confused, my parents are going to be so mad with me if I get them a huge vet bill :\ I really need a job.
Check to see if there is something stuck in the back of her mouth or caught in her teeth. I have seen horses with a stick in their teeth, or in their throat (!) (horrors ) and the shell of a nut on the top of a molar that inhibits their eating ability.

Be careful of your fingers, put on a glove if you are going to feel around her teeth.
I would be dying in 23 heat, so would my ponies being that fluffy. Don't rule it out. But if there is heat in the feet too she may have hoof problems, or simply again be too warm. Oldies can not regulate their temps as well as young ones.

Can i ask why you have a chord of twine around her neck ? That is incredibly dangerous.
Thanks, Ill check her teeth out today.

It was because I was trying something, It was barley on for 5 minutes and I was with her the whole time.
I actually dont know, I saw it on the ground and you know how you see people riding horses only with a rope around the neck? I kind of just sat it around her neck to see what it looked like I guess I really dont know, I do some really odd stuff out of boredom, but trust me, Id never do anything if there was a chance of them being hurt. Also the rope was actually very loose and I didnt tug on it or anything

I guess its kind of like how I dress them up for a photo or two like these

This one is when I had my stallion Steve, I got him with Kevin, you couldn't touch him as well when we got him. After I spent time with him and a lot of hours of work he was the quietest little pony, I also taught him to lay down on command, I do miss him a lot. This is just the halter upside down, again it was just because I was bored and wanted a photo
My friend thinks he looks like a spartan warrior

And these are just dress ups that I did

Snickas 4th birthday

Kevin as a pirate

And snickas at Christmas
That first one is so cute!

I am keeping a good eye on Willow today, I am recording down when she gets a drink, when she eats and stops and anything she does that's odd. Right now she is in our back yard eating. My mum said to keep an eye on her and see how she goes, If she doesn't change she said we will call the dentist to check her out and then the Farriers too.

You said that 23 degrees was really hot. Its currently 21.8 Degrees here and its only 10:30am and by 3pm its supposed to be 27 degrees C. The rest of the week is between 25 and 28 degrees. So Its going to be really hot, Should I clip her? She isn't really shedding much and shes very warm when you stick your fingers into her coat. She has lost all her fluffiness on her neck from scratching. What would you do??

I would bet that the only thing wrong is she is too warm.

I would clip (not shave, I rarely shave them ) her neck and chest and belly/flank and see if that cools her off and perks her up some.
I just gave her a light full body clip, she is so grey under all that furr
She still is just standing in the shade and only eating a little bit. Right now she is just resting. I am going to give her a quick bath as well because I clipped her, but even now she still very sluggish. After she has had a bath and is all cooled down, I will leave her in the shade to eat, If she still seems the same could it still be the heat? I think I might just go feel her teeth, I dont think I will know what I am feeling for but the dentist at her last check up said her teeth were very sharp. I dont know what one would be better to call in first, the dentist or farrier? Last dentist checkup cost around $100 and farrier is about $50 and the last vet check cost $500.

What would you do if she was your mini?

1-Call the Farrier

2-Call the Dentist

3- Call the Vet

4- Leave her, and wait for more signs

5- Other.

Sorry for all the questions.
Some other things have been happening

-She has been pawing at the ground with her front hooves

-She neighs at anyone who walks past (she normally will only neigh at people if she is locked up and she is hungry but she has food there for her)

I locked her up with water and shade, I got some hay for her and I tried to feed her some and she turned her head and went and laid down. She normally would never lay down while anyone is around, she doesn't like to be touched while laying down either. We are thinking about just getting a vet out because we cant pinpoint one scenario. Mum and I are getting really worried about her now. We will probably get one out soon.
Just Another Update... I am not sure if anyone is still viewing this thread or not but Ill post anyway just in case.

When she was locked up she didn't touch the hay one bit so we just let her out again and she started eating again, for about 1 hour and she went back into the pens and stood there and didn't leave the paddocks. She is loosing weight, she has been eating like this for about 2 days, I know that some of it is because I clipped her and she will look skinnier but she still is a little fluffy it just took the top orangey layer off. Here are some photos from just now. Sorry about the quality It was getting dark

Also, she did a poo this afternoon, it wasn't big but it was a light brown and it was runny.

Right now its still pretty warm, but if it gets cold I am going to rug her,

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