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Call the vet? Or suck it and see?

(21 Posts)
SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 19:46:33

Do you call the vet the instant your horse sneezes, or wait a few days and see what develops?
One of our sec A brood mares was rather lame a week ago when I went to check on them. Her front end was incredibly perky, ears alert, inquisitive, her normal chipper self. The back end was really stiff, she was standing four square, but shifting her weight from one foot to the other. We felt her back, trimmed and cleaned her feet, felt her legs, we couldnt find anything wrong.
Given that she was very well in herself, we tried suck it and see. Put a rug on her and left her out with the others. She improved daily, and is pretty much back to normal today.
WIBU to think that if we had called the vet, he would more than likely have said laminitis, put her on box rest where she would have stiffened up more, then wanted to treat her for various different ailments, until she eventually got better, and charged me a fortune for the privilege. confused
Do you trust your gut, or call the vet?
<<just nosey really, fancied an interesting discussion>>

Eve Tue 23-Oct-12 20:15:42

I trust my gut and then to leave them to get on with things.

I have a friend who checks pluses in feet every day, check temp , weighs all their food, will change rug 3 times a day, is always debating whould she have them in / out / in starvation paddock/ who might kick who... etc etc etc... and as a result has the vet out about twice a week. She is nearly bankrupting herself in vet fees.

I read her facebook comments and just think leave the poor ponies be to get on with it and they will be fine.

Eve Tue 23-Oct-12 20:16:26

...and if in doubt 1/2 sachet of bute a day over a few days in a meal does no harm. :-)

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 20:28:15

I work for someone like that. Her horses are lovely and so is she, and she spends a lot of money on treating them for this and that, supplements, vets, chiropractors, farriery...When most of their problems are down to being overweight.

Pixel Tue 23-Oct-12 20:41:00

Don't usually get the vet out at the drop of a hat, a pony who is a bit stiff or sore but otherwise happy has probably knocked itself or pulled a muscle or something and will be ok in a few days. If there was any chance at all it could be the start of laminitis we would keep off the grass to nip it in the bud (but agree, not box rest, they are better off keeping the circulation going if you have caught it in time). Minor wounds will be fine if kept clean and smothered in antiseptic. On the rare occasions we've had to call a vet out quickly it has been very obvious that we needed to iyswim, eg choking, puncture wound resulting in leg blown up like balloon, absolutely hopping lame (fractured hock). Would get the vet for colic too (although we've never had a case of that,) or anything that looked like strangles.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Tue 23-Oct-12 20:50:18

Oh, GOD! never want to hear the word 'strangles' ever again! <<hides>> Had a scare earlier in the year...TERRIFYING!

Alameda Tue 23-Oct-12 21:01:26

I don't know, bit of each, depends doesn't it!Glad she is better, vets vary I think, our old one was completely mad.

Lameness I give about three days (this is probably a bhs thing) and in future will try farrier before vet (assuming is not immediately obvious what's going on) I think. Colic scares me a lot, would prob call out quickly if, I don't know, much over an hour with no improvement or can't get them on their feet - argh can we not think about this please!

theflyingfuck Wed 24-Oct-12 09:10:36

Normally if my mare shows any obivious sign of pain grin shes really really tough and will show no sign of worry if she only had three legs, I think if you know the cause it is ok. The other one? It's really hard to tell, he is quite an unusual case confused

frostyfingers Wed 24-Oct-12 09:18:47

Well you know what's best for her as you see her most - generally if it's nothing obvious I will wait at least 24 hours and see what happens. It could have been something really simple like a tweaked muscle from rolling or larking about (it terrifies me watching them charge about the field).

The only exception I make is for colic - dpony was definitely off colour on Saturday morning and when I turned him out (he never doesn't eat) and he didn't eat then lay down I knew it was colic. Of course by the time the vet came about 45 mins later he was just about ok - ready to eat and stopped trying to lie down and roll. He still had Buscopan and Bute just in case - but probably could have got away without. He was on top form by the end of the day (high on bute probably), and is fine now.

Otherwise I'm very much of the wait and see school - we project too many of our worries on to horses and they are a lot tougher than we think!

willyoulistentome Wed 24-Oct-12 12:12:37

I'm not insured for vets fees any more as so much was excluded from my Petplan policy. Even before this, unless something is blindingly obviously needing a vet, I will usually wait a few days to see if it gets better by itself. Might give some (extra) bute. But if I have doubts, or it doesn't go away by itself, I will always call a vet. I agree with foot lamenesses I usually try the farrier first. A lot cheaper, and can often fix the issue. If they can;t help, I'll get a vet.

horseylady Wed 24-Oct-12 13:13:36

Colic yes, lammi if looking bad yes, if i thought there was a major issue yes.

Otherwise no. I ummed about getting the vet when big horse had a really horrendous kick on her back leg. Decided too and was glad I did in the end. However that's the closest I've come in the do you don't you camp!! Otherwise it's always been pretty clear cur!!

I think you know deep down when they do need that extra bit of attention. At least I do.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 24-Oct-12 13:42:39

I often think that if you know your horse well enough, they will tell you what the problem is!
A gut is a wonderful thing, which shoulld be listened to!

horseylady Wed 24-Oct-12 18:14:49

I totally agree saggy!!

Booboostoo Wed 24-Oct-12 18:24:52

If it was recurrent lammi and I had caught it early I would bute and pop in a starvation paddock, but if it was a first attack and/or severe I would want the vet to check. Lammi can be extremely painful and if left untreated can deteriorate rapidly.

With lameness I usually have an idea of what might be happening, e.g. Freddy caught a leg in a rug and had a swollen tendon. He was kept in a small paddock, leg hosed until the swelling went down before I called the vet as I didn't think the vet could do anything before this. When the swelling went down though I wanted the leg scanned and also scanned it twice more to check progress before bringing back into work. Similarly Rusky was lame on surface, fine on hard so I guessed ligament and called the vet to confirm. I had the vet back after the rest to confirm he was sound as imo if you work them too soon with these kinds of injuries you can go back to square one or make things worse.

Ponyofdoom Wed 24-Oct-12 20:55:40

I agree with Booboostoo, the symptoms OP's pony had could have been laminitis which is an emergency, so I would have had a vet out to be sure. Laminitics do need to be kept boxed on deep bedding with emergency treatment. Less severe lameness I would give a day or two in case it was a bruise, but although I am experienced I generally get the vet as I am a worrier.

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 24-Oct-12 21:09:11

Now we didn't think Rosie had laminitis. Apart from the fact that she eats like a pig and has NEVER even shown a sign, when we have had a laminitic before, the pony was extremely reluctant to lift their feet, incredibly hard to turn, stiff, hot footed and really depressed.
Rosie was shifting her weight from one foot to another, had her belly tucked up and her hips up, walked and turned quite loosely once she got going and was really cheerful at the front end!
With regards to telling us what was up, she made both of us think of times that we have had sore hips/sciatica and didn't know how to stand. Combine this with the hunched back, and we were fairly sure she had pulled something. The laminitic we had was screaming 'OUCH' at is and it was obvious what was the matter. We did call the vet to her.

Ponyofdoom Wed 24-Oct-12 21:28:30

Ah fair enough, just thought it was worth warning less experienced people. Also I am very paranoid about my laminitic!

SaggyOldClothCatPuss Wed 24-Oct-12 21:31:45

No no, I agree with you. Better safe than sorry.

N0tinmylife Thu 25-Oct-12 14:14:39

I have always gone for suck it and see for minor lameness, cuts and scrapes, most things sort themselves out within a couple of days. I have found in the past it is either glaringly obvious that a vet is needed immediately, or if hosing, and wound powder haven't sorted it in a couple of days then its worth getting a vet out to check.

I have never had a horse with laminitis, or colic though. I think I would always call a vet immediately for colic, as it get get so serious so quickly.

rogersmellyonthetelly Thu 01-Nov-12 19:27:01

Only ever had vet out twice as an emergency in 14 years with old horse, once for colic and once for a spectacular field escape where he went through a plain wire fence and made a bit of a mess of his legs. Any small cuts scrapes and knocks its a case of clean it up and if it's stopped bleeding see what it looks like in the morning. We were lucky though, he did used to bugger himself up in the field, but it was always a case of him being a bit sore/iffy on one leg or another and it went away on its own after a couple of days off work.

dappleton Sat 03-Nov-12 17:16:49

my vets approach is 'suck it and see' - he says it's a waste of my money for him to come out for most things! grin

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