Worried about my dds pony :-((10 Posts)
He's an absolute superstar. He's always had a bit of a sore back and has had regular physio which has kept him well, plus regular saddle checks. He's been kept in a lot this winter as our fields flooded. Anyway, he has got grumpier and grumpier - he's always been defensive over food but now he will go to bite you if you try to pat him over the stable door. Even Dd3 who he adores. physio came yesterday and said his back super sore (he was kicking out, completely out of character). I've turned him out and we are not riding him until physio has been again next week.
He is an extremely good doer, is fed hay or haylage, a balancer (actually changed this from baileys lo-cal to top spec cool a few months ago) and the odd handful of pony nuts.
I'm quite worried about him.
Off the top of my head I can think of two things. Hopefully somebody else will come along with more/ better suggestions.
Could he have developed gastric ulcers? Less turnout would mean no longer grazing steadily throughout the day and might mean guzzling a pile of hay, then having an empty stomach, then guzzling the next pile of hay. It would account for the grumpiness and might explain the saddle soreness even if it's over the back. It's quite treatable/ manageable.
How much do you trust your saddle fitter? I had an experienced, very well qualified saddler out to my boy. Did everything she said. Got him fitted with the saddle she wanted for him. 6 months later I had one very sore horse. I don't actually blame the saddle fitter as I think she fitted what she saw at the time. But I do think that as my horse as aged he has got less able to cope with saddles with conventional trees, particularly if one of the girth straps is a point strap. We've recently switched to a saddle with a more flexible tree, serge panels and no point strap. He's much happier. For now
Thanks Gabilan. I do trust my fitter - however I got my physio to check also and she said also fine.
He fits almost every description of ulcers. I didn't think ulcers were at all common in ponies, I thought they were reserved for skinny tb types!
I know. They are very common in racehorses but apparently they're becoming more common/ more often diagnosed in leisure horses too. Apparently some horses and ponies are pretty stoic about them and with low-grade ulcers sometimes there are very few signs. Maybe worth giving your vet a call, see what they think and if he needs scoping.
The treatment isn't cheap but with treatment and management it is readily solvable.
It's not a hard and fast rule but sometimes with gastric ulcers they develop a tension line running from the belly up towards the flank. Might be difficult to see in a hairy pony. If he does have this, for goodness sake don't touch it! Very good chance he'll kick.
Yes, sounds like ulcers to me. I know of two ponies, a welshie and a little round cob who got grumpy, girthy and started bring. Both had ulcers.
He is a little round cob
Ive had the vet out so much recently. I wonder if buying something like acid-ease might treat it, it's expensive but less so than the vet scoping him
Pass. I don't know enough about it. If your vet is understanding about saving money I'd call them for a chat. They might not need to scope. It's treated with gastrogard but I've no idea what other conditions present like ulcers or what effects the drug has if you give it when it's not needed.
Is he insured? If so, vet treatment will be covered. If not - most vets are very understanding about owners' need to keep costs down.
Gastro guard is the only thing that works for ulcers but once treated lifestyle changes may prevent them coming back. If it is ulcers you should see a dramatic improvement after a couple of days of Gastroguard so maybe talk to your vet about a trial prescription without bothering to scope. If he is insured though do speak to your insurance as well as they may not agree to pay for the medication without a firm diagnosis.
If it is ulcers you could try Coligone. I haven't used it myself but know quite a few people who have and havehad great results.
Hope your pony feels better soon.
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