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  • - Susan Garlinghouse
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  • - kit kat

    Re: [RC] horse tying up[ - Susan Garlinghouse

    >My question to you out there is : What would have >caused a perfectly
    >healthy horse to tie- up and why does she continue to >do so? Is it, as I
    >think, that she needs more time to get her system back >to functioning?
    >In seven years this horse has been put under stress of >training and hard
    >riding, etc and never had even a runny nose. Anyone >have any thoughts on
    OK, I'll jump in with a few random thoughts, just for a chance at an
    endurance-related topic <g>.  There's no easy answer, but there's something
    in equine medicine called transport tetany, which essentially boils down to
    electrolyte disturbances.  You mentioned that the bloodwork panel came back
    with normal calcium, but was it specifically *ionized* calcium?  Total
    calcium is a poor indicator of the biologically active calcium in the blood,
    so it would be interesting to check on that, as well as magnesium and
    Anyway, it might all just come down to two days of trailering in
    (presumably) warm weather, maybe not eating normally, changes in diet (even
    if just regional changes) , stabling and handling, differences in water
    intake, and the stress of two days of using muscles to balance in the
    trailer (a significant effort, which is why I don't like seeing people
    trailering home right after a hard ride, but that's another topic), without
    ever really having an opportunity to stretch and relax.  Plus, possibly some
    minor muscle fiber damage from the initial tying-up/cramping incident that
    will take some time to overcome.
    I'd also be very curious to determine what the selenium status of the mare
    is.  There was a study published a few years back that explored different
    solutions to just this sort of problem in groups of BLM mustangs being
    transported and also different groups of wild zebras being relocated.  They
    eventually found that supplementing both groups with extra vitamin E/Se
    prior to transport greatly reduced the tying up problems.
    I really feel bad for your buyer in San Diego (and you), because it sounds
    like she was trying hard to solve the problem.  I would bet that a little
    time off, a chance to replenish electrolyte deficiencies, regroup and adjust
    to the new surroundings would eventually solve the problem.  But I also
    agree that turnout into some sort of paddock or pasture would probably help
    a lot.
    Good luck with her.
    Susan G
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