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Re: [RC] needle shy horse - Susan Garlinghouse

Along with what Heidi said, speed and a diabolical air of innocence is
everything in injecting a needle-shy horse.  You can remove the needle from
the syringe, hold it firmly between two fingers and just slap it into the
pecs of the horse.  If they jump, fine.  Step back and let them.  If you use
a 1 1/2" 20 gauge needle, it won't fall out if you inserted it all the way
to the hub.  Once they settle down, attach the syringe and inject it
*quickly*.  You don't need to mess with pre-swabbing with alcohol (which is
99.9% for the owner's benefit, anyway), if the horse is really filthy, then
brush him down or wait until after a bath.  Local topical anesthetics IMO
just make the horse suspicious that something is about to happen, and owner
anticipation is usually the big giveaway, as Heidi said.  JUST DO IT.

Susan G
----- Original Message -----
From: "Simms, Judith" <JSIMMS@xxxxxxx>
To: "'Heidi Smith'" <heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "Carol Stiles"
<cstiles@xxxxxxxxxx>; <ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 1:28 PM
Subject: RE: [RC] needle shy horse

I certainly agree with all you said here.  I have tried and gotten to b
c.  Have also tried twitches, lip chains, putting her in the v of a borad
fence and a gate with stalls behind her. All is well until she feels the
needle penetrate the skin.  Any suggestions along the lines of a topical
anesthetic?  Oral sedative like you do for cats before a car ride?
Otherwise, I'm down to calling the zoo for a dart gun.  (I think I'm

-----Original Message-----
From: Heidi Smith [mailto:heidi@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx]
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 8:14 AM
To: Carol Stiles; ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: Re: [RC] needle shy horse

That works unless a) you have an open-format trailer, b) your horse is SO
sensitive that he freaks and ends up astride of a divider, or c) your
now associates the trailer with injections and refuses to load.  (I have
situation a, as do a great many folks, and I've personally observed both
situations b and c.)

I much prefer either a twitch or a lip chain (depending on which works on
the particular horse--some do better with one or the other) or just
such horses up in a stout corner and administering the injection from
a fence or a panel.  But I've also found that in many cases, the
needle-shyness comes from "operator anticipation"--I've had no trouble
whatsoever with many horses over the years that the owners report to be
needle-shy.  OTOH, I do have a stallion that is needle-shy--but then he
pretty much a rescue case and was not even halterbroke until he was 14,
even at 23, he is still a little tweaky about some things (including
twitches and lip chains), having been relatively untouched for so much of
his life.  Nonetheless, once snubbed, he knows he's been "had" and has to
put up with whatever is being done.  Likewise, he is enough of a "Wile-E
Coyote" that I have a hunch if he ever got "hurt" in a horse trailer, he'd
think twice about ever getting back in one.  (As it is, he's pretty good
about that.)  He's a kind horse, but after 14 years of self-preservation
without any human intervention, one can kind of understand why the little
wheels in his brain turn the way they do.  (Almost all of the rest of the
horses on my place--50-some-odd--can be injected either IM or IV by a lone
person if necessary, with the loose lead rope simply flopped over one


----- Original Message -----

From: Carol  <mailto:cstiles@xxxxxxxxxx> Stiles
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Sent: Thursday, May 08, 2003 12:07 AM
Subject: Re: [RC] needle shy horse

I have a friend that puts her horses in the horse trailer to give them
shots. They are totally restrained and can't go anywhere. It works, try

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RE: [RC] needle shy horse, Simms, Judith