ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] Thumps!!!! Need advice!

Re: [endurance] Thumps!!!! Need advice!

Chris & Ranae Procyk (procyk19@sgi.net)
Sat, 10 Aug 1996 17:17:52 -0400 (EDT)

At 04:56 PM 8/7/96 -0400, you wrote:
>OK, I've read all the info about Thumps in the archives, and the articles=
>the endurance homepage, but still have a lot of questions (and
>anxiety)....I'll try to make this "question"
>as brief as possible.
>Last week my husband and I took our horses camping at a state forest in the
>southern Ohio hills that we ride often. This was a pleasure trip, several
>friends with less conditioned horses came down to camp and ride with us for
>a day or two, thus we rode slowly, and
>took plenty of breaks. Both of our horses are (at least I thought they
>were) fit to ride the trails much faster than we did. They are lower-level
>distance horses (25, 30 & 2-day
>50 mile rides to date).
>The weather was good. Mid to upper 80's, fairly humid (50% or above), but
>we were riding primarily in the forest and not in the sun. There was not a
>breeze at all. I *forgot*
>to pack the electrolytes, but I thought it would be OK, because we were not
>exactly blitzing along.
>So, now that the scenerio has been set, here's the problem. We rode 15-20
>miles maximum each day, the third day we rode a pretty challenging 12-13
>miles; coming back into camp, and going back out on an evening ride of=
>7 miles - not that
>hard, one hill up, riding a ridge, one hill down, riding a hollow, then=
>into camp.
>Up until the last ride on the third day, everything had seemed fine. =
>(my husband's horse) *does* sweat profusely, particularly when excited (he
>is very competitive, and being around strange horses really flips his=
>- and each day we had a new group of new horses to "compete" with). There
>was plenty of
>water on the trail and he drank well all 3 days.
>His pulse had always been down to 44-48 within 10 minutes of coming into
>camp, and he seemed very energetic. Redbud's pulse was
>60 when we stopped in camp, he was breathing normally (I didn't count
>respirations, but I know he was breathing slowly, not panting or blowing at
>all). Charlie had taken a few extra minutes to cool in the creek nearby,
>sponging him off, and when he walked
>on in to camp, Redbud felt cool and dry. Anyway, at 10 minutes, he was
>still 60....I sponged him some more, but he just didn't drop. =20
>He acted perfectly normal, munching hay, good gut sounds, capillary refill
>time seemed instantaneous, he may have been a bit dehydrated. I kept
>checking his pulse, and after 45 minutes, it was still at 60, and I noticed
>a twitch in his left flank. :^0
>Thumps? This really scared me, as it is just something I have read about.
>I found a tube of electrolytes I hadn't used at a competitive ride, and=
>that to him - within
>10 minutes of giving him the electrolytes, his pulse had dropped to 44.
>But, the "thumps" continued. He acted as if he noticed nothing was
>different. I had been walking him around letting him graze, if I hadn't
>seen the twitch, I wouldn't have known anything was wrong at all. It was
>only the left flank that was "thumping" -
>is this what thumps looks like? I was kicking myself because I didn't have
>any of my endurance or vet books with me (when I got home and read them, I
>was glad I didn't have them - each one said something different). I
>remembered something about Potassium and Lite salt, so I mixed some in
>applesauce and gave that to him
>also, about a =BD hour after the real electrolytes. All in all, the=
>went on for about an hour and a 1/2 - the last hour or so, I couldn't *see*
>the flank move, but could feel it.
>Well, I tried to keep this short....
>Now, I am very paranoid. One part of me says it was because I didn't give
>electrolytes those 3 days, the other part says that before I began distance
>riding, I (and most other
>casual trailriders) didn't even *know* about them and didn't feed them at
>all and I never had this problem before. My mare, btw, did the same rides
>and was normal in every way; but then Redbud had been too....
>One of the books I have says that horses who have "thumped" are more likely
>to thump again. =20
>I had planned to take Redbud on a 2 day 50 mile ride Aug. 17-18 (a
>competitive ride, the speed will be 6mph), but am worried about this. My
>vet is on vacation....
>Can anyone give me advice? Has anyone experienced this? This was on a
>Sunday evening, hours from home, I was hesitant to try to contact an=
>vet since the horse didn't show any signs of distress at all. Would this=
>considered a case of
>"mild" thumps? Is it likely to happen again? I haven't ridden him since,
>we came home the next afternoon, and it has been *very* hot and humid the
>past 2 days. What do I look for to prevent this?
>I hope it can be prevented by using electrolytes...
>Sorry to go on and on, trying to explain thoroughly.
>Any and all advice will be appreciated!=20
>Jude Hall
>& Kentucky Redbud
>Dear Jude,

Sorry to hear of your misfortune. Let me state that I am not a vet, but=
a total of somewhere around 900 miles of competition. My horse thumped=
and only once and on that particular ride I "forgot" to electrolyte him at
one hold. He is like you husband's horse a perfuse sweater. From my
understanding, thumps (diaphramatic spasms) is a metabolic imbalance caused
by I believe the lack of calcium which is ironically (ha ha) found in your
electrolytes. I consulted three veterinarians and a few very experience
distance riders including one that has ridden in the ROC on more than one
occasion and they all seemed to agree that the lack of electrolytes was the=
contributing factor to this. I believe that fatigue in my case also was=
on this since it was a 50 mile edurance race. Anyway, the differences here
is that my horse was not acting normally but was fatigued and was not acting
normally, although I have heard that some horses act as if nothing is=
Again, I am not a vet. My horses spasms were also bilateral (both sides of
his flanks). I am not sure if a horse that is thumping can only do it on=
side since the diaphrams usually work together and simultaneously unless as
if in a humam a paralysis (unilateral one sided) would be the case. Also,
to be sure that a horse is thumping, check to see if the spasms are in=
with his pulse, if they are, your horse is thumping.

Finally, in response that a horse is prone to thumping once it already has. =
have had no further problems so far and have competed another 155 miles
successfully without a problem. Oh, my horse is a panter, (inversion,
respirations higher than pulse), don't get these to things mixed up, as=
does resemble to a degree thumping. Again, check your pulse to see if it is=
same as the spasms. I also had another horse tye up on me once. Was told
that horses that tie up are more prone to it, again he never tied up again. =

In closing, don't know if your horse truly had thumps, just make sure he is=
well electrolyted and watch him. Don't be afraid especially at rides, tell
the ride vet of your problem and work with them, that is what they are there
for. =20

Well, I don't think I aswered your question, but I hope I offered some
reassurance. We love our animals and when they are in distress, we are in
distress. Good luck on your next ride, I think you will be okay.