Hi Dr. Dan,
Thank you for taking the time to respond back to me regarding my horse. I am just so desperate for answers at this point so we can get on with our lives and just enjoy our time together. He is a QH gelding and below is a full timeline of the symptoms and treatments we have done.
-Purchased 9/25/11 as a 3 year old
-Noticed his frequent and struggle to urinate pretty early on and in the Summer of 2012 I had a vet do an exam to check for cysts (this was a rectal exam of some type). He found nothing so we removed some beans from sheath and put him on a round of antibiotics in case there was a urinary tract infection or something. Saw no improvement.
-But that was the only odd thing I noticed about him until about Feb of 2014 when I sent him to a trainer. At that time I noticed two new things happening when I went to visit him. When I would brush him, especially around his flank area he would act irritated by swishing his tail, and giving me the stink eye and kind of stomping his feet. I thought maybe he hurt a rip or his back or something, or he was very hungry because at home he gets free choice hay
and there he was like at boot camp and not getting as much as he normally eats. The other symptom that also showed up was when she changed his grain to Nutrena he became nuts. He would spook at everything and broke free from her ties. And when I brought him home I couldn’t even catch him in the pasture. Just crazy. So I quickly put him back on the small amount of oats I was giving him and he adjusted back down. But he is still a bit spooky and jumpy. I keep him on calm B to help with that.
-The next time I noticed his behavior was in the summer of 2014 towards fall. He sometimes would be fine, but then other times would be crazy again. One day he would be the best horse and the next he was almost unmanageable. I actually had him tested in September to see if he was cryptorchid. In addition to his crazy behavior he would also drop and get an erection and slap himself in the belly with his penis especially when I brushed him. But that has gone away on its own.
-In the fall of 2014 I also sometimes noticed his agitation when I would brush his back and sides so I decided to have a chiropractor come out. She adjusted him because he was really out and said he had been flipped somewhere in his training and I later found out he in fact was flipped onto his back.
-In late summer of 2015 he started acting very irritated when I would brush him and ultimately would do this hiccup/coughing/high pitched squeaking noise that would last for several minutes up to 15 minutes after I would stop brushing him. I had the chiropractor out again and she told me about a friend’s horse having thumps and it being caused by mineral deficiency. So she told me about a grain made by tribute to try. And I tried changing his feed again and it only made him worse. Again he went crazy and everything made him bolt. So I went back to just oats. At that time I also had my vet out to show him I wasn’t crazy and something was going on. He saw immediately that there was something there and he just didn’t know what. So we started him on Ulcerguard for a month to see if it would help. It did not. Then he took bloodwork and a urine sample and gave him a shot of vitamin e and selenium. That did not help. When the bloodwork and urine test came back it indicated a muscle deficiency of some type and also bilireuben in the urine. So then I had him tested for PSSM, HYPP and a few other 5 panel muscle tests. He is NN for all of them (thank God).
At that time I also put him on a magnesium supplement for about a month and that did nothing for him either.
-In December 2015 I took him to Cleveland equine clinic where they insisted it is ulcer. No, they did not have me brush him when we got there so they could see how he reacted to it. They did an eye test because when we were in the exam room he would randomly spook at things so they checked his vision. And they decided to scope him so they kept him overnight. When we did the scope, everything we saw looked good very little ulcer activity. Then she was convinced it was hind gut ulcers. They did a fecal test and determined that was it and we put him on Gastrogard and Succeed. He was on that for over a month and I did not see any improvement.
-So in February of this year I decided to give this gut health stuff a try because they said it works miracles. I have seen some improvement in his attitude, he does seem happier and more loving and a bit calmer, but he is still itching/biting at his sides and extremely sensitive to being brushed. The other night he started the hiccup thing again. He is still on the gut health.
-So as he was peeing today I noticed his urine was very dark brown in color.
I just need to know what this could be?
Is it his kidneys or liver or could the crazy behavior be caused by something in his adrenal gland. I just need some help!!!