Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Difficulty Reaching Nose Down to Ground To Eat

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) in the resting horse indicate fever (Temp >101F/38.3C) or heart rate greater than 48 BPM.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If the problem is very mild and does not seem to be causing much harm to the horse.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

Horses with pain in their necks or withers may not be able to reach towards the ground for feed or water. The most common reason for this is pain from an intra-muscular injection in the neck, however traumatic injury and a variety of other conditions can also cause this observation.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying particular attention to the horse’s ability and willingness to move forward and circle in both directions. Also check the horse’s rectal temperature, attitude and appetite.

Examine the neck methodically, gently pressing into the muscle, feeling for swelling, heat or pain response. Try to gently flex the neck to each side. Compare responses and appearance on left and right sides.

If the horse received an injection in the neck muscle in the past 48 hours, assess the injection site for swelling, heat or pain. If you know what medication was given, take note of this reaction for future reference.

Share your findings and concerns with your vet. Meanwhile, provide feed and water at shoulder level so that the horse does not have to reach down.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet may advise you to use cold therapy or suggest medications or other treatments for your horse.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

CONTACT US

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Sending