Urgently needing advice on separation anxiety issues

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by flicka12, Feb 5, 2014.

  1. flicka12

    flicka12 New Member

    I have a 19yr old quarter horse gelding, who Ive owned now for about 12 yrs.He has MAJOR separatioin anxiety issues, and he is getting worse as he gets older. He his also an alpha male, so I cannot paddock him with my other horses as they also are quite old and dont need to be pushed around by him. When I move my other two into a greenpick paddock occasioinally, the quarter horse roars out like a stallion and runs up and down the fence for about half an hour or so then settles. He actually can still see them, and he is in a good paddock. One of the other horses is an old mare, and when I let them back out the quarter horse waits there with his privates hanging down flogging himself,(putting it politely). He was not cut proud and basically is still quite, but these episodes are getting more common, when he is like this he can be unmanageable on the ground until he settles. I am at my wits end with this behaviour, and out of desperation on put him on some potassium Bromide, that quitened him but I dont use it anymore as it is harmful to him. Does anybody have any ideas on what to do. We are not going to get pets like goats or sheep to keep him company, so that is not an option. I would really appreciate some advice on what to do with him. Thank You......
  2. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    Talk to your vet about his issues/symptoms as changes in personality warrant further investigation. Get some blood tests done to check hormone levels. And test for Cushings etc. :)
  3. flicka12

    flicka12 New Member

    separation anxiety

    :)Thanks Caroline will be consulting with our vet tomorrow.
  4. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    I agree, I'd definitely be getting the vet to do a blood test.
    We had a gelding who wasn't cut properly, both his testicles were removed at gelding but he still acted like an entire, so he went in for surgery and the the spermatic cord had regrown, it was thickened and was producing testosterone which was causing the same problems as your gelding.
  5. RVP Horses

    RVP Horses Well-known Member

    At his age, definitely get a vets opinion first. Especially if nothing else has changed in his environment.

    If the vet gives him the all clear then a good ground work program will certainly solve the problem of the pushiness with you and many of his anxiety issues around the other horses. Wether it will solve it entirely would remain to be seen. It is hard to fix problems that the horse is having when they are out of your control (i.e. in the paddock away from you)
  6. flicka12

    flicka12 New Member

    Kira Spark, how was his behaviour after his treatment, did he settle down? Thank You
  7. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Yes he did, however he is still has a touch of stallion-ish behavior.
    He can be paddocked with other horses now, he is still the boss though, but before he couldn't be because he would really beat everyone up and try and mount mares.
    He is not herd-bound now, but that may have come from experience and exposure also.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2014
  8. SueC

    SueC New Member

    Did you have the horse gelded, or buy him as a gelding? One of my family members bought a yearling with undescended testicles - known in popular parlance as a "rig" - a mature rig will look like a gelding between his hind legs, behave like a stallion, but be infertile (mammals require testicles to be at lower than core body temperature to make sperm, so they "hang" their testicles outside the body - don't ask me how that little idiosyncrasy evolved, it's so impractical in other ways, and other types of animals do fine with internal testicles...).

    So it's possible to think you have bought a gelding, but actually have a rig; although that doesn't sound like your case, because the behaviour came on gradually, no? Which sounds more like his body is suddenly producing more testosterone. (I'm assuming noone has stuck your horse with anabolic steroids as a strange practical joke.) Kira gave you one example of how that can happen; there's quite a few other ways, including adrenal and pituitary tumours. Your vet can sort that out.

    Rigs and other horses with high testosterone levels can be treated with injections / implants to reduce their testosterone. The rig of our acquaintance has just turned three and needed this treatment because he decided one day to go through fences and beat up other horses. His particular implant lasts a year or so and should start acting within a few weeks.

    If it's not testosterone, I'm sure your vet can help figure it out too.

    :) Sue
  9. Caroline

    Caroline Well-known Member

    What treatment did he get??? :}
  10. kiraSpark

    kiraSpark Gold Member

    Its written above ;)

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