Calming/Anti-Anxiety Supplements

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by RebeccaMI, Jul 4, 2018.

  1. RebeccaMI

    RebeccaMI Senior Member

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    My 28yo gelding is a very sensitive soul who also has a lot of nerves/anxiety. He's definitely not the high man in the pecking order, and a little thing can throw him mentally out of whack and make him not want to eat at mealtimes. The other day I found myself thinking that I wished I could give him Prozac or Xanax like I can do with my cats and dog if they're nervous or anxious (like about thunderstorms or fireworks), and then I thought, "what about a calming supplement?" Has anyone here ever used one? Which one? Did it work?

    (He's turned out in a grass pasture with his best friend, my mare, and gets 4# of Tribute Kalm Ultra morning and evening, so his issues are not due to being lonely and hopefully not due to any deficiency in nutrients.)
     
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  2. Larkspade

    Larkspade Senior Member

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    most of the time, one calming supplement works for one horse and not another, my trainer, who recommended uckeles seroquine to me, has had success with it on every horse she has used it on. now I'm not saying it works for every horse, but it has worked for her horses and mine. if you decide to go with seroquine, get it off of stateline tack because it is cheaper than off of the uckeles website, unless your horse will not eat powder, then try to shop around for the pellets. you might have to play around with the dosage too. good luck:D
     
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  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Why is he nervous? It sounds like he has company. At his age, could he have Cushing Syndrome, or dementia?

     
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  4. EnglishRider234

    EnglishRider234 Senior Member

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    My gelding does best with ear plugs. (Which I know may not be realistic for every day use) He’ll literally go from sprinting on the lunge line to not needing any work before shown.

    I have used Perfect Prep before, seems to do ok! Since you aren’t showing, however, you have a wider range of products you can use. I have heard Quietex works. That one is relatively inexpensive and found at stores like TSC and RK!
     
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  5. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

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    Any chance he has ulcers that flare up during times of stress?

    Personally, I'd try treating for ulcers with Nexium and watching to see if he improved over time.
     
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  6. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

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    Sounds like more than nerves. I wouldn’t go messing with him without a vets advise. Older horses develop all kinds of weird issues. If he was 10, it would be different.
     
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  7. RebeccaMI

    RebeccaMI Senior Member

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    I figured it would be the same as joint supplements, but if a handful of brands were recommended by several people then those would be a good place to start. Or, if more than one person said "don't bother with X, it's a waste of money" then I could avoid that.

    SmartPak has a product that contains both herbs and nutrients: SmartTranquility® Pellets I wonder about that one?

    I suppose Cushings is a possibility, although the only symptom he really has is weight loss... And I wouldn't say that's really a symptom either; he's just a really hard keeper. I never knew horses could get dementia! He's always been the cautious, worrywart type though (like his mama :rolleyes:) so I think it's just how he is.

    We have a TSC in town and it's not even a mile out of my way when I'm heading to the barn. I might have to look into that!
     
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  8. RebeccaMI

    RebeccaMI Senior Member

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    We treated him for ulcers with omeprazole paste two winters ago. Longest. Three. Months. Of. My. Life. He hated the medicine and because of that he would run away from anyone who came into his paddock. I hope I never have to do that again. My vet at the time guessed that it was ulcers because he would take a few bites of his food, then walk away. Other than yesterday morning, he eats fine. I can't think of anything that would just randomly be stressing him out. For example, yesterday morning: Same bucket, same environment, same feed... I have no idea what seemed different to his horsey brain that particular morning that made him not want to walk up to his bucket to eat. There must have been something though. (Thankfully he did end up eating and AFAIK didn't have problems at dinnertime or breakfast this morning.) I was thinking a calming supplement might just help take the edge off, like Xanax does for dogs.

    I'll probably fire off an email to our current vet and see if he has any ideas.
     
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  9. Mcdreamer

    Mcdreamer Senior Member

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    Where are you located. Is lyme a possibility?

    I've had good success with Vision. If you can get them to eat it.
     
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  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    My old horse was 28 and not responding to Cushings medication - he developed dementia. Initially we thought it was a side effect of the medication so stopped the medication(he had other side effects and ACTH was not responding) - and the dementia was still there.

    he knocked me over several times, one time he slammed me into the beam on the side of a doorway. He would be going along pleasantly with me and then suddenly get afraid of something we couldn't see - and bolt. I had to stop turning him out. I could walk up to him just fine, take ahold of his halter, start walking peacefully along - then suddenly he'd bolt.

    So I stopped turning him out, he had a nice sized paddock to be in. It would be hot out and he didn't seem to understand to go inside and get out of the sun. So my other horses would try to get him to go in by running in the barn themselves, then peek out and see if he'd gotten the idea...no. So they took turns staying with him and 'talking to him' and keeping him company. They never stopped trying to take care of him.

    My youngster was only a year old. His mamma taught him to stay with the old fellow. You could actually see them working it out. I really didn't want my yearling having that put on him but in fact he didn't seem to mind and took it very seriously. If he was turned out in the pasture he'd run back to the barn, check on the old guy, then go back to grazing.

    Finally one day, the old guy was in his stall, looking out the door of the barn to something on the fence, looking utterly terrified. I looked over to see what it was - it was a little squirrel. He was terrified of it.

    I said that's enough. No one had anything to help him, nothing could be done - dementia in horses is horrible.

    This all happened over a fairly short period of time.

     
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