Re: stress levels vs symptoms

Kay Howitt <akkray@...>

Good Morning!

I can't really answer your question directly, but I have observed great swings
in my gelding Domino's reactions and apparent stress. He has days when he is
quite reactive, meaning he seems nervous about ordinary things. Other days he is
like his old steady self and ignores little things. I have no way to tell what
his body is doing on the inside on his nervous days, but I can tell his blood
pressure shoots up by looking at the veins close to his skin. He also will
defecate if stressed, so that's another sign.

He did have an episode of great stress back in late February when his companion
ran off up the street for a few minutes. Dom was frantic, dropped 20# and was
soaked to the skin even though it was a cold day. Within 2 weeks he began an
episode of lameness which we are still dealing with. I cannot be certain if that
stress created a laminitis bout, though, as there were mechanical forces going
awry inside his feet at the same time.

It's just my personal opinion, but I think the 'bad' days when a horse is
feeling more stressed do harm them. I try very hard to keep things stressfree
around the stable, but I am unable to keep my horse calm at all times. His own
body chemistry is causing him to react stressfully. I know how frustrating it
can be for you, as it is for me. We just can't control all aspects of this
disease. Kay in AK

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