Tying up your horse doesn’t sound dangerous, but tying up syndrome can be a major health risk to any horse. Tying up syndrome is officially called rhabdomyolysis, and is found in horses that are often tied and do not get enough exercise. If you have a horse, make sure that you talk to your vet about ways to prevent tying up syndrome and ways to treat it if you horse develops this medical condition.
There are three main symptoms seen in horses who are suffering from tying up syndrome. First, you horse will walk very stiffly. Think about how you feel after a long car ride—your legs are very stiff. Now image being tied somewhere and having to stay in that position for hours on end. The horse will have trouble walking and in severe cases, you horse may not be able to move at all. Your horse may also have rear muscles that are hard to the touch and very painful to the horse. The last symptom is sweating, which will occur if the pain is very intense.
Tying up your horse for long periods of time has other affects on a horse’s health as well. You horse may develop Monday Morning Disease from eating too much on weekends and may easily be injured when put into training exercises. Horses that are tied up also are not used to people or to being untied and may not be able to perform well at shows or function well among other people and horses.
If your horse has moderate to severe tying up disease, you’ll know it, but mild cases may seem like they are other medical problems or simply laziness on a horse’s part. Only your vet can properly diagnose your horse if there is a problem. Blood test are most likely to help your vet determine if you horse has tying up syndrome.
There are many different courses of action to take if your horse has this medical problem. Electrolyte imbalance may contribute to tying up syndrome, so it is important to work with your net to be sure that your horse is getting proper nutrition. If you horse simply has a mild case of the condition, hand walking will allow the horse to loosen up, and in more severe cases, medication can be used to relax the hose. If your horse seems to be in pain, the best thing you can do is call your vet immediate. Do not try to force the horse to move, and this can cause injury and put your horse in extreme pain.
Simply put, make sure that you can the time to take care of a horse before you get one. If you do not have time for a horse he or she may spend a lot of time tied up, and this is not the best life for a horse.