View Full Version : HELP! 4 year old unable to stand, vet says definitely neurological... what to do?!?!

Aug. 10, 2007, 10:44 AM
I put the major things in bold if you want to just skim over this...

I have a 4 year old TB gelding who has been only lightly worked and only worked once at a trot in the last month and a half. He is current on his vaccines. I've NEVER had any problems with lameness or medical issues with him. He came up to get his breakfast (in the pasture) yesterday and was limping badly and had a swollen back left leg completely clear of any wound. Knowing that neither of my guys do anything but stand around in the pasture and sometimes graze (which is at my house), I couldn't figure out how he got a swollen leg. After he ate, I took him out and he was walking very uncoordinated with his hind end and looked like he would fall at any moment. This is when I called the vet and they said they would come out when the clinic opened. Around 3 hours later I found him laying down and tried unsuccessfully getting him up. He had no digestive problems then and still hasn't had any. I called the vet again wondering how long it would take, since now it was more of an emergency but got a very vague answer "after surgery". So I set up a canopy over him and kept him cool by rinsing him off and made sure he had drinking water. The vet came later (5 hours after I placed the EMERGENCY call!) and with 4 people helping we got him to stand up and even walk around a bit. When he walked he crossed his back legs quite a bit and his front legs were tremoring every so often. We had to help him from going down a few times and decided that the problem was definitely neurological. He was given a shot of steroids and blood was taken for tests. But the vet had no idea what it could be.

I set up a small pen with electric fence on all sides and our white vinyl fence on the other. I kept him up for a while before my mother decided to come over and "help" and thought a good way to get a horsefly off him would be to hit him with a newspaper. He went down kinda hard but got we got him back up around half an hour later and he stayed up for around 2 or 3 hours to get his dinner before laying down to rest. I spent the entire night trying to help him up, and when I found he couldn't do it, I just tried to prevent him from hurting himself. He kept trying to get up but couldn't get his back legs under him, so he just ended up throwing himslef backwards with his front legs quite a few times. He covered quite a bit of ground and I eventually had to take the electric fence down because he kept going outside of it. He tried to stand up once more and crashed through the fence (which led into the pasture). He kept throwing himself backward in an attempt to get up, and I tried to just keep him calm and prevent him from trying to get up.

This morning I called the vet again and was just told that my options were taking him to a specialist, putting him in a sling until his blood tests came back, keeping him comfortable where he was, or putting him down.

It really hurts to see him like this expecially because he's so young. He ate most of his feed this morning laying down (the vet said to do it that way) and hasn't been struggling quite as much. He is in pain though and hasn't been drinking much water or sitting up nearly as much as he was yesterday. I'm actually wondering if he has feeling in his back legs because he hasn't moved them when bugs landed on them and rarely moved them anyways.

I honestly don't know what to do. I'm confused and scared (though not as bad as my horse) and wish some miracle would come along. I was hoping that someone here might help by giving advice. I'm leaning towards putting him in the sling just to get him up on his feet, since I have no clue how I would transport him anywhere with his issues or even get him in my trailer (vet said if I wanted to I could take him to Ok state vet clinic, but its nearly a 4 hour drive away).

Paddys Mom
Aug. 10, 2007, 10:51 AM
I have no advice, but jingles and hugs for you!

Evalee Hunter
Aug. 10, 2007, 10:52 AM
I feel very sad for both you & your horse. Unfortunately, I can't offer anything positive. I would put him down where he is. That is tremendously hard to do - I know I was with a mare we put down this winter & it felt so DISLOYAL. It seemed like we should try to do something more for her for all the times she was a terrific horse, but there just wasn't anything more to do.

I've known of horses with symptoms similar to yours & in two cases, they had broken backs & paralyzed hind limbs. It is amazing but just thumping down hard in the pasture can break a horse's back if they go down a certain way. In one case, no one knew how the mare broke her back. Like your horse, she had a period of a day or two when she was wobbly but could get up with help. Then she progressed to complete recumbancy. In the other case, the mare was staked out to graze (which had been done for many years) & she tangled her leg & fell. She got up, seemed fine, but was down & unable to get up the next morning.

Aug. 10, 2007, 10:54 AM
sounds like EPM ..............get the drugs immediately and pray. Day 16 is the worst...the bugs die and swell. Hang tough.

Aug. 10, 2007, 10:56 AM
last summer while we were hacking through the fields by the barn my gf's mare started falling over w/ her hind end. she never actually felt but the hind end kept on swaying sideways out of control. the mare appeared oblivious to the fact that something was happening in her hind end. she kept trying to graze.
i ran back for help. by the time we drove back there w/ the truck, maybe 20 min later, she seemed much improved. we walked her back to the barn. vet came, looked her over. she thought it could've been poisoning caused by a weed in the field. the plant was called white snake something. man, the name escapes me. i'm sorry. we looked it up on the web and it's a small plan with white flowers and elongated leaves.

the mare never had another episode after that. vet thought that she probably ate just a little bit of it, enough to give her some temporary paralysis but not to kill her.

i don't know if that's what's happening to your horse but just throwing it out there for you.

when are the blood results coming back? this is just terrible. i'm so sorry your horse is going through this.

best wishes!

Aug. 10, 2007, 10:57 AM
BTW my mare is perfect now and she was acting the same way. DONT WAIT......if your horse gets down and can't get up it is OVER. A spinal tap is costly and painful and if it is anything other then EPM the horse won't survive...if it is EPM then the drugs should help. Marquis is the best drug (or was) and I had it shipped in from Canada. It is here now.

Aug. 10, 2007, 10:57 AM
So the vet never told you what the blood test results showed?

I'm almost thinking some kind of venemous bite, since the leg was swollen and then the following neuro symptoms.

However, you do say he's in pain and having a hard time drinking... and it sounds to me that he might be very tired (per him not trying to get up anymore) and ready to be released from his body that's failing him. :cry:
He could/could have very easily hurt himself much worse by trying so hard to get up.

I'm really sorry that this is my only advice, but as much as it hurts you to see him this way just know that he's hurting too. But you can help him.

We had a pony at my former barn who randomly presented with neuro symptoms one evening... within a few hours she was trying to get up but couldn't and was struggling so hard she kept banging her head onto the asphalt/cement aisle. They put her down and that was the best they could ever do for her, she was scared and in pain.

Is there any way to get any other vet out to take a look at him, or one you could call and explain his symptoms to?

I don't think you'd be able to trailer him to the university because he can't even get up.... besides, how could they get him out of the trailer and into the clinic if he can't use his back legs?

I'm obviously giving the advice to put him down, and I'm sorry... I know this has got to be hard on you. Maybe you could have a necropsy done so that he may help the vets know what happened to him and would be better prepared to treat a horse in the same or similar condition in the future?

PM me if you would like to talk, this kind of thing is never easy.

Aug. 10, 2007, 10:58 AM
I am so sorry... I would put him down where he is also.. I just lost my gelding a month ago to an unusual colic, I know what a terrible decision it is..
If his pain could be controlled and he could be kept comfortable, I'd opt to try the sling while waiting for the tests, but it doesn't sound very positive.. it sounds like a severe spinal injury.. I'm sending hugs and jingles to you and your boy.

Aug. 10, 2007, 11:27 AM
I'm so sorry. I had a truly Great TB mare who broke her back. She did not seem to be in much pain, but was completely paralyzed.

This sounds like some kind of spinal cord injury, or as someone mentioned--a snake bite?

I hope I am wrong. (((hugs))) and prayers.

Aug. 10, 2007, 11:34 AM
The symptoms you are describing sound EXACTLY what my filly went through, except for the swollen leg. I put her down. The autopsy was inconclusive but the vets said all of her muscle cells were dead or dying, and that nothing could have saved her. Probably PSSM. I'm so sorry for you.

Sorry to be blunt but these cases sound so similar. I know how hard it is, but please keep in touch with me. I still have so much guilt that i could have done something, and I'd really like to know what you decide to do and what the results are. While reading your description I could clearly recall exact things my girl did also, and my vet's response was the same as yours.

Aug. 10, 2007, 12:02 PM
It really doesn't seem like EPM. My other horse just recovered from EPM with the Marquis a few months ago (he caught it when he was in TX), but the symptoms this one is showing just seem way too sudden. This is the first year I've ever had any medical problems with my boys.

I was thinking it could be a venomous bite, but I've looked the leg over VERY thoroughly and there's nothing. I'm thinking that there would be some sort of mark if he was bitten, but I'm not too familiar with bites.

I wouldn't put it past this guy to eat a poisonous plant. He tries to eat the oddest things (not to mention he completely dug up a flower garden about a month ago after escaping). I completely replanted the pasture this spring with bermuda, clover and (can't remember the name right offhand) and I keep it mowed at least once a week. There's always the possibility of the poisonous plants being there and going unnoticed.

I honestly don't think his back is broken. He's got feeling and control in his back haunches and tail, it's just his back legs that he doesn't bend or tuck them under him when he gets off his side. He's calmed down quite a bit since the sun came out and is chilling under his canopy with a fan blowing on him (he LOVES fans) and he's trying to eat all the grass and clover around him.

We're going to put him in a sling today and hoist him up to see if it helps any. I'll be getting the blood tests as they come in. I should be getting some today and more later on next week if he can hold on that long. He's been drinking more water as it gets hotter outside and I also have been using a squirt bottle when he doesn't want to reach to the bucket.

I forgot to mention in the first post that when he was a yearling he fractured his hip. He has a slight dropped-hip, but it's never caused any soundness issues before. This is his back left hip though. I don't have a clue if that could be tied into what ever is going on, but the vet thought it could be a possibility, though not a very likely one.

Thanks to everyone that replied. I've never had to make the life choice with a horse that I'm sooo close to. If he gets worse and I do choose that, then I was planning on doing the necropsy (not me actually doing it) just to find out what it really is. My other horse has been running in a 100 meter circle around Memphis all morning to see whats going on. He's been too scared to come any closer though. He also couldn't figure out where his food was since there was a food bucket hanging on the other side of the fence (from last night). He didn't bother checking in the bucket that WAS hanging on his side of the fence though. I love him for his heart though, not his brains :D

Aug. 10, 2007, 12:26 PM
white snake root.
you can google it but here is one link:


notice posterior weakness as a symptom. my friend's horse who got sick is also one of those who will eat anything and everything.

again, vet never confirmed that it was white snake root that caused her episode but she thought it was the most likely cause.

best of luck to you.

Aug. 10, 2007, 12:34 PM
Our horse had exactly the same symptoms as Marta's, but it was from jimsonweed, also known as moonflower. It's hallucinogenic---it was steeped into tea a lot in the 60's. No joke. But it can really mess you up.

Our horse recovered but he was jugged almost immediately with DMSO.

Best of luck to you, and I'm sending prayers your way.

Christa P
Aug. 10, 2007, 12:45 PM
Have you checked for N. Rhino. It can present this way, though I am not sure
about the swollen leg. My horse got it, though he was never as bad as what you describe.
In my case he got IV DMSO and bute as well as treatment for EPM
until we figured out the cause. It took about 2 weeks to see improvment
and about 6-8 weeks for full recovery.

BTW, this was almost 10 years ago.

Christa P

Aug. 10, 2007, 12:47 PM
I'm so sorry. I have no advice for you beyond what the others have said. He may already have hurt himself badly trying to get up. If he's not drinking, it will be just a matter of time before more complications from dehydration, such as colic, set in. Even if you can get him into a sling, the nursing is very intensive, especially if he's paralyzed behind, and prognosis at that point poor. If I did go the sling route, I'd feed him wet slurries, such as well soaked alfalfa cubes, to help keep him hydrated.

I would be inclined to end his suffering and put him down on the spot, as quickly as possible.

Aug. 10, 2007, 12:56 PM
Wait on the bloodwork. In the meantime look for a new vet.

Aug. 10, 2007, 12:56 PM
Jingling for you.

Does your horse have a fever? Did he seem not quite himself about a week ago?

If no fever, with the symptoms you describe, in our neck of the woods it would be West Nile Virus. I lost a mare to it and it was sudden lack of coordination with no fever. She never lost interest in food, but within a couple of days couldn't stand. West Nile seems to be most virulent on the leading edge of it's appearance into am area.

Aug. 10, 2007, 12:56 PM
Jingles. You must be so scared for him.
I wonder if it's worth having another vet to look at him and get another pair of eyes on him.

If he is eating and you're worried about hydration, perhaps giving him a mash would be helpful. Plus, he is less likely to choke on a mash.

ASB Stars
Aug. 10, 2007, 12:59 PM
I had a horse collapse with EPM three weeks after I bought him. So, of course, I think that is a possibility.

I feel just awful for you having to deal with this- and I see only two options. You can let him go, now, and hope that you have made the best decision that you can...OR...

You go full court press- which would include getting him on a DMSO drip NOW. This will help to bring the swelling down in the spinal cord- which, it may well be- with, or without EPM. Then you start assessing what treatment route to go. It will take alot of emotional fortitude, and money, to go this route.

It sounds like you are really trying so hard to do the best for your boy. Jingles for both of you- and don't be hard on yourself if you need to let him go...

Aug. 10, 2007, 01:00 PM
If you're vet doesn't thing a "horse down unable to get up" isn't very, very serious, you need a new vet!!! Isn't there anyone else who can look at him? Horses aren't built to spend more than a little time lying down in any position.

Aug. 10, 2007, 01:07 PM
Big Jingles for your boy and for you!

It could also be West Nile Virus. Or any of the things others have already mentioned.

Will your vet call OK State for a consult? At least find out if there are any treatments that can be safely started pending blood-work results of a definitive diagnosis?

Sounds like you are doing everything you can to keep him comfortable. Don't give up on him unless he gives up. You will KNOW if it comes to that (as long as you LET yourself KNOW).

I realize how hard this is. Breath - be nice BUT PERSISTENT with your vet AND ask for a referral to a specialist who can help you with your options and with the logistics of managing him while he is down and/or any transportation issues. Keep your own vet in the loop and insist on being in the loop yourself. YOU are the one who has to manage this situation and make the tough decisions.

Hang in there and please keep us updated.

Oh, and just because he is vaccinated doesn't mean he can't still get some of those diseases. Vaccines help, but many are not 100% effective.


Aug. 10, 2007, 01:24 PM
I feel so bad for you, after going through a horrible founder with my horse,I feel you pain!!
Get a second oppion, do it sooner than later. My vet said he has an abbcess, 3 day goes by telling her I think he is foundering oh no , call the second vet foundering 3 months later , I did everthing to make it work but in the end lost my boy as his foot started to sloath off.
So please do not wait, keep getting to the bottom of it quick!!

Ridge Runner
Aug. 10, 2007, 01:25 PM
sounds like EPM ..............get the drugs immediately and pray. Day 16 is the worst...the bugs die and swell. Hang tough.

If it is EPM, giving steriods is the very worst thing you can do.

Edited to add...EPM can show up suddenly and severely...I know...unfortunately firsthand. It is not the usual way it happens but if something supresses their immune system (like steriods...hock injections, etc...) than the protozoa can have a rapid growth spurt and next thing you know, you have a severely neurological horse.

Aug. 10, 2007, 01:26 PM
My old Arab mare was found one morning with neuro symptoms. We weren't sure what happened but it was obviously a neck injury. We spent the day trying to help her (she never actually went down, but I'm not sure how she stayed on her feet at times, she was that bad) but by the end of the day, she was having trouble breathing and declining fast. We opted to put her down instead of taking her in to the clinic. Afterwards, it was confirmed that she had somehow broken her neck.

With a 4yo, I probably would have spent a bit more time and work figuring it out, but there is no shame at all in putting this guy down before he suffers more.

I have no real advice but I hope things turn around fast for the poor guy. I feel for you :no: Good luck

Aug. 10, 2007, 01:30 PM
Wait on the bloodwork. In the meantime look for a new vet.

I agree. The swollen hind leg is NOT part of EPM. I would think of snake bite, or a serious infection (what IS his WBC count?).

Aug. 10, 2007, 01:39 PM
Your experience with EPM may not have looked like this...but mine has. The crossed hind legs, inability to stand and sudden onset of visable symptoms. Several other conditions also can look like this, none good. I think you have a neurological problem with only a slight chance of a fracture.

Hate to say it but, if this one looks like you say he does, and he cannot get up? They can colic or founder on you in the blink of an eye. Also suspect this has been going on for longer then you have been able to see it.

Ugh. Definately an emergency of the worst kind. Hate to say it but horses do have the instinct to continue feeding even with horrific injuries, severe impactions and such...I wouldn't attach too much hope to that fact.

You really do need another vet right now-and you need that blood work back if only to rule out an assortment of problems and get a better idea of treatment options based on diagnostics.

Otherwise...oh...:no: may need to think about putting and end to this.

Aug. 10, 2007, 02:55 PM
I kinda feel selfish for not wanting to let go of him. I really want to find out whats wrong with him before I make the choice. Poor guy is not feeling good but he's still got his stubborn fighting spirit (which shows that he hasn't given up yet)

He's been drinking a whole bunch of water, but hasn't been interested in eating the grass anymore. He's got some swelling in the places he skinned when he tore down the fence yesterday. The only things making him really miserable are the flies and the heat, but a flysheet, flyspray, swat, the fan, and cool water seem to be helping. I've been monitoring his digestive system closely and he's still doing good there and is pooping quite a bit. He gets upset everytime I walk away from him and begs me to come back.

Second vet thinks it might be encephalitis, tumor, or spinal injury, which are all crappy for my boy. He said he would do more research and call me if he sees something. Wants me to somehow bring Memphis over to the clinic. He's even willing to come out and help with it. If we get him up in the sling (which is arriving in around an hour) and somehow are able to manuveur him to the trailer and then transfer the sling to there (which it actually has heavy steel things to hook to in all the right places), then it might be possible.

Looking at the records of diseases reported in my area, there has not been a single case of WNV or WEE in over 2 years. EEE on the other hand had 3 horses contract it (and no doubt die) from it just last year. My farrier has told me that he doesn't know a single horse that's contracted EPM from the area in 15 years. I'm just trying to research everything I can that might help. These facts don't mean that it couldn't happen, I was just looking at the frequency of the diseases. He spent last semester with me in TX, and that's where the barn I was at had 4 cases appear close to each other (we think it was the hay). All the horses had super sucess w/ Marquis. He left TX 2 months ago, so it could be possible that he's now showing signs.

My parents are being very supportive with this and my mom is actually wanting to get like 20 more vets out to look at the guy, which I think is a bit absurd. I might talk to them on the phone but theres no way I can afford too many people to come out since theres not really anything they can do... I might be dropping school and living out of my truck if I did that!

Aug. 10, 2007, 02:58 PM
Good luck to you and your boy...I hope you get some answers soon.

Is he back on his feet now?

Aug. 10, 2007, 03:12 PM
My best advice is to get the horse to the clinic and run blood tests for all the know virus and encephalitis. We lost a nice young filly last year, who had been vaccinated against everything, but still showed neuro symptoms. She was disoriented and still standing, but very uncoordinated and lost sight due to brain swelling pressing on optic nerves.

She did will on IV, Dex and DMSO, but once those were removed she digressed back to the neuro state, so we opted to euthanize her. After testing all that was determined was that she had some sort of encephalitis/meningitis that was unknown and rare.

I am hoping you have a better outcome!

Aug. 10, 2007, 03:41 PM
I kinda feel selfish for not wanting to let go of him.There is a saying that many of us live by, which is "better a week too soon than a minute too late." Think about it.

Aug. 10, 2007, 03:51 PM
Wow what a heartbreaker, I am so sorry your are going through this disaster. If you can not get him up shortly there will be no decision left to make. In the meantime, I wonder if maybe heavy doses of dex and IV DMSO could get him to his feet long enough to get him into the sling in the trailer. Best of luck to you both.

Bank of Dad
Aug. 10, 2007, 04:11 PM
No ideas, but lots of hugs.

Aug. 10, 2007, 04:14 PM
sounds like EPM ..............get the drugs immediately and pray. Day 16 is the worst...the bugs die and swell. Hang tough.

That was my immediate thought too - sudden, hard hitting EPM.

Aug. 10, 2007, 04:22 PM
my yearlings EPM came on just like this, very severe , barely able to stand, could not walk without falling. (4.5 on scale of 1-5 , according to vet) and very sudden. (overnight) He was given 3 days of IV DMSO, Dex and Bute to reduce the inflamation and then started on Marquis for 6 weeks. Now a fully recovered, lovely 4 year old.

Aug. 10, 2007, 04:43 PM
If there are possums in your area you are at risk.....I read somewhere that 80% of horses are exposed but for some reason they don't have a problem. GO FIGURE

My vet told me to start the medicine.....if it is anything else he won't live (I know that is harsh but it is reality) and if it is EPM then the drugs will help. You can't afford to wait. What the heck has your vet been doing with all the blood tests? HELLOOOOOOO

Thankfully the Marquis is not nearly as expensive and I had to import mine from Canada because it was not approved here at the time.

Good luck and keep us posted.

Aug. 10, 2007, 05:13 PM
Neuro symptoms such as what you describe should be considered a true "emergency;" unless your vet was faced with several emergencies at once, or unless you have a history of exagerating the urgency of a situation, I can't imagine why your horse wasn't seen to at once. Is your vet an equine specialist? I don't know of any equine vet who would have let it go that long.

At this point, if he were mine, I'd be inclined to put him down unless I had a reasonable assurance that transporting him would do anything to substantially increase his chances of survival. I don't consider it a humane action to run up a huge bill at the clinic in an unsuccessful effort to "save the horse."

(On EPM-not that it matters in a case as serious as the OP's sounds-EPM normally presents itself with very gradual onset; more subtle symptoms are often overlooked, or ascribed to training problems until something major happens that is so obvious it can't be missed. Unfortunately, so many horses can "test" positive for EPM, because it is present in blood antibodies in a large percentage of horses that a blood test is not useful as a diagnostic tool. A spinal tap is preferred, but is expensive and invasive. Hence, many horses are treated for it and if they get better after Marquis, well then "it must have been EPM." But many neuro conditions are perplexing and expensive to diagnose; it is easy enough to say it's "probably EPM," when the answers aren't evident.)

Aug. 10, 2007, 05:15 PM
I agree. The swollen hind leg is NOT part of EPM. I would think of snake bite, or a serious infection (what IS his WBC count?).

I would be inclined to think this way as well. Perhaps the horse fell and injured/fractured the back/hip. Good luck to you and your boy.

Aug. 10, 2007, 05:27 PM
i think its some sort of toxcin in to his blood or he has frolicked around and has hurt himself some how and wether its curable i dont know

what i do know is that i owuld be on the phone to the 1st vet and not pay the bill for that time was late to come out to you 5hours in an emergency is not good enough
and i owuld be cclaiming compensation for undue stress and lack of repseonse to an emgency call out- let alone mis udertand the word urgent---

and beilive me you can claim to the veterinary practioners baord
the 1st vet sound liek a blooming dog and cat vet and not equine

the 2nd vet has more of an idea and in future and those that dont please make sure when you all have horses ponies that the vets are large animal and not small animal
because this is a perfect exsample of between life and death

makesure you claim and be as harsh as you like matey 5 hrs is crap to say the least

now people please join me in sending this boy and his mum
huge huge jingles

Aug. 10, 2007, 06:04 PM
ISecond vet thinks it might be encephalitis, tumor, or spinal injury, which are all crappy for my boy.
I know you said he's had all of his shots but what were they exactly and when was he last boostered? WNV? EEE?

Some horses can survive WNV with excellent supportive care. Time is of the essence, I'm afraid.

Good luck and best wishes to both of you.

Aug. 10, 2007, 09:21 PM
Sending big jingles and best wishes and thoughts. I agree in trying to find out what's wrong before making the decision to put him down. He seems to want to survive based on your description. Keep fighting for him...JMHO. I would do the same but that's just me. Really, really praying and hoping for the best for you and him.

Aug. 10, 2007, 09:23 PM
So...is he up yet or still down?

You know, sometimes you may want to know all the answers and he is paying the price in pain, confusion and depression while you wait for those answers he will not understand or care about when he hurts and is terrified because he cannot control his body.

Just be careful you do not assign your hopes and definitions without diagnostics to his actual condition.

This kind of thing, regardless of cause, is a long time expensive rehab with meds like the Marquis that are toxic themselves and can have side effects like colic, depression, loss of appetite and laminitis.

Don't wait too long for diagnosis and to start treatment that will require a committment from you. Or let him go with some comfort and dignity.

Aug. 11, 2007, 12:08 AM
Any news on the patient? I am jingling hard for you guys.. Whatever happens, it is obvious you love him and are struggling to do the best thing for him. I understand about needing some more answers before you decide, after all, there is no going back. Stay with him as long as you can, he sounds like he is comforted when you are nearby.
Big hugs!

Aug. 11, 2007, 01:07 AM
Lots of jingles for you and your boy.

horsey nurse
Aug. 11, 2007, 02:06 AM
Jingles for you and your boy. I hope that you have either a positive sign soon or are able to make a difficult decision for both your sakes.

Aug. 11, 2007, 02:12 PM
Any news?

Aug. 11, 2007, 05:01 PM
I'm jingling for you and your guy. I don't blame you for not wanting to give up before trying to get some answers. As long as he is not rapidly getting worse and his pain is being managed (banamine, ect, with vets permission). It would be terrible to find out after the fact (necropsy) that the condition may have been treatable if only you had known what it was. Ultimately he is your horse and you will know when the time is right! Hugs to you in this difficult time.

P.S. - I scanned the posts but not sure if this has been mentioned yet...his swollen leg might be indirectly related. Maybe during the first stages of whatever neurological disease/problem he is having, he was trotting around, or just laying down or getting up and because he was starting to lose coordination in his hind end he injured that leg. Just a possibility.

Aug. 11, 2007, 08:34 PM
Jingles, I'm hoping there's been some improvement. Keeping fingers crossed for you.

Aug. 11, 2007, 09:55 PM
Checking in too - and still jingling for your boy. Agree with what BarnBrat said. :yes:


Aug. 11, 2007, 09:56 PM
Still jingling here and hoping to see positive update soon.

Aug. 11, 2007, 10:48 PM
I'm sorry I haven't posted any updates, but I got him in the trailer and drove 3 hours to OSU where he was given excellent care (They were soo awesome and nice there!). I knew I couldn't do anything to help him at home, and I knew I needed to do something because he deserved a chance, so I went to the best place I could. In the trailer he started thrashing around and took most of the hair off the side of his face and body that was facing the ground (I cried when they were unloading him because he looked so bad). He was dehydrated at this time and was immediately put in a bunch of IVs with the extra supplements he needed hanging in a padded stall. We got the prelim bloodwork back (but won't get the disease bloodwork til at least monday) and had a WBC count that was super high, so it's definitely an infectious disease of some sort (they were thinking WNV). At about 2 this morning I finally left the clinic and got a few hours of sleep at a hotel before coming back this morning. He was flipped over onto his beaten up side and it was really bad looking and very swollen, but he had enough energy to make the attempt to sit up and he kept moving his head and putting it on my lap and move it so my hand would reach the places he wanted rubbed.

I was on my way to go home before coming back the next day when I got a call from the vet there that told me they tried to lift him in a sling but he kept thrashing around and beating himself up even more, almost like he didn't know where his legs were. By this time, we knew that he wasn't going to be able to get better since he kept injuring himself, and it wasn't fair to him to be that miserable and in so much pain so I had to make a decision. I got back to Stillwater and he was sitting up in the sling, munching on hay and had drained a bucket of water. But he kept having random episodes of dangerously thrashing around and throwing himself against the wall. He was able to move his legs and neck, but his face and tounge (he bit it) were bleeding and his face and neck were greatly swollen. There was some "crunching" when his skull was pressed on in some places, so he may have fractured his skull when he was tossing himself around.

I knew that it was time to put him down, and I don't regret making that decision. The staff there was so wonderful to me, they even took pieces of his mane and tail and said they would bead his name onto them and put ribbons on them and then mail them. They gave me so much more support in my decision then I would have ever expected from a vet clinic, since it really was the only thing we could do. They are going to do a necropsy on him and I should get those results by Wednesday.

I'm still very sad about this, but I know it was the right choice. My other horse was whinnying when I brought the trailer home (empty), expecting to see his buddy. He's been randomly neighing when he feels alone in his pasture and it breaks my heart because he doesn't know what's going on. I'm hoping that whatever Memphis had wasn't transmitted to Blitz, because I would give up anything to keep that horse alive and well.

Once again, I would like to thank everyone for their support and help in getting through this. When I get the results back I'll post them, just to fulfill anyone's curiousity.

Aug. 11, 2007, 10:55 PM
Oh TB..I'm so sorry .. :cry: I was so hoping for a different outcome for you both..
Your boy was probably greeted at the bridge by my Kiazr, who I lost on July 8th..I'm sure he's showing him all the sweet spots to graze! :sadsmile:
Big hugs from Texas

Aug. 11, 2007, 11:10 PM
You truelly did everything you could to help him.
Godspeed to your boy.

Big Day
Aug. 11, 2007, 11:14 PM
So sorry for you and your boy. I'm sure you are completely spent right now. I commend you for your compassion and bravery in dealing with this tragedy. Big hugs from VA.

Aug. 11, 2007, 11:17 PM
Sounds to me like you both fought the good fight. So sorry it did not have a happier ending, I hope you take comfort in knowing you did everything you possibly could. I am interested to hear what they finally come up with in regards to the diagnosis. Godspeed.

Aug. 11, 2007, 11:28 PM
I am so sorry to hear that. you made the right decision. He is up there with my guy and they are partying:)

Aug. 11, 2007, 11:39 PM
My condolences. I was following your story and felt you were doing your best to do the right thing for your horse. Sorry it had a sad ending.

Aug. 11, 2007, 11:56 PM
Sorry TB. I was hoping for a different outcome. This so much sounds like our filly. She didn't thrash like yours, but the vets say it is more common for the bigger horses to thrash, mostly out of frustration more than pain.

I know this is a difficult time for you, but could you let us know what your necropsy came out? We were unable to get one due to finances. Our baby spent 4 days in ICU and pretty much busted our budget. You did the right thing.

On a positive note, in our instance, it was not contagious or transmittable to the other horses.

Aug. 12, 2007, 12:44 AM
I am really sorry to hear the outcome of your horse's illness. My deepest condolences to you.:(

Aug. 12, 2007, 01:02 AM
TBlitz, I've never dealt with what you've dealt with, all I can do is follow your posts and imagine. I know you did your best by the horse, and I couldn't be more pleased by how the clinic handled the outcome. Please feel blessed by that, as hard as it seems now. I'm impressed by their handling of evreything! Mostly, how they handled you as the client. That's just flat out awesome, despite your horrible day. Know that many of us stand by your side in that hard to make decision.

Godspeed to your dear horse, and really big hugs to you!!! Big hugs to his equine friend left behind as well!!!

Aug. 12, 2007, 01:07 AM
This was so sad. I am sorry that you had to make the decision that you did. But you did everything you could for him, you know you did the right thing for him.

Aug. 12, 2007, 01:16 AM
I am sorry for your loss. :(

Aug. 12, 2007, 01:24 AM
You did all you could--may thoughts of his running free in green places help ease the

Aug. 12, 2007, 01:29 AM
im so sorry, it must be really hard to go through that. jingles that its not contagious and your other horse is safe!

Aug. 12, 2007, 02:22 AM
So sorry for your loss. I too was hoping for a better outcome for you. Sending many hugs your way.

Aug. 12, 2007, 02:32 AM
so sad when you find out exactly what it is let us all know
and i hate to say this but i would be looking into way 1st vet spend 5 hours into an emergency call out - when you can get your head round things and get a vet report of the 2nd vets
i wish you well but you did well you gave him a chance and he had a great home
time will heal you and your mum cuddles to you both

Aug. 12, 2007, 08:47 AM
I'm so sorry!

Aug. 12, 2007, 09:38 AM
I am so very sorry! You have been very brave and fought a good fight. You gave him every chance and I am sure he knows how hard you fought for him. You certainly got him to the right place. He was very lucky to have you.


Aug. 12, 2007, 10:42 AM
I'm so sorry!! That must have been very hard on you. You did the right thing. He was very loved!!

Aug. 12, 2007, 11:06 AM
Oh, I am so sorry. You did all you could. Bless you for taking such good care of him.

Aug. 12, 2007, 11:42 AM
I am so sorry that your and your boy had to go through that.You are brave to love that much.

Instant Karma
Aug. 12, 2007, 11:47 AM
TB- That last post... my god... got me right in my gut. I am so very sorry for your loss.

Aug. 12, 2007, 12:33 PM
Did sound like WNV. I witnessed a friends' horse dying of this about 6 years ago. It's horrible. I'm surprised the original Vet didn't suspect it with the symptoms.

Was he vaccinated for WNV?

Aug. 12, 2007, 01:30 PM
TBlitz, I'm so, so sorry for your loss. ((((hugs)))).......

Aug. 12, 2007, 01:33 PM
Did sound like WNV. I witnessed a friends' horse dying of this about 6 years ago. It's horrible. I'm surprised the original Vet didn't suspect it with the symptoms.

Was he vaccinated for WNV?

I had a mare contract WNV the first year we knew of it and she was vaccinated.

Aug. 12, 2007, 02:03 PM
you did everything you could for him.

please post the results of the blood work. curious to know what it was.

Bank of Dad
Aug. 12, 2007, 02:34 PM
I am so sorry, you did everything you could. We all learn a lot from this board, and posting the results of the necropsy and tests will teach us even more.

Aug. 12, 2007, 04:27 PM
I am so so sorry for your loss. ((hugs))

Aug. 12, 2007, 04:43 PM
I am so sorry!!! I know it is hard I also had a long strugle with ups and down of my horse's founder after 3 months I lost the battle. But in the end I also new it was time, it will get better but it is going to take awhile, it will be one month on wednesday, and I still have some very bad day's it is hard seeing your best friend in this situation, and it is a very, very hard choice to make.
You did the best for him. R.I.P.

Aug. 12, 2007, 05:11 PM
Your horse was lucky to have you and I admire all you did for him. Please post the results of the necropsy when you get them. This sends shivers through us all :cry:

Aug. 12, 2007, 05:23 PM
Dang, you tried SO hard for him. So very sorry you didn't have a better outcome. Please do let us know what you learn. We're thinking of you ..

Aug. 12, 2007, 05:30 PM
Tb, I'm so sorry you had to lose him so suddenly and in a way that was so hard. You did all you could.

Aug. 12, 2007, 07:37 PM
I was crying when I was reading your last post. :cry: So sorry for the loss of your boy...you truly did the best you could...don't ever forget that.

Aug. 12, 2007, 07:44 PM
I'm so sorry that you lost him after all of that. You definitely made the right decision and did everything that you could. I just started reading this thread a few minutes ago and was hoping that he'd still be with us.

Aug. 12, 2007, 08:07 PM
So sorry for your loss. It's hard to let them go when they are so young, but you didn't let him suffer.

Aug. 12, 2007, 09:57 PM
Tb, I'm so sorry you've suffered this loss and the associated pain. Your courage and determination to do whatever it took to help your horse is admirable. My mare's best buddy died last fall in a similar manner and I still cry some days thinking about it.

I pray you can take comfort knowing that you were able to give him every chance possible and in the end were wise enough to do what was best for him. God bless you.

Aug. 12, 2007, 10:40 PM
I'm so sorry! He is pain-free now and you did the best you could. I still remember vividly having to make that call on my mare. Even when you KNOW it is the right decision, it is still the hardest decision to make.

Aug. 12, 2007, 10:48 PM
iIm sorry that you and he had to suffer through this. It is quite possible that he was a Wobbler.

Aug. 12, 2007, 10:49 PM
I'm so, so sorry for your loss. He was lucky to be so loved and well cared for right up to the end. Hopefully it's not contagious. Please do update us as to result of the necropsy, for the education.

Aug. 13, 2007, 12:10 AM
I too am so sorry for your loss. I hope that, for your sake, the vets do find some definite diagnosis for you. It's so frustrating when you exhaust all your resources with still no definite answers. I've been there - thankfully, I did finally get answers (took 4 vets though and many different treatments plans before we got a final diagnosis and plan of action).

Godspeed to your boy and I'm sure he's happy now, with green pastures and the ability to run until his heart is content - pain free. My thoughts and prayers are with you - I can only imagine what you've gone through.

Aug. 13, 2007, 12:39 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss. I cried reading this - it was so clear how much you cared for your horse.

Aug. 13, 2007, 01:41 AM
just wanted to send you a little hug- you did everything right- you tried hard and sometimes we just loose the battle- I am sure someone will find out eventually what caused this terrible illness (to me it sounds like snake bite or massive poisoning by ingesting a horrible plant) but I could be wrong. The worst part about all this is that we can't provide the same type of emergency care to horses as we can to humans- exchange their blood and flush their system...and the damage probably was done in the first 8 hours.
I am soo sorry this happened to you! Hang in there- !!

Aug. 13, 2007, 07:48 AM

I'd be inclined to think that the swollen leg is the result of a fall rather than the cause of the instability.

My vet, in the past, has treated a horse w/symptoms of EPM w/EPM drugs after taking the blood test. I hope your vet gets back to you with results soon.

I admire your efforts to keep him comfortable -- you are doing everything you can. Like others, I'm not sure what else you can do. I'd be disinclined to take him to a clinic (not sure how you could do it), and my "trips to a clinic" never seem to provide the definitive answer I hope for. Whatever the outcome of this, your horse will feel happiest and safest at home.

Aug. 13, 2007, 10:03 AM
Oh damn.

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. We were all pulling for you guys and now we offer our condolences. There are a lot of loved ones on the other side of the bridge to welcome your boy, Godspeed to him and comfort to you.

big hugs

Aug. 13, 2007, 10:42 AM

((((hugs)))) it was really kind of you to stay with him right up to when he went over the Rainbow Bridge. (((((hugs))))

Aug. 13, 2007, 10:48 AM
I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It's clear how much you loved him and that you did everything you possibly could. Your horse was so lucky to have you in his life.

Aug. 13, 2007, 02:04 PM
Godspeed to your horse. My Mr Gub left me 4 wks ago very much same way. He is waiting to challenge your guy to a few races. :yes:

Aug. 13, 2007, 05:02 PM
I am so sorry to hear of your loss. :(

Aug. 13, 2007, 05:31 PM
Thank you for trying so hard for him. Blessings.

Aug. 13, 2007, 07:36 PM
you did the right thing. my pony and his buddy banacek are waiting to greet him across the bridge. big hugs.

Aug. 15, 2007, 07:37 PM
Just got results from the vet. Rabies test came back negative (thank god!) and the necropsy showed that he had an unfixable fracture of his pelvis, which explained the loss of function in his back legs. The limping evidently was when it first happened and then it just started swelling and compressing the spinal cord (I'm trying to put exactly what the vet said, but I was just so relieved that my other baby wasn't going to have a disease that I had trouble listening). The vet said that it was good that I was able to make "the big decision" because since it was an unrepairable injury, and would have been hard to get an xray of anyways, that it just ended his agony.

It's really sad to have a 4 year old who's already experienced a hip fracture as a yearling (never caused unsoundness, but he was only kept for companion/ trail purposes anyways), ended up having to be put down due to a bad pelvis fracture just a few years later.

I miss him and still feel depressed, but I now know that I couldn't have prevented or treated his injury. I did cry today after I trailered my other guy back home after a ride today and my dog, who was Memphis' best friend (they honestly sunbathed and played tag and fetch together) got excited and jumped into the trailer to greet his buddy when he came home, only to find that it wasn't his buddy, just Blitz. Once he sniffed him, his tail stopped wagging and he walked out of the trailer. I guess since he last saw his buddy leave in the trailer, he thought that he would come back in it.

Blitz has used all his new alone time to figure ways to break into the hay shed and eat all the alfalfa. He successfully managed to do so 5 times yesterday and today I haven't let him out of the pasture into the yard because I can't create a good barrier to keep him away (electric tape fence, wood boards nailed across the front, and tarps covering the bails won't hold him off). He had sooo much energy today from all the alfalfa he gobbled down yesterday that I could have galloped him for hours if it wasn't so darn hot (103 right now).

To all of you who have wished Memphis alot of space to run in, I laughed. That lazy horse would have spent his whole life swimming in ponds and standing in front of fans all day (he LUVED fans. Whe he didn't have one in our yard, he would keep his head over the AC unit, which made his mane fly everywhere :lol:). So as long as he has alfalfa, a pond, a fan, and somewhere to sunbathe in heaven, he'll love it.

I never gave his history, but he was actually one of my rescues. He was kept in a small (junky) yard with chickens running all around and trash everywhere. He was very underweight and was getting beaten up by another horse crammed in there with him. I finally got him out of there for $600 and he turned out to be one of the sweetest horses. At this time he was only 3, but anyone could take him on a trail ride and he'd be the one slowly taking his time while I would have my horse going in circle after circle to keep up. I had him for EXACTLY a year when I put him down, but I know it was the best year of his life. He gave him a 5 acre pasture to share with 1 other horse and they would graze on the clover all day long. He had a puppy that he became best friend with and he always had someone to happily give him the attention he wanted (since he would stand all day long to be pet if someone was willing. and he LOVED getting belly scratches. He even used one of my Mom's rose bushes for a belly scratcher and ruined it, though Dad and I were cracking up turning away from her).

I'll miss the silly goofball, but obviously I'll never forget his silly antics. Thanks to everyone who was hoping he would pull through. I really needed the support everyone here was able to give me during the rough time.

Aug. 15, 2007, 08:01 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. That was a wonderful tribute to him. I'm sure he knew how loved he was for the last year. Thank you for updating with the necropsy results.

Aug. 15, 2007, 11:23 PM
Words just aren't adequate. I'm so sorry for your loss, as well as for the sadness Memphis feels. What a wonderful year you gave this horse, and he'll now happily hang in a pond with a fan. My heart goes out to you.

Aug. 15, 2007, 11:36 PM
I am so happy that you gave him the BEST home after you rescued him from dismal home. Please think of how he lived before he when to your home. I need to think about how my Arab lived before she charged into our home to say, "Thank you for bringing me home to live with you, the particular person who does not want to step on tomato worm!"

Aug. 15, 2007, 11:42 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. That was a wonderful tribute to him. I'm sure he knew how loved he was for the last year. Thank you for updating with the necropsy results.

I couldn't agree more! Great post jetsmom, every word of it! :yes:

Aug. 16, 2007, 06:15 PM
TB that was a really inspiring post. It's wonderful that you were able to give him such a happy, loving home if only for a year. Everyone needs a friend like that and to go out having just had the best year of their lives.

I know it was a tough decision but it was obviously the right one. I bet he's got his own big-ol AC unit up in the sky now :sadsmile:

Aug. 16, 2007, 06:19 PM
this diagnosis may bring some closure for you since you clearly made the right decision.