My horse was diagnosed last fall with peripheral vestibular disorder at the University of Missouri vet school. I had taken him there for a consult on his squamous cell carcinoma tumor on his eyelid because Pi is blind on the right, and this tumor was on his left eye which has about 30% vision. My local vets are really good, but they were concerned that he'd lose his eye if I did the surgery - so facing that big of a decision I chose to take him to experts. Pi has always had a noticeable head tilt that we assumed was learned because of his vision. However, his head tilt got the attention of a neurologist who proceeded to do a neurological workup on him as well.
When we went to leave, the vet tried to get pictures of the tilt because he said it was such a classic tilt and that they don't often see horses as well adjusted as him because neurological symptoms are often a death sentence. Pi was used to teach many, many students, residents, and even the other vets on staff - at one point our main vet had to shut the door and refuse entry because Pi was getting nervous with all the people!
Anyway - Pi's head tilt is much more pronounced when he's anxious or stressed, such as in a new environment. So, I've had trouble getting good images because he's very confident and comfortable at home. I traveled this week, and his head tilt has been very noticeable, so I got some video. Thought I'd share!
http://www.youtube.com/user/GentleSp.../4/MDwjHiEUG84 - this one is from his back, you can see how the tilt affects his neck/spine and muscling. I have to keep him in solid work to avoid muscle wastage on the right side. It's also taken a lot of training and work for him to carry himself straight and learn to bend.
Symptoms of peripheral vestibular disorder include a pronounced head tilt, nystagmus, and balance issues. Pirate's is assumed to have been a result of severe trauma, because he is blind and deaf on that side as well as his face, shoulder and leg on that side are full of scars.
Oh - and the mud is NOT NORMAL - it's rained here for over 5 days. I've seen comments in the past about horses standing in mud - their stall is raised and we are keeping an eye out for foot problems. But there's nothing dry around here!
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
~ Maya Angelou