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.../2/fUcIzQMAt0M - tilt shows up at about 15 seconds

http://www.youtube.com/user/GentleSp.../3/mLFk_XkUD6g - kind of difficult to see because he's behind a fence, but it's there.

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!