It's a great idea to have this collection of symptoms, etc on one thread. I'm pondering revisiting this issue with my vet next time I talk to her. My TB (a Slew) is not quite right and I've been pouring money into a diagnosis for a while now.
I'd love to add another question: are any of your c-spine horses cribbers?
Ding ding ding yup to the cribber. Colic surgery survivor that was just NQR after surgery. History of bad hocks, loose stifle. Took 6 months after surgery to come back. Twice I watched him fall in the paddock during recovery. Farm vet saw something but couldn't pinpoint it. Nine months later found him walking like a crab. After a week of no diagnosis I shipped him to Dr. Patty Hogan in Cream Ridge who immediately diagnosed neuro. Can't say enough good things about her. Something to consider. Mild arthritis C-5 to C-6 with moderate changed C-6 to C-7. She has equipement to xray neck right in clinic and also can inject.
Lost him nine months later. Found dead in paddock not a mark on him.
My husband's horse, Tomato, had a neuro episode last week (which I posted about - horse staggering w/ video) seemingly out of the blue. He had been retired for a couple years because of his NQR-ness, which we attributed to an old hock injury and his hocks fusing (per x-rays). Based on his recent demeanor and sounder-looking movement in the pasture, we were planning on seeing if we could bring him back to work and we were going to start by just walking him and then taking him in for more hock x-rays to see where we stood. On Wednesday he had his episode. Vet tested for EPM, which came back negative.
Stats on this horse - don't know his breeding but we guess TB cross. He's about 16.2 and big boned. Big head. Long neck, long back. Has just about every "flaw" you might not want in a horse - cribber, roarer, pigeon toed in front, crappy feet......but he was a great first horse for my husband and loved to jump!
He always plait-walked in front, which we attributed to his conformation. Always hard to shoe in back, which we attributed to his hocks. Now I wonder if it was neuro all along?
We haven't done x-rays on his neck yet, just got the non-EPM dx this morning. Vet suggested Previcox to see if it will keep him stable (he showed improvement with DMSO drips, Dex, and Banamine for the acute onset episode).
Here's the video of how he was on Wednesday. He's much improved now.
Pocket Pony -- the horse that I wrote about in your Tomato thread is the same one that has the neck arthritis. Although his bizarre neurological whatever included a fever I have wondered since the neck diagnosis if there was some sort of connection. Or maybe he had a slightly compromised spinal column that exacerbated whatever else was going on with the mystery disease.
I didn't realize this thread was still going on...Pocket Pony, I just watched your video. Poor poor pony! My horse wasn't anywhere near that bad and it ended up being his neck. In the grand scheme of the thousands I spent getting a diagnosis, the neck x-rays weren't that expensive. It might be worth doing to at least rule in/out a cause. With such an acute change I'd probably suspect a recent injury to the neck.
Good luck to everyone going through this. I recently vetted a 4y/o OTTB and he flunked the neuro exam...could be EPM, could be C-spine, but it's definitely something I never want to deal with again!
My TB gelding apparently has some cervical spine issue, though his symptoms are different from those that have been listed thus far, so I thought I'd share his experience in case anyone encounters something like it. This is what he shows:
1) He has always had something like shivers in his front end, but it's not shivers. When you pick up his front legs (he is very reluctant to do this), the leg will shake uncontrollably and he will struggle to keep his balance while the leg is being held up. He will also have muscle tremors in his facial muscles at the same time. If he is able to place the hoof against a solid object, he is fine. He also can lift the legs voluntarily with no problems. Back legs are fine.
2) He struggles to walk downhill, mounted or not
3) He fails the "menace" test, which is is part of a regular neuro exam. When you move your hand towards the eye, a normal horse will blink - my horse's eyelid tremors/quivers instead.
He is otherwise completely normal and coordinated, and safe to ride. He was a very successful 3' hunter, and would still be going strong today (at 15) if I had not had to retire him at 14 after discovering sesamoiditis in his hinds from old racing injuries. He's pasture sound now and hopefully will be ok for light trail riding.
The neuro issue was diagnosed when he was at the clinic for a colic 4 years ago, and the vets observed that after the colic had passed he laid down in his stall and had a seizure. This prompted a neuro exam. The EPM test came back negative. The vet said that the horse had some kind of issue/lesion in the cervical area of his neck, but since it had been stable for the 4 years I had already had the horse, it did not appear to be dangerous and I should just monitor it. The horse passed his vet check and lameness evaluation every year until the sesamoid calcification appeared.
Just one other tidbit...if you have a GOOD ( and I STRESS this word) Chiropractor, add that to your evaluations. Had a horse recently with neuro symptoms and after 2 adjustments for lumbar subluxation, is about 90% better.
Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire)
KWPN, ISR/Old NA, RPSI, and IHF stallion www.cornerstonefarmpa.com