I'm posting this for a friend. Yesterday her 32 year old App went down and could not get back up. He was laid out in a very awkward position and it took her forever to get him up. Once up she thought he might be colicking. Called the vet, who came out and agreed that it was colic. Tubed him and gave him some pain meds. The colic symptoms improved but he was extremely wobbly. She spent the night at the barn and said he walked around all night but did not try to lay down. I went out today and although he was bright and alert, he was definitely not ok. He basically leg yields to the left any time he walks. His head stays left at the walk and he frequently spins in circles.
Friend emailed this vid to the vet who now thinks its neuro. Friend suspected that he had a stroke about 2 years ago but aside from a little head tilting and lip drooping he was fine. Any ideas what this could be? Neither of us have any experience with EPM and don't know what it presents like. The vet is coming out again later to do more tests and she's sending the vid to another vet to get another opinion. In the meantime we're both stumped and really worried. She's had him for 30 years and he's her baby so any jingles would be really appreciated.
Yes, he is certainly looking neurological. I had something similar about 3 years ago. Vet gave DMSO, banamine and started Marquis (for EPM) immediately. The blood test came back showing no exposure to EPM. Most likely diagnosis was tumor/mass impinging on spinal cord. We basically threw assortments of drugs at her for a few days to see if anything worked. Luckily, the combination of Dex and DMSO did the trick. Within a week she was 95%. She had three or so flare-ups (never as bad as the original) over a year and a half. I lost her in April of last year at 29 to a massive internal rupture that may or may not have been related. She would have been 30 today Jingles that your friend's guy can get a few more good years.
Second vet advised her to take him straight to Auburn. She's trying to get the original vet out now to get him on some drugs and make him more comfortable. Hopefully she won't have to make the decision just yet. Keep the Jingles coming.
Had something similar happen a couple of years ago. 26 yr old tb, started dog tracking, spinning in circles, fell down a few times. Dex did the most good. We finally came to the conclusion that she probably tweaked a nerve in her neck, since it was so sudden and nothing else made sense. 2 years later, and she's better, has good days and bad, but gets around pretty well, plays with the babies, bucks and kicks, so who knows? Wish she could tell me what it was, but......
Jingles your way and to yur friend first. It does look neuro. Could be epm but I knew an old appy at the place i had my horse for a short time. The old appy did this same exact thing. He would walk sideways and turn in circles. The old man that owned him didn't have the vet out which upset me. He said he is fine. Ughhh. Anyways horse did actually get better in a couple days, haven idea what exactly caused it since no vet came out but he did get better. Hopefully the vets can figure this out and get him better soon.
Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole
He is beautiful at 32 years of age. Wishing her the best. My heart would sink... there is a 37 yo at my barn who is starting to show his age. His owner is blind to the lameness, soreness, etc. and she is going broke just to keep her two 30 yo horses... This is so heart wrenching.
At his age, it could honestly be about anything (he looks amazing, a testament to your friend's good care, but 32 is still 32).
The thing that leapt immediately to my mind though was that since you said he was stuck in an odd position, that while he was down with a belly ache, he damaged some nerves. It doesn't take a lot in a large animal to cause nerve damage sadly.
FWIW, I also think it looks slightly like he has a vision issue (the placement of the spins almost looks like he's trying to get one eye on his surroundings), which would make me think stroke.
When he went down, could he have struck his head on the wall? I had a friend's horse do that with tragic results. He did have EPM and went to lie down and couldn't get up without thrashing--gave himself a skull fracture. T
That circling and crookedness is what happened to my old event mare when she deteriorated quickly after a 2 year "remission" with treated EPM. We didn't know if it was the EPM or a fall in the paddock a few days prior (she got it into her head to gallop and slipped) that did it, but it was bad. I had to euthanize her. Very sorry for your friend and the sweet old man.
I took care of a mini once who'd been kicked hard by a horse , in the front part of his head, and did a rotational fall. For several days afterward, he acted like this horse. Walked crooked, circled, eyes couldn't focus properly, but otherwise ate and wanted to move around. After a few days he slowly came around and was fine thereafter.
I'd wonder if this poor old horse didn't bang his head somehow. i'll watch the video again, but the RH doesn't look to be functioning. He sure looks good for his age, Best Wishes for a solution.