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For those that have had ataxic.neurologic horses....Update - post 24. Not good.

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  • Original Poster

    I hope it's fixable, too....she has been off since Sept, and right now I wouldn't let anybody back on her. She was a witch under saddle last time we tried..and rode like a crooked 2x4.

    What has us kinda worried is the circling test where she doesnt bother crossing her feet...

    And this one has me worried, too....mildly ataxic TWH - and it looks how she moves in the rear when she's walking...altho this one is 'falling out' in back later on. Maybe that is what they were looking at.

    Last edited by tollertwins; Feb. 4, 2013, 01:19 AM.


    • #22
      Best of luck with your vet visit today, OP. FWIW, my horse has ataxia and neurological symptoms that have progressed quite a bit. The tell-tale sign is to have someone pull her tail to the side while she's walking forward. My horse almost fell over when the vet did that. I watched your first video, and it doesn't really look like ataxia to me.

      Jingles for you and your girl!!!


      • Original Poster

        Update on vet exam.


        Grade 2/3 rear, grade 2-ish fronts.

        The best video for 'this is just wrong' is the one where she is circling.

        Cervical x-rays unremarkable, altho there are a couple areas where the whole spine is a little 'ramped'.

        We are pulling blood for EPM, and if that is negative are going to assume that melanoma has spread to the nervous system. When I showed the vet where we had the one melanotic lymph node was she said 'that isn't a good place'.

        She has probably always been a little 'off', but has been getting worse for the last 3 weeks (like 2 weeks ago we had a good canter - today we had none, and she was tripping for the first time...).


        Vet said that the under saddle issues have no doubt been because she isn't all that confident about where her legs are, and then adding weight to the equation just makes it worse.


        • Original Poster

          Update on vet exam.

          Double, sorry.


          • #25
            So sorry to hear that . It's entirely possible about the melanoma moving to the lymph.
            Sadly I have first hand experience; melanomas causing neurological symptoms is what "did in" my 15-year old mare. In a span of 3 weeks she went from not looking good to walking into things like she was blind and falling down. I put her down the next day . We'd tried for 3 years to counteract the melanomas, to no avail.


            • #26
              Oh, so sorry.
              Click here before you buy.


              • #27
                Oh that is so terrible... My sympathies -
                No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill


                • #28
                  I'm so very sorry.


                  • #29
                    So sorry, I looked at the videos 15 times and was hoping for some type of lameness, I know nothing about gaited horses but did not see EPM.sorry


                    • #30
                      So very sorry.
                      Quality Hunter Ponies


                      • #31
                        I'm so sorry. She is a lovely mare.
                        "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                        "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


                        • Original Poster

                          Look at this one....

                          See where she doesn't cross the back feet over? That is apparently 'not good'. Also that she throws one hind out waaayyy far. At the end, she keeps both backs together and just lets us pull her around.

                          There are other things that don't show up really well on the you-tube sized stuff but that showed up in exam...



                          • #33
                            I am so sorry, I really am
                            "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                            • #34
                              Can I ask how old she is? By her colour I would think she's still awfully young to have problematic melanomas (although there are always outliers).

                              I have a 21 year old mare with melanomas anywhere she can stash them, including lymph nodes around her head, with no problems as of yet.

                              I wonder if it would be worthwhile to biopsy one of them and see what the cells/margins look like to get a clue as to how the cells are behaving?

                              I hope you get good news soon!
                              As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                              • Original Poster

                                Originally posted by CrowneDragon View Post
                                Can I ask how old she is? By her colour I would think she's still awfully young to have problematic melanomas (although there are always outliers).
                                She's only 8. But we removed a lymph node at the shoulder neck junction a year ago that was full (as in completely black and the size of a large plum) of malignant melanoma. The focal surface one was on her neck near the jugular.

                                As of now - she doesnt have ANY external ones.


                                • #36
                                  I don't think it's cheap, but there is a guy who using the canine melanoma vaccine in horses and is seeing good results:


                                  Might be worth investigating for your girl?


                                  • Original Poster

                                    Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                    I don't think it's cheap, but there is a guy who using the canine melanoma vaccine in horses and is seeing good results:
                                    Thanks, Simkie...I asked the vet about this during the previous surgery. He said that in his experience, it was kind of a crap shoot.

                                    She's bad enough that she's unsafe to ride already, and I can tell she isn't feeling all that wonderful, either. She's still really sweet, but not perky and bright at all....


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by tollertwins View Post
                                      Look at this one....

                                      See where she doesn't cross the back feet over? That is apparently 'not good'. Also that she throws one hind out waaayyy far. At the end, she keeps both backs together and just lets us pull her around.

                                      There are other things that don't show up really well on the you-tube sized stuff but that showed up in exam...

                                      I just looked at the videos. I was going to post that in the circles she clearly looks neurological. She is exhibiting circumduction. Lunging a horse is NOT a way to diagnose neurological deficits and every horse with neuro problems can and will exhibit different symptoms on the lungeline that could look like a dozen other lamenesses. The way to diagnose it is to do several very specific tests and evaluate the results. MANY neuro horses can look 110% sound on a lungeline, or can look like they are lame in every joint in their body, so it just sends you down a rabbit hole..

                                      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by tollertwins View Post
                                        Thanks, Simkie...I asked the vet about this during the previous surgery. He said that in his experience, it was kind of a crap shoot.
                                        Did you ask Jeffery Phillips, the guy who is doing the work? Because most vets have NO idea it's even going on, much less have an opinion about the work. There are also people who are using the horse's OWN melanoma cells as a sort of vaccine, which I've heard has had some results but over all it's a coin flip. I'd wonder which technique your vet was referring to.

                                        If you're curious about the research, contact Jeffery Phillips. He is very approachable.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          RE: the melanoma vaccine - he was most def. talking about the one where you use the horse's own melanoma cells.

                                          I'll go check out the one you are talking about...didn't know about it! I had heard that the one above had been started by success w/ a similar method in d
                                          ogs, so thot that they were the same.

                                          ETA: Just read the article - we had just been listening to a TED talk about something similar that they are trying for people! E.g. vaccines targeted to certain types of DNA!