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Daughters new horse is having seizures

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  • Daughters new horse is having seizures

    I am at a loss, we purchased an all around 10 year old warm blood cross end of August for our 12 year old daughter. She loves dressage and is a hunter jumper on the local IEA team.

    Mac had an injury in Oct where during having his teeth floated he reared up and back and came down in his stall on the auto water bucket having the metal bracket impale him in his hind end, rump. He has made a full recovery from this, we have had the chiropractor work on him and also massage therapy. All seems good and under saddle he is doing very well, daily work to ensure no muscle atrophy.

    He takes smart calm and colic care through smart pak, just to ensure he has a good gut. We had him on TLC for about 3 weeks as. Muscle repair but it appears the devils claw may have been irritating his stomach as when my daughter used leg on the right side he would kick out, bunny hop. So ulcer guard for 2 weeks per the vet.

    Now just this Friday while in the paddock he had a seizure, down and running in place with his eyes rolled back. I didn't see it but the girls feeding lunch hay did. Vet came out right away and of course he appears fine, waiting for bloodwork to come back.

    My daughter has been crying since as this is her new partner, supposed to ride together for the next 10+ years.
    I am hoping something simple comes back and they can continue to move forward.
    I have read that most horses are retired after seizures, can you continue to ride? I can't afford and don't have space for retirement so would have to find a home. And he was a large investment so we don't have money for a new horse.
    I am just trying to get feedback and will certainly make the right decision for all but just looking for some help?

  • #2
    I am glad you called the vet right away. How old were the "girls" who reported the seizure? Have they ever seen a horse having a seizure? I'm only asking because I have seen my horse do some pretty wierd stuff while dreaming. Again, I think it is good you got your vet involved, but I would wait for results of testing before worrying too much.


    • #3
      I'm with Houdini here. My boys will be sleeping out in the paddock and "running" in place all the time. They're just dreaming or maybe having nightmares of life on the track.

      Wait for blood work to come back!

      Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:


      • Original Poster

        Thank you for your reply, she is a horse owner and in her 30s but good point and my vet mentioned dreaming/ nightmares as well. The waiting for results is painful and we are so worried, she has an incredible bond with him already, they do at liberty together and it is just incredible to watch. Thank you again, I will breath a bit more while waiting


        • #5
          That is so scary. I hope it turns out to be dreaming but if it is seizures I would not allow my child to ride. Jingles for good news.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home


          • #6
            My guy, who has had times where he won't lie down to sleep sometimes precipitated by ulcers, will also appear to fall down and appear to be having a seizure. Usually, these guys will have abrasions on the front of their fetlocks as they will have their front legs buckle from how sleep deprived they are. Hopefully, this is what is going on with your guy. Once I resolved the ulcers or whatever other body pain or mental anxiety he was having, he would start sleeping again.


            • #7
              This will not be the usual Zu Zu post ~ though J9ingles & AO will be at the end ~

              This will not be the usual Zu Zu post though I will add some Jingle s& AO at the end

              I have 'lived' this scenario ~

              Mare I bred and raised ````

              story goes like this

              mare slips on pavement before her class at Illinois State Fair `` appears ok ~ trainer remounts and she shows looks 'slow' in the ring

              vet checks her and everything appears ok

              a year later trainer calls she has had an incident in the van ... once again checked out even xrays of her neck ... appears ok

              now years later mare retired at borading barn .. vet callls mare had a incident whkle he was floating teeth ,,, thought she passed out ??? appears ok ?!

              year later at wonderful boarding barn BO the very best monitor
              knew her 'stuff' = mare jst standing there then became
              possessed' flipped over backwards in her stall

              vet checked ,,,,, appears ok though he (and the bloodwork ) no reason for seizure but he studied file and I recalled to him when his associte had trouble with dental......

              he says : this can be caused by many things ... ????? even feed toxicity .....
              NO riding or hitching to cart/ driving for 6 months
              Be viliglant and CAREFUL !
              Do not groom in stall
              DO not cross-tie / someone holds horse while grooming

              No more incidents .... riding but I chose not to hitch and sit behind

              all back to normal til 3-03 I have ridden mare all over the 129 acres ~ enjoying the Spring on a Sunday ...

              Monday is catch up day mare is given day off just some turn-out
              after her supper she is standing at her stall door ... I step inside to throw her sheet on her back

              thank god I throw it on her right side instead of pushing her over and squeezing inbetween her and thwe stal wall in the left

              her head lowers three inches and then her head raises and
              I step back outside her stall and watch as she becomes air - born and cintues into a round-off to a back handspring to a messy finish / crumpled in the far back corner of her stall

              vet came immediately nothing found .... mare walked out of stall seemed groogie .... bloodwork indicate nothing abnormal

              another vet and another incident similair to other BUT ALSO SO DIFFERENT BECAUSE





              Rest of story Mare stopped seizuring last one 3`17-05 when I was out having hip surgery and the barn personnel did not folow protocol `` tried to vacinnate mare in her stall and threre people involved she became overwhelmed and suffered a seizure = her last as i found out and personeel was 'let-go'
              I simply did not weant any stupid people hurt and suing me !

              Mare has not had another seizure ... fat and and fine but

              she is not ridden or driven and
              her stall is not cleaned when she is in it
              she is never cross-tied for farrier or vet ? held
              mare not bred even once though this broke my heart

              so good news and bad news for you OP

              nothing conclusive ever found ...many vets
              no one nor the mare has ever been injured

              that's my story `` hope it helps

              Jingles and AO

              ((hugs)) for your hearts but please please
              BELIEVE when shown the first time and BE CAREFUL !

              running don't have time to fix tyupos

              Last edited by Zu Zu; Jan. 19, 2014, 11:18 AM.
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


              • #8
                Honestly, sometimes horses do weird stuff when they are sleeping. It's always scary to see a horse moving/thrashing on the ground but it's not *always* something bad. Multiple times my QH has been sleeping on his side in the field, moving his legs about. But if I whistle he picks his head up and its obvious he was just dreaming.

                Another mare at my barn had a sleep disorder near the end of her life. She would stand out in the field, knees buckling (she could no longer lock them in place I guess) until she fell, thrashing around. But if you yelled she would "wake up". Is it possible something has been hurting him so he hasn't been laying down to sleep?
                come what may

                Rest in peace great mare, 1987-2013


                • #9
                  If it was a seizure and they continue to occur, your vet will likely prescribe anti-convulsants (ex: phenobarbital). Medication can be very effective and horses go on to live very normal lives.


                  • #10
                    I had a horse that would be flat out in the stall, running in place and on occasion, whinneying. It was a daily show.
                    Taking it day by day!


                    • #11
                      I was in my mid to late 20s before I ever saw a horse dream, and I had been working and caring for horses full time for years at that point. It wouldn't surprise me if the woman who saw him was seeing him dream. I FREAKED out the first time I saw it (it was a horse that had just arrived in VA fr NZ and I thought he was having some horrific travel induced issue! No...he was just sleeping and dreaming!).


                      • #12
                        This may seem like an odd question, but does your "WB cross" have papers or otherwise verified parentage? I'm asking because I used to own a grade gelding who turned out to have HYPP, and I've seen some appendix horses who could definitely pass for warmbloods. It's a long shot, but might be worth looking into.
                        "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                        -Edward Hoagland


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Wayside View Post
                          This may seem like an odd question, but does your "WB cross" have papers or otherwise verified parentage? I'm asking because I used to own a grade gelding who turned out to have HYPP, and I've seen some appendix horses who could definitely pass for warmbloods. It's a long shot, but might be worth looking into.
                          This was my first thought. If there's any QH (or Paint, or Appaloosa as they're often crossed with QH) in the horse, HYPP is a possibility. If any of the horse's pedigree is unknown (or has a breed known to carry the gene) in it, you should discuss this possibility with your vet. Riding a carrier of HYPP is dangerous, and precautions should be taken working around them as well.


                          • #14
                            Is there any possibility that when the horse reared during the dental work, he sustained head trauma? (i.e., hit head on ceiling or wall?)

                            I hope the REM sleep hypothesis is the answer, here.
                            "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                            ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wayside View Post
                              This may seem like an odd question, but does your "WB cross" have papers or otherwise verified parentage? I'm asking because I used to own a grade gelding who turned out to have HYPP, and I've seen some appendix horses who could definitely pass for warmbloods. It's a long shot, but might be worth looking into.
                              This was my first thought when you said WB cross, which implied no papers. My Sonny was HYPP N/H. He was very easy to maintain with diet. It is very easy to get testing down thru UC Davis. I don't remember it being expensive.
                              Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


                              • Original Poster

                                Thank you all for your responses, great information and greatly appreciated. The bloodwork has come back and all is good, only this that was on the low side is his red blood count, not out of range but just low. Se we will do a recheck in two weeks. For now we will keep an eye on him, possibly ask vet about the HYPP testing. Vet feels not a seizure as it was muddy out and while his blanket was very muddy, whole thing which shows he had rolled at some point, one side of his face was muddy but his eye was fine, no debris or ulcers so she feels eye was closed and not open as it would be in seizure. As well there was no postictal behavior, he popped right up again. We are hoping that it was either sleeping or a one off issue.

                                He did hit his head during his rear but he was checked at that time as well and no external trauma found, so possible but not likely?

                                So we hold faith that he will be ok and we will keep a very close eye on him and keep all posted.

                                Please continue to share as this is very informative.


                                • #17
                                  Possibly have his head re-checked? Knew a horse who went up in a trailer, no external sign of injury, but turned out to have cracked his skull.


                                  • #18
                                    I'd run the blood for HYPP, and take a skull x-ray if you haven't already.


                                    • #19
                                      Since this horse was new to you when the accident during dentistry happened, it's possible the rear/flip was something that was happening *before* you purchased. For this reason, among others, please be extra careful in all situations (stall, handling from ground, riding). A horse willing to throw himself up and backwards is dangerous.

                                      It's also possible the reaction/wipeout during dentistry was reaction to the sedative mix given, so be sure to make any other practitioner who may be administering drugs aware of it.

                                      Good luck.
                                      Patience pays.


                                      • #20
                                        Jingling for a good outcome!