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Discuss Seizures In Horses at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Hi everyone, Havent been on here in a pretty long time. Had something major happen ...
  1. #1
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    Seizures In Horses

    Hi everyone,
    Havent been on here in a pretty long time. Had something major happen today though to thought I would come to the best place for advice. (I do plan on posting more too now) For those of you who may not know or remember me Ill give you a background. I own a 2001 TB gelding named Flinting. I bought him in spring of 2007. I used to ride him mostly for fun. Doing a bit of jumping, dressage, trail riding and some fun shows. A friend took him on full lease and he was put into training for jumpers and hunters. They ending up finding out he had a sacroiliac joint injury. He was then put on two months stall rest and then has been on pasture rest for two years at my moms. My new vet believes that he will be able to come back to work fine as I gave him that time. Two weeks ago I moved him home and hes settled in fine.

    Yesterday I was cleaning out his pen. He rolled and stayed laying but with his neck and head up. It was a nice day so I just thought he was wanting to lay down for a bit. i walked over to him slowly (now I know this is dangerous, no one comment on it please. I trust him and he trusts me and I would most likely never do it with any other horse) He all of a sudden got a really doped out look to him and his face fell onto my lap. I got up and moved away. Then his eyes rolled back and his legs (mainly back) started trashing around. This all happened in about 5-10 seconds. Right after he got up and trotted off like he does anytime he rolls.
    I hand walked him and got on the phone with the vet. He figures he had a seizure. he explained it can happen in some horses when they are getting older. usually it only happens once, its rare for it to happen again. He said you can test for what might have caused it but you can sometimes end up doing tons and get nothing from it. We decided he wasnt going to come out due to the fact that he got up and was fine, acting fine for an hour after. Hes not that far away at all so he can be here right away if anything does happen. updated him this morning. Hes been fine asides from a bit of loose stool yesterday but its normal now.

    So Im just wondering, has anyone else had this happen to their horse? Did you ever figure out what caused it? Did it happen again to them? Im just looking for more info.
    I trust my vet but I always like getting alot of opinions and other peoples stories.

    Thanks,
    Kayla & Flinty
    Flinting 17.1hh 2001 tb gelding - currenty retired
    Proud Member of the Thoroughbred Club

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    Senior Member Gizimomo86's Avatar
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    I have no experience with seizures in horses (dogs yes, infact my chihuahua just had one this morning) Subbing to hear the replys! glad your boy is ok
    Quote Originally Posted by manesntails View Post
    So what do you do it your gerbil misbehaves? Put him on his wheel for a good round penning?
    Caly - '09 Friesian Sport Horse filly ~ ​Gizmo - '86 Hanoverian/TB Gelding

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    Full Member Ponygurl's Avatar
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    Had it happen once except mine had 3 or 4 of them within a few hours...and had the same answer from the vet. Hasn't had any since.

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    I moved my older mare into my barn about two years ago, and twice that summer, after eating her grain, she would walk out to her run to start eating hay and just sort of collapse. I was there the first time and my poor husband was there the second time. She just sort of fell, but got up pretty quickly after that. She did seem pretty dopey afterwards. It happened really quickly both times, and except for the dopiness, she was fine, eating, etc. One thing I did notice is that she had a bit of muscle contraction around her flank area.

    Then in November of last year, my other horses were out eating and she was hanging out in her stall while I cleaned, which was unusual. I noticed the muscle contractions again. Eventually she walked out of her stall and into the pasture. A few minutes later I walked out of the barn and saw that she was laying down and having a full on seizure.

    I called the vet, but by the time he got out, she was up and eating hay. She still had that sort of sleepy look, but otherwise, she was completely normal. The vet did pull blood, and found that she had a low level infection somewhere in her body, so put her on antibiotics, but didn't think it was causing the seizures.

    I haven't seen her have a seizure since then, but there have been a couple of mornings I suspected she may have had a seizure overnight, cause she has that dopey look.

    My vet said it's very difficult to figure out why horses have seizures without a complete workup, and in my case, she'd have to go up to the veterinary college 3 hours away. He also said that he could put her on an anti-seizure medication, but the side-effects of that are pretty bad. So, I just keep an eye on her and try to keep her surroundings as safe as possible.

    Good luck with your horse. Hopefully, it was just a one time thing!

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    Full Member Ehawlz's Avatar
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    I've had dogs with seizures, it will be interesting to hear more information. I could never imagine dealing with a horse having a seizure, it's horrible enough with a dog but an animal the size of a horse?


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    Im curious as well. My sheltie has seizures every once in a while and once they end, she is fine again. They are frightening!!! I can't imagine what it would be like with a horse.
    “We’re all in the same game, just different levels; living the same h.e.l.l, just different devils.”


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    Senior Member mrs.white8389's Avatar
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    i hope you find out whats going on. my hubbys horse had a seziure due to plant toxcity she was a 4 y/o TB she didnt come out of it so was put down on the spot. i had my other horse worked up because he had the same symptoms but no seziures. i hope your horse doesnt have one again their scary to watch.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ponygurl View Post
    Had it happen once except mine had 3 or 4 of them within a few hours...and had the same answer from the vet. Hasn't had any since.
    That would be pretty scary to have to see it more than once. Did you run bloodwork on yours? Anything strange come back or fine? did he seem "off" at all after or for a short time after?


    Quote Originally Posted by darby1 View Post
    I moved my older mare into my barn about two years ago, and twice that summer, after eating her grain, she would walk out to her run to start eating hay and just sort of collapse. I was there the first time and my poor husband was there the second time. She just sort of fell, but got up pretty quickly after that. She did seem pretty dopey afterwards. It happened really quickly both times, and except for the dopiness, she was fine, eating, etc. One thing I did notice is that she had a bit of muscle contraction around her flank area.

    Then in November of last year, my other horses were out eating and she was hanging out in her stall while I cleaned, which was unusual. I noticed the muscle contractions again. Eventually she walked out of her stall and into the pasture. A few minutes later I walked out of the barn and saw that she was laying down and having a full on seizure.

    I called the vet, but by the time he got out, she was up and eating hay. She still had that sort of sleepy look, but otherwise, she was completely normal. The vet did pull blood, and found that she had a low level infection somewhere in her body, so put her on antibiotics, but didn't think it was causing the seizures.

    I haven't seen her have a seizure since then, but there have been a couple of mornings I suspected she may have had a seizure overnight, cause she has that dopey look.

    My vet said it's very difficult to figure out why horses have seizures without a complete workup, and in my case, she'd have to go up to the veterinary college 3 hours away. He also said that he could put her on an anti-seizure medication, but the side-effects of that are pretty bad. So, I just keep an eye on her and try to keep her surroundings as safe as possible.

    Good luck with your horse. Hopefully, it was just a one time thing!
    Its kinda odd cause it happened to Flint about half an hour after he ate his grain. Thankfully he rolled first and was still down. He seemed normal for two days after but now is seeming "off". Its pretty easy to tell when hes not all right although he tries to hide it, hes kinda like a big kid. Its so hard watching him cause no one is home during the day. I work an hour away and leave before daylight and get home when its dark. I just hope he hasnt had any when I havent been home.

    Monday I came home and he was missing his halter. Normally I never keep them on any horse i have owned when outside but He hasnt been here llong so had an ID tag on it. I found it in a clearing with a tree in the middle with no low enough branches. Halter completely together and he just had a small rub on his face.
    Called the vet today and asked him to come out for bloodwork and a look over him. Might not get results till after xmas but he said he should be okay if they dont notice anything major. So just hoping for the best and keeping a close eye on him.
    Flinting 17.1hh 2001 tb gelding - currenty retired
    Proud Member of the Thoroughbred Club

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    Full Member Ponygurl's Avatar
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    He was lying down each time he had them, and yes, he did get sorta dopey before it happened each time. He was really old, so no, we didn't draw bloodwork. We actually thought it was the end for him, but it wasn't. Now everytime we see him lying down, we worry it's gonna happen again.

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    I have a mare that has seized twice.. with her, if she gets her head in two high a position something gets trapped deep in her neck/shoulder area she goes stiff all over and goes down.. no sooner is she down, her head lowers she comes good gets up and shakes herself...I have had her all her life and worked out it was from getting hung up high by the halter on her face..
    It doesn't matter how high you are on the food chain, once you inflict pain you FAIL AS A HORSEMAN.

    I'll tell you what...you pray for me and I'll dance naked under the full moon for you!

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