Major Balance Problems - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 07-19-2010, 03:43 PM Thread Starter
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Actually, she will act as though her hind legs are stiff at times. We have kept her sprayed but have found ticks on her a few times and had to remove them. Some days she will use her legs as though nothing is wrong with them but her balance is still very bad. Other days, she acts like she doesn't even want to lift her leg to get rid of the horse flies around her belly. I couldn't figure out if she was stiff or just trying to keep her balance. I am going to ask the vet about Lyme disease. Thank you.
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post #12 of 19 Old 07-19-2010, 03:53 PM
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Best of luck. Keep your head up, it sounds as though you are working with your vet to find out what is wrong and what you can do. I've been around quite a few horses, my own included, that looked as though they were really down and out that were able to recover completely or almost completely and still lead happy lives and be ridden. You will have to post when you get some answers.
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post #13 of 19 Old 07-19-2010, 03:53 PM Thread Starter
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I am going to call the vet and get that info. I just checked her ears out of curiosity and there seems to be a lot of moist black discharge in them. I had never really checked her ears before so I am not sure if this is normal. I do not know much about the medical aspect of this but I can tell you her mannerism as I watch her a lot to see if anything new is happening. She is at a point where she doesn't seem to be getting any worse but no better either. Up until this week, she still had the glint in her eye but I think she is getting tired, the glint seems to be leaving. She still lifts her head, shakes it when flies land, and moves it around to bite at flies. I did notice this morning that there seemed to be a white discharge from her nose. This is new. There doesn't seem to be much but it looks almost powdery in her nose. I want to thank you for your concern and I do think I may need to look for another vet. They are all general vets though, none that specialize in equine. Actually, I have only found two that will service this area and one is so busy it is hard to get him. The last time I talked to him, he wasn't even taking new patients.
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post #14 of 19 Old 07-27-2010, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle View Post
Antibiotics aren't "one drug cures all infections". So, just being on antibiotics doesn't mean that there couldn't be an infection somewhere. Antibiotics treat different types of bacterial infections and unless you choose the appropriate antibiotic for the type of infection that is present, you can give antibiotics for weeks and see no result at all.


I hope you are still monitoring this discussion because I learned something new today that may be of interest. I found out that when all of this started, Dakota had been chewing on a black cherry tree. She chewed much of the bark off a tree approximately 5 inches in diameter up to approximately six feet. I have found a great deal of information pertaining to the leaves of the tree but nothing about the bark. The leaves can cause cyanide poisoning and can be fatal. Do you know if the bark can be poisonous to her and if so, could it cause her incoordination for such a long time. I understand that cyanide attaches to the red blood cells creating a lack of oxygen. Does this sound right to you? I have sent this question out to several people and I am calling the vet in the morning to ask her. Do you have any thoughts on this? I also want to thank you for your concern in this matter. It is greatly appreciated and has been very helpful. I have looked into many things thanks to your suggestions.
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post #15 of 19 Old 07-27-2010, 08:26 PM
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"WARNING
The cyanide compounds in the twigs and older, wilted leaves are toxic (and possibly lethal) to horses and cattle.
In the spring of 2001 hundreds of thoroughbred horse foals where mysteriously miscarried or stillborn. The problem was traced to Eastern Tent Caterpillars that had fed on the many black cherry trees in the Lexington, Kentucky horse farm region. The caterpillars concentrated the toxic cyanide compounds present in black cherry foliage. Their feces contaminated the famous bluegrass pastures and was ingested by the grazing mares.
A spokesman for the University of Kentucky Agriculture Department reports: "The unusual weather pattern could have caused the cyanide levels in the trees to be higher..." The university recommends that horse breeders restrict access to pastures when caterpillar populations are high."--http://www.floridata.com/ref/p/prun_ser.cfm

"
Most animals can consume small amounts of healthy leaves, bark and fruit safely. Toxicity typically occurs when hungry animals consume large amounts of fresh leaves or small amounts of damaged leaves (as little as 2 ounces)."--http://www.canr.msu.edu/horseadults/publications/Toxic%20Plant%20Bulletins/Trees.pdf


If she was eating the bark, I would bet she was eating leaves as well or there could be an issue if you have the caterpillars in your area. Either way, the black cherry tree is a possible cause of the issue and it should be removed from the pasture or fenced so that she can no longer reach it.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #16 of 19 Old 07-27-2010, 08:52 PM
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Wow! Good catch. How did you figure out that she was eating it and put all of it together? Curious to hear if that's what it was and if she improves when removed from the situation. Best wishes!
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post #17 of 19 Old 07-27-2010, 09:00 PM
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The EXACT thing happended to a gelding at our barn. Our vet treated for EPM, but eventually said he didn't have it. His feed was upped and changed to senior feed, and he's been fine ever since. I'm guessing this isn't the case for you since you have a youngster, the gelding was 20.
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post #18 of 19 Old 07-27-2010, 11:32 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryle View Post
"WARNING
The cyanide compounds in the twigs and older, wilted leaves are toxic (and possibly lethal) to horses and cattle.
In the spring of 2001 hundreds of thoroughbred horse foals where mysteriously miscarried or stillborn. The problem was traced to Eastern Tent Caterpillars that had fed on the many black cherry trees in the Lexington, Kentucky horse farm region. The caterpillars concentrated the toxic cyanide compounds present in black cherry foliage. Their feces contaminated the famous bluegrass pastures and was ingested by the grazing mares.
A spokesman for the University of Kentucky Agriculture Department reports: "The unusual weather pattern could have caused the cyanide levels in the trees to be higher..." The university recommends that horse breeders restrict access to pastures when caterpillar populations are high."--http://www.floridata.com/ref/p/prun_ser.cfm

"
Most animals can consume small amounts of healthy leaves, bark and fruit safely. Toxicity typically occurs when hungry animals consume large amounts of fresh leaves or small amounts of damaged leaves (as little as 2 ounces)."--http://www.canr.msu.edu/horseadults/publications/Toxic%20Plant%20Bulletins/Trees.pdf


If she was eating the bark, I would bet she was eating leaves as well or there could be an issue if you have the caterpillars in your area. Either way, the black cherry tree is a possible cause of the issue and it should be removed from the pasture or fenced so that she can no longer reach it.

Actually, my husband was talking to someone today about how the horse had chewed some of the trees that he had pulled into the pasture while twitching firewood. The individual mentioned that black cherry can be lethal and my husband remembered that there was a black cherry near this pile that the horse had nibbled on. We looked at it today, chopped it down and buried the stump. We walked the whole pasture to make sure there were no more. I am not sure why she would have chewed this particular tree, especially considering people tell us that we spoil her with feed and hay. I have had a skinny horse, I don't like it.
I want to thank you and everyone else for so much help. It is amazing how many horse lovers will step up to help you out.
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post #19 of 19 Old 07-27-2010, 11:38 PM Thread Starter
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I just added Dakota's picture. I hope it worked. Thought you might like to see the pretty little girl you have been helping. Thank you everyone.
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