Strange episode, possible stroke?

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Strange episode, possible stroke?

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  • Horse stroke walking in circle
  • Odd neurological episode in horse

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    09-07-2012, 12:20 PM
Question Strange episode, possible stroke?

Yestarday morning I found my 10 year old French trotter mare walking in small circles. She walked ok on a lead rope but once in the stable it became clear she could not balance, her head was turned to the right and she gradually leaned to the left then moved sideways to the left. She was wet all over her right side from lying in the wet grass and had a rash over her right shoulder. She showed no signs of pain and was very calm.
My vet was baffled and called out a horse specialist, meanwhile he gave her a small cortisone injection to relieve possible swelling in her brain.
When the second vet arrived just over 1 hour later she was fine and there has been no recurrence. We have no idea what the problem was, any ideas?
Vet thought maybe she had hit her head but no tenderness anywhere, or possibly a small stroke.
Nothing toxic in her field and no contact with other horses recently or signs of her struggling anywhere.
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    09-07-2012, 12:24 PM
Green Broke
Wow, that's baffling. I would have said EPM, but that takes a while to set it, doesn't just appear randomly.

Does she act fine? What does a stroke do in a horse?
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    09-07-2012, 12:31 PM
Sounds almost like an epileptic episode, but definitely neurological. It's so hard to diagnose neurological issues in horses, so it could have been just about anything.
    09-07-2012, 12:43 PM
Strange episode, possible stroke?

Epileptic episode sounds possible. Would explain the sudden recovery.
EPM unlikely, I should have said, we are in France and don't think EPM is a problem here.
    09-07-2012, 12:43 PM
Green Broke
One morning I had one come in & he seemed confused, forgot where his stall was, was puzzled over simple things, slightly wobbly gait, calm but odd.
Blood tests showed he had some tick borne disease. He was put on antibiotics & made a full recovery.
I initially thought stroke too.
Did the vet check her ears? Blood work?
I hope this is an isolated incident & that your mare will be fine.
    09-07-2012, 12:51 PM
Strange episode, possible stroke?

Vet did blood work, no bacterial or viral infection and liver ok.
Didn't check her ears, she did say any further investigation would require scans under general anaesthetic.
So far she is behaving as if nothing happened.
Fingers crossed.
    09-07-2012, 01:00 PM
Fingers crossed here as well that it was just a one time deal.
    09-07-2012, 05:25 PM
Super Moderator
Hope she's OK but I wouldn't ride her for a while
A horse we had suffered similar episodes over a duration of time and had a tumour growing close to his heart and a friends horse had similar episodes with a brain tumour
The rash seems odd though - maybe it was a massive allergic reaction to a swarm of stinging or biting insects
    09-08-2012, 06:12 AM
Strange episode, possible stroke?

Originally Posted by jaydee    
Hope she's OK but I wouldn't ride her for a while
A horse we had suffered similar episodes over a duration of time and had a tumour growing close to his heart and a friends horse had similar episodes with a brain tumour
The rash seems odd though - maybe it was a massive allergic reaction to a swarm of stinging or biting insects
I was trying not to think about a tumour, though stroke and epilepsy are hardly good options.

Difficult to know if the rash was involved or the episode caused her to lie in something which caused it. Saw a similar cause/effect a few years ago when a horse with colic rolled in a line of processionary caterpillars and came out in a rash.

I plan to see how things go for a few days before riding.
    09-08-2012, 06:28 AM
How frightening for you to find your mare unwell like that. I hope she doesn't have any further symptoms. Best of luck to you both.

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