Thoroughbred Goes down - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 12-06-2012, 01:54 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New York
Posts: 169
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Thoroughbred Goes down

First I would like to say is that this happened almost 10 years ago.
But I still think about it from time to time.
Some of the best vets in our area could not figure it out and I spent well over $4,000 in medical expenses on this gelding with in a year.

Instead of making this to long to read I will shorten it up nice and sweet.

The thoroughbred was only 9 years old and lightly shown and well conditioned for 4H and possibly own shown in a few class's. Halter, English & western pleasure and trail for extra points.
We also trail rode once a month.
He was always healthy, no issues, vices or problems.
Had a normal diet and fed quality hay.

One day at a home show we were standing in a line down the rail and like a gelding would he stretched out to pee "while being judged"
Well he didn't pee he got an erection, started heaving like he was about to throw up.
As well all know horses cannot throw up.
I immediately dismounted and tore the saddle off and started walking him. I thought he was collicing, as well so did everyone else.
It wasn't more than a half lap and he was fine. One of our boarders was a vet and she came out took his temperature, a blood sample, heart rate the works and I said do what you have to do to fix him!

That was the end of his day for showing. he got a bath and put back into his stall. The vet said he checked out fine to her check up and we would wait to see lap tests on his blood and mouth swab.

2 weeks later the vet checked him out 100% fine and told me he may have been just tying up.
Vet gave me alot of advice and some medications to help his digestive and insides. I cant remember what they were it was to long ago.

This issue happened 3 more times that year.
The last one was the worst.
He was turned out in the indoor while stalls were being cleaned with another older gelding. While my TB just fell mid stride and had a seizure, erection and all again. This was the first time he fell over mid stride!

Unfortunately the vet came in and said he is unsafe to ride that time, if he is going to be having theses problems. As he had them more frequently.
The medications didnt help, and at this point he has been laid off for 6 months for riding to monitor.

A very good friend of mine loved my TB and asked if she could buy him, knowing his problems. She needed a pasture pal. He still lives his life out on pasture and healthy as a horse.
I keep tabs on him and visit still and he has gone down a few other times. some scary some not so threatening.

But he has left vets stumped!

And when he finally pass's on we wish to send him to cornell University for further testing on this weird problem.

I figured this would be a great conversation here.
Its a old story but worth the read and comments from others and their reviews on the matter.

"If you have control of the hoof you move the mind."
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post #2 of 7 Old 12-06-2012, 03:40 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Oh wow! That is very interesting! The only other things I could see it being is a dust allergy plus maybe a kidney stone or lymph node... But whatever it is, it is very strange!

"It is the difficult horses that have the most to teach you" - Double Dan Horsemanship
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post #3 of 7 Old 12-06-2012, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
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(I'm not a vet)

I think maybe a heart condition. Erections come from blood flow. Increased blood flow/racing heart can make you feel dizzy and out of breath. What happened to your horse sounds like what can happen to me if I don't take my asthma meds (well except for the erection part, I can't make those LOL).

Anyway, I have exercise induced asthma. My first true asthma attack had my heart racing so fast and my breathing so shallow that I fell over and wheezed and was incapable of doing anything. Eventually it would pass an did be fine again until the next exercise session triggered it all over again.
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post #4 of 7 Old 12-06-2012, 08:19 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Some times Llanelian - North wales, sometimes Hull in East Yorkshire (UK)
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DA I Also have exercise induced Asthma. Similar symptoms to you and the above horse (minus the erection as being female I cant have those!)

Or it could be some sort of tumor in the brain. I once knew a pony who was a saint but one day at a show he was asleep at the side of the ring with his 5yr old rider sitting on him eating an icecream. Suddenly he reared up, went over backwards and started fitting. Poor rider was very shaken but thankfully alright (and got a ride on my pony harvey for good measure). He did this a few more times over the next few years (i.e. going from nearly asleep to over backwards) unfortunatly on one of his falls he broke his neck. During the postmortem it was found that he had a brain tumor.

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post #5 of 7 Old 12-06-2012, 08:45 AM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Oklahoma
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I think you are looking at seizures. That will also be difficult to find Post Mortem.

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post #6 of 7 Old 12-06-2012, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Ontario
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I'd wonder about Hyperkalemia. Too much potassium can cause seizure like symptoms and unless blood is drawn at the time of the seizure, bloodwork will be normal. One can google hyperkalemia in people to get a good idea of foods that are taboo. This also applies to hyperkalemic horses.
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post #7 of 7 Old 12-06-2012, 09:31 AM
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Passing kidney stones (worse in men) can have a similar effect and terribly painful. Its a feeling like desperately needing to pee but cant so the tendency is to strain really hard
Since he's never had another attack it could have just been a one off thing
I suffer with kidney stones caused by a blood calcium level problem so know how it makes me feel!!!!
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