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PunksTank 08-14-2012 10:30 AM

Eye twitching?
So for as long as I've had my mare she's had this funny eye twitchy thing. It'll happen fairly often, about once or so an hour - with no known trigger. It happens when she's eating, being groomed, standing around, working anything. I've finally managed to get a stupid picture of it. I asked my vet she said 'it must be a deficiency or something' but because it's not life threatening didn't care to look further into the matter. She said 'sometimes horses just have quirks'. But if it is a deficiency or a muscle problem I really would like to fix that. For all I know the outward eye twitch could be the tip of an iceburg. Has anyone heard/seen/dealt with this sort of thing before?

I guess the only other thing to mention is she has a serious reaction to bugs, she rubs her neck and belly bald, despite how much I soak her in fly spray, she's got ripples all down her belly - I was told from collagen breakdown from twitching it so much. I don't know if those two issues are related.

Here's the pic of her eye:

Essentially her bottom eyelid will suddenly droop down, where it's all red and gooey, and it'll twitch for a little bit, then the top eyelid will droop - then she'll blink and her eye will be normal again. It's more dramatic than what the picture shows, I think that was right as she was about to blink.

mnl764 08-14-2012 04:47 PM

Is it just one eye or do both do it?

Corporal 08-14-2012 04:52 PM

What does your Vet say?

PunksTank 08-14-2012 06:07 PM

mnl - I think it's both eyes, I notice it more in her left, but probably cause I'm normally on that side. I think she twitches both at the same time but will have to watch more carefully next time

Corp - like I said, my vet doesn't seem concerned she thins it's some deficiency but doesn't seem to care because it's not life threatening - but I'm concerned if there is a deficiency I want to know what to do to help, I don't want her deficient in anything. Or if it could be something worse - I've been scaring myself with the vet books x.x it could be soooo many muscle problems o.o

Edit: she is a draft horse, and they are prone to so many muscle problems *Worries*

mnl764 08-14-2012 08:52 PM

If it is only in one eye then I think its more likely IMO to be neurological/neuromuscular, etc....or like your vet said it could be a deficiency or even an issue with having too much of a particular vitamin.

Potassium is usually the culprit, plays a major role in muscle contractions.....

Does any other part of her face droop? Her ears? Do her lips move?

Anyways, watch next time and see if it happens on both sides.

PunksTank 08-14-2012 09:09 PM

I will, no other parts of her face drop - until just today! I went downstairs and her bottom lip was hanging down and she couldn't seem to close it on her own! I panicked and grabbed my thermometer and when I got back I thought her lip was swollen, but after a few minutes she closed it and went back to eatting like normal. She just got a salt lick 24/7 free choice (before she only had it occasionally because she would eat the whole thing in the night) but she hasn't been eating it lately. The other thing is that just this week she moved and has a paddock full of grass to eat. So I was worried that she ate something she shouldn't have causing her lip thing, but she's been normall all night. I just panicked because she's never let her bottom lip just hang open like that before! I hope this isn't her eye problem getting more extreme! I'm such a worry wart >.<

verona1016 08-15-2012 02:34 PM

I'm a little surprised that a vet would think it's OK for a horse to (potentially) be deficient in an unknown nutrient long-term without at least recommending a blood panel.

You can evaluate her diet to determine if a deficiency or overdose is likely, but even if that looks OK, she could have a condition that makes her unable to process nutrients correctly. Next time the vet is out, you could have her run a blood panel to check that out; even if she thinks it's unnecessary, she should be willing to do it. I know if it were my horse I'd want to at least do some basic testing before just writing it off as a quirk.

PunksTank 08-15-2012 02:41 PM

a Blood Panel? I'll ask for that next time definitely then! I didn't know if there even was something that could be done to test if something was deficient or overdosing. Perhaps I should look into finding a new vet now that I've moved anyway...

She eats 1 cup crimped oats, 1 cup alfalfa pellets, 1/3 cup crushed corn + MSM and Brewer's yeast - she gets that 3 times a day, plus all the hay she wants. I have to admit at our last home she got the crap hay because she was a young draft horse and could actually eat it - so maybe she was lacking something in her hay? Or maybe she isn't processing her grains correctly.

Thank you for the help - I will talk to my vet about it - I'll keep watching her and just see if I notice it more or less now that she has a field of grass to enjoy and pick through for what she needs. And quality hay!

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