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rascalboy 06-29-2007 10:05 PM

Urgent: Weird Thing
Alright, so, today, we go to the paint's stable to get her all cleaned up for her show tomorrow, which she is not likely to go to. When we get there, she's in her pasture. I try to get her to walk (and she's a very tough horse), but it took a few minutes before I could get her to take a step. She's limping heavily on the front left, and everything else seems to not work. It took us 15 minutes to get her to walk to the barn. Once in the sand barn, it's a bit easier for her to walk. but now she can't stand up. Every few seconds, she'll rock forward, or back, and it seemed like she'd topple over. It was like she couldn't balance. But the creepy part is that she doesn't seem to be able to feel it. She's perfectly fine eating her hay and stuff. She just can't walk, or balance. Her ears are forward and fine, her eyes are clear, and she's perfectly fine, aside from the limping/balance/rocking. Since it is't hurting her, we think it might be nurilogical (sp, sorry, I can't spell it.) So we, obviously, called the vet, but he couldn't get out. (out of town). He said it sounds like either founder, or laminitus, which we don't think could be it. She's 13, but acts younger than the 6yr TB. Yesterday, we'd taken her on a trail ride, but she didn't get ridden hard. (she's super strong). Maybe she got bit by something, or ate something. So she can't keep herself balanced, and she's limping heavily on the front left, and the back legs seem to be bad too. But it doesn't seem like she can feel it, or if she's in pain. The only reason she doesn't want to walk, is because she can't understand why she can't walk right. It's weird. The vet said to hose the front legs, and give 3 grams of bute. (which seems alot for a short paint mare...) The bute must haved kicked in, because and hour later, she could stand fairly still. Oh, and every few seconds, she'll 'twitch'. It's like she's doing belly lifts every few seconds. Someone compared it to a human about to throw up lol. Just bringing her belly up, getting her back flat, and kinda twitching, or flinching. And she won't stop swishing her tail. I don't think it can be anything the vet said. She gets worked too hard to be getting too many carbs. And she shouldn't be sore from the trail ride. And although her front left is limping, it's her whole body that's the problem. Has anyone heard of this? We live it Illinois, and it sounds a bit like what I've heard about the brown recluse spider, although we didn't see any bite marks. Basically, she can't balance, and can barely walk, but she's not in pain. And she's 'twitching', or flinching every few seconds/minutes. She was on a trail ride, where she could have been bitten by something, or eaten something, but it's not just soreness, since she's not sore, or in pain. If anyone has any ideas, please tell me, because I haven't heard anything like this before. Oh, and she hasn't had too much sweetfeed or sugar; if anything, she's had less this past week. (Yes, we are having the vet out if it's still like this when the vet gets back in town. I just want to know if anyone knows about this.) Thanks

giget 06-29-2007 10:21 PM

this sounds very much like my friends horse who had stringhalt except that she was kicking her back legs out occasionaly. when the vet came out he said (apart from the kicking) he hadnt seen these symptoms with stringhalt. but she was doing the same limping very badly and swinging like she was about to fall overyet she didnt seem to notice. as these are pretty strange symptoms for stringhalt it most probable is something else but it might pay to look into it.

rascalboy 06-29-2007 10:24 PM

Ok, thanks. It's called stringhalt? I'll look it up, and so if it seems to work.

rascalboy 06-29-2007 10:25 PM

Ok, thanks. It's called stringhalt? I'll look it up, and so if it seems to work.

DesertGal 06-30-2007 01:00 AM

It sounds like she ate something yesterday that is toxic. Here are some things that are poisonous. I'm not saying she will die, the dose determines how sick... I'm just saying here are some symptoms of poisonings, and some things that are poisonous.

Hopefully it is not poison, and she will be fine tomorrow!

Yew - Toxin: Taxine. Poisonings can occur from obtaining access to plants, by throwing yew clippings into horse stalls. All parts are considered to be extremely toxic; taxine causes a disturbance in the normal electrical function of the heart, resulting in the development of incoordination, muscle trembling, and collapse. Sudden death may occur without prior clinical signs when animals are moved or exercised.

Bracken Fern - Toxin: Thiaminase. Poisoning commonly occurs in horses having inadequate forage, or when the plant is incorporated into hay. All parts of the plant are toxic in both green and dry forms. The toxic component causes s thiamine deficiency. Clinical signs develop after one to two months of chronic ingestion, and can worsen over a two to three day period. Effects include weight loss, incoordination/ excessive staggering (known as “bracken staggers,”) the development of a wide stance with arched back, severe muscle tremors, inability to get up which could lead to serious injury. Death may occur within one to two days of onset if not treated.

Horsechestnut, Buckeyes - Toxin: Glycosides aesculin and fraxin. A does of 0.5% body weight produces severe poisoning. Signs are seen approx. 16 hours after ingestion, vomiting and GI irritation. Muscle twitching, weakness, vomiting, abdominal pain, muscle spasms, coma, death.

Horse Nettle - Toxin: Alkaloidial. Unripe berries are more toxic than ripe berries. Berries are more toxic than leaves, which are more toxic than stems or toots. Higher toxicity in autumn. Anorexia, nausea, salivation, abdominal pain, emesis, constipation or diarrhea with our without blood, apathy, drowsiness, pregressive weakness/paralysis, prostration and unconsciousness. Nervous signs build to a max. followed by death or recovery within 1 to 2 days.

Locust - Toxin: Toxalbumins phasing, robin and robitin in bark, leaves and seeds. Toxicity occurs from grazing young sprouts, ingesting bark or pruned/fallen branches. Clinical signs may develop one to two hours post ingestion, and may include loss of appetite, depression, stupor, weakness with rear end paralysis, laminitis, coldness of the extremities, dilated pupils, difficulty breathing, weak, irregular pulse, diarrhea (which may be bloody). Primary damage is to the gastrointestinal tract; long term effects can include chronic laminitis.

Doesn't mean she ate any of these. Doesn't mean she will die or anything like that. This is meant as a heads up type of thing. Something to look at. You might want to take her pulse and temperature.
Normal temp. is 99 to 101.5 degrees F.
Normal heart rate (pulse) is 30 to 44 beats per minute
Normal respiratory rate is 10 to 15 breaths per minute

Gum color should be pale to bubble gum pink. (Inside lips.)

Hope this helps, and sure hope she will be ok!

kristy 06-30-2007 06:08 PM

Have you checked vitals as asked previously? Sounds to me like a neurological problem, venom, or founder. It would make the most sense to have been bitten since you went on a trail. Call another vet. I would be very worried.

~Freedom Rider~ 07-02-2007 05:00 PM

Could it have anything to do with HYPP?

kristy 07-02-2007 09:16 PM


Originally Posted by ~Freedom Rider~
Could it have anything to do with hypp?

Ohh, didn't think of that.
What's her pedigree?

rascalboy 06-24-2012 05:30 PM

Lol, just found my old thread. Figured I'd update, since it's relevent to mosquito-prone areas. Turns out she had West Nile disease. She'd had the vaccination, which is why she didn't die. After a few weeks she returned to normal. However, it seems to have a lingering effect. A respected farrier I was talking with a few months ago said it was like "horse-y AIDS". A few months later her hocks started to fuse (and still have not finished, after five years, though now the uppers want to try and fuse too). After a year she became sound enough to ride and even jump. (As long as I kept up on her meds). Then the front pasterns developed bone spurs and arthritis. A year ago she developed arthritis in her coffin which ended her riding career. (Which was only 4 years long anyway...). Most recently she developed extensive arthritis and spurs in her hocks and increased arthritis in her front pasterns. Not sure what's going to go next. :) She's still walking sound most of the time but that's about it. I wish more research was done about the effects of West Nile on horses. I'd encourage people to give the West Nile vaccination to horses that are in areas with a high mosquito population or areas where West Nile infection rates are high. (It seems to be more of a USA Mid-West kinda thing). The fatality rates aren't all that great, even with the vaccine, last time I checked.

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