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Shannon 01-14-2007 08:15 AM

My horse falls over while he is asleep
 
Hi, I have a beautiful grey Arabian Pony, who I have owned for over 10 years. While he stands when he sleeps, his head begins to lower down, then his knees buckle, and he often falls right over onto his front legs. I have been asking people for years and no one seems to have ever heard of a horse toppling over in his sleep. The reason I write is because I found my horse taking a fit today. The vet has treated him for colic, as many years ago he took a fit whilst he had colic, these are the only two times he has suffered with a seizure or colic. I fear that his seizure may be tied into him falling over in his sleep. He is 20 years old. Has anyone got any information they could share with me regarding both him falling in his sleep or him suffering a seizure. Thanks
Shannon

mynameisntlola 01-14-2007 04:36 PM

Hmm, I haven't got any experience with this but buckling at the knees is a symptom of Narcolepsy. Does he seem to fall asleep at times that aren't normal, and then this happens?

Quote:

If a horses collapses at rest, it is often because there is a problem within the nervous system. If the brain is not sending the right messages, the body can't respond and will tend to topple over.

Narcolepsy is one such syndrome. This is a rare, incurable sleep disorder of the central nervous system characterised by uncontrolled episodes of loss of muscle tone (cataplexy) and sleep.


The disease has been reported in Shetland and miniature foals (called the fainting disease) and Welsh ponies, as well as the Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, Morgan, Appaloosa, and Standardbreds.


Narcolepsy is the classic cause of a horse flopping to the floor, as opposed to a fit or seizure. With a fit, the affected animal is likely to be stiff and rigid with involuntary twitches and paddling of the limbs.


With narcolepsy, there is usually a rapid onset of collapse, or sometimes excessive drowsiness and head droop. Horses may buckle at the fetlock and knees and stumble. Sometimes they will sink to the ground, but others will appear to wake up and regain their feet. They may have difficulty moving and are hard to lead because they are unco-ordinated, as if they are sleepwalking.
http://www.horseandhound.co.uk/horse...70/103928.html

It's possible ta be that but it might be from lack o' REM sleep too. Does he lay down and sleep at all? Because horses can doze while standing but must lay down ta get REM sleep. If he's lackin this then he could be startin ta go inta REM and therefore falling. I am no expert in this area though.

Good luck.

barnrat 01-14-2007 04:48 PM

We had a horse at our barn for a month that had that, the person was leasing him and then found out about this diesease that he had. He would fall over while they were riding him and he could not walk straight, it was really kind of freaky....

child in time 01-14-2007 06:50 PM

maybe he is afraid to lay down and sleep. Did you seen him layin? Maybe you should put something on his knees for not injuring. Sorry for my english.

Shannon 01-14-2007 06:53 PM

Thankyou for your help so soon. He has always been really with it to lead and ride, but whilst platting him for a show he would fall down on us.
Shannon

kristy 01-16-2007 10:31 AM

It really does sound like narcolepsy. Have you discussed this possibility with your vet? It bothers me no one has figured out a reason for this behavior (vet wise). Poor thing. :(

savepitbulls 01-17-2007 12:10 PM

My former instructor had a horse with this problem. He was fine to ride, but when he was sleeping he'd collapse. Scared the hell outta everyone until they had him checked by the vet. Turns out he didn't have the ability to "lock" his knees like most horses do. We just had to make sure he was always sleeping in a safe place where he couldn't fall on something and get hurt. The vet said that its actually pretty common - and mostly in gray horses. Not sure how true the last part is but the rest makes sense to me.

barnrat 01-17-2007 01:37 PM

huh, I find that really interesting...

kristy 01-17-2007 05:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by savepitbulls
My former instructor had a horse with this problem. He was fine to ride, but when he was sleeping he'd collapse. Scared the hell outta everyone until they had him checked by the vet. Turns out he didn't have the ability to "lock" his knees like most horses do. We just had to make sure he was always sleeping in a safe place where he couldn't fall on something and get hurt. The vet said that its actually pretty common - and mostly in gray horses. Not sure how true the last part is but the rest makes sense to me.

I thought about this, too. I don't think that the inability to lock knees would make her fall while not sleeping, which I believe is what the OP said. I think the horse seized as well? Scary scary thing.

Robyn-Niagara 03-07-2007 09:35 AM

It could be Narcolepsy, I've read about lots of stories, and this is when a horse with no warning can just fall over out of the blue, does he trip a lot? or fall anywhere else? or just in his stable?


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