please read, I am concerned
Hi everyone, I am puzzled and a little worried. I am the mom of a loving and dependable black quarter horse gelding who has turned 23 years old this May. He is a very healthy, easy keeper with awesome body condition. Looks and acts as if he were only a young boy, no arthritis in any joints. Today we went for a short ride and when we returned home I let him eat some grass while I was on him. Then he stops chewing and his head started to quiver abit then immediatly stopped, about a minute or two went by then it began again but followed with his body quivering and he almost went down, he fought to stay on all four and god love him he did. I kept saying his name<Smokey, Smokey and keep patting his neck as if trying to wake him up. Then it was gone and he was back to normal. I remember that he has done that a couple of time before, but only the lip and head quivering like he had something awful tasting, not as severe as the body this time. But immedietly he snaps out of it. Anyone have any ideas what this is caused by? Is it like a seizure from being an older horse? I am afraid that might be the way he goes when it is time for him too move on, I cannot and do not want to imagine, but I also worry what if this happens out on a trail ride!
Does he have Impressive bloodlines? Or has he been tested for HYPP? I had a HYPP colt a few years ago, he was pos/pos and would seizure pretty violently when his blood potassium level got out of whack. His eyes would roll back, he would gasp for air and his legs would get stiff. After a while, his eyes would roll forward and he'd walk it off. Very scary to watch. His was pretty bad, but they can have milder bouts. You have to keep these horses off feeds high in potassium and control the exercise and make sure they get plenty of water. Just an idea off the top of my head, anyways.
I was also going to guess hypp. I suggest calling your vet and having him tested.
I have recently read a couple of articles about horses choking, and chronic choke being an issue in older horses if they have developed scar tissue (from prior medical issues, procedures, or prior choking incidents). The symptoms sound something like what I read in the articles (minus the trying to stay up on all fours part). It said that if that happens, don't keep offering food, and only offer small amounts of water (1-2 cups every half hour or so).
It could also be HYPP related like suggested above , or any number of other things. I would have the vet out to look him over well.
Smokey Varden is a grandson of Skip A Barb
Ok, I just read what hypp is but he is now 23 years old and has never had anything like this happen until recently. I was speaking to a trainer/breeder last night, and we had figured that it could have been a "sugar rush" where he hasn't been on fresh grass for months and when it happened before, I had him grazing on line in the fresh, rich grass behind the house as well and he did it then. But I am getting the vet out to take blood work and make sure everything is working fine, and keeping him on hay and cutting back on his sweetfeed. and of course keeping an eye on him. Today he is doing great and has not happened again.
I'm glad you are going to get the vet out for bloodwork. With a senior horses you can have a number of issues and that will give you a idea of what is going on. I would ask the vet for a resting serum insulin (be sure to give nothing for 12 hours prior to the blood draw but grass hay) as this can help screen for insulin resistance and Cushings.
You may want to get him checked for EPM and West Nile also.
My horse has been acting the same and may have EPM
While EPM is possible, it generally first shows itself as toe-dragging and misplacing the hind limbs. WNV is also possible, but not terribly likely at this time of year unless you are in one of the areas that still has mosquitos. More likely in an older horse is pain in the neck due to arthritic changes in the vertebra. It would definitely be worth a neurological assessment and an assessment of mobility in the neck.
Jumpit007, what symptoms is your horse showing? Have you had an exam and testing done yet? I would recommend that you join the EPM group on Yahoo....lots of experience as well as equine vets, a couple of people involved in EPM research and myself available to help you out with getting a good diagnosis. There is so much misinformation floating around about EPM, diagnosis and treatment and we try to help people who are having to deal with all of it and emotional strain too.
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