(Pony PTS) Pony acting suddenly irrational/crazy-subsiding slowly-Vet is stumped
Hi~~ I have a medical mystery that has been plaguing me for a week now and I need your collective minds to brainstorm what could be the cause of my pony's symptoms.
Pony in question is a 13hh Welsh about 13 yrs old very very healthy and up to date. Gives lessons to children, former Hunter pony. SoCal area.
I'll try to be organized in my timeline of events:
Last Thursday: Hot day. gave a little girl a lesson on my pony. Girl got the pony tacked up, I did not supervise that, I was in arena setting up. Pony and girl did some ground pole grid work. Unremarkable, perfect. Set up the grid as crossrails. Girl asked for canter in a random place in the arena. Pony buckled one front leg and laid down, sternally. Girl stepped off. I RAN over, after several seconds convinced pony to rise up. Took off her tack. Let her loose. She acted normal, walked around a bit. I made her trot around. She briefly trotted but counterbent... odd! Then seemed normal just perhaps quiet. Hot day tho. Pony not sweaty. Re-tacked pony and had my teenager daughter ride her. Seemed ok. Did the grid raised, did bounces, never touched a rail. She's a pro at this and can do it in her sleep. Fine. Shrugged it off.
Friday: I didn't see the pony (boarded) but I called and I was told she was eating hay and looked ok. Hot day.
Saturday: Went to see pony- she was out of her mind. Spooked when she saw me! Acted confused. Staring at noises in the distance. Staring at horses giving lessons in the arena. Trotting around her pen with head high. Not eating anything/ much as far as I could tell. (She lives in a shared paddock with one other pony)
Almost seemed... Blind ??
I gave some peppermint oil and some probiotic/electrolyte paste. She fought me opening her mouth.
Other behavioral differences: frequent head shaking. Frequent lip-flipping. Refusal of grain or treats.
Tight mouth and chin.
I called vet, left a message.
Sunday: similar confused behavior, lip flipping, smelling/ dragging upper lip in dirt, head shaking. Looking off into the distance. Staring at nothing. Almost seems afraid. Irrationally resistant to head being examined. Refuses treats. Tight mouth and chin.
I led her in a circle on a hill to see if she would trip or stumble but she didn't.
Blind spot in her vision??? She can see, she isn't bumping in to anything... but sometimes I think she can't see normally.....
Gave a little probiotic electrolyte paste
Monday Memorial day: similar behaviors as described before, but lesser. More subtle. I let her out of her pen and she didn't go running off to pillage the grain containers like any pony normally would, she smelled the ground and walked cautiously. Ate a little grain, carefully. Is she getting accustomed to whatever is wrong with her??
Gave the paste again.
Tuesday: Vet came out!
Pony acted even more like normal, was calm for the vet while he haltered her and examined her. Said "there is nothing at all wrong with this pony". He thinks perhaps she just had a mild colic or blockage since it's been so hot and she's now over it. (Note- pony never rolled, looked at her sides, nothing like colic behavior) The exam was pretty brief but vet said her eyes looked fine, very beginnings of cataracts maybe. Said there is nothing that would cause sudden vision loss. Pony opposed opening of her mouth but vet said he doesn't blame her. Pony is normally more compliant.
I paid a exam and call-out fee and he left.
Pony ate her grain but not enthusiastic, picked at it. Admittedly it is very hot out. I only saw her shake/twitch her head once, lip flip once. Someone else said she was startling/spooking at random gate clanging noises but it was brief and more subtle. She doesn't like it when I reach for her head and violently opposes the electrolyte paste/hates opening her mouth.
Wednesday: more like herself, still not quite her normal confident sassy self. Didn't eat her grain after a couple bites. Better every day but not herself. Doesn't want me reaching for her head. I was there for a couple hours riding etc but I left her alone in her pen as the barn was very very busy.
Today: I'll go see her again this afternoon.
So everyone, what could possibly cause a pony to lay down one day, then totally change her whole personality and act fearful and ?vision loss? For a week now? I've owned horses most of my life and I've never seen anything like this, it's making me crazy
Thank you in advance for any ideas / experience you have~~