Trailer anxiety causes seizure, help please - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-19-2013, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Trailer anxiety causes seizure, help please

My horse that I have owned for 1 year has developed what seems to be a trailer anxiety. He is only trailered for short distances of 30 minutes or so. For the last few months, he will not eat on the trailer or after he gets off, and had a seizure about a month ago after getting off the trailer. His legs collapsed and he was unresponsive for about 10 minutes, except his eyes were moving. After that he got up and seemed normal. Since then, he still will not eat on the trailer or after trailering and seems afraid to step off the trailer. He also seems to remember the seizure and seems to act weird. I don't know what to do since this condition came on suddenly. The vet has found no abnormality. Any advise would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-19-2013, 07:42 PM
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What kind of trailer is he riding in? What is happening that you are trailering to some place (show, clinic, training, etc.)? Who is driving the tow vehicle and how is their driving technique?
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-19-2013, 07:55 PM
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Some horses can't stand in a trailer well. My mare rocks and lunges forwards and backwards the ENTIRE trip in a straight lode. She scrambles and pulls back, she even rubbed all the skin off her tail within a 20 min trailer ride. This is ONLY in a straight load, in a slant she is a dream. She just can't seam to balance well. This could be his issue, if he constantly feels like hes going to fall over and is looseing his balance he will become afraid of the trailer.
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post #4 of 10 Old 12-19-2013, 08:01 PM
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I've heard there's a b vitamin you can give horses with anxiety...I wonder if that would help. How does he haul? Has he ever had an accident in the trailer? You could try a different load type...there's straight, slant, stock, and even rear-facing straight. Can he see out? I know my mare does better when she can see what's going on outside the trailer.
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post #5 of 10 Old 12-20-2013, 01:04 AM
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Collapsing is not normal!

I wonder if he has a muscle disorder or other physical or neurological problem that gets worse when the horse is stressed.

Can you park the trailer in his pasture and tie the door open? I would throw the hay in the back so the horse can reach in and eat without having to put his feet in.

The reason I am thinking this is physical is that I have never seen a horse fall down without getting back up immediately. The horse knows he doesn't feel right which would explain his behavioral changes.

Just because the vet can't find something doesn't mean the horse isn't sick.

If you consistently trailer him places and he never acted strange before than that is another clue that something may be wrong physically.

Horses are not aware of anything during seizures (depending on the type of seizure) and should have no memory of it afterwards.

Because a horse may be down and reluctant or unable to stand during an HYPP attack, many owners have thought their horses were experiencing colic. HYPP has also been confused with seizures due to the pronounced muscle trembling and collapse. Unlike seizures and other conditions that cause fainting, horses with HYPP are conscious and aware of their surroundings during an attack and do not appear to be in pain.
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post #6 of 10 Old 12-20-2013, 01:06 AM
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Something else you can try is taking the horse for a trailer ride before the vet gets there (have the vet call you when on the way). You want the vet to be able to examine the horse right after it gets off the trailer.

How well the horse steps off the trailer should tell the vet something, along with vitals and a neurological exam, check the heart etc.
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post #7 of 10 Old 12-20-2013, 01:46 AM
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I had a mare that would collapse inside the trailer, if she was in straight load, she could not haul facing forward. She never did it in a stock trailer that I used to own. So I sold the straight haul and got a stock again, she was fine again. She didn't have seizures like your horse but she did go down as soon as I loaded her into a straight haul, that was the only time she did that.
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post #8 of 10 Old 12-20-2013, 07:40 AM
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What breed and has he been tested for HYPP?

Or any of the other things that he needs to be tested for?

And is this vet an equine vet? You need to do some more vetting I think.
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post #9 of 10 Old 12-20-2013, 12:22 PM
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If this is a registered qh colt, it will be on his paper that it is NH if carrying Impressive bloodlines. HH can't be registered. Many horses won't eat or drink while travelling in a trailer and may not for some hours afterward. You need to take the time to load him daily if you have access to the trailer. Place his feed in there and let him sort it out on his own. When you do drive with him loaded, just a trip around the yard will suffice then allow him to unload.

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post #10 of 10 Old 12-23-2013, 06:32 AM
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I'm mainly just subscribing here because I don't have any bright ideas.
But when you say a vet found nothing wrong, have any vets actually witnessed this behaviour in the process? If not then you might want to think about trailering your horse to the vet clinic, so that a vet, or even multiple vets can see him in the process of having these episodes.

Does he scramble around corners, or stand with his legs widely spaced apart or anything of the sort that you can think of?
My gelding had always been trucked before I got him and I had to teach him to float, even to back out of the float (he would stand patiently and wait for imaginary front doors to open). He scrambles around corners if the driver goes too fast around the corners, he has ripped the front of my partition out leaving it swinging by the bum bars, and also managed to roll the mats up underneath his front legs, but he has never actually gone down in the trailer or appeared to be seizing, I think this definitely warrants a second opinion from another vet.
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