My 6 year old mini mare had a seizure today while coming in from the pasture. We were walking into the barn when she got

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Customer: My 6 year old mini mare had a seizure today while coming in from the pasture. We were walking into the barn when she got badly spooked by another horse acting up outside the door. I walked her back out, she reared up, flopped on the ground, eyes rolled and started convulsing. Lasted less than a minute. She has recently been vet checked including blood work, is insulin resistant but otherwise healthy. She has never had a seizure before. It was 90+ degrees today...could it have been the heat compounded by fright?
Answered by Equine Vet in 7 mins 11 years ago
Equine Vet
Pet Specialist

174 satisfied customers

Specialities include: Horse Veterinary, Large Animal Veterinary, Small Animal Veterinary

Thanks for your question. Do you think that she had started seizing prior to the rearing, or after she fell down? Did you notice if she hit her head when she went down?
She didn't start seizing until she was down. She may have hit her head on the ground. She has a swollen eye that was full of sand from the fall.
Sorry for the wait, I was finishing up with another question. I suspect that when she was spooked she reared out of surprise/upset and fell due to becoming off-balance. Horses that experience head trauma commonly seize, sometimes it is a single episode and after the initial impact things seem to normalize, and other times the trauma can cause fractures or more extensive damage to the brain leading to repeated seizures. I always like to examine horses that have seized as close as possible to the episode (within an hour or two) as I can then draw blood immediately and perform a neurologic examination to check for a reason for the horse to have seized at that moment. I would suggest that you have her examined by a veterinarian who will be able to radiograph her head and ensure there are no obvious fractures and check for any remaining neurologic deficits. Hopefully she just suffered a minor impact on the brain and she will recover uneventfully. It would not be a bad idea to give her a dose of anti-inflammatory such as bute to control any potential swelling within her skull.

There are other causes of seizures unrelated to trauma, they include neurologic diseases such as EPM, Cushing's Disease, aberrant parasite migration, seizures related to estrus in the cycling mare, electrolyte and glucose imbalances, and idiopathic epilepsy where there is no obvious cause. I suspect the heat was unrelated unless she was experiencing some kind of heat stress or dehydration.

I hope that your mare is feeling better and that you have no residual effects. I would definitely have the vet out to at least examine and treat her eye as it is likely she has abraded the cornea with the impact and sand; we like to treat all eye injuries as emergencies as they can go wrong quickly.

Please let me know if you have further questions or if there is anything I can clarify.
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Equine Vet
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