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Dr Linda
Dr Linda, Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1301
Experience:  I am a practicing veterinarian with over 20 years experience in a mixed animal practice.
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My horse was fine yesterday morning. Last night coming in

Customer Question

My horse was fine yesterday morning. Last night coming in from his pasture he had a hard time walking and stumbled badly to the left but did not fall. Just stood in the aisle. He is all about food but took only a couple bites. He did not eat much over night and did not drink at all. Just checked on him now and he's standing, drank a little water, pooped and peed. He is shifting his weight from side to side in the back, something he doesn't ordinarily do. His head/neck seems to be twitching slightly. My husband thinks it's just because he's 29 and he's going to have these bad days from time to time.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: No, I was afraid with him being unstable to make him stand on one hind foot but that is a good idea. Would that make him not be interested in feed?
JA: The veterinarian will ask you more detailed questions to find out what is causing this. Is there anything else important you think the veterinarian should know about your horse?
Customer: I have had him for 25 years and he's been the picture of health until last night. With him being so old just afraid his time is coming, but I'm not ready for it to be now. Not sweating or breathing hard, cannot find my thermometer for some reason so haven't checked his temp.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Linda replied 11 months ago.

Hello, this is Dr. Linda. I hope I can help with your question today.

I am very sorry for your concerns about your horse. It is a scary situation when there is a sudden onset of unexplained symptoms.

There are several observations that come to mind with the symptoms you describe. One would be some injury or trauma that occurred during the day that resulted in some type of cervical (neck ) instability to a pelvic fracture.

The next thing I would rule out would be neurologic disease, caused by a virus ( ie West Nile or one of the Encephalitis serovars ) . This could be ruled out depending on what you routinely vaccinate your horse for.

Lastly, & least likely, some type of stroke, or even tumor in the brain causing his instability.

Please consider having your vet out to evaluate your horse. He/she may be able to diagnose on the spot, do some diagnostics to try & narrow down the cause of his symptoms, & hopefully start him on a course of treatment to make him more comfortable & possibly return him to his normal health.

At 29, he is definitely a senior citizen in the horse world, & it may be his time. But I would have him examined before you make any final decisions or just chalk it up to old age.

I hope this makes sense & gives you the information you were looking for. Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns.

Thank you & all the best for a speedy recovery for your horse.

Expert:  Dr Linda replied 11 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr Linda