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Dr. Taus
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
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Experience:  Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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My OTT TB who is 11ys old, has recently started a weird re

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My OTT TB who is 11ys old, has recently started a 'weird' reaction, noted when eating. His front legs start folding and he occasionally head twitches with it as well. I've seen him once, collapse to his knees and stagger, but looked like a pain response, not a stumble and fright response. I haven't seen it happen again till a few weeks later. Though this time its been more subtle. the knees start to buckle, but he stays on his feet. I have plans for dental check - though i cant visibly see anything out of sorts. palpating around the poll and atlas and face, i get no reaction, only 'trigger is when he is head down eating.. Noteworthy (or maybe not!) He has a flat sarcoid just behind the ear, (he has had it for about 3 yrs) and in the last month - I've noticed its dissapeared, and now regrowing hair.. Could it be possible that the sarcoid is now growing inwards, therefore could be affecting the poll/atlas area? Any help would be greatly appreciated!


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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I would like to close the question, and would like to close my account and get a refund. Thanks..

Hi there,
I'm sorry you've experienced a delay. I'd like to answer your question, if you are still interested.

I have seen several horses and ponies with signs similar to what you are describing who were narcoleptic. Narcoleptic horses often show more severe signs when they eat. They relax, fall asleep, and then fall (often face first). As long as they are not falling asleep under saddle or under their handlers, the disorder is of little concern, and no known treatment is effective.

If this came up recently and has never happened before, I'd consider a neurologic exam. Sometimes, with neck arthritis, the position of the head changes the width of the spinal canal and can make signs better or worse. This is especially true if your horse seems worse after his dental float, as putting the head up for floating can make symptoms of neck problems worse for a few days after the procedure. Your vet can do a neuro exam on the farm and determine if there's any signs to make you think it's something other than narcolepsy.

Not to worry, I've never heard of a case of a sarcoid growing in and not out. If it's gone, it's gone.

I hope this is helpful. If so, please rate me positively, and don't hesitate to let me know how I can help further.
Dr. Taus, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 505
Experience: Veterinarian with experience in equine and small animal medicine.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Interesting you mention about the holding head high for floating - he's always had a tendency to be high in head carriage, and tends to 'hollow' his frame. He's only been in light work, and last week he was REALLY angry - which is not like him. He didn't want me to even touch his mouth on light contact. He's quite a stiff horse, and I've recently started him on devils claw - hope it gives him some relief!


I noticed 'head flicking' while he's dozing on his feet, holding his head quite high, and acts almost like he has a bug in his ear, which, the ears are all clear.


Thanks for your input - thats helpful!