View Full Version : Dizzy horse ?

24-05-07, 05:05 PM
My 27yo has been acting funny and I wanted to see if anyone had had the same or similar problems with their horse. He is great normally and up until last week I was still riding him. No one believes he is 27yo. Below is a photo from last year (not me in the saddle).

Last week I went riding and he seemed just 'off'. I didn't feel safe but couldn't place anything wrong so I led him home. I have been concerned for a while now but could never see anything concrete that was wrong and kept telling myself I was a worrier. He has started to stumble and goes down on his fetlocks - I have seen it happen about 6 times. He then stands there with his legs a little wide and his head slightly down and seems to be concentrating - like he is dizzy. If he walks he seems to drag his feet and looks a little dazed, but not so bad that you would ring the vet etc. I have noticed it a few times over the last few months. My OH says I am dreaming it up, but he hasn't known my boy for 12 years like I have.

Last night I decided there is definately something amiss. Yesterday he was walking around normal and tripped and cut the front of his fetlocks. I put bandages on and he seemed normal. But when I checked him about 30 minutes later the bandages were dusty so he must have tripped again in that time. I also gave him some hay and he stood there looking at it and then when he walked over he put his nose to it but didn't eat. He stood like this for about 15 minutes before eating. We decided last night to not ride him again and take him to my mums place as it is rock-free and safer if he does fall. I worried all night thinking he would be down this morning. But he trotted to the fence looking completely normal. I hooked up the float and he followed it across the paddock at a spirited trot and walked up like a young horse. Then when I let him go in my mum's paddock he galloped off bucking. Mum now thinks I am weird as I was saying on the phone how it may be the end for the old boy.

I was wondering if he does get dizzy. I guess old people do that. Or maybe low blood pressure or maybe sick in the stomach and feels weak. I had a vet out about a month ago for another horse and he commented how healthy the old boy was. I have left a message for the vet to ring and I will discuss it with him.

Mum will keep her eye on him and I guess if it gets worse I will have to act. But at this stage it only lasts a short while and then he is full of beans. Any ideas or suggestions??

24-05-07, 11:46 PM
What a lovely gentleman your horse is. Is it possible your could could be eating something he shouldn't, and in particular wild tobacco, as this plant will give them similiar symptoms and then can lead on to stringhalt if eaten over a number of weeks.. Other than that wouldn't have a clue.

24-05-07, 11:56 PM
It could be possible that he is having a sort of fit. When I was little one of my first horses had fits ( hence why I only rode him for a lttle while). His eyes would role back and then he would turn his head around to each side, like as it he had colic. I was on him one day ( thankfully I was only sitting on him and not in action) when he did this to me, from then on we didn't ride him. He had a few in the paddock, and on one occasion reared up and went right over backwards on his back. We went straight call the vet to put him down as we thought he would have broken his back. However when we returned he was up and about and came up to us looking for feed as if nothing had happened!!! He lived about another 8 years in the paddock, had a fantastic time in retirement and died a peacefully. Not sure however what was truely causing the 'turns' but it only started when he was older, as I got him when he was about 22yrs. Not saying that it is exactly a 'fit' but if it doesn't fit with anything might be worth looking at!

25-05-07, 05:29 AM
Might be worth speaking to the vet... some of the symptoms you are descibing are similar to stress on the spinal cord/ wobblers syndrome. They are also similar to a reaction caused by eating a weed called stagger weed (looks like stinging nettles)... Of failing the vet go Google... something there may help you. Good luck

Suzie Q
25-05-07, 08:53 AM
You know him best. If there is something wrong, trust in yourself to notice.

25-05-07, 01:12 PM
You guys might be right. He eats anything, loves cobblers peg and I have seen him eat most weeds. With the lack of rain, grass is scarce and weeds are out of control. I have moved him to a weed-free paddock and will watch him carefully. The OH has booked tomorrow afternoon in for poisioning our paddock-weed while there are no horses here. Thanks for the help guys.

25-05-07, 01:29 PM
Good luck with him - can you let us know how he fares. He is lovely, look how he carries himself, like a horse half his age.

25-05-07, 01:58 PM
And when in doubt......don't ride him.
Trust your judgement - you know him best.

If you are that worried - get some bloods done....

What a lovely old boy - the stories he could tell.