Can horses faint?

millikins

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Old pony did something very odd last night and I wonder if anyone has any suggestions.
She's nearly 23 only field sound but otherwise healthy.
Came into the yard for tea, the 3 bigger ones had been on spare field for about an hour while waiting for hay delivery, grass is greening up but not lush.
Ate tea normally, then tried to go into small pony's stable (not unusual, she's after her hay)
Had to lead her out to field, usually goes with just a prod, got through gateway then down she went. Lay there for about 5 minutes, upright, no sweating, no obvious distress, no increased breathing or attempt to roll. She then rolled on her side, legs almost rigid, rolled her eyes and I just thought she's going to die.
She then sat back up, eventually stood up, remained still for several minutes then went to the trough before joining the others. She was eating when I left and seemed fine today.
I initially thought colic but no real symptoms and she's a diva, no stoicism so wouldn't suffer in silence. I know in older people it is quite common to drop blood pressure after a meal when blood is diverted to the digestive system, can this happen in old equines too?

Sorry it's an essay, any ideas?
 

Pearlsasinger

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I've never seen a seizure in a horse although I have seen them in people and dogs, rigidity of the limbs is quite common.
I think a vet opinion is a good idea.
 

Goldenstar

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That sounds like an epileptic fit I think a call to the vet is called for .
Narcolepsy is another possibility although it sounds more like a fit .
Narcolepsy can happen if older horses stop lying down because of stiffness .
 

Peregrine Falcon

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A pony I had on loan had a couple of funny episodes. He would stand stock still, collaspe and then be fine in a couple of minutes. Vet suspected he had a heart problem. I stopped riding him as a result. His owner was a veterinary nurse so he had an ECG too which showed nothing unusual.
 

millikins

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That sounds like an epileptic fit I think a call to the vet is called for .
Narcolepsy is another possibility although it sounds more like a fit .
Narcolepsy can happen if older horses stop lying down because of stiffness .
Thanks GS, I hadn't given it a thought until PAS suggested it, I've owned her 15 years and she has never done anything like this. In all that time I've rarely seen her lying down (she was born in the Outer Hebrides and still has a very "wild" streak) but she has mud all over so assume she does and I still see her rolling without problems. She has seemed normal today but something must have caused it so I will definitely speak to vet tomorrow.
 

millikins

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A pony I had on loan had a couple of funny episodes. He would stand stock still, collaspe and then be fine in a couple of minutes. Vet suspected he had a heart problem. I stopped riding him as a result. His owner was a veterinary nurse so he had an ECG too which showed nothing unusual.
Thanks PF, it was definitely an "episode" of some sort.
 

brightmount

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That sounds like an epileptic fit I think a call to the vet is called for .
Narcolepsy is another possibility although it sounds more like a fit .
Narcolepsy can happen if older horses stop lying down because of stiffness .
My old girl had sleep deprivation, she would zone out and start swaying back on her hind quarters until she looked like she would fall over as she was so near the ground, but just at that point she would jolt out of it and regain her balance. But then she would usually do it again. But she never went over.

It looked quite different to what is being described here, which sounds more like a seizure.
 
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Certainly sounds like some form of seizure. Maybe the lying down was a precursor to the seizure. If a horse has narcolepsy or faints it just falls over, no rigidity, rolling eyes etc.

Chat with the vet is called for I think ...........
 

Carlosmum

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My cob did something similar. He escaped from field over night & came into the yard. Found him flat out on his side, he was aware but insisted he couldn't get up, so left him & suspecting colic I rang the vet. Just as she pulled into the drive he got up and pottered round the yard no obvious signs of colic but treated as such anyway. We think he must have come into the yard & either slipped or been surprised by the pigs & fallen over and winded himself.
 

millikins

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Update. Long chat with vet yesterday who felt almost certainly a seizure. There are investigations but intrusive, expensive and often inconclusive, not a realistic option for an elderly pony who is already on bute to remain paddock sound. So daughter and I have been forced to confront making "that" call, which we knew wouldn't be far away anyway or run the risk of finding she's gone down in the night and unable to get up. It's not been arranged yet but will be soon.
 
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