Collapsing Horse When Sleeping

Gingerwitch

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My 23 year old has recently started to "collapse" when she is standing upto sleep. She nods off, and then the front end just buckles, most times she catches herself before she hurts herself, but a couple of times she has landed on her knees or I have found a fetlock injury the next morning. She is "sparkley" bright, eating like a horse, and canters off most mornings. It is upsetting to watch, and friends are now calling me to tell me "shes gone down again". Does anyone else have any experience of this.
 

Paint it Lucky

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There are two older horses at my yard who do this sometimes, like yours they will be standing sleeping, their heads will gradually get lower and lower and then their front knees will buckle, which wakes them up again! As far as i know they've never completely fallen from it. I agree it is very upsetting to watch though most people tell me they are just being really sleepy. I would guess she is just getting older so not as strong/stable as she used to be. Prehaps put some over-reach boots and bandages/boots on her just so she can't hurt herself and talk to the vet next time they are down. I suspect it is just a sign of old age though.
 

Gingerwitch

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Pool old girl is slowly stopping functioning. We only long rein now, and go for a gentle plod (well till we turn for home, or hit some grass (lol)). She has gone through the mill over the last 18 months, gastric ulcers this time last year followed by a 4 week course of cartrophen, in the hope this will improve things and Ime waiting for a call from my vet to discuss further. I think some people on my yard think I should have her pts over this, but my opinion is that whilst she is still full of spirit and has a zest for life I will review on a day by day basis. I have built her bed up with rubber matting and a good layer of shavings and the over reach boots in use already.
 

collina

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My 21 year old TB mare does this.. and i agree it was quite upsetting at first. She had two operations at Liverpool a few years ago and we nearly lost her on the second op as she lost the use of her back leg and could not be moved from the recovery box.. But thank goodness she was sensible when getting up. WE have found that she now very raley sleeps laid down in the stable and I am sure she catches up un the field. She too canters off bucking and then rolling and sorting out the youngsters. She now get turned out in knee boots and veredus piaffe boots.
 

GinaGem

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Could be sleep deprivation - is she able to lay down ok?

My mare had similar symptoms and we videoed her at night to see if she was laying down enough to rule out sleep deprivation
 

Gingerwitch

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Thanks for the reply. To my knowldege she has only laid down properly once in the last two weeks. She had been struggling getting up after rolling around Easter, this is when we started her on the Cartrophen. She has a huge stable, and I have increased her danillion to 1 and a half a day to try and see if this helps to encourage her to lie down through reducing any pain from her joints. I have not noticed her rolling as often as she used to in the field, so she may have "frightended herself".
 

GinaGem

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I'm sure my vet at the time said my mare should be getting at least 1 hour flat out sleep in 24 hours to rule out sleep deprivation (which she was). I had to keep a diary stating how long she was laying down for each night and they studied it and came to the conclusion it wasn't sleep deprivation. Maybe worth a word with your vet to see what they can suggest but the extra danillion may help
 

legaldancer

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My 14 yr old Tb did this, rather like someone whose head is supported on their elbow just as they nod off. He usually did it while being tacked up, ie tied up in the yard when relaxed, but I also saw him do it in the field, though he never fell completely. Like yours, as his knees bent it would wake him up with a jolt. My present 11yr old TB also does it occassionaly, but not in the field as he's happy just to lie down, which my other one wasn't.
Therefore, I don't think its age related, but I do think its a form of narcolepsy. Mine were/are never at the point of suddenly collapsing when being ridden, it was more gradual than that.
 

ha903070

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A tb mare at my old yard started doing this, falling asleep and then falling over, in stable or while tied up in yard. Full vet checks etc and they decided it was narcolepsy. She is fine, rides well and no other complications, owner had to give her a nice deep bed to stop her huting herself if she did fall but the mare still rides and does everything else as normal.
 

GinaGem

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Yes mine was much the same - it was never sudden - she just slowly nodded off and then just on the point of knees buckling she'd wake up. She'd also prop herself up on things - fence, stable door etc
 

legaldancer

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Gingerwitch- Is your mare also a TB? I can't believe I've had two in a row who do this & I see several others mentioned on this thread are also TBs.
I'm wondering if this is more common in TBs.
 

checkmate1

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My horse's physio's horse has got narcolepsy, she falls down when dozing in stable/field. However, since she started McTimothy, found some interesting research on narcolepsy and somehting to do with the neck being tight or something? So worked on her neck and since then (a few years ago now) she says she hardly ever does it.Hope this helps.
 

collina

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Inders that is really intresting about the neck as re my earlier post my horse only developed this after been operated on twice for broken withers. Need to check how Mctimothy works and maybe give it a go.
 

smokeyjo

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'it was never sudden - she just slowly nodded off and then just on the point of knees buckling she'd wake up'........ This was exactly like my boy - but he was only 13. The strange thing is he never does it any more (he's now 21). He obviously 'grew out of it'. I think he did it for a couple of years. He would almost go down but wake up with a terrific start.

At the time the Vet had no idea what the cause could be - Smokey only did it when he was tied up on the yard. Vet's only suggestion was not to tie him up on the yard in warm sunshine which was what seemed to make him v relaxed.

Not very helpful I'm afraid, but as you can see it is not necessarily something which gets worse:)
 

legaldancer

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Connection with neck is interesting as my old horse had problems with his cervical spine. To my knowledge my present horse doesn't.
My two were/are especially prone to falling sleep in warm, sunny weather, whilst tied up on the yard.
 

GinaGem

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My mare was much the same. Early teens when we first noticed it, lasted a couple of years (we've owned her since she was 3 so know her history). She's on loan now but we've have no reports that it's come back. She's ID x TB and i did notice it more in hot weather. The vets put it down to narcolepsy as they had no other explanation. Interestingly she had neck problems which were diagnosed by our vet and treated under sedation by a McTimoney
 

Gingerwitch

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Gina - my girl is TB/ID, and picking up on other leads (thanks folks) she did have a neck problem over Christmas - we think she was hit in the neck/shoulder area when the horses were cantering round in the snow. That was my boxing day shocker as she was basically walking like a banana and throwing her head up to walk. That took 2 vet visits, a physio and a back specialist to sort her. so it could be that when she was struggling to get up at Easter she has done something again. Will do the old carrot stretching tomorrow and see how she moves. Looks like an expensive month again (lol)
 

HayleyandBob

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My old boy does it but he has learnt to prop himself against some thing
smirk.gif
he has had vet checks and the conclusion was his knees were just not what they used to be ! however he still eats like a horse and goes for weekly hacks so i wouldnt be to worried
X
 

Fransurrey

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It does sound like she's struggling to lie down/get up and is therefore being deprived on REM sleep.

I sympathise with the expensive month bit!
 

ladyt25

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We used to have an old horse who did this in his latter years. I/we thought it was basically due to his check ligaments no longer 'locking' as they should so, when he started dozing his head would drop (as they do) but, as his legs didn't lock his knees would buckle and he'd fall forwards. He didn't usually fall right over (although in his later years he did become more unstable).

He lived to the grand old age of 36 though (and was still a bit of a loon - his legs couldn't keep up with him though) so didn't do badly! Can't think when he started with the falling when asleep though, he did it for a good few years.
 

fatpiggy

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My horse has been doing this during the summer since she developed arthritis - she can lie down but it isn't too easy and she may not feel entirely at ease being flat out as there are new, younger horses in the field with her. In the winter when she is in at night she lies down at least once every night going by the bum prints. I do think in my case it is sleep deprivation. She is at her worst on hot days or if I am with her - she goes to sleep too deeply when I am "on guard" If fetlocks are getting scraped put soft overreach boots on.
 
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