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Update on Sleepy horse - Gem

GinaGem

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5 February 2006
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Kent
Hi ya,

Just thought i'd give you an update on Gem - firstly she is very well which is good. As i said she did the falling asleep all day thursday and as i was rather concerned i took the videos down to the vets. Although they thought narcolepsy was a possibilty they were more of the thought that it is sleep deprivation due to the infrequency of it occuring. They have given her a full physical and background check and found nothing significant wrong. The only thing the vet picked up on was that her heart rate was at the very bottom end of normal both at rest and after we had lunged her. She did loads of tests (flexion, eyes, nurilogical - sp, muscle reactions etc) and they were all normal.

On the friday Gem didn't display any sleepiness which was good but saturday she did prop herself up against the fence again but didn't have any wobbling. knees buckling and her head didn't go right down to the ground. Sunday and today she has so far been normal. I know that in that period of four days she has propbably laid down at night at least twice as she has been covered in shavings and has dung stains on her face and legs.

The vet has now asked me to keep a two week diary of her actions ie when she falls asleep, how long for, whether she buckles or just doses, when she lays down and when and how much she is ridden. She is quite happy for her to be ridden as she displays no problems with this and is quite lively. If the diary doesn't show any significant patterns of sleep deprivation she thinks it would be good if we have an e.c.g. of her heart taken to check that that is working correctly. She did comment that her heart sometimes skips a beat but said this isn't uncommon and doesn's usually become a problem.

The other thing she will investigate is the history of bretahing problems we have had with her. Basically if you do canter work up a steep hill she struggles to catch her breath. Past vets have put this down to a combination of things. They haven't taken it further because it does not cause a problem - we usually avoid hard fast hill work. It also has improved signifcantly the fitter she is and by having her hay soaked. The vet said it may be worth investigating whether the muscles in the left side of her windpipe (not sure if this is the correct words to use but you get the idea) collapes and makes it difficult to breath. This could cut off oxygen etc etc. She said this can be done by using a camera down her throat. Anybody see super vets last week i think - same thing possible. Maybe she's been watching tv as well as reading horse and hound! Anyway she said this is is usually seen in horses of her breeding and size (she is very similar to that horse on tv).

So anyway it's just waiting and watching now

I've now roped in everyone to keep an eye on her and tell me if they see any sleepiness etc (we have several people who work for us who's windows over look her field).

After the two weeks (if nothing gets worse) the vet will have a look at the diary and take things from there.
 

Amymay

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Oh really great to get the update. Such a curious case. Interesting about the heart rate. I wonder if blood pressure comes in to it??? Ie sudden drop = the dozing and wobbling.

Maybe you could put a chart up in your tack room and ask people to indicate if they observed something specific??????

Keep us posted.
 

GinaGem

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Yes it could well be linked and so i think may well be worth further investigation - even if we can't help, it will give peace of mind that i'm not doing anything that could agrivate it.

Our yard is private so there's only me and my sister there. I work from home and my window over looks the field so i'm in quite a good position to chart her progress as well as some others that work here.
 

Amymay

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Ah, well you're ideally situated to see what's going on then.

Can horses be given blood pressure tablets I wonder


Anyway, all the best, and hope that a diagnosis and solution is quickly arrived at.
 

GinaGem

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I don't know about that one! I do know you can get heart rate monitors for them though - just been browsing the internet for more information about average heart rates etc
 

vicijp

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7 July 2005
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Herefordshire
Glad to know she is improving. Has your vet ran a blood? These things can be affected by a severe virus, which isnt always visible to the eye. Its definetly worth checking for one before the expense of an ECG.
 

Sal_E

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11 January 2002
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Sorry Gina, only just seen this & the previous post. Worrying I'm sure, but glad to hear your vets are taking it seriously. Just a thought, you can hire foaling cameras for a few weeks (I don't think they're hugely expensive) - I wonder if it's worth getting one for a couple of weeks in her stable...

Do keep us posted.
 

GinaGem

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Hi sally,

That thought had crossed my mind too - it would certainly be interesting to see what she does at night. Do you know where i could get one from?

xxx
 

GinaGem

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no the vet hasn't taken blood at this stage as she doesn't think it is a virus or a definciency, as you say though this would be worth doing before an ecg
 

Amymay

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[ QUOTE ]
no the vet hasn't taken blood at this stage as she doesn't think it is a virus or a definciency, as you say though this would be worth doing before an ecg

[/ QUOTE ]
Defo go with bloods - this is what was done with my horse (didn't show anything up, but still was worth doing).
 

brighteyes

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13 August 2006
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Well north of Watford
Good to hear the vet isn't leaping up and down with worry - obviously no alarm bells going off. I'd be breathing easier for now, especially as she's not deteriorated. The watching and waiting is a bit of a pain, but I find doing anything 'constructive' keeps me optimistic - as though I'm doing something to help, even if it is keeping a diary!
Do keep updating us.
 
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