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Do Horses Get Vertigo?


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#1 Snafflebit

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 09:37 PM

We purchased two TWHBEA mares in February. Long story short, they were very poor condition, under weight being the worse thing.

We have them close to being at weight. We have hauled them both on short trips and long trips, they have been hauled numerous times. First instance happened when she was hauled in a stock type trailer plenty of room but no dividers. We took her to another farm to have her looked at by a Chiropractor 30 minutes trailer time. When we unloaded her she was best I can describe as drunk did everything but fall down. After about 5 - 10 minutes she was fine. Gold (barn name) we had to have a chiropracter work on her she has an old back injury that he describes as substantial he did adjust her, recommended some stretching, and a saddle pad. She is and has been sound, she has a knot on her spine that before the adjustment would become tender and sore. Rode her a week on vacation and this did the trick. A month later (this weekend) she was in the trailer a hour and half unloaded her and she was everything but down she acted like she was dizzy. Couple of minutes she was fine. Saddled her and rode for 6 hours, nothing else seemed wrong?

Any thoughts? Should we be concerned?
Two new TWHBEA Mares
2 AQHA Geldings Ace & Chopper
1 POA Stallion Royal Gold Silver Bogger
1 Boxer Annie
1 Aussie Gunner

#2 SallyQ4

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 10:59 PM

When I rode my horse on the beach in Oregon he became dizzy and staggered a bit when the flow was running back out to sea for a long time. It always made me dizzy too. So it seems possible to me that yours are from riding in a trailer, especially if the roads were winding.

#3 BethanyW

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:49 AM

This seems to be trailer oriented, where as vertigo would be an ongoing thing that was not dependent on a particular situation.

Can you try to get her a more stable space to be in while in the trailer? I know that some horses need to be able to brace themselves or they will become agitated from the constant movement required to keep themselves upright.

Another thing to look at is the skill of the person driving the trailer. In some cases the person is not aware that they are taking turns too fast or are otherwise causing the horse to have to work harder to stay upright. I know that Hubby is one of these people. He figures that taking turns at 60 is okay because he can make the truck do that under a load. I've told him time and time again that the truck is a machine...horses are not.

Other odd things might be aural plaques (sp) as sometimes things in the ears get them head shaking. Add that with a funky trailer ride and she might just get that disoriented.

Oh, did the chiro look at the poll? Sometimes misalignment there can cause head issues. Though you would likely see them more often than the trailer ride.

Just a few thoughts to get started.
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#4 Willy ShoMaker

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 02:35 PM

Not to scare you....but my gelding was staggering and then walking OK on and off when he was coming down with WNV. I first thought it was something in the ear. Vet came and did all kinds of bloodwork for several neuro diseases, and we came to the conclusion that he had WNV. No other symptoms were present.....he ate and drank fine, no fever, etc. Took him about 4-6 months to recover fully so that he could be ridden again, with the help of my chiropractor who worked on him and gave me exercises to do with him from the ground. I wasn't going to get on him til I was about 100% sure he wouldn't fall with me in the saddle. confused0024.gif

#5 Snafflebit

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Posted 22 July 2009 - 10:50 PM

Thanks for all the reply's:

First time this happened she was in a stock trailer so no dividers just our other mare. She wasn't pushed up tight against the door or sides. That night when we hauled her home no issues when we un loaded her. The next time we hauled she was in the trailer for about 5 hours no issues then a week later 5 hours home no issues. Oh the 5 hours was in our trailer which is a three horse slant with dividers.

Our trailer is a three horse trailer she is always in the back stall which is the bigger stall but it is a normal 7 or 7 1/2 wide trailer with padded dividers. She backs better than my mare and we use stall # 1 for storage.

This weekend was about a hour to hour and half from home. While the road to the campground is fairly curvy this wasn't her first trip there. My husband is very cautious and careful when he pulls the trailer. Nothing out of the ordinary happened, no sudden stops or turns. No evidance that she is climbing the wall or leaning on the divider. She isn't nervous at all in the trailer loading unloading standing? I would think if this was a trailer issue she would offer us some resistance either loading or standing.

I would think or expect that if this was WNV it wouldn't clear up so fast or out of 20 - 30 hauls it would happen more often then twice. Or she would show sypmtoms while riding or other times? Not that it would prevent her from getting WNV she was vaccinated in February/March.


Two new TWHBEA Mares
2 AQHA Geldings Ace & Chopper
1 POA Stallion Royal Gold Silver Bogger
1 Boxer Annie
1 Aussie Gunner

#6 kitten-kat

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 03:22 AM

wht about tempuratures when you had those 2 incidents compaired to the temps other times without problems?? as well what had she eaten before.. I know some horses get drunk if they eat grains before or during a trailer ride.. (my moms gelding is one) so we dont give him any at least 3 hours before and he is fine.. Dunno sounds funny to me..

Possibly a sinus or ear infection that is only effected occasionally??
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