Bloodwork Info on Lou, my mare with

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Aspiring Cowgirl
Nov 30, 2002
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Spotsy., VA (USA)
Just an update requarding my post (below) about Lou, who had an apparent seizure this weekend. We noticed she was shaking, staggering, clenched teeth, etc. Had the vet out but she was much better by the short time it took the vet to arrive. She was mildy discoordinated when we checked her in different ways but improved to seemingly normal by the time the vet left. Similar happened to Lou in October, but at that time, we and the vet figured it was choke...

I just talked to Dr. Mattes, who said her bloodwork all looked normal with the exception of her LDH levels being high. She said that can indicate trouble with the liver, however, all other liver indicators are normal and she does not know of any trouble that would only be reflected with the higher LDH. She feels that is high from the muscle spasms. I remember years and years ago, Eclipse colicked and I think he also had higher LDH levels, due to muscle traumas.

SO, basically, we just watch Lou to see if it happens again and if so, I will video her so that Dr. Mattes will be able to see what happens. We've only seen this happen 2x though, last October and this past Saturday. I feel it probably has happened when we were not here to see it, however, I have never noticed hair knocked off her and we didn't see her fall except for once and immediately staggered back up.

I'm releived there is nothing that jumps out as very unusual with the bloodwork. I want to know what's wrong, but Lou would be one very hard horse to be without. I plan to drive her again (not for a few days, maybe longer with this heat) and just treat her as I always have, but will be watching her more closely.

She got to go out in her paddock this morning with her herd after being kept in a smallish pen all since Saturday afternoon. At 5:30am, she was taking a victory canter around her lot and demonstrating that the Boss Mare had returned...


Jill said:
Last October when Harvey and I went out to feed, we found that Lou, who is now 11yo, was staggering, quivering, sweating, nearly falling over, teeth clenched and foaming at the mouth.
We called the vet, of course.  It took her about 45 minutes to arrive and by the time she did, Lou was nearly fine.  If we hadn't known she was having trouble earlier, we would not have realized it from how she was acting by then.  At that time, the vet diagnosed her as having had choke which resolved on its own.

Well, yesterday the same thing happened, minus the foaming at the mouth.  This time, the vet took about 30 minutes to arrive.  By the time she arrived, Lou was much, much better.

We did more with Lou yesterday to test her coordination, which was a little off, but not extremely off and improved to apparently normal by the time the vet left.

Like, when she first arrived, the vet pulled out Lou's tongue, which kind of flopped to the side of her mouth for a few seconds before she pulled it back in.  Before she left, she did it again, and Lou immediately pulled her tongue back in as she should have the first time.  I walked Lou with her head way high and nose in the air and she was a little drunk acting.  She could trot, turn, three-sixty...

What do you all think this could be?  We (the vet and us) feel now that last October and yesterday are connected and that it was not choke afterall.  This could happen at times when we do not notice it and I feel it more likely has happened when we didn't see than not.

Lou is in a small pen with a stall until tomorrow morning, assuming she does okay.  She is on banamine paste 2x a day today and tomorrow.  The vet was going to leave Bute, and I didn't remember why but I know that's not something we think is good for minis...

I'm going to look up symptoms of EPM, but I am thinking if she had something like that, we'd see indications more than just 2x in 9 mos.  She is FINE all other times and I drive her so she is very functional. 

Does anyone have experience with epilepsy in horses?  I am wondering if she could be having mild / petite seizures vs. grand mall (sp?) big ones?  I am mystified.  I think the vet kind of is as well.  She's going to be making some calls and see if she can find anyone else who's had experience with something along these lines...  She also drew blood but is not thinking it will reveal anything but "just in case" she drew some.


WOW Jilly that's scarry. Don't you just love it when they scare you half to death like that? I'm glad your Dr. got the tests run as quickly as he did. You think that maybe she's been having these seizures all along since October and this is just the second time you have caught it....? Boy, I sure would love to tape mine 24-7 to see what they are "really" up to! You just never really know do you? I have learned so much about what goes on with Holly since I put that cam in her stall. Sometimes I wish I didn't know what I know.....
She's more goofy than what I had ever thought.

I am wondering if there is a common denominator between Lou and Eclipse like if they are related or have been exposed to something that the other horses have not been exposed to? Maybe that's a possiblity. I'm glad that Lou has come around so quickly for you too. I hope you won't have to be put through this again with Lou and maybe it will just resolve itself somehow. That would be nice.
I think Lou may have had these before October. It's possible. I mean, I doubt we just happened to catch it the first time it ever happened but on the other hand, it's possible it's only happened the 2x we've seen it. Basically, I am home Friday, Saturday and Sunday most of the day every week and Harvey is home from 2:30 or so in the afternoon Monday-Friday. One of my big past times is watching the horses, Lou being a favorite, out the window. So, I don't think they happen often, but I bet it's likely to have happened more than I've seen. But, you would probably be amazed at the amount of time I spend just gazing at these horses....

With Lou and Eclipse, there is no relation at all. And they are in different paddocks. As I under stood Dr. Mattes (Nicole, a woman vet
) the LDH levels are high when there has been muscle trauma (as in Eclipse rolling / thrashing w/ colic in 2000) and with Lou's muscles quivering / spasming with this seizure. Which didn't involve her going to the ground other than when she stumbled to it trying to get around another horse before we got in, and she stood back up on her own.

It's so odd. I'm not sick with worry, but Lou is one of my favorites for sure. I feel like she's been so normal and I've driven her, groomed her, done all I ever do with any horse really since October and prior to October with out any issues. I would like to know what's wrong or what even some realistic possibilities are but we really don't know.

I think it could be mild epileptic attacks. Maybe one of Dr. Mattes' colleques (can't spell today) will have some insights.
This is soooo reaching but ask your vet about Monday Morning Azuria

It's a longshot.
Oh my Jill

Hope that you find out what is going on with your girl!!
Do you think she could be hypoglycemic? Low sugar in other words, not sure if I spelled it correctly?

Thanks you all

I don't think she's hypoglycemic now that we've gotten the blood work, but I did wonder before hand. She seems fine and neat as a pin this morning, as I expected.

It could be we may never know what's caused these and compared to what some others have described to me, her epidsodes are really mild.

There are no real plants in her paddock other than trees, and she eats the same food every day.

She's a good girl, at least that much is certain.
Hi Jill glad to hear Lou is doing well. I would check to see what kind of plants are in her pasture, are any of the trees Black Walnut? You might want to ask Bonnie for help.

Jill said:
Thanks you all

I don't think she's hypoglycemic now that we've gotten the blood work, but I did wonder before hand.  She seems fine and neat as a pin this morning, as I expected. 

It could be we may never know what's caused these and compared to what some others have described to me, her epidsodes are really mild. 

There are no real plants in her paddock other than trees, and she eats the same food every day.

She's a good girl, at least that much is certain.


Had a mini mare once that had seizures. I did a lot of research about it. Not usually hereditary. Keep track on the calender. Does she seizure when she cycles? Mine did. It was like clock work! Bred her. No seizures while she was pregnant. After foaling, no seizure when there was no stallion around. Theory is, it may have something to do with ovulation, wheter it be the hormones triggering the seizures OR Pain from the ovulation. I sold the mare, however I would bet that Regumate would prevent the seizures. It would trick her body into acting pregnant. Just My opinion, I am not a vet, but I sure read up on this stuff!
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Thank you Robin! That is an interesting observation.

I don't even know if Lou's in heat. When Derby and Lonesome first came home (as newly gelded boys), she did show heat to them, particularly Derby (with whom she made Skipper and they DO remember what they could do together). I will start keeping track when I notice she's in heat but she's quiet about it unlike a few of my others unless a stud is available to her, then she's a hoochie.
She sure is a pretty little thing, Jill. Good thoughts for little Lou, I hope that if it is seizures, they go away like my cat's did. All my best!
Jill, I'm sorry that you've got this worry with Lou, I know how much you love her. It doesn't sound terribly serious, but still so very frightening, for both you and her. I do hope that the vet will be able to figure out what it isand help her. Good luck, and please keep us posted.

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