Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Seems Dazed or Confused

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

    Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

    • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

    The outer layer of the brain, the cerebral cortex, is responsible for much of the non-reflexive behavior seen in any animal. Any condition affecting the brain may thus cause changes in behavior. In addition, natural rhythms like the estrus cycle may contribute to changing behavior.

    Horses that seem dazed or confused may have neurologic disease.

    WHAT TO DO

    If safe to do so, try to determine whether this behavior is significant by asking the horse to engage in an activity that requires coordinated neurologic activity. Interact with the horse, offer the horse some feed, walk it in a circle or over an obstacle, and monitor its responses. Share your findings and concerns with your vet.

    WHAT YOUR VET DOES

    Your vet will perform a physical and neurological exam on the horse and, depending on their findings, may recommend additional diagnostics.

    NOTE: This observation is associated with Rabies, which is very rare in horses but does occur. As a precaution, wear gloves when handling a horse exhibiting this sign.

    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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