” She called me today stating that the colt was down, bleeding from the mouth.”…
I have a friend who has a 6 month old colt. She called me today stating that the colt was down, bleeding from the mouth. What may have caused this? At first I thought he had possibly been kicked in the head by one of the adult horses, but there is no evidence of head trauma. There are no cuts in or around the mouth. My second guess was colic, and when he went down he hit his mouth, but again no evidence of mouth trauma. He cannot stand on his own. Apparently this occurred a few days ago that he was down, but the bleeding was not present. Any ideas? I had them call a vet to check on him, but I was curious as to your thoughts.
Dr. Kimberly Gryl’s Answer:
There are many reasons a horse may go down, and in general, none of them are really linked to reasons of bleeding from the mouth. Colic, leg injury, or seizures are some reasons for being down. Oral or head trauma, bleeding ulcers (esophagus or stomach), or ruptured blood vessel are reasons for oral cavity bleeding. Infectious disease (i.e. Rabies) can cause the signs you are describing. If he cannot stand on his own, it is likely neurologically based. I recommend you approach him cautiously, as being unstable may cause him to fall (if he is up), and you don’t want to get hurt. Don’t touch his mucous membranes or urine or feces with bare hands. I think you should get a veterinarian involved ASAP. And in the meantime, do your best to make him comfortable – Bute or Banamine if available, padding for under his head, and blanket over him if cold out.
Good luck. Please let me know what happens.