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Is Your Horse Sleep Deprived? Watch These Videos to Learn More.

Watch videos of two horses with an equine sleep disorder have "sleep attacks" in this exclusive from the editors of EQUUS magazine.

In the February 2007 issue of EQUUS magazine, California veterinarian Joe Bertone, DVM, describes an equine sleep disorder he has been studying for more than a decade. It occurs when horses, for physical or psychological reasons, are unable to lie down for adequate deep (REM) sleep. After prolonged periods of sleep deprivation, the horse begins to slip into REM sleep at any quiet moment, literally starting to collapse before awakening and catching himself before hitting the ground. This condition, says Bertone, is different than narcolepsy, a neurologic disorder in which otherwise well-rested horses slip into REM sleep during periods of excitement.

The following videos show two sleep-deprived horses having classic "sleep attacks." In both cases, says Bertone, a lack of a herdmate left the horses too insecure to lie down long enough for REM sleep. These videos, along with the story in EQUUS Magazine, provide a fascinating insight into this unusual condition. You can discuss the story with fellow readers in the EQUUS forum.

Posted in Behavior, Horse Videos | 4 Comments

4 Responses to “Is Your Horse Sleep Deprived? Watch These Videos to Learn More.”

  1. ozzie41 says:

    I have a horse with a sleep disorder. She has a pasture mate and I have never seen her lay down in the pasture. But with her I think she is insecure in the pasture. She grew up in a stall and I have 5 acres of pasture; I don’t think she feels comfortable enough outdoors. She even fell asleep the other day while I was on her back! Great article, I didn’t think it was possible and that it was just my imagination.

  2. etta mae says:

    I had a Thoroughbred gelding who began experiencing these same episodes when he was approximately 20 years old. Veterinarians consulted could offer no insight. Although his turnout was in a separate paddock, he had contact over the fence. At the age of 27 his stomach was scoped for an issue he was having, at which time it was discovered he had a gastric ulcer. It was determined the stomach acid aggravated the ulcer when he would lie down and made it too uncomfortable for him. After a short time of being placed on U-Gard, he had no more episodes and it wasn’t uncommon to see him stretched out soaking up the sun! Regardless, we were thankful he no longer would have injuries to his lips and chin from hitting the ground.

  3. [...] ago I remember reading an article in Equus about sleep behaviors and habits of horses. Here it is:…sorder_121506/ Another one:…r/eqsleep1772/ In no other department [...]

  4. [...] in horses, and to visit their website to watch actual video of sleep-deprived horses: Tags: Ask the [...]

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