It is always difficult when an animal is hurt or injured, especially #Horses that frequently have a difficult time healing. Horses present great companionship and bond with their owners, like that of Sophie and her horse Hazel. After displaying some odd behavior, it was determined that the American Paint Pony needs extensive care in the form of a probe and implant.

The various testing and diagnosis of Hazel’s neurological issues

Sophie began to notice various oddities in Hazel’s behavior, warranting a thorough examination by the vet. Hazel started flicking and shaking her head; she would rub her head on anything available to the point that her actions became too difficult to manage.

Hazel was diagnosed with #trigeminal nerve neuralgia or TN. It is a condition most commonly found in humans. The condition leads to extreme bouts of intense facial discomfort. TN was unheard of until the past ten years.

The treatment plan that saved Hazel

During the infancy of the strange conduct, everyone felt that Hazel had attitude and behavior issues. As the symptoms worsened, more tests were performed with feasible treatment options. A veterinary specialist became suspicious that Hazel was suffering from trigeminal nerve neuralgia (TN). A block was placed on this particular nerve and the symptoms disappeared. TN is tough to treat in humans and virtually unheard of in horses. Many animals were put down possibly due to the disorder, until now.

An experimental treatment was just introduced where a probe is placed just below the skin of the horse’s face to deliver electrical stimulation to the trigeminal nerve.

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The process showed great promise. Other studies involved the implant of pacemakers in horses for recurrent laryngeal neuropathy. Medicine has progressed drastically to allow #Implants in horses. Hazel became the first horse worldwide to obtain an electrical stimulation unit implant in the treatment of TN. She remained at the equine hospital until she could be moved to a nearby stable. With three electronic processors the size of a quarter, one was placed in Hazel’s forehead in a natural cavity, while the other two work as transmitters to deliver electrical stimulation.

Although the implant is in its experimental stage, Sophie feels blessed that Hazel was given a second chance at life. She states that she never met another horse that she loves as much as Hazel who is her beloved best friend.