The Challenge

This case report describes the story of a young horse with a partial paralysis of the facial nerve, a nerve that runs down the face.
The paralysis was the consequence of a trauma: the 2 years old stallion remained stuck in a high fence after having try to jump into the side paddock where a young beautiful mare ran happy spreading its charming and attractive fragrances in the air.
More than three hours have passed before someone noticed the colt hung up and stuck to the high fence, freeing.
The trauma caused a severe inflammation and swelling of the face with the partial reduction of the facial nerve conduction which caused reduced movement of the muscles of the facial expression. A severe inflammation and infection of the guttural pouch and a reduced deglutition caused by the severe oedema also occurred. The colt presented difficult walking and lack of balance while standing up.

What We Did

The vet came immediately and the young horse was treated with classical therapy recommended in these cases in order to reduce the general inflammation, swelling of face and neck and pain caused by the trauma.
Having solved the inflammation, after two months, the colt was able to run and move properly again but these let to severe trauma of the hanging tongue. The partial reduction of the facial nerve conduction still remained not completely solve indeed, keep on showing dropped right ear, partial closed right eyelid, closed right nostril, partial deviation of nose and lip and hanging tongue.
In such a condition, chronic reduced or absent tear production with eyelid partial paresis or paralysis, resulted in recidivist corneal ulceration. In chronic lesions, contracted muscle cause the nose to deviate more toward the lesion. That firm and inflexible muscles also caused the affected nostril unable to dilate properly on inspiration. The animal still drooling excessively was victim of oesophagus stroking episodes.
For this reason the Vet referred me the colt to integrate acupuncture to standard treatment still in progress in order to accelerate the healing improvement.
I proposed electroacupuncture instead of dry acupuncture to give a stronger stimulation to the nerve conduction. The electroacupuncture session has been done every other day for a total of 6 treatments.

The Outcome

After 6 treatments the horse was much better except for the nose and lower lip still partially deviated and dangling. At this stage I was not able to work safely anymore since the facial sensitivity was almost completely restored and the young stallion no longer tolerated the tickling sensation created by the needles.
Thank to electroacupuncture combined with standard therapy, we were able to accelerate the healing and restore the nerve conduction quickly to avoid any other possible consequence.
Terrible adventure for both colt and owner but a good end.