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View Full Version : Farm dogs and horse poop- Do you worry?



Mrs.ChickenBritches
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:21 AM
I have a young cattle dog who has developed a seizure disorder. Based on bloodwork, the emergency vet thought epilepsy. My regular vet is less forward on any diagnosis because I cant afford the amount of testing she wants done.

She did tell me though that the seizures could be caused by worms because my dog sometimes snags a turd when I am cleaning the paddocks. Believe me the poop eating is very minimal and the dog is never outside without someone watching her, also my horses are on a regular deworming schedule.

I went ahead and did the 3 days of panacure like the vet recommended. She told me a lot of their clients think its a miracle cure. Of course it didn't have any affect on my dog, just like I thought it wouldn't, I hate to think the worm loads other dogs were carrying to make them that sick.

Anyway, does it concern you that your dog may eat some horse poop? Should I take it more seriously than I do?

deltawave
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:23 AM
I've had three dogs with epilepsy, none of whom ever ate horse turds. My lab supplements her diet with horse poop every day, no seizures. :lol:

I don't worry about anything but the dumb beast getting impaled on the pitchfork when I'm picking up the paddocks, she's that fixated on eating the stuff. :rolleyes:

Grataan
Jan. 10, 2011, 10:25 AM
Since he is a cattle dog, you should have him tested for the MDR1 gene mutation, which causes sensitivity to drugs (ivermectin being one of the most common knowledge ones)

Should you deworm the horses and he eat some of that poop he could die.

Was it JSalem who had a dog do that? A poster here had a dog nearly die after eating manure post-deworming.

Epilepsy is not an unusual problem in dogs. I would ask for a referral to a neurologist.

DW: :lol:

Edit: So long as he's not snacking on ivermectin poop with an MDR1 mutation I wouldn't worry about it. He should be on a regular heartworm preventive anyway and most of those nowadays take care of "regular" intestinal parasites too.

Mrs.ChickenBritches
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:30 AM
The current vet feels strongly that its not epilepsy but wont say why other than she feels my dog was too young when the first seizure happened.

It turns out I can do the test for the mdr1 gene myself and send it to the University. I will do that as soon as I can and not deworm with ivermectin until I get results. Thank you for the info!:)

deltawave
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:31 AM
Brady, the golden: first seizure at 14 weeks. I'm not sure how vets classify epilepsy other than "repeated seizures", however. :confused:

Mrs.ChickenBritches
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:43 AM
From what I understand from the emergency vet, who was great, its a rule out diagnosis. Her blood work was completely normal, negative heartworm test, negative fecal, no recent head injury, etc. She was 10 months at the time of the first one. The next two came together 6 weeks later. She is now on meds.

Its possible that it is something else, she has developed some uncoordination and a slight head tremor/bob when she is overexcited or overtired. I am her 3rd owner and finally tracked down the original breeder who I think may have lied about a few things. But thats neither here nor there.

SMF11
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:47 AM
Mrs Chickenbritches -- because you are new to the site, you might not know that Deltawave is a doctor, and Grataan is a vet, so their advice is worth considerably more than the average internet poster!

HorseBabble
Jan. 10, 2011, 12:07 PM
10 months is most definitely not too early for idiopathic epilepsy to rear it's ugly head! But I am glad to hear your girl is now on medication. Cluster seizures are very, very scary.

The uncoordination could be due to the medication. The most common epilepsy meds are barbiturates and most vets put them on a loading dose to start. That's not to say that there can't be another cause, but idiopathic epilepsy is very common in dogs (5-7% across all dogs, ridiculously high in some breeds).

A good resource for you may be http://www.canine-epilepsy.net/.

Good luck to you both.

Wayside
Jan. 10, 2011, 01:19 PM
I used to own a Collie, so I had the ivermectin thought as well, though I think that base has been pretty well covered. Our Collie did not have the mutation, and could have ivermectin, but he had a sensitive stomach, and would get horrible diarrhea any time he ate horse poop. Thankfully he was an extremely obedient dog, so he learned very quickly that poop eating was not allowed, and it wasn't a big deal.

Tessa, my current mutt, is on completely the other end of the spectrum. She is quite determined to eat poop of any variety but her own, but has great intestinal fortitude. Never had a problem.

Neither of them ever had seizures, for what it's worth.

And I am not a vet or a doctor, so this is a purely anecdotal observation with a very small sample size. :winkgrin:

deltawave
Jan. 10, 2011, 01:58 PM
I appreciate the props, but I claim NO EXPERTISE at all on the topic of canine neurology! :) I've just had a lot of defective dogs. :p

betsyk
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:10 PM
Also claiming nothing but anecdotal experience: we board at a big barn that allows boarders to bring their dogs. Have boarded there for 10+ years and have watched many, many dogs eat much horse poop (including 3 of my own). To the best of my knowledge, none of the regular dog-pack have developed epilepsy, or acquired horse parasites from the horse poop. We do get dogs with occasional tapes from the random dead things they find in the woods and pastures.

Laurierace
Jan. 10, 2011, 02:16 PM
Sometimes I think poop makes up a larger portion of my dog's diet than food does. Their life is an all you can eat buffet with horses, cats and goats. It appears as if cat is the preferred munchie but any will do. I try not to let them lick me in the face after we have been to the barn but other than that I have no worries. Animals are all dewormed regularly.

Mrs.ChickenBritches
Jan. 10, 2011, 03:06 PM
Thanks everyone for the responses.

I am going to test her for the mutation suggested this next payday. If it comes back ok then I wont worry about the snack time. If it comes back positive...is it ok to never deworm your horses with ivermectin? I've always had it as part of my rotation.

pAin't_Misbehavin'
Jan. 10, 2011, 03:13 PM
I am going to test her for the mutation suggested this next payday. If it comes back ok then I wont worry about the snack time. .

A dog can get ivermectin poisoning without having the mdR1 mutation, can't it?

Grataan
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:38 PM
Edit for clarity: The email addresses posted below are readily available to the general public on several websites. I'm not some random weirdo who goes around posting her colleagues' private email addresses :)
A dog can get ivermectin poisoning without having the mdR1 mutation, can't it?

Yes, but it is much less likely.


If it comes back positive...is it ok to never deworm your horses with ivermectin? I've always had it as part of my rotationNot really, it is still a good broad spectrum dewormer. What I would suggest is you consider switching to a deworming program based upon fecal egg counts (you can have these done at a clinic or do them yourself at home, lots of info available on the board already about these) and when you use ivermectin, keep the dog away from the poop (don't bring him to the barn, or crate him away from the poop) for a while.


I appreciate the props, but I claim NO EXPERTISE at all on the topic of canine neurology! I've just had a lot of defective dogs. I'm going to repeat what DW said, I'm large-animal only practice, just worked lots of shifts moonlighting in the animal ER during vet school


Its possible that it is something else, she has developed some uncoordination and a slight head tremor/bob when she is overexcited or overtired. I am her 3rd owner and finally tracked down the original breeder who I think may have lied about a few things. But thats neither here nor there. Please ask for a referral to a veterinary neurologist. There are several in your area:

Vancouver BC:

Dr. Nicholas J. H. Sharp
Canada West Veterinary Specialists & Critical Care Hospital
1988 Kootenay St.
Vancouver, B.C. V5M 4Y3
Tel: 604-473-4882
www.accg.com

Washington
kirkland

Dr. Sean G. Sanders
Seattle Veterinary Specialists
11814 - 115th Ave NE
Suite 102
Kirkland, WA 98034
Tel: 425-823-9111
www.svsvet.com
lynnwood

Dr. Karen L. Kline
VCA Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle
20115 44th Ave., West
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Tel: 425-697-6106; 866-872-5800
Email: klinester@live.com
www.vscs.com

Dr. Jessica M. Snyder
VCA Veterinary Specialty Center of Seattle
20115 44th Ave., West
Lynnwood, WA 98036
Tel: 425-697-6106; 866-872-5800
www.vscs.com
pullman

Dr. Annie Vivian Chen
Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences
Washington State University
100 Grimes Way
Pullman, WA 99164
Tel: 509-595-7006 or 509-335-0711
Email: avchen@vetmed.wsu.edu
www.vetmed.wsu.edu
tacoma

Dr. Gerald J. (Jerry) Demuth
Summit Veterinary Referral Center
2505 S. 80th Street
Tacoma, WA 98409
Tel: 253-983-1114
Email: demuthj@me.com
www.summitvets.com
www.animalneurology.com

Oregon:
beaverton:
Dr. Steven F. Skinner
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital
9339 SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy
Beaverton, OR 97005
Tel: 503-292-3001
E-mail: SFSNeuro@aol.com
clackamas

Dr. Robert A. Kroll
Northwest Veterinary Specialists
16756 S.E. 82nd Drive
Clackamas, OR 97015
Tel: 503-656-3999
www.northwestvetspecialists.com

Dr. Tracy N. Prouty
Northwest Veterinary Specialists
16756 S.E. 82nd Drive
Clackamas, OR 97015
Tel: 503-656-3999
E-mail: tracester88@hotmail.com
www.northwestvetspecialists.com

Grataan
Jan. 10, 2011, 11:46 PM
I just remembered an odd "zebra" case I read about in a journal in vet school.

Patient presented with strange neuro symptoms which progressed into epilepsy like seizures. MRI was performed as the owner was employee of the VTH-patient had cuterebrae larvae in the brain. Surgery performed-patient recovered well.

They tell us in vet school and I'm sure they told DW in med school: if you hear hoofbeats, think horses, not zebras-which means think of the most likely diagnoses first-don't go dreaming up wild or exotic diseases. It really isn't odd for a young dog to have epilepsy. It IS odd for a dog to have a cuterebra in the brain in our area. (or at least it was when I was in school) Cats moreso, but now that I've piqued my interest, it seems to be more common in the NE/Canada and only in certain months (I have never even really been to the NE or Canada aside from Canadian Arabian Nationals)

It never hurts to ask a board certified specialist for his or her opinion, and I would NEVER be offended if one of my clients asked for a referral to a specialty hospital or VTH.

ladybugred
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:15 AM
My first puppy, not first dog, was rescued from a yard with an intact male and female with NO vet care. The first time she pooped I thought she must have eaten shoelaces there were that many worms in her poo!!! She never once exhibited signs of seizures, so I would hate to know how much MORE of a worm load a dog would have to have to cause seizures.

I would think epilepsy, it's a lot more common in dogs these days. I would spring for the neurologist.


Good luck

LBR

MistyBlue
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:27 AM
MrsChickenBritches...best wishes that you get to the bottom of this with your dog.


Patient presented with strange neuro symptoms which progressed into epilepsy like seizures. MRI was performed as the owner was employee of the VTH-patient had cuterebrae larvae in the brain. Surgery performed-patient recovered well.


Grataan, you've been on here long enough to know to post an accompanying video of something like this, right? :winkgrin:

Grataan
Jan. 11, 2011, 01:53 AM
MrsChickenBritches...best wishes that you get to the bottom of this with your dog.



Grataan, you've been on here long enough to know to post an accompanying video of something like this, right? :winkgrin:

Oh I would if I could but I can't remember the case very well. It could have been part of our neuro note pack, or I might have read it in the library, I can't even remember what journal it was published in. But if I had video, I'd youtube it ;)

OH OH OH, I found it (kind of) this describes what I was talking about feline ischemic encephalopathy (http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/neurological/c_ct_feline_ischemic_encephalopathy)

Here's some video for you sickos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70tYi_NcLuM

LauraKY
Jan. 11, 2011, 10:18 AM
For those of you who know, how long does it take for Quest not to be a problem in manure?

Mrs.ChickenBritches
Jan. 11, 2011, 10:21 AM
Grataan
Thank you so much for the information!

Grataan
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:16 PM
Grataan
Thank you so much for the information! You're welcome! Insomnia to the rescue again lol.


For those of you who know, how long does it take for Quest not to be a problem in manure? I have to find the actual length of time, but I believe moxidectin is much more quickly degraded in manure than ivermectin

Grataan
Jan. 11, 2011, 12:27 PM
I found one article which states while ivermecin is detectable in trace amounts for a while post deworming, 90% is gone within four days of deworming date.

The other article I read said that ivermectin was easily degraded in manure by exposure to sunlight or hot composting.

deltawave
Jan. 11, 2011, 02:08 PM
Cuterebrae in the brain. Straight out of a "House" episode! :lol:

But my brain keeps seeing "chupacabra". :p

appaloosalady
Jan. 11, 2011, 02:49 PM
Cuterebrae in the brain. Straight out of a "House" episode! :lol:

But my brain keeps seeing "chupacabra". :p

:lol: Glad I'm not the only one!