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  1. #1
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    May. 19, 2010
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    158

    Default UPDATE: #17 Bastard Strangles (Intra-Abdominal) and good outcomes??...

    My 2 yr old colt went into the hospital a month ago with free-fluid in his abdominal cavitiy. Turned out that the peritoneal fluid cultured Strep equi. A week later I brought him home to take care of him around the clock.

    This is obviously going to be a long road, but I am wondering if anyone else has dealt with this and if you had positive outcomes.

    If so, what was your treatment protocol?

    How long did you treat with antibiotics?

    Was your horse able to eventually carry on a normal life/performance career?

    I have been lately constantly reminded of the possibility/probability of abdominal adhesions...so it has been very hard emotionally to deal with everything. I love him to pieces, bred and raised him, and he is such a talented young boy that the idea of him not making it absolutely tears my heart out. I will do anything to make his chances of living a full life possible.

    He was on K-Pen (IV penicillin) and SMZ's

    and we have switched to Chloramphenicol 4x/day

    He is getting all the hay he can eat, 2 main meals and 2 snacks every day

    AM and PM meals:
    1# beet pulp (soaked)
    2# alfalfa pellets
    2# soaked oats
    1/2# Luminance
    1/4 c ground flax/chia seed
    1 oz Probiotics

    AM: Cuppra (copper supp) 20 cc Immunall

    PM: SmartVite Grass, SmartLytes, SmartCombo Ultra, Platinum Performance, Source, 20 cc Afterace, 4 capsules Jarrow Saccaromyces

    Thinking of adding Serrapeptase with the hope that it will help to get rid of the fibrin in his abdominal cavity
    Last edited by JumpinBeans81; Nov. 14, 2011 at 07:36 PM. Reason: update



  2. #2
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    Oct. 25, 2007
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    ME!!!
    My heart horse had bastard strangles back in 2000. She was 5 at the time.

    It was a tough situation, since no one was able to id what her issue was for a few months.
    We would have purulent nasal discharge, high fevers, etc, and then fine and the roller coaster went like that for 3-4 months.
    During the time, we started with penicillin, then pen/gentocin, then naxcel, then baytril.
    Her abdominal fluid at the end had something like 384,000 wbc...yes, you read that right. But, she recovered.

    I just came home and gave her a nice pat and scratches as she is by the gate looking at me(for more hay).

    So, yes, they can survive.

    I do want to caution however, and this is a double edge sword. My mare at 17 has rotting teeth(molars), and we don't understand why. My human dentist suggested it could be from the antibiotics when she was still developing the teeth, or it could be other things too.
    I only mention this, because well, its a thought of why does this mare have such bad teeth. The equine dentist is not so sure that is the cause, and then some have said it is because she is a draft, and they are notorious for having bad teeth. Who knows.

    Just make sure you are dealing with a good vet, who will seek out the help of UofKy(Gluck) or Cornell or Davis...vets who are doing research and knowledgable about this disease and any recent research.
    Good luck.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  3. #3
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    May. 19, 2010
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    Default

    Thank you for your encouragement!

    It's so frustrating because he looks fine, normal. Lately since the switch from pen to chloramphenicol his temp has been fluctuating and he is rather quiet by comparison, but that could be because he's just bored...and it has been raining and gray for the last 2 days. Normally he'd be walking in circles all day waiting for a little turnout time.

    Once you figured out what it was how long did you have her on antibiotics? Did she develop a large amount of fibrin from the peritonitis? Do you ride/work your mare?

    I have had 3 vets now tell me that he's likely to develop adhesions, that I should consider putting him down or get rid of him ASAP and I feel like telling them to shut the he!! up until it becomes relevent (well actually, the last vet I did tell off) I need solutions. answers. not doomsday.



  4. #4
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    Oct. 25, 2007
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    Absolutely, how insensitive of those vets to tell you such negative bs.

    Its been awhile, and I am so sorry, I really don't remember that much.

    She got bs at a training barn, and was brought home a month later. Then she was on penicillin for 10 days, everything fine. Then the temps started back. Nother round of pen, same thing, fine, then as soon as she went off, she'd have high temps.

    Pen/gent for a few rounds, same..once off meds, off she'd go...spiking high temps.
    then I call the hospital clinic, she went there for IV treatment of naxcel, I believe.
    then we were fine, and then not, and then she had blood in her peritoneal fluid, if I recall, plus it was very very dark...not a normal color. 384,000 wbc.

    In fact, Dr. Timoney from UKY called to say how sorry he was that I lost her(with that high of a wbc). But, she was recovering at the hospital and on baytril and was coming home. She has been fine ever since.

    I guess I say that with a caveat...she has had many illnesses, way more than any horse I have owned. SHe has caused me to be a anxious horse owner.
    But really, I worried the strangles would come back...and the vets all said.
    We could all be dead tomorrow and have a bus hit us. But, we live each day as it is given to us. Live your life, and let your mare live hers.

    I try.

    Call Cornell or UKY or whatever teaching hospital is near you..or which one you llike. Ask them questions. Be persistant. You are your horses' advocate..remember that, and ignore those pessimistic jerks.

    As far as adhesions, no, I can't honestly say I remember anyone telling me about that. But, again, what we have today for equipment vs 2000 is really advanced. I can't remember anyone 'worrying' me.

    Every illness she gets, I always ask, iis this the bs or related. I am lucky, the same internist vet has treated her for all the last 10 years, so knows her...and me. There have been no connections.

    I am not sure of chloramphenicol as a drug. It is very hard to knock out the walled off abscess'es that form, and why you need a strong drug.

    good luck
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  5. #5
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    May. 21, 2008
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    Sonoma County, California
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    Default

    Jingles to your horse and hugs to you. I have not dealt with bastard strangles but had a horse with internal pigeon fever, which is similar in that it has a high mortality rate even if treated. What made the difference in my case is that I worked with a vet who consulted, literally daily, with a vet at Davis who had the most expertise in the country in treating the condition, so we used the most cutting-edge protocol. Hopefully your vet is doing the same.

    I wish you and your horse the best!



  6. #6
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    Mar. 14, 2004
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    Left coast, left wing, left field
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    Default

    I'd like to offer support and empathy (in lieu of any real helpful information!). My heart horse recovered from purpura hemorrhagica resulting from strangles. I went through the same crap -- the vets telling me it was "decision time" and strongly discouraging me from attempting home care. I still have the paper that said her prognosis was "guarded at best". She was SO FREAKIN' HAPPY to get out of the hospital and have my attention and company.

    I had precautions about founder and precautions about colic and precautions about her hooves sloughing off and precautions about everything under the sun. She was 2 at the time -- she is 8 now and except for the scarring she is perfectly fine.

    Stay focused, stay sane. Treat symptoms. Treat for maximum comfort. Tell him you love him. Sleep outside his stall. Cry in his mane. My girl and I will be with you all the way!
    Arrange whatever pieces come your way. - Virginia Woolf

    Did you know that if you say the word "GULLIBLE" really softly, it sounds like "ORANGES"?



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoZ View Post
    I'd like to offer support and empathy (in lieu of any real helpful information!). My heart horse recovered from purpura hemorrhagica resulting from strangles. I went through the same crap -- the vets telling me it was "decision time" and strongly discouraging me from attempting home care. I still have the paper that said her prognosis was "guarded at best". She was SO FREAKIN' HAPPY to get out of the hospital and have my attention and company.

    I had precautions about founder and precautions about colic and precautions about her hooves sloughing off and precautions about everything under the sun. She was 2 at the time -- she is 8 now and except for the scarring she is perfectly fine.

    Stay focused, stay sane. Treat symptoms. Treat for maximum comfort. Tell him you love him. Sleep outside his stall. Cry in his mane. My girl and I will be with you all the way!

    I wish COTH had a "like" button!!!
    How people treat you is their KARMA.... how you REACT is yours!



  8. #8
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    Oct. 25, 2007
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    Default

    JoZ, I needed that too. My heart horse, who did have bastard strangles is having major health issues, and well, sometimes I just get down.

    I probably am going to bed in a little bit, because emotionally, I am drained.

    Its good to come here, see encouraging posts, and also to see ones where someone else is struggling too. Then I think, hey, you don't have it so bad, or I think, how many of us have gone through such tough times with our horses, and won!

    Jumpinbeans, I think of you often throughout the day, I know where you are, and its not fun.
    Take JoZ's advice, and remember to keep smiling, cause our horses see our worried faces.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  9. #9
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    Jul. 13, 2006
    Location
    St. Louis
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    Default

    I know of a horse who had bastard strangles and lived a very long, productive life. He was in his mid-teens and one hind leg would stock up every once in a while. It was a strangest thing. And he would be lame on that leg for a few days, the swelling would go down, and he would be fine. Many vets were consulted and no one could figure it out.

    THEN, all of a sudden, he had a huge hematoma on his abdomen. The vet drained it and it was bloody. Very strange indeed. It came back about a month later. And continued to do so.

    Keep in mind that all of this had been going on for over a year. The vet suggested taking the horse to Mizzou for further evaluation. They ended up doing exploratory surgery, and found bastard strangles intertwined with tendons, etc., in his abdomen. They removed most of it, and treated him with heavy doses of antibiotics. The horse fully recovered and never had an incident again.

    He was ont to live well into his twenties and turned out to be a beloved school horse.
    Member of My Balance is Poo Poo Clique



  10. #10
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    May. 19, 2010
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    Default

    I really wish there was a 'Like" button here too!

    Thank you for all of the encouraging words and stories, it helps me to keep an optimistic outlook, and give my boy the very best I can.

    As a little short update, I do think he is doing much better. He seems bright and happy...and even happier that he is no longer getting shots in the neck (I was offsetting some of the cost of KPen (IV) by using Procaine Pen IM 1x/day) He has loose stool on the Chloramphenicol, but even that seems to be starting to turn around. I have him on lots of probiotics. The biggest guage for me has been his evening temp. The last 2 days of using Pen his temp was totally normal at night, as soon as he was off the Pen (doc said to give him 2 days off of meds) it went up...he got 1 1/2 days off meds, I didn't want a flare up. Now he's been on Chloramphenicol for 5 days and temp tonight was normal.

    So since he can't be out on grass (neighboring horses are on the same fenceline) he has food in front of him at all times, and likes the soaked alfalfa/oat hay cubes the best. I have a little theory, which may or may not seem logical. But...one of the main things the vets have been warning about are adhesions...layers of thin tissue that adhere to organs with the possibility of causing obstruction or pain. If he always has something moving through his intestines, I am hoping that there is less likelihood of obstruction. And i am getting ready to order serrapeptase, the digestive enzyme that silkworms produce. It apparently helps eradicate obstructive tissues and residue. We'll see.

    that's my book for today. Happy moment; he now returns kisses. I gave him a kiss on his nose and he turned his head to the side and lightly lipped my cheek.

    Be sure to give all of your beasties a big hug and kiss, they surely know what it means. xx



  11. #11
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    Nov. 15, 2006
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    Lexington, Kentucky
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    Default

    Here! My tb mare got strangles in 1998 at the age of 11. One year later she coliced and was diagnosed with bastard strangles. She was also on pen, 50cc a day and smz's. I can't remember how long but a long time poor thing. She is still in my field and doing great!
    I feel for you and your boy but hang in there, it can be ok!
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
    www.dleestudio.com



  12. #12
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    Oct. 25, 2007
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    As I mentioned, my mare had bastard strangles back in 2000.

    I am curious how the vets are diagnosing bastard strangles...are they doing tests, taking ultrasounds, etc?

    My mare isn't doing well, and originally we thought it was teeth, and now I am looking at other areas.
    Unfortunately, my vets think I am a nut job, because for awhile I have been saying my mare isn't right. Its not just me, the last 3 people who have worked here, all say, something is wrong.
    I have other horses, and know when something is not right with one of them.

    Saturday nite after choking for 2 days in a row, and finding her down in the field, I called the hospital clinic to bring her in, they told me there was nothing they could do, just give her banamine and xyzaline.

    We are working on other problems, and trying to diagnose, but this thread made me realize, it could be bastard strangles rearing up after all these years.

    I am grasping at straws, but would appreciate 'how do they test for bastard strangles, and how is that different than testing for just strangles"?
    thanks
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  13. #13
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    Nov. 15, 2006
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    Lexington, Kentucky
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    Default

    Five horses I am sorry.
    They found my girl's by palpating when she coliced, the vet kept asking me if she was in foal. Took her in for an ultrasound and there was a watermelon sized abscess in her abdomen. They deduced that it was bastard strangles since she had had strangles ten months before.
    She had a real difficult time urinating because of the location of that abscess and today I think remnants of it still affect her as she has to get juuuust right to do it. But she is tough as nails and continues to do well at 24. She also had a bout with pigeon fever a couple years later but it was a different bacteria.
    Hoping for the best for these ponies.
    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
    www.dleestudio.com



  14. #14
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    May. 19, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by fivehorses View Post
    As I mentioned, my mare had bastard strangles back in 2000.

    I am curious how the vets are diagnosing bastard strangles...are they doing tests, taking ultrasounds, etc?

    My mare isn't doing well, and originally we thought it was teeth, and now I am looking at other areas.
    Unfortunately, my vets think I am a nut job, because for awhile I have been saying my mare isn't right. Its not just me, the last 3 people who have worked here, all say, something is wrong.
    I have other horses, and know when something is not right with one of them.

    Saturday nite after choking for 2 days in a row, and finding her down in the field, I called the hospital clinic to bring her in, they told me there was nothing they could do, just give her banamine and xyzaline.

    We are working on other problems, and trying to diagnose, but this thread made me realize, it could be bastard strangles rearing up after all these years.

    I am grasping at straws, but would appreciate 'how do they test for bastard strangles, and how is that different than testing for just strangles"?
    thanks
    If Bastard Strangles is internal and not just some other exterior location. It is hard to even diagnose, because they aren't the typical symptoms of Strangles...they aren't immediately looking for it. in my own horse's case he was posturing to urinate, but wouldn't and also had an erection most of the day. He'd lie down and get up, but wouldn't thrash, but his temp and bpm were both elevated. When the vet came out she ultrasounded his abdomen and found free fluid in his abdominal cavity. When he arrived at the clinic they tapped his belly and got 1.5+ gallons of yellow fluid back. They thought it was a ruptured bladder, but tests came back negative for urine. He was in the clinic for 3-4 days before they got a positive culture for strep equi.

    Because he had peritonitis, the fear is that he may develop adhesions from the remaining fibrin that will cause him to be uncomfortable later on, perhaps even obstructing the intestines. This is what I am told.

    I was told that if they have an active infection of strep that they will test positive for strep with a nasal swab culture.

    But, generally speaking from what I've heard horses that have contracted strep have a very longterm immunity to it, so I would also doubt that she is having a relapse of strep. They can do a PCR where they flush fluid from the gutteral pouches and culture that to be sure that there is no strep remains...but i just read that if there are even dead particles of the strep organism that it will give you a positive test.

    Does any of that help???

    So sorry your girl isn't feeling well I hope she gets back to herself again soon (((hugs)))

    I really like using spices and herbs when I can because horses are herbivores, and I have found good success in multiple situations where the herbal/spice formulation works better that the chemical/scientifically processed 'remedy'. I am all for using medication when necessary, but I also do a lot of alternative support as well. Make sure she's getting a good probiotic (horses need 24 billion live colonies for it to be effective), I get the human formulation by Jarrow, Saccaromyces (sp?) Baz gets 4 caps/day. Turmeric is basically the Indian medicine cabinet, but known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, it also is a COX-2 inhibitor and reduces inflammation. Ginger and Fenugreek for digestion. And then After Ace for the lymphatic system and Immunall for the immune system (UK based Herbal tinctures)

    I don't know yet if it is all for not, but I'd hate the nagging feeling if he didn't make it and I hadn't tried everything I am doing right now. Most of all though, I am really getting the time to bond with him, and that is priceless.



  15. #15
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    Oct. 25, 2007
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    Yes, when you try your best, its all we can do.

    It was a long time ago my mare had bs, but I do recall zillions of belly taps and very high wbc.

    She made it, and so have others...so focus on that.
    Thanks for your response.

    I hope you and your horse are back in full health soon.
    I guess as far as the adhesions...don't worry about them...they may happen, not will.
    Take care.
    I am going to check out those herbs, but basically, anything I give needs to be oral or in her hay. I do not and will not feed her mashed grain due to her choking.
    save lives...spay/neuter/geld



  16. #16
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    Oct. 25, 2011
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    A horse I was caring for in the mid '80's got bastard strangles. I was injecting him with 30cc of Combiotic am and pm. That's all we did for him. He was a really sick horse. I remember sitting in his stall with his head in my lap one night. He recovered entirely and was doing well last I heard of him at least 10 years later.



  17. #17
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    May. 19, 2010
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    158

    Talking



    So happy to report good news for anyone who was following this thread. Baz was on Chloramphenicol for 14 days, and his stool was getting looser and looser, his temps around the clock had been stable though for about 5 days. So, I took a bit of a risk and stopped giving it to him. His temps remained the same for about 5 days and then they spiked a little around (102.1) and he started acting colicky again....I thought the worst of course, had the vet out.

    My vet U/S'd his abdomen thinking he was going to have to drain him or that the intestines would have inflammed loops or lack of motility...nothing. Took a CBC and that came back perfect! His ulcer points were hot so we went ahead and started treatment with GastroMax (same thing as Gastrogard but 1/2 the price). He has been on the GastroMax 4 days now and doing really well. He still lays down a bit more than I'd like him to, but otherwise he's done a 180 from when the vet saw him.

    Thanks to all of your positive outlooks, it really helped me to keep looking at the light. Couldn't have managed without you. xx



  18. #18
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    Mar. 8, 2004
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    Baltimore, MD
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    From what I read Gastromax isn't even remotely related to Gastrogard let alone the same thing. Regardless, I am happy to hear your horse is doing well, congrats!



  19. #19
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    May. 19, 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    From what I read Gastromax isn't even remotely related to Gastrogard let alone the same thing. Regardless, I am happy to hear your horse is doing well, congrats!
    I actually rep the company...guess I should have been more specific, but i didn't want to 'advertise'. Just to get the facts straight, it does have the exact same levels of omeprazole as Gastrogard/Ulcergard added benefit of sodium acid carbonate...sililar to sodium bicarb in that it buffers acid immediately in the stomach, and also has l-glutamine which helps heal over mucosa. It does have another carrier in it which makes it extremely effective getting where it needs to be while bypassing the HCl environment in the stomach. You will see before/after photos soon on their website they are working with many vets, esp in wellington/W. Palm Beach, FL. They are having tremendous success with the product, so far 100% of the cases they have been following show no signs of ulceration on the 30 day scope...several with severe ulcers (8 out of 10)


    ANYhow...that's just to get the product info straight.



  20. #20
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    Feb. 15, 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by doublesstable View Post
    I wish COTH had a "like" button!!!
    Watermark and Joz, I remember your stories at the time. so glad they both recovered.

    Watermark, how is the big guy doing? I have lost the bookmark to your blog due to changing computers, but still think of him fondly!



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