I will state right away that this is not my horse and the horse is under vet care.
20 yo Hannovarian grey gelding. Has been out 24/7 since beginning of May but BO brought horses in a few night when the temperature dropped. Thursday night, she could not catch this gelding and two others in his field. She tried several times (because sometimes if he/they see others coming in, they will want to come in). Nope, not this time.
She was concerned because said horse had been clipped a week or so earlier (grows very long and heavy coat over winter and takes forever to shed. This year, owner decided to clip.)
BO dewormed horses that night, but he missed it. So, she tried to bring him in the next morning and saw right away something was wrong. He stood as if he had just peed, still tried to avoid her, but she did catch him. She needed help to bring him in as he was ataxic, stumbled at the gate, at the barn door, almost walked into a wall he knows is there.. Placed him in his stall, took his temperature (95 F!!). Blanketed him and continued monitoring him. He ate his hay, drank, peed, pooped. The vet was coming a few hours later (actually two different vets were there that afternoon and I really liked how they were bouncing info/ideas off of each other).
Other strange symptoms: gums were purple, legs were cold all the way up, and vet determined that he could not see out of his right eye (hence the moment of panic when she went into the stall). She took blood samples (and took them straight to the university lab herself Friday at 5 pm to get results faster). She started him on banamine, dex and abx (not sure which one).
Owner was then informed by the vet (they are friends and owner is at least 2 hours away. BO felt she wanted some answers/info before she talked to the owner and knew vet was a close friend who could answer questions calmly w/o panicking owner.)
Yesterday, owner spent the whole day sitting with her horse who was much better. He did not have the same worried look, was nickering and licking everything in sight... very wet stall overnight and lots of drinking. Eating normally. Vet came back for more blood tests too. Temperature still in the 95 F range.
Legs still cold. Rubbing his tail a lot.
the only thing the lab came back with was some sort of mosquito born disease BUT after some research it turns out the only cases were in the Middle East!!!
Let's specify we are NOT in a mosquito area at the best of times (no standing water, windy, etc. flies yes, mosquitoes no) and this is NOT mosquito weather. No ticks either. It is cold (under 10 C lately). There are no poisonous snakes at all here (the odd garter snake that's all), no toxic weeds.
He could have fallen and tweaked something, but no marks...
Hopefully, when I go back today, there will be more answers. We all love the horse and the owner and are all jingling that he recovers quickly. The vet chose this treatment at first because she had another horse (known to the owner as well, at another farm) which showed the same symptoms and he recovered fully. However, they never did find out the cause.
So, any idea?
Last edited by FalseImpression; Jun. 1, 2013 at 11:33 AM.
they have not come up with a definite answer, no. I am not looking for an answer from Coth, just ideas. He is not my horse and we are all puzzled about this.
There have been tons of threads where vets were stumped and people still asked here. I don't see why this is wrong. If you don't want to suggest anything, that's fine.
Sometimes, people have had the same situation...
I doubt anyone would go all the way to his field. We have a very long driveway, then two houses, then the barn and his field is behind all that. Plus two very attentive barn dogs who know who is supposed to be on the farm.
From his owner today: "the vets are leaning more and more towards cushings.y" Every symptom can be linked to Cushings. My DD did some reading last night and came up with the same possibility.
Pituitary gland regulates body temperature, so a tumour there could explain the low body temperature. It was still 35.8 C today.
The fatty deposits in the cavity above the eyes can apparently put pressure on the optic nerve, hence loss of vision.
The purple gums... dehydration can also cause that... although he has been drinking, but peeing a lot too.
The very thick hair he grows every year... owner said she had mentioned to the vet in the Fall that maybe he should be tested.. but wrong time of the year, she was away at school and they did not get around to that earlier.
There may be other issues too though (melanomas ?) pressing on nerves re some neuro symptoms too (ataxia).
She said the test re Cushings will be done tomorriow and they will know more. They wanted to make sure there was no contagion risk.
He was much more alert, nickering and moving in his stall today. Still licking anything in sight though... Owner feels better after spending two full days with him by his stall. She has to go back to work in Toronto tomorrow but will be in touch with the vet and BO.
BO said he acted normal on Thursday night and for him not to want to be caught is not unusual. Owner did say she felt he was not normal (to her) last weekend but did not say anything because she did not want to sound like a worry wart. BO has said many times that she'd rather be told of ANYTHING so she can keep a closer eye... and I know I have mentioned things about my horses...
Not sure anyone would be interested,but that lovely gentle horse left us today for greener pastures. We are all sad and his owner's heart is broken.
I guess cushings was undetected for too long. Owner had wanted the test done last year, but it was the wrong time and then she was away at school, except for brief visits.
I am not sure what they started him on, but on Thursday, he started having really bad diarrhea and was drinking a bucket/hour, peeing like crazy. He was still nickering at anyone going by his stall!
Today, it got even worse and the vet and the owner agreed that it was time. His system was shutting down.
So Godspeed Silver, you will be missed. You were loved by all, even when you flattened your ears... your nicker won us back all the time!
I too thought cushings with the history of him not shedding out. Giving him Dex was probably not the best option being that they didn't know the underlying cause... sad to see the outcome, but glad the owner made the tough choice rather than trying to have him fight on.
Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.
Dex was given in order to do the dex suppression test which helps diagnose Cushings.
It was hard for the owner. She was away all year at school and was looking forward to a summer of loving on him. She has a very strong support team! I think my BO took it hard.
We were all remembering that, when he first arrived retiring from a show career, he would pace at the gate after 1/2 hour of t/o. He would paw, call, etc. Then he went with other horses and had to be separated from them sometimes as he was kind of ornery. I don't know if there is any truth to this, but he was sometimes on his own in the herd... until another grey came! They were best buddies... and, most often, he was the horse who would not be caught to come in!
We will miss him!