So back in November my horse began having discharge out of his left nostril only and it was mainly milky white or clear with no odor. Suddenly one day there was a nasty smell and he was being chunks and we had the vet out next morning who believed it to be a sinus infection and prescribed 10days of smz's 12 tabs 2x a day and another antibiotic in the same dosage for 14 days that I forget the name of. This cleared up the smelly stuff and we thought he was better. He still had clear discharge from that nostril so we weren't concerned overly until about 6 weeks ago when it turned milky white and then progressively began getting 'chunky'.
So 3 weeks so we made an appointment with the specialty vet and this week (was earliest appointment) hauled him to have him scoped, teeth checked and x rays. Based on all this the vet determined it was sinus infection that had never really cleared up completely and decided to triphinate him and drained 3 bags of saline and iodine solution through the sinus as well as prescribing 5 weeks of smz's 15 tabs 2x a day and 11 days of metro's 15 tabs 3x a day. He's getting these dissolved and given in a syringe to ensure he gets everything as he wasn't too thrilled with them in his grain.
He's only been on these since Wednesday evening and I'm naturally a worrier so I was just hoping someone would have reassuring stories or suggestions on what else we could be doing? I'm a broke 20 year old who lives on her own and treating this has literally just taken everything my boyfriend and I had saved up at the time. If this doesn't work the next step would be another 30 days of antibiotics and if that doesn't work he mentioned a c flap surgery which will be very costly. It's still very early in the treatment but I'm already so worried about whether this treatment has been successful enough to avoid a c flap.
Hopefully someone will chime in with successful stories for you.
The vet is warning you now about the C-flap surgery because sinus issues can be very difficult to treat. However, there are treatment options between a single flushing + antibiotics and C-flap surgery, so I would talk to your vet and the specialist again.
Make it clear, if you haven't already, that budget is an issue and C-flap surgery might not be in the cards for you. Ask what other options are available, their cost, and the pros/cons of those approaches vs. C-flap surgery.
This will let you know what the vets are thinking, what treatment plans have worked for them, and you can make decisions based on likely outcomes and budget concerns. It's a lot less overwhelming when you have a firm plan in mind.
I haven't met a vet yet who didn't understand budget concerns or was unwilling to work with people to figure out a viable plan.
And in the meantime, while you're waiting to see if the current treatment works, do whatever you can to make the money you might need for the next phase of treatment. Then you'll have the money in hand if it's needed, and if the current treatment works -- which is ideal -- you'll have paid back your savings and while these couple months might end up being very stressful for you, they'll be over and you can more forward again.
I have had 2 horses with sinus infections. The first needed to have the hole opened and drained, followed by months flushing, injections, and SMZs. That cost me about 2k. it never returned.
Recently I had a gelding that got one, and his cleared with antibiotic injections (what's the name of the strongest antibiotics?) for a week. I thought his was coming back and panicked, because I had just had major surgery, but he was fine. I did end up giving him back to his former owner, but not because of that. He was getting unruly on the ground and I didn't want to get hurt.
My mare had an abscessed tooth removed in Oct. 2010. Then in Feb. 2012, we noticed an intermittent smelly white discharge, very similar to the tooth discharge. We had xrays taken and it showed fluid in the sinus on the same side of the tooth previously removed. We took her to the clinic where she stayed for a week of daily flushing. She came back home on abx for about 3 weeks. During that time, she was still having a heavy discharge. I called the vet back and he explained to me that when the tooth was removed, even though we had put packing in the space, eventually the next tooth moved forward. That created a space (I forget the name) where food got trapped and it made a track to the sinus. Hence the next infection. I also talked to the dentist who had examined my mare that week and she explained that it may come back and to treat with antibiotics. That she had had horses who were on abx (with probiotics) for a long time and lived quite well (even showed). There really was not anything else we could do, esp. since she knew that the budget was a serious concern. She said it was not a question of life or death. She never mention the c-flap surgery in our case. The discharge disappeared.
Now, of course I am on the other side of the pond, and my daughter reports that the smell is back and the discharge is back... sigh... We will monitor and have the vet come back. We will probably start a course of abx, have her teeth floated and remove any food trapped in the gap.
I am not worried. The mare is now on grass and the dentist did say last year that grass was much better than hay and did not ball like hay. Of course, she is really fat too and will need a muzzle... she will hate us!!