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Please Help with a Diagnosis ~!!!

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  • Please Help with a Diagnosis ~!!!

    We have a yearling stud colt who on Friday evening had slightly swollen hind legs. We attributed it to a hot day and not moving around to much. We gave him a gram of bute and rechecked in the a.m. Saturday morning he had 4 stove pipes for legs, could barely walk and was running a fever of 104 degrees. Also had loss of appetite and no drinking very much water.

    The vet came out immediately, ran blood work, and gave him some banamine, penacillian, and told us to cold hose him 4 times daily for 20 minutes each time. We also put him on Sulpha Tabs (10 pills, 2 times daily) and bute (1 gram daily).

    Blood work came back, and it all was GOOD, which in essense means that it's bad, because we don't know WHAT caused this.

    Today, the swelling is all but gone in his legs, but over the course of the evening, he has begun to have muscle wastage over his spine. He looks emanciated. A specialist was consulted and her advise was to run a strangles titer (sp?) test, and test for EIA (Coggins).

    Now here is a little background information.....

    We live on Vancouver Island in British Columbia Canada. This horse was born on this property, and has never been off the property.

    We run a VERY closed herd. There are 8 other horses on the property including foals. No other horse has shown ANY signs of ANYTHING.

    All vaccinations and wormings are current.

    There have been NO reported cases of EIA on Vancouver Island EVER.

    There have been a few reported cases of Strangles on the Island, but nothing at present.

    I understand "WHY" the vets are running these two tests (at my expense) to cover their butts, but in the meantime.......We seem to have lost what is important here, which is the well being of our colt and the treatment of him (if and when we find what's wrong)........

    We now have been advised to stop with the bute to see if anything swells.

    The Strangles titer (sp?) test will take 5 days to have results.....in the meantime, we do nothing........

    Anyone PLEASE, do you have any ideas where to go with this.

    All suggestions would be greatly appreciated as the vets can't seem to put their finger on it.....
    Breeders of American Saddlebreds and Georgian Grande's
    www.grandeislefarm.com

  • #2
    Did they check for Lyme? Jingles for your guy
    Epona Farm
    Irish Draughts and Irish Draught Sport horses

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    Comment


    • #3
      Some kind of tick fever??

      Equine Piroplasmosis?

      An infection somewhere?

      Allergic reaction?

      Good luck ~ hope to hear good news.

      Comment


      • #4
        jongles. I hope you can figure it out....keep us posted. Question, the atrophy you see above his back, is this possibly loss of weight from now eating? Has his appetite improved? Are you having the incredibly hot weather everyone else is having?
        May the sun shine on you daily, and your worries be gone with the wind.
        www.mmceventing.com

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        • #5
          Stove pipe leg automatically makes me think cellulitis or lymphangitis (or snake bite)- but not in all 4 legs at the same time.

          My next thought is Potomac Horse Fever. I don't know if you have it there (or if it could have been imported somehow), but it can produce that kind of swelling along with founder.

          Good luck figuring this out!

          Comment


          • #6
            It is very possible he has some sort of virus. We had an older gelding do this very same thing a couple years ago. He never had left this farm in three years, no other horses were sick at all, he ran high temps, swollen legs, looked drawn up. WE treated with banamine twice daily, took temps twice daily and just basically kept fever down with Banamine and a "wait and see" attitude. If he began to show signs of infetion we would treat with anitbiotics, but he never did. Eventually, after about five days his temps went down, his appetite increased, the swelling took a few months to totally resolve. Just wanted to add all of this treatment was under care of veterinarian, not something we decided to do on our own!
            Last edited by shawneeAcres; Aug. 3, 2010, 06:52 PM.
            www.shawneeacres.net

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            • #7
              Equine Erlichia?
              Patty Stiller CNBBT,CNBF,CLS, CE
              Natural Balance Certified Lameness Specialist ,instructor.
              www.hoofcareonline.com

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd investigate the toxic weed Hoary alyssum.

                http://www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca...hoary-alyssum-

                "Hoary alyssum is toxic to horses, and can cause fever, edema, and laminitis. Sensitivity varies when small or single doses are ingested, and death has only been reported in horses that have consumed hay infested with a large proportion (30-70%) of hoary alyssum."

                Link to PDF file that includes range:
                http://www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca...yssum_TIPS.pdf


                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  Sounds reasonable.....

                  Horses that have been exposed to Strep (the causative agent for Strangles) can atypically cause these symptoms when the antigen-antibody complexes "gum-up" the lymphatics and impede drainage from the lower limbs.

                  I'd keep working with your veterinarians.....sounds like they're working to diagnose your colt. Hope he gets better soon!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by animaldoc View Post
                    Horses that have been exposed to Strep (the causative agent for Strangles) can atypically cause these symptoms when the antigen-antibody complexes "gum-up" the lymphatics and impede drainage from the lower limbs.

                    I'd keep working with your veterinarians.....sounds like they're working to diagnose your colt. Hope he gets better soon!
                    Thank-you....and just to clarify....I am still working with the vets, my original post might have come off sounding frustrated, which I am, but I am no doctor, and must rely on the people who I have entrusted the well being of my horses to.......I know they are doing there best.



                    Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                    Stove pipe leg automatically makes me think cellulitis or lymphangitis (or snake bite)- but not in all 4 legs at the same time.

                    My next thought is Potomac Horse Fever. I don't know if you have it there (or if it could have been imported somehow), but it can produce that kind of swelling along with founder.

                    Good luck figuring this out!
                    The vet has ruled out lymphangitis, and we don't have poisionous snakes here.....I'm unaware of the Potomac Horse Fever, so will have to google that. Thank-you

                    Originally posted by gold2012 View Post
                    jongles. I hope you can figure it out....keep us posted. Question, the atrophy you see above his back, is this possibly loss of weight from now eating? Has his appetite improved? Are you having the incredibly hot weather everyone else is having?
                    That's what I thought at first, but I can't imagine him losing such noticeable weight over night. His appetite has improved, but still not up to par, so yes, I would expect a little weight loss, but his ribs are still covered, no weight loss there!

                    Our weather is hot for here, we have been about 7 weeks without rain, but not the 100+ degree temps that are being experienced elsewhere.....We are in the 70-80 degree range.
                    Breeders of American Saddlebreds and Georgian Grande's
                    www.grandeislefarm.com

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Percheron X View Post
                      I'd investigate the toxic weed Hoary alyssum.

                      http://www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca...hoary-alyssum-

                      "Hoary alyssum is toxic to horses, and can cause fever, edema, and laminitis. Sensitivity varies when small or single doses are ingested, and death has only been reported in horses that have consumed hay infested with a large proportion (30-70%) of hoary alyssum."

                      Link to PDF file that includes range:
                      http://www.invasiveplantcouncilbc.ca...yssum_TIPS.pdf


                      .
                      I haven't seen this weed in our fields, nor did I see it present in the hay we've purchased. (saw the hay before baled).

                      I also talked to the vet about the hay, and she doesn't feel that it is something that has been ingested....she strongly feels that it is viral. Now that being said, I'm sure she would look seriously into any toxins that could have been injested.....
                      Breeders of American Saddlebreds and Georgian Grande's
                      www.grandeislefarm.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OP, I just wanted to tell you that when my horse was sick (fence post hind legs, watermelon sized knees, high fever) he lost 200 pounds in two weeks and the weight loss was visible day to day even though the horse was eating more than he was ever allowed. Just from my experience they can loose weight that fast and it was both fat loss and extreme muscle loss.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Also remember severe dehydration can cause an emaciated look, but I can't image your horse isn't on iv fluids since he's been looked at by vets.

                          Quick question, Is their any fluid seeping through the skin on his legs?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Did any of the tests examine for muscle protein in the urine, or blood? Many viruses are known to cause a rapid inflammatory response (myositis) which will cause profound lameness; the fever is secondary to the viral infection. The total white blood cell count can be entirely normal, or even low-normal; however the 'differential' will often show a high percentage of lymphocytes, pointing the finger at a viral cause.

                            Interesting case; I wish you and your horse the very best.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Patty Stiller View Post
                              Equine Erlichia?
                              This is what my mare had, and she presented with similar symptoms to your colt, just not quite as high a fever.

                              I'd do a tick-borne diseases titer if ticks are common where you are.
                              Full-time bargain hunter.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Anaplasmosis. (It is not called ehrlicia anymore. The bacteria that causes the infection is anaplasma phagocytophilium) So with the identification of the bacteria, the condition has been renamed.) This is exactly what happened to my horse last fall. You have to treat with oxytetracycline in the vein for 5 days.

                                The blood test for this can be weird - there's 2 ways to test depending on how far along the horse would be in the infection. My horse was tested with BOTH tests, and both came back strongly positive.

                                I found 5 deer ticks on her.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I too would look at tick borne diseases...I hope the poor guy gets better soon...he really does have the best vet care possible on the Island...hang in there Betsy!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by VIfarmgirl View Post
                                    I too would look at tick borne diseases...I hope the poor guy gets better soon...he really does have the best vet care possible on the Island...hang in there Betsy!
                                    Well girl you finally decided to post, you've been lurking for far to long!!! Welcome to COTH.

                                    I mentioned tick born disease to the OP but not sure that would be the case........but....I got my new TheHOrse.com magazine and apparently there are two types of diseases asscoicated with ticks....the one the fits better is the one Auventera Two mentioned.

                                    Dalemma

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      i d be looking at tick borne dz
                                      sry for txtspeak--tendon surg yest
                                      "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                                      ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I talked to the OP yesterday and the vets are still suspecting a virus at work.........The OP had another foal with an eye injury and had to send the mare and foal to a clinic so the eye could be operated on and it is suspected that mom/foal brought something back to the farm from the hospital as the time line fits........we had all forgotten about this as mom and baby have been home for about 2weeks and doing great. So hopefully its just a virus that will run its course.

                                        Dalemma

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