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Confused about Lyme testing & NQR

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  • Confused about Lyme testing & NQR

    5yo OTTB, lives in 30 acres with three other geldings with a run in shed.. on SmartHoof Ultra Pellets, SmartGut, & glucosamine injections. (Is on his second shot after loading - I haven't noticed any dramatic differences). He went lame due to scratches and that was taken care of with a little home-made dex concoction that seemed to take care of it quite well. We are battling a few tiny spots left on back legs around pastern.. sensitive chestnut on T/O board.. figures.

    Since I bought him last Feb he has
    had his teeth done and checked on last month - doing fine
    his feet are being handled by a great farrier. He was very foot sore and he has had him in a rubber wedge pad with anti-inflammatory packing of some kind and we've seen some definite improvement. We are still struggling with some foot soreness, though. It's been 18 weeks (3 cycles) with new farrier.
    has been getting seen by a fantastic chiropractor every 5 weeks, got a brand new saddle fit just for him, mattes pad.. the works. his back is finally 100% pain free after 9 months.

    He has definitely improved, but my trainer feels that there is still stiffness and he is just not as comfortable as he could be.. that he could "give more" but isn't comfy enough to do so. I hope that makes sense? Sometimes it's hard to tell if he is truly body sore or just sensitive when grooming. When he has lameness issues they tend to be random and don't always have an immediately obvious injury that caused the lameness.. it's like it switches legs.

    I read about Lyme disease and it's symptoms and today I asked my trainer about it and she said we should have his "levels" tested. I'm not clear on what this means, even when she tried to explain it to me. Any help? Something about getting a baseline and that he will either be WNL or not. Does this "levels" test also test for ehrlichia? I hate feeling so ignorant!

    Any questions, answers or thoughts on the general situation appreciated! Sorry to ramble

  • #2
    I would assume that "levels" would be the titer. I'm not completely sure how the levels of titers work. In my Erlichia experience, my mare had an unbelievably high titer, so she was on meds for double the usual amount of time. I believe with Lyme, the titer will be checked &, if positive, the horse will be put on meds for X amount of time. Then after the course of meds, the horse is retested to see where his titer is and this determines whether or not he needs another round of meds.
    Beth

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    • #3
      Can you tell us more? What else does he eat? How long off the track? Blanket situation?
      "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
      ---
      The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

      Comment


      • #4
        Testing for lyme disease is a pretty inexpensive text that involves the vet drawing a blood sample and sending it to a testing lab. There the lab assesses the levels of antibodies to the lyme bacteria in the horse's blood.They should run two different tests: the ELISA test and the Western Blot.

        The different levels correlate to the likelihood of the horse having an active case of lyme disease. But, as the Cornell University Website states: "Horses are often symptomatic early in infection (when they test equivocal on both ELISA and Western
        Blot) and may respond well to antibiotics at that stage." In other words, just because a horse's test may come back as a low positive, you shouldn't assume that the horse doesn't have lyme disease.

        Here's the website the quote is pulled from: http://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/test/fac...EquineLyme.pdf

        Shifting lameness and general NQR is often a symptom of lyme disease. Of course it could also be a symptom of a lot of other things, so vets usually try to rule out some of the other things before testing and treating for lyme.

        But you should def. push ahead and get the horse tested at least, and then have the discussion, if necessary, about whether it's wise to treat.

        Good luck.
        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by Posting Trot View Post
          Testing for lyme disease is a pretty inexpensive text that involves the vet drawing a blood sample and sending it to a testing lab. There the lab assesses the levels of antibodies to the lyme bacteria in the horse's blood.They should run two different tests: the ELISA test and the Western Blot.

          The different levels correlate to the likelihood of the horse having an active case of lyme disease. But, as the Cornell University Website states: "Horses are often symptomatic early in infection (when they test equivocal on both ELISA and Western
          Blot) and may respond well to antibiotics at that stage." In other words, just because a horse's test may come back as a low positive, you shouldn't assume that the horse doesn't have lyme disease.

          Here's the website the quote is pulled from: http://ahdc.vet.cornell.edu/test/fac...EquineLyme.pdf

          Shifting lameness and general NQR is often a symptom of lyme disease. Of course it could also be a symptom of a lot of other things, so vets usually try to rule out some of the other things before testing and treating for lyme.

          But you should def. push ahead and get the horse tested at least, and then have the discussion, if necessary, about whether it's wise to treat.

          Good luck.
          Wow, you couldn't have been more helpful! I actually had them draw blood today and she said she would call me in a week.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
            Can you tell us more? What else does he eat? How long off the track? Blanket situation?
            All he eats is what's in his 30-acre pasture he shares with three other geldings (I'm sorry, I don't know what kind of grasses are in there) and he gets SmartGut Pellets and SmartHoof Ultra Pellets with OmegaFields Horseshine mixed in. He's put on at least 200lbs since we moved from a hunter barn where he lived inside (maybe 5 hrs T/O/day in sparse five acres with four other geldings) on Ultium and free-choice hay and we couldn't get weight on him. T/O board has been great for him! In the winter he will get free-choice hay, but again, I'm not sure what kind or what is in it (although I could certainly get it tested?), all I know is that my trainer/BO grows her own hay (I know because I helped stack 1,200 bales of it this summer) She is not stingy with food and I know 100% he will ALWAYS have forage in front of him.

            Off the track since last August.

            He is pretty sensitive and leans toward cold, he has a sheet that I put on him when it is A. raining consistently and under 55 (he doesn't seem to understand rain doesn't follow him into the run-in) or B. going to get into the high 30's/low 40's. He has grown in a decent amount of winter coat since the temps have gone down. But he will be in training and most likely clipped this winter and blanketed heavily.

            Comment


            • #7
              While it's very possible he could have Lyme, I'd consider some of the things we routinely do with our OTTBs. We supplement magnesium and run a selenium titer, I have actually never had an OTTB test within normal limits. So selenium supplementation for a while is the norm, they eventually do store it and get caught up. We are selenium poor here so unless they get a concentrated feed and enough of it to help, they stay on it at a mg a day or rotationally. You may not ultimately need to do so if your local area is not selenium poor. A quality source of protein and extra amino acids while they are building/adding muscle.

              Track life is pretty stressful and it seems to deplete them of the essentials unless they were very lucky and at high end tracks. Deficiencies in the areas mentioned can directly cause stiffness and body soreness.

              I asked about blanketing because I find that at least for the first year or so they seem to need to be kept toasty to stay loose.

              Mapleshade follows the same program more or less and has more OTTBs come and go then just about anyone else so I feel endorsed by that LOL hope maybe some of this is helpful for you. If you cannot do individual supplementation as we do, a good multivitamin and additional magnesium goes a long way, a ration balancer can help provide protein. An additional plus is that treating any deficiencies can also help these guys quiet down, particularly magnesium.
              "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
              ---
              The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                While it's very possible he could have Lyme, I'd consider some of the things we routinely do with our OTTBs. We supplement magnesium and run a selenium titer, I have actually never had an OTTB test within normal limits. So selenium supplementation for a while is the norm, they eventually do store it and get caught up. We are selenium poor here so unless they get a concentrated feed and enough of it to help, they stay on it at a mg a day or rotationally. You may not ultimately need to do so if your local area is not selenium poor. A quality source of protein and extra amino acids while they are building/adding muscle.

                Track life is pretty stressful and it seems to deplete them of the essentials unless they were very lucky and at high end tracks. Deficiencies in the areas mentioned can directly cause stiffness and body soreness.

                I asked about blanketing because I find that at least for the first year or so they seem to need to be kept toasty to stay loose.

                Mapleshade follows the same program more or less and has more OTTBs come and go then just about anyone else so I feel endorsed by that LOL hope maybe some of this is helpful for you. If you cannot do individual supplementation as we do, a good multivitamin and additional magnesium goes a long way, a ration balancer can help provide protein. An additional plus is that treating any deficiencies can also help these guys quiet down, particularly magnesium.
                Very interesting! Would the titer the vet is running include selenium, or do I have to ask separately? She just took the blood today, not sure how much. He gets his supplements from his little hot pink bucket by himself every day from yours truly, so individual supplementation is certainly possible! I do know he had a stressful track life - he was an absolute WRECK when I got him. Underweight, wormy, missing hair, scaly/dry skin, horrible teeth and feet.. I could go on Don't ask me why I bought him! I will definitely pursue this. Thank you!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Awww...I can just picture the pink bucket! We buy them because, well, that's what we are supposed to do .

                  Your vet will probably need to pull extra bloods to test his selenium levels. I'd be happy to PM you more specifics tomorrow to make it easier for you to put a program together for him. Once you get everything caught up, most of them become very simple to feed, in fact most of mine are truly easy keepers. I have one guy here who is 17plus hands and in reasonably hard work who lives out 24/7 and eats about two pounds of alfalfa pellets, some BOSS and magnesium and loose minerals. He could go to a show tomorrow, he's hunter fat, shiny and muscled. So quiet I think flying monkeys could ride him.

                  I don't have one this year to fix up so i'll live vicariously thru those of you who do LOL
                  "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                  ---
                  The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by EqTrainer View Post
                    Awww...I can just picture the pink bucket! We buy them because, well, that's what we are supposed to do .

                    Your vet will probably need to pull extra bloods to test his selenium levels. I'd be happy to PM you more specifics tomorrow to make it easier for you to put a program together for him. Once you get everything caught up, most of them become very simple to feed, in fact most of mine are truly easy keepers. I have one guy here who is 17plus hands and in reasonably hard work who lives out 24/7 and eats about two pounds of alfalfa pellets, some BOSS and magnesium and loose minerals. He could go to a show tomorrow, he's hunter fat, shiny and muscled. So quiet I think flying monkeys could ride him.

                    I don't have one this year to fix up so i'll live vicariously thru those of you who do LOL
                    I would love a PM with more info! LOL hunter fat Would a deficiency account for him being kind of hot? When I got him he was in so much pain he was dead quiet, actually, he almost seemed dead, LOL. Since he has been at the event barn in June and put on weight he's gotten hotter, way more excitable, but he also just feels better I would assume. Still, he can get unreasonable at times, both on the ground and undersaddle (he goes nuts standing on xties-will not stand still & is easily distracted under saddle, but not a spooker) and I don't really feel that is his true nature. But maybe I'm just biased to think my naughty horse is not really naughty...

                    Comment

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