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Neurological signs and low white cell count

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  • Neurological signs and low white cell count

    Hi folks, I haven't posted in a while, just a lot of lurking. But I have this week encountered an issue and am tearing my hair out and could use some thoughts from those on here with the experience is such things.

    Wednesday evening Trickster (12YO TB Gelding, colic surgery 7 years ago no issues or illness since other than random scrapes etc) Presented with signs of a mild colic. What was different I noticed right off was how low he was carrying his head, however he is a stoic horse and this could be a new way of him saying "I hurt" so I didn't note it too much at the time. He was treated with Mineral Oil and Banamine (drug at 10:30 am thr.) and had been passing regular manure and was drinking and looking rather chipper until 10 PM thr when I did his final bed check.

    6 am this morning I find him head down again looking "zoned out" try to lift his head for capillary refill test and can not get his head up. His Flanks are still touchy as they had been while coilicing. He tried to walk away from me and his front end looked to be moving like a horse with neurological symptoms. I hauled him right to the vet.

    9:30 am this morning he is examined by the Vet and is showing Neurological symptoms, Tail Sway test was horrifying as a 16.2hh TB was easily pulled over by a 120lb vet. She probably could have drug him in circles. The leg cross over test; he took a good 20 seconds to start returning his feet to the proper position in the front, a little less time in the rear. He is tender at the loin and the flanks. It was at the vets I noticed his rump is lost in muscle tone to where the bones are showing at the top of his butt. (This is a horse that does 3 to 7 miles long trotting 3 to 4 days out of the week, very fit). I also began to realize he has been begun tripping out on conditioning rides on occasion and he has always been very sure footed, and two weeks ago when I was pulling on his bell boots he pulled back against the hitching post while I had his foot up and just layed down, not fall, just lay on his side.

    The Vet took a blood draw for all the basics and for all the neurological diseases. The basic draw came back saying his White and lymphosite count is low, not super low, but defiantly lower than normal (I forgot to ask her for the exact numbers). The other tests had to be sent out and will not be back until Monday or Tuesday.

    When he "zones out" he is out, he doesn't startle when you get his attention, he reacts slow. But it comes and goes, he will be fine for a bit throwing a tantrum that his buddies are out in the pasture and then he is head down and out of it again. He was zoned out while she was drawing blood and he didn't react in anyway to being stuck.

    I know this is a lot, but this is new to me. If anyone has seen these symptoms and low white counts before, please let me know what you dealt with. I am on a limited budget for treatment and I am wary to throwing money after a treatment that is not a garuntee. And I can not let my Cross Country horse spend his life in a stall and neurological. I hate having to wait, so any experiences you can share will be GREATLY appreciated.

    (we are in the Mojave desert in southern California, Other than trail rides out our front gate in a 10 mile desert area he has not left the ranch in a year, other than to go to the vet this morning. he is current on all vaccines.)
    “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

  • #2
    I'm in the midst of getting an older gelding diagnosed re neurological symptoms and his bloodwork came back indicating possible liver issues - my vet discussed w/ me the signs of liver damage; rather than try to repeat the conversation, you might read the article linked below. Also have the horse tested for EPM. (my poor guy just went thru a spinal tap for EPM, liver biopsies, heart ultrasound and cervical xrays.) Fortunately so far he is bright eyed, eating well and begging for treats, but the rest is scary...

    Its strange, over the last two weeks as I've been dealing with this, there seem to be a lot of posts re neurological problems.

    http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/hor...in-horses.aspx
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      TY so much, I will read it. He is having blood work done for EPM, Herpes, West nile, and wee and eee. I am 3 hours away from a real equine hospital and even after i get him there I can't afford to get him in the door for the Spinal Tap, mri's, or ct scans. This Bloodwork didn't show any issues with liver or kidneys, but his urine seemed thicker and darker this afternoon even though he is drinking well. I just have to wait on this blood work and go from there I guess. TY for the reference.
      “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

      Comment


      • #4
        no ideas but lots and lots of jingles for you and your guy

        Comment


        • #5
          No brilliant ideas, but sending jingles for a helpful and hopeful answer on Monday.
          The Evil Chem Prof

          Comment


          • #6
            wingedmare - I am sympathetic to your situation; there are real challenges in pinning these symptoms on something specific. I am lucky enough to a mobile internal med. vet w/ lots of technology in his van; all tests were done at the barn!

            If you noticed a urine change, I'd ask the vet re liver issues. These weird issues occur as due to ammonia build up when liver not working properly; that is easily and quickly identified in bloodwork.

            Hopefully it is not EPM; the treatment is both expensive and long; my vet recommends two months on the pricy drug, and several more on a less pricy drug.

            Keep us posted...
            We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........

            Comment


            • #7
              Has he been tested for tick borne diseases? Or a copper deficiency?

              Comment


              • #8
                My horse is in the hospital with vestibular disease of unknown origin (balance and coorination issues). No muscle wasting. Being treated for EPM (Marquis) even though the spinal came back negitive. My horse is improving but its very scary.

                I would treat as the vet suggests, but the common drugs are bute, banamine (with gastroguard), Marquis (EPM drug), Vit E (5000IU/day) and antibiotics.

                Causes can include trauma to the head/neck, arthritis in the neck, bacterial infection, hyloid bone arthritis, mengitis, EPM, west nile, etc.


                I hope you horse gets better, from what i am gathering i may never ride my horse again. Its very sad. We were in the prime of our dressage training, it hit with in 24 hrs.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Sendenhorse, thankyou for sharing your experience. I have the Vitamin e on order should be here by tuesday. His on set has been rapid too.

                  Laura KY, he is having the whole gambit of blood tests done, but not all can be done at the vet locally and the rest have to be sent out as we are in a small area. So the only result so far is the Lowered white cell counts. The rest is coming mon or tues. As for ticks, we do not have them in out area, literally we are in the middle of the desert.

                  He is showing improvment in his attitude today (he is on Bute) however when I tested him again this morning he now shows no reaction in his hind when his feet are crossed over, he doesnt even try to uncross them, I have to do it for him. He is worse with the tail sway also.

                  All of your ideas and experiences are helping me put things in a better perspective. I am just resigning to the fact he will be a companion horse from here out.
                  “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Just be careful handling him. I was warned, and correctly so, there is no more dangerous horse than a horse with neuro problems.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                      Just be careful handling him. I was warned, and correctly so, there is no more dangerous horse than a horse with neuro problems.
                      This is so true, be careful. Prayers and jingles for a good outcome.
                      www.Somermistfarm.com
                      Quality Hunter Ponies

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Im sorry to say that Wed. a QH mare at our farm began with mild colic. Treated with Banamine quickly, tubed and treated by vet- by thursday she showed increasing rapidly neuro symptoms and was humanely PTS by nightfall.. Sadly she was also 6 mos pg. Ultimately it is believed she had a tumor. Creepy how close together this is. Please be careful and jingles for your horse.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Im sorry to say that Wed. a QH mare at our farm began with mild colic. Treated with Banamine quickly, tubed and treated by vet- by thursday she showed increasing rapidly neuro symptoms and was humanely PTS by nightfall.. Sadly she was also 6 mos pg. Ultimately it is believed she had a tumor. Please be careful and jingles for your horse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Jingles and Hugs and AO for you during this struggle `

                            VERY SORRY TO READ THIS ```

                            PLEASE BE CAREFUL ````

                            JINGLES AND AO FOR YOUR HORSE AND YOU ```
                            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Griffyn; Where are you? I'm in Southern California....that is very disturbing.

                              UPDATE: Kind of...he is showing no change as of this morning. The Bute seems to be keeping him comfortable. But as of now, I'm taking No Change as better than getting worse.

                              And yes, to you all concerned about my safety, I am taking your warnings to heart. It is scary to think that big strong guy could just lose control of his body.
                              “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Sorry to hear this. Thoughts and prayers headed your way and hoping he improved since yesterday.

                                Curious if during his initial colic surgery if a portion of his intestines were removed.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Yes many neuro threads lately, but it is something we all need to learn more about. I have never had a horse(yet) with neuro issues.

                                  Does sound EPM in nature. But who knows.

                                  Prayers for you and your boy.

                                  Please keep us posted.

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Well, I should have the test results back today...Oh, the wait is the worst. When I know I will update you all.
                                    “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Jingles for you and your boy that there is a good outcome. My mare went through a similar episode around this time last fall. It was not EPM. We treated with Azium (IM shots over 9 days) and bute, along with vitamin E. Separated her from her herd and kept her in a private paddock for six months. Figured it would be safer if she fell in the open rather than in a stall. I started her back under saddle in April, though there is still noticeable weakness on the right side. May not get to 100%, but I'm happy where we're at, and we've still got a lot of road ahead.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by BeaSting View Post
                                        Jingles for you and your boy that there is a good outcome. My mare went through a similar episode around this time last fall. It was not EPM. We treated with Azium (IM shots over 9 days) and bute, along with vitamin E. Separated her from her herd and kept her in a private paddock for six months. Figured it would be safer if she fell in the open rather than in a stall. I started her back under saddle in April, though there is still noticeable weakness on the right side. May not get to 100%, but I'm happy where we're at, and we've still got a lot of road ahead.
                                        How much vit E? My mare is coming home this week and I want to get as much info as I can.
                                        How did you re-hab this horse? I heard TTouch can be helpful.
                                        My mare is getting a foaling stall and private paddock (when she is ready to go outside).

                                        Comment

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