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Roarer that had surgery

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  • Roarer that had surgery

    It's like the funny farm around here lately. If it's not one thing it is another.

    A horse I rescued not too long ago seemed to have a cold. I kept him in my isolated pasture. He was very underweight, to the point where he had that shelf on top of his ribs if you know what I mean. His coat was very poor, almost looked like he had lice but I never saw any. Regardless I powdered him and gave him ivermectin. He is a cribber, ottb, but seems content to live by himself. His whinny is kind of hoarse, no pun intended, but reminded me of a friends horse that I cared for that had the surgery for being a roarer. So I assumed he was once a roarer and had the surgery, but can't be sure because I don't have a great history on him. His tattoo is hard to read except for the first letter so I know he is 13.

    His coat has improved and in about 4 weeks he put on weight but still too skinny. And still has a cold and cough even after a round of antibiotics from the vet. I talk to vet and she says could be a virus and was going to come out next week and look at him again, maybe culture the snot.

    Well, DUH! I watch him drinking after I clean out the water trough. Since the water is so low and his head is down, I can see he sucks in water through his mouth, and LOTS of water comes out his nose. Not just dribbles. Probably 75% of the water he sucks in exits his nostrils. I thought he was just a messy grain eater. When he eats his grain he coughs a lot and always has grain/beet pulp all up his face and nose.

    He probably did have a slight infection/snotty nose when he came in from aspiration? And I imagine he is very susceptible to pneumonia. Anyone else ever experience this? I have yet to run it by my vet. I have dealt with ottb's that had the surgery but never had one with an issue of the food and water coming back out his nose. That would explain why he is so malnourished.
    Derby Lyn Farms Website

    Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!

  • #2
    Ugh. Sounds like he's almost definitely got some variation on a displaced palate. His tie-back surgery may also have failed. Some of them also have an epiglottis that's only partially functional.

    I've got one who has all three; his bad days are the really hot, humid air-polluted days with a lot of ozone we get in the summer in southern CT; the rest of the time he's pretty much learned to deal with it all and grazes and eats hay fine. A hard keeper when he arrived, mostly due to dental issues, he's fat and sassy five years later and high up in the herd pecking order.

    I'd have the vet sedate him and use a BIG flashlight to see what's back there . . . s/he may want to scope him too.


    • Original Poster

      ah fun. It's a shame for the guy. I don't know much about his history but I do know he is quite a fancy jumper, and I did get to see some pics of him going over some nice fences in the field. He was fat about a year or 2 ago.

      Do you ride your guy SY?
      Derby Lyn Farms Website

      Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!


      • #4
        I have an OTTB that had his flapper lasered off and he's a mess. Pretty much always has stuff coming out of his nose and coughs every day. I have his water and feed buckets hung very low in his stall to help with the aspirating. I used to ride him, I would hose his mouth out before each ride to help with the coughing.

        He came to me very skinny, I was able to get some smz's in him to deal with the infection he had. It's hard to medicate him because if I try to give him something orally, he coughs it all over and he's picky about what he'll eat in his food.

        He's retired now and in good weight. Oh, he also had uclers that I had to deal with when I got him.

        Best of luck with your guy.


        • #5
          The only time I've seen water exit through a horse's nose when drinking is with excessive swelling caused by strangles. Of course there can be excessive swelling for other reasons, I'm sure.

          I would definitely have the pus cultured and work with the vet to get rid of the infection. I'd also isolate him from other horses just to be on the safe side.

          Once the infection's gone I'd give him some time to see if he picks up. If he continues to cough and have difficulty eating grain I'd have him scoped. You might also want to have his gutteral pouches checked.

          In the meantime put all hay and feed on the ground and hang his water as low as possible.


          • #6
            Originally posted by Derby Lyn Farms View Post
            ah fun. It's a shame for the guy. I don't know much about his history but I do know he is quite a fancy jumper, and I did get to see some pics of him going over some nice fences in the field. He was fat about a year or 2 ago.

            Do you ride your guy SY?
            Nope! He's a retiree boarder. But he was retired for navicular, not his AquaLung problem, so I'd pursue a workup with this guy and see what can be done for a management strategy--there may not be an impediment to using him.


            • #7
              I just went through the whole PCR, antibiotics, and endoscopy routine a couple of months ago with an OTTB who had the EXACT same list of odd symptoms. His is apparently the result of a poor tie-back surgery. We now put everything of his on the ground: water bucket, feed bucket, and hay. He still has stuff that comes out of his nose, but he is in great weight and is starting to have a fairly rigorous workload, and he's doing great with it.
              "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

              Trolls be trollin'! -DH


              • Original Poster

                I have been keeping him isolated, for well over 4 weeks now. The yellow snot is gone now and has been for weeks. It's been a clear now, mixed with grass and beet pulp. I just assumed it was clear snot, when really its been a mixture of everything else. I really think he had a poor tie back surgery. His whinny sounds like an old man. He has been eating off the ground because he seemed to cough less that way. My vet also gave me a bag of some supplement, and I have no idea what it is but just in the past week it has really helped him pick up some weight. She told me to try it and I am going to have to get some more of it. Glad to hear that this won't get in the way of the work load. It seems like he is talented and he might be a fun eventer for me (or someone else) in the future.

                Thanks! Glad to hear he is not some freak of nature!
                Derby Lyn Farms Website

                Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!


                • #9
                  It could be a cleft palate.
                  I know a mare that had this. She did fine in the non racing world.