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Mysterious Illness

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  • Mysterious Illness

    10yr old mare. Came in from paddock with 4 swollen legs, barely able to walk, temp of 103.4. Vet came, took blood, gave Iv with DMSO and oxytetracycline. no change. vet came next day and repeated the Iv. finally fever dropped, swelling decreased and while stiff could walk. 1 week of doxy. swelling decreases, but never completely goes away. Blood work all neg or normal.

    Anaplasmosis,- neg. lyme titer very low; CBC normal. No heat in the legs just swelling. 6weeks later still fighting the swelling legs - some days very swollen, other days very minimal swelling. Repeated anaplasmosis - neg again. Since the mare had such difficulty walking , the vet did a vit E and seleium level.- normal. also dna test for pssm.- neg. hypp - neg neg.

    There were other weird symptoms too - manure seemed different - put on digestive supplement - returned to normal.
    Then she had a couple weird sweat marks - one the size of a dinner plate on her side and ringed with foamy sweat. Horse wasn't sweaty anywhere else. Almost seemed like she was tying up except the horse didn't seemed bothered at all.

    Tried an antihistamine thinking the swelling was caused by something in her environment - so far not much result except for making the horse act like she feels better.
    I go out to the paddock today and the swelling in all legs is more than it has been since she became sick. No temp.
    anyone seen anything like this before or have any suggestions or ideas?

  • #2
    Is she the only horse sick or are others feeling (even slightly) under the weather?

    Jingles for her *
    www.facebook.com/lusitanos4sale

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by SCMSL View Post
      Is she the only horse sick or are others feeling (even slightly) under the weather?

      Jingles for her *
      as far as I know she's the only one ( she's boarded in a nice place that seems to do a good job taking care of horses) I've had horses for 45yrs and never encountered anything like this.
      I should say that her swollen legs are not painful to touch and the swelling is very firm when it's present.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Also gum color etc is normal. Kidney and liver are normal.

        Comment


        • #5
          Uh this one's tricky...!

          How are her lymph nodes? I met a horse once who's hocks would swell up to the point where his legs would look like hams, and the problem was then attributed to his lymphatic system. May be worth to explore...
          www.facebook.com/lusitanos4sale

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            When she initially became sick, I think the vet checked them and were unremarkable. We also tested her for piroplasmosis even though where I live it's very rare but that was neg too.
            The vet is stumped. The horse doesn't seem to be getting better. some days maybe, but many days not so much.

            Comment


            • #7
              Has the vet tried corticosteroids to reduce inflammation? Dexamethasone, prednisolone or similar? Could be a strange presentation of an allergic reaction, and antihistamines don't work as well in horses as they do in other species.

              Seems odd to me that horse would have a fever but bloodwork comes back normal. Typically (but not always) fever is a result of infection, and given the other symptoms you describe it sounds like an infection. If it was an infection there should be elevated white cell count.
              It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
              Theodore Roosevelt

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                NSAIDs are next on the list to try. I never saw the lab reports but I'm sure the vet said everything was within normal range. Surprised her alot. It wasn't what she was expecting to see.
                No coughing, no runny nose,no diarrhea, no colic etc.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by pezk View Post
                  NSAIDs are next on the list to try.
                  So... Vet didn't give banamine to knock the fever down? With a temp of 103.4?
                  It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
                  Theodore Roosevelt

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    This sounds like erlichiosis or babliosis. Did your vet run an entire tick borne panel? If it is your horse needs to be on doxy or oxytet much longer. Make sure you do not supplement with magnesium at the same time.
                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                    ---
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      But kidney normal -- sounds like erlichiosis to me too. Having had my husband with this....and hospitalized with near kidney failure....nothing to take lightly.
                      Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                      Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Thoroughbred in Color View Post
                        So... Vet didn't give banamine to knock the fever down? With a temp of 103.4?
                        With the inital bout of fever, when I called the vet, she immediately told me to give banamine, which I did. Remember, the horse hasn't had a temp in 3 months, just these terrible swollen legs that come and go.

                        Anaplasmosis/erchlicia came back neg both times. Horse never had it. Vet thought that's what it was too except the blood work, says no.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Babliosis? I would have to treat as tickborne, I think. Its so on target for it and not everything can be tested for.

                          Any possible exposure to EVA?
                          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                          ---
                          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Interesting. I had two horses with similar symptoms back in the early 90's...tree trunk, Pillsbury dough boy edema all four legs. One mare developed simultaneous purpura all along her her chest, sides, and belly..big ones. Those two incidents were related to an outbreak of strangles in the barns where the horses were (neither mare contracted actual strangles symptoms other than fever first, but other horses did with abscesses etc...both mares had been vaccinated for strangles about a year before)..separate barns..one in NY State and one in Florida. They were both treated with alternate steroid then antibiotics and it took about 2 months to resolve. Weeping ulceration in the legs...a big mess, but both mares recovered fine.

                            ETA: Ulcerative lymphangitis with purpura, if I remember correctly.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Locally, vets are aware that there is another tick bourne disease out there that they have not identified yet. I believe this comes from UVA.

                              Maybe try treating like lyme or anaplasma and see if it helps?

                              I HATE ticks!!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                We also had a horse that had similar symptoms. This one was also connected to a case of strangles. The horse recovered from the strangles, but developed a autoimmune reaction to his own antibodies. Legs stocked up all the way through the elbows until the poor guy could hardly move. I wonder if that's similar to what's going on with yours since he had the fever at one time. (Not saying it was strangles, but perhaps some other low grade virus.)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Hoary Alyssum? Check your pasture and hay carefully. It also could be hidden in hay cubes.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by pezk View Post
                                    With the inital bout of fever, when I called the vet, she immediately told me to give banamine, which I did.
                                    Oops, missed that part in your original post. Realize it has no bearing on the continuing symptoms, just something that seemed odd to me.

                                    Jingles for your horse, hopefully the vet finds a solution soon.
                                    Last edited by Thoroughbred in Color; Nov. 18, 2012, 05:27 PM. Reason: broken quote
                                    It is only through labor and painful effort, by grim energy and resolute courage, that we move on to better things.
                                    Theodore Roosevelt

                                    Comment

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