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Wow. Crazy choke story! Update, #27. Good news/bad news

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  • Original Poster

    PM update: Horse is back to normal, barring the cow patty poops. She cleaned up her food and was eager for more. Temp normal, hydration good. I wasn't able to track down any bio-sponge today, but I can pick it up tomorrow and hopefully that will aid with the manure problem.

    The rabbit I hit with my car driving to the barn, however, is not doing well. TOTALLY could not have missed it--barely even saw a flash near the bumper before the thud--but looked to have a broken pelvis and was shocky. We took it to VCA to be put down.


    • #22
      Was reading about Excede recently, and it can CAUSE a fever and runny poop, and because it is long acting, the side effects are also long acting. Might be something to look into.
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


      • Original Poster

        Yeah, CHT, the stance right now is the horse did not tolerate the antibiotics and we have to re-approach with new drugs. If I had to bet money, I'd say it was the rifampin, mainly because the horse did fine on four days of Naxcel, which is the same drug--so she developed fever and diarrhea after 7 days of ceftiofur, but only after 2 doses of rifampin. Rifampin is a Big Deal antibiotic, from what I understand.

        Vet who prescribed rifampin and excede says excede will not be effective without rifampin, as the antibiotic will not penetrate the abscess. I have no idea where we go from here, but I'm sure she's got a plan.


        • #24
          Hopefully your horse just continues to keep improving!
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!


          • Original Poster

            Same old same old today. Eating well, hydration looks good, temp normal. Poops still cow patty. Started Bio-Sponge today to hopefully address that issue. In a holding pattern until vet returns Thursday.

            In an excess of caution, I'm still feeding only soaked food, which is getting soooooo old. But I'm worried that she'll just choke again, since we really haven't gotten enough drugs into her to start reducing that abscess. Sigh!


            • #26
              I would be concerned because there is a secondary reason for the choke that may not be resolved...this feeder or a home made solution like it might be a good idea. Having had a cough and irritated throat for a week I can sympathize as inflammation closes the throat and make stuff stick there.


              • Original Poster

                Well, just a post script here.

                Seven continued to improve on bloodwork and in person. Her cow patty poops resolved, she went back on dry food (only oats, though, no complete or processed food, in an excess of caution) and life was pretty much back to normal. We checked her bloodwork every couple weeks and had her scheduled to rescope today.

                The scope was beautiful. Narrowing totally resolved, esophagus totally healed and absolutely zero indication of further choking. Lovely.

                However, she was also stocked up--total stovepipe--in THREE legs when the vet arrived. Odd. Concerning. Blood was drawn and her fibrinogen is back up over 1000. I believe the concern is that she still has an internal abscess that is compromising her ability to return lymph from her limbs. We had some odd filling prior to the choke, but it resolved and I really chocked it up to a baby horse virus. The vet called with the news about the bloodwork and requested I bring her down to the clinic so she could go back on an antibiotic cocktail and be monitored through the first week or so of it. By the time I got back up to the barn, the hold out leg, the skinny, normal looking right front, was huge in the knee with significant filling starting above the fetlock. It is wild how quickly it came up--and that is AFTER a dose of Naquasone when the vet was at the barn in the morning.

                Fingers crossed that this resolves quickly and she has no further antibiotic reactions. Sigh.


                • #28
                  Oh gosh Simkie! All I can offer are jingles but you can have as many as I've got!
                  "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"


                  • #29
                    I am so sorry to hear that she is once again NQR. I hope you can get to the bottom of this.
                    Beth Davidson
                    Black Dog Farm Connemaras & Sport Horses
                    visit my blog: http://ponyeventer.blogspot.com


                    • #30
                      Good gravy! Jingles for Seven!


                      • #31
                        Good grief, how weird. Keeping fingers crossed that she gets to being 100% ASAP.


                        • #32
                          What a bizarre case, tons of jingles sent your way


                          • Original Poster

                            Thank you all for the well wishes and jingles!

                            I feel like this is par for the course, as it always seems to be MY CRITTERS that have the weird, complex zebra diagnosis. Urgh.

                            She's doing fine at the vets. No news is good news right now.

                            Just heard from a fellow boarder that we have a strangles outbreak at the barn, though. Five horses. I hope Blush and Dove remain in the pink of health. Figure I have enough with Seven right now!!


                            • #34
                              Sending jingles for Seven AND for the other horses with the strangles! When it rains it poors?


                              • #35

                                Is it dryland strangles? Pigeon fever is rampant around here lately with the droughts, and a holistic type vet I highly respect (Madalyn Ward) has written an article theorizing that it might be related to low Vitamin A (because of lack of fresh grass). It has been quite a while since I did my research, but I support with spirulina (the good kind from herbalcom.com) when I start worrying about pigeon fever. Just a thought! And jingles for your horse!
                                Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                                • Original Poster

                                  ToTheNines, the horses in the barn have regular ol' strangles, as far as I know. They're not mine and I am only hearing through the grapevine that they're sick.

                                  Seven has been having choke problems since this summer and we do not know the causative agent of her abscesses or even how long this has been brewing. An internal pigeon fever or bastard strangles are probably as likely as anything. Seven was on beautiful lush fields all summer, though, and all that vitamin a didn't kick it.


                                  • #37
                                    Simkie--I'm just throwing this out there, but my older mare spiked a fever, stopped eating, dropped huge amounts of weight quickly, etc etc this spring. Thankfully my great vet followed his instincts, started her on Baytril right away, and sent us down to Ocala, as he doesn't have an internal ultrasound wand, to check for liver abscess--which it was. The Ocala vets sent off blood to UC Davis to check for pigeon fever, as that's what they guessed caused it. Test came back negative.

                                    Since, by this point (a couple of weeks in) the mare seemed to be responding well to Baytril, I decided not to pursue aspiration of the abscess for a culture, but we monitored via ultrasound every couple of weeks. I want to say she spent 6 weeks on Baytril (IV every day, no fun), and then vet put her on SMZs (not straight SMZs, there was something else in there) for about another 6 weeks. Probably has permanent scar tissue on her liver, but recovered remarkably well--in fact, I started her back under saddle in August when she started telling me she wanted a job again by getting super cranky with the young mare!

                                    In my frantic early searches, I found or heard of several other similar cases, at least a couple of which were in CO. So I'm just writing this in case your girl's internal abscess was caused by something similar (or the same, whatever it was). We actually tried Excede first, but after consulting with Peterson's vets (Ocala clinic), switched to Baytril. If you want to pursue this angle, I could get you the names of the vets I worked with.

                                    Meanwhile, big jingles for all of you!
                                    Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Interesting, grasshopper. We're going for the "easy" answer right now, but I will file the baytril suggestion for later, if our current course proves ineffective.

                                      Interestingly, my vet did mention that she would never use Excede when she practiced in Florida. Something to do with the local bugs.


                                      • #39
                                        How is your horse doing???
                                        Practice! Patience! Persistence!


                                        • #40
                                          Although, some may know the story of my mare, I will repeat it as shortly as possible here.
                                          About 5 years ago, my mare choked, severely. Then she began to go off...just malaise, not alert, etc. did an esphogeal scope, and her esphogus was fine.
                                          looked at her teeth, and I was told the teeth were horrible, mare in pain, etc, removed a tooth, watched others. This per them was the reason for her choke.

                                          meanwhile, mare off, and this went on for almost 4 years, with ongoing chokes, drooling, etc...I kept saying to local vets and the clinic vets that something was wrong, brought to the clinic for esphgeal scopes, major dental x rays when this was not the reason for her condition. We were at the clinic at least every other month during the last 2 years her chokes were so constant!!!

                                          Her esphogeal scopes always fine. Her chokes were always low by the cardia. Her chokes were so constant, they actually caused a pocket in her distal esphogus from all the pressure of choking. How the New England clinic missed this is sadly amazing!
                                          When tubed, the obstruction was easily moved, but no one thought that they should do a gastric scope, and just did the esphogeal scope. I am not a vet so did not know enough to ask, hey, do you think we should do a gastric scope???
                                          I was obviously concerned, but told I was crazy(seriously) and overly obsessive and the mare was getting old, and I had to get used to her aging process(she was 14 at the start of this. Plus, I have owned horses over 40 years, many living out their life with me, so I know geriatric.

                                          Came to SC, and she went off feed after a couple months here, high fever, brought her to UGA, (along with her med records) and they asked if they could do a gastric scope, where it was discovered the mare had a gastric impaction.

                                          My mare was not really choking, but refluxing...her stomach was full...with an impaction and she could not fit anything more in, but was starving in reality. She had also lost most of her muscle from her body eating the muscle, since she was not getting nutrients from her diet.

                                          Soooo, if your scopes are just esphogeal, I would encourage a gastric scope to evaluate the stomach.

                                          At UGA, my mare was diagnosed with delayed gastric emptying with a narrow pylorus. Therefore, my mare only eats mash(smoothies) and pasture.
                                          we are one year out from her diagnosis, and I am forever grateful to UGA for finally diagnosing my mare's condition.

                                          They didn't rest on 'dental' as being her problem..when in fact, her teeth are bad, but not the cause of her medical problem.

                                          Delayed gastric emptying is not that common and could be caused by a tumor or congenital issue with her pylorus. Without surgery, we won't know.
                                          Mare is happy and fat, and is doing well on her smoothie diet. Its also nice to see the light back in her eye. She had lost that, she was in such pain, and starving. I am sorry, but I still have a lot of anger at the clinic in New England who did not do a thorough evaluation.
                                          OTOH, the UGA vets have been so conscientious and supportive. when you have good vets, it makes all the difference.

                                          Leaf on this board also has a horse who has been diagnosed with dealayed gastric emptying syndrome.

                                          I hope they can get to the bottom of your horse's situation. Best.
                                          save lives...spay/neuter/geld