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Loss of appetite, plus low white blood cell count

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  • Loss of appetite, plus low white blood cell count

    The vet has already seen my horse, but I just wanted to pick the collective COTH brain and maybe get a few little jingles (it's nothing major, but jingles always seem to help!).

    Wednesday evening, I got out to the barn and noticed that my horse's evening grain was still in his feed bin. He was out in the pasture with his buddy, so I figured maybe he had been fed and then not given enough time to eat before he was turned out, so I wasn't too worried. Texted the girl who lives @ the barn and takes care of the horses, and she said that she had given him a full hour between feeding and turn-out, so I was concerned (horse is normally a total grain chow-hound and will wolf it down with much gusto).

    Given our recent rat problem (I have ordered one of the traps, btw), I decided to check his grain and, sure enough, there was rat poop in it. I cleaned out all the grain, threw it out, and cleaned/bleached his feed bin.

    Brought the boy in from the pasture and he seemed okay, if not slightly more cranky than normal. Took his temp, which was 101.5 (after I had a blonde moment and thought my thermometer was reading 110.5, which I thankfully just figured the thermometer was broken and I started ranting about how my expensive thermometer was a POS, lol), great strong gut sounds, etc. He wouldn't eat an apple, which is totally not normal for him, and I noticed that he had barely touched his hay. He has unfortunately never been a *huge* hay eater, but he does eat a fairly decent amount usually (goes through 125 lb. bale in around a week). He also hadn't drank much water, which is unusual for him, and there were only 3 piles of manure in his paddock instead of the normal 10-ish. Decided to give him some Banamine and hand-graze him, and he quite happily munched grass for about two hours.

    I stayed @ the farm until 2am to make sure he was okay, and he was munching his mash when I left. But Thursday I got a call that he hadn't finished the mash, and then had taken a really long time to eat his breakfast. He apparently looked fine/normal and not in distress, but I decided to swing by the vet's to pick up more Banamine just in case, and see if I could have him seen. By the time I got to the farm, his lunch grain had been fed and he hadn't touched it.

    Vet came out soon after, TPR were normal, good gut sounds, checked his mouth/tongue and everything looked okay. He pulled blood and left me with a week's worth of GastroGard to see if that helped him any, and told me to just keep an eye on Horsie and let him know how he was doing. I did tell him about our recent rat problems and that I've been concerned about lepto, etc., just so to give him a head's up; he didn't seem terribly concerned, but agreed that we needed to get the situation under control.

    Today he called and said my boy has a decreased white blood cell count, which means he has/had some sort of infection. But since he doesn't have a fever, he wasn't too worried and told me just to keep a close eye out, take his temp regularly, etc. He said, "I think we can just coast on this one," which was very nice to hear.

    Sorry for the novel! Just wondering if anyone has gone through something similar and what your experiences are. Thanks.
    Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

  • #2
    Doesn't a WBC increase with an infection? How is the red blood cell count?
    I basically use rat traps to see how things are going. But I have a bait station and a bucket of bait bars that go on this skewer inside. The first time I checked it, all the bait was gone. Get yourself a bait station.

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    • #3
      Jingles for your boy, and I second the rat bait stations. Ours actually lock, and it keeps the bait out of reach of kids/pets.
      Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the replies. My boy was a bit brighter today and actually cleaned up all his grain. Still not eating as much hay as usual, but *knocks on wood* I think he's on the upswing.

        What is a bait station??? Sounds like a rat smorgasboard. I should have my rat electrocution chamber in the next few days, so the Rat Murdering Extravaganza will kick off soon! I hate to kill animals, but when they are endangering the health & well-being of my horse, it's time to take action.
        Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Originally posted by princessfluffybritches View Post
          Doesn't a WBC increase with an infection? How is the red blood cell count?
          I didn't actually see the blood panel results. I just got a call from my vet and he told me the results--the only thing he mentioned was a low white blood cell count and that it meant he had an infection, so I'm guessing the red cell count was normal. I looked it up online, and one of the sites said that the white blood cells drop with a major infection, which totally confused me because this is clearly not major.
          Topline Leather -- Bespoke, handwoven browbands & accessories customized with Swarovski crystals, gemstones, & glass seed beads. The original crystal braid & crystal spike browbands!

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