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X-ray for nasal discharge?

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    X-ray for nasal discharge?

    Just got my vet bill for January - and there is a rather lofty charge for x-rays of her sinuses. I was notified (and billed) that she was started on Doxycycline on December 29th for nasal discharge, but by January 3rd they were already taking x-rays.

    Am I nuts thinking that this is not enough time to get the antibiotics even working? She has no history of sinus issues and was told that this was most likely due to climate change (she was relocated in October from California to Ky). I'm busy tripping over my jaw that 1) they went this route so quickly and 2) that I was not notified.

    Am I overreacting?

    I've had horses forever and have never, ever done or seen this done this early into "nasal discharge".

    #2
    Well, while I certainly think you should have been notified first, you should typically be seeing SOME improvement in 5 days. So if they weren't seeing any improvement at that point, x-rays wouldn't be above the norm for me. But again, something they should have discussed with you first.

    Edit: Especially if there was a smell with the discharge, I would expect x-rays. They were probably worried about an abscess or some sort of build up.

    Comment


      #3
      I don't think that you were overreacting.

      Frankly, the xrays should have been done first to confirm sinus infection...then come the antibiotics after that was confirmed...and even then, with a swab to culture the bug and determine the correct antibiotic.

      Obviously you board your horse. That said, I would be grateful someone was proactive about this, even though the diagnosis and treatment occurred "backwards". I can see them trying to cover their bases by antibiotics, but is it the right one? Hopefully, it is the right one.

      At the end of the day, if the diagnosis is correct and the antibiotic is the right one you'd be paying the same vet bill.
      www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
      "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
      Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube

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        #4
        I'd just ask why they went that route.

        I went through years of sinus infections with my mare, with every combination of culturing/scoping/xrays/whatever you can name it, in whatever order you can imagine, trying to get to the bottom.

        I'm convinced there is no "right" order of tests and treatment--just "what do we know now, what can we do now based on that, and what do we need to follow up on--and when."

        So I'd just ask them and not try to second guess things via a BB.
        She Gets Lost

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          #5
          Sounds as though it might be worthwhile to have a conversation with the barn management and one with the veterinary practice regarding how involved you expect to be with your horse's care.

          Their normal routine may be different from what you prefer. Best to get everyone on the same page.
          "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

          ...just settin' on the Group W bench.

          Comment


            #6
            Was it one or both nostrils? If only one, the vet may be more likely to suspect a tooth issue. The xrays would reveal a tooth problem,

            I leased a horse that had nasal discharge from one nostril only, and the owner kept insisting it was allergies and wanted him treated with antibiotics over and over. Apparently this had been going on for a long time. I knew better and when I bought him I was finally able to have a very serious tooth problem resolved.
            Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

            Comment


              #7
              Little late now but I find it prudent to discuss what I will or will not authorize when I will not be present for a vet visit. Assuming you did authorize them to call the vet, it's fairly normal to Xray for persistent discharge and can save you quite a bit if the horse has an abcessed tooth that is discharging pus into the sinus cavity. But you should have been advised of the second appointment and the fact the meds were not working...were they taking her temperature? Did she have her temp tick up? Did they culture the snot looking for pus? They should tell you these things, ask to be in the loop in the future. Some owners don't care as long as the horse is cared for, they don't know which you want unless you tell them.

              Ummm...horsekeeping is different in your new area, especially with the crap winter. They are inside as a group more then they are in Cal, barns are closed up due to serious cold and most barns don't wait and see very long with infections or any hint of illness. Some require all vet work be current and any issues promptly attended to as a condition of boarding there, they don't want horses with undiagnosed, untreated illness in the barn. Check your contract. Speak to your BM about how you want to handle this in the future.

              I have had a contractual clause required by the BO in my last 4 barns in NE and Ohio authorizing emergency treatment up to and including euth if determined in the best interest of the horse and I cannot be reached. I added and initialed a treat symptoms only, no heroic measures, no colic surgery as well.

              Its something for all boarders to review and discuss. Also something to think about selecting barns...do you want to be next to a horse that's been coughing up a lung for a month or with persistent, heavy nasal discharge that has not seen the vet? Flip side is do you want to lose that part of control over your own horse and let the cough or snots go on untreated? Two ways to see it, be sure you are on the same page as your barn.
              When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

              The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

              Comment


                #8
                Without knowing all the details it is difficult to comment on the veterinary care. It certainly isn't unreasonable to X-ray for nasal discharge. Just recently a horse in my care had some unimpressive nasal discharge and a mild on and off fever. The vet did X-rays and discovered a significant sinus abscess. I was fairly surprised--other than the symptoms above the horse did not appear/act sick at all, but I'm so glad the vet pursued the diagnosis.

                It seems to me that communication might be more the issue here. It is reasonable to want to be a little more involved up front so you aren't put in the uncomfortable position of second guessing what was done and how much it cost after the fact. Even if you are long distance I think it is very reasonable to ask to speak to the vet for clarification and/or to ask for a cost estimate up front for any diagnostic test or treatment to avoid any surprises on the bill. If you think the charge is excessive or inaccurate, you could call the clinic and make sure an error wasn't made on the bill--I've seen that happen before.

                I will also say, though, that I think that the routine standard of when to notify an owner can be much different here (at some farms) than in some other places. Many owners in the Thoroughbred industry are very hands off with regard to their horses' veterinary care. This is certainly not the case at every farm, but it doesn't surprise me that you might need to mention you'd like to be more involved.
                www.plainfieldfarmky.com

                Comment


                  #9
                  A quick look at the thread/post history under this username was pretty interesting. Wow, terrible luck or something. I'd sure just pay the bill on those rads if I were the OP, but it's a new day, a new place, and lot of new barns and vet/practices to go through yet at this point before you'll have to move again, right?!

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I dunno, OP has posted on and off here for almost 10 years. Seems to have had a rough 6 months dealing with relocating and awful luck losing a young horse recently.

                    As a boarder for over 45 years, I can cut her some slack. Especially when what "every barn" does varies so much regionally. What is standard practice one place is not so standard another. That and having them hauled around and trying to find the right situation would be challenging for most.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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