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SKA needs your help and input (old horses dying) READ LAST POST

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  • SKA needs your help and input (old horses dying) READ LAST POST

    I tried hard not to let word out until all test results were in so as not to start a mass panic unnecessarily but......................................

    Since just before xmas, I have lost 4 of my oldest dearest friends and am likely going to lose 3 more shortly. Sadly, when the first two passed away, it was attributed to cancer, older folks, one who was a recent acquisition so I didnt know him very well at all. Figured he had it when he came here. The other was Marsey, Birds personal rescue and we knew she had cancer in her eye but.......................that is not what she died from sadly. By xmas, none of my older folks were feeling too well, didnt clean up there feed, stopped being excited about dinner and started hanging back from herd instead of coming in. I had blood panels pulled and they all showed a bit of dehydration but nothing serious. Attributed to the silly weather changes. A week later, vet was up again, they were all losing weight drastically, drinking like fools and only eating hay. This time tests showed kidneys and liver were failing. Over night, literally, the horses lost a couple hundred pounds and the vet euthanized them. I had the vet run panels on three more that I was terribly concerned about. They looked good but........................I have had them for years, I know when something is not right. Blood panels showed exactly the same as the first, a bit of dehydration, nothing else. One week later, panels are entirely different again. Kidneys and liver are shutting down. These guys are going into renal failure, stage four cancer in a week. One of these horses is not old. He does not have cancer.

    So, SS was out to take feed samples, Dept of AG did water and soil tests. Hay was all tested. Nothing shows amiss but................................I KNOW THESE GUYS ATE SOMETHING POISONOUS. Pastures were combed by an expert, nothing found. Bodies were exhumed from the first two horses to see exactly what showed in tissues. My vet has been here every night helping me medicate the remaing three horses effected. We are going a mass steroid route as well as Equiox pain killer at $14 a day per horse since we cant use either banamine of bute due to the effect on kidneys. If this does not work, I will lose my precious friends, one my very first ever GA rescue, Commander, my darlin paint friend who does the paso dance at dinner time, and Printz, the paint stallion hit by a truck on I-75 and left untreated for a year. The oldest residents of Sunkissed are nearing there end but long before there time I am afraid.

    We have looked at this with a fine tooth comb. All the variable have been compared and discarded. We can only come up with one thing in common. Triple Crown Feeds. Well, now, we did use some Purina as we had all those coupons but........................... a few of these horses didnt eat it and so...........................unless of course, a volunteer fed it to them without my knowing. I followed some of the threads on feed here and there was a problem with TC around xmas which fits in with what happened here, horses off there feed. I am looking for answers here or help.

    Does anyone who gets there TC from the Flowery Branch Plant have any feed left from xmas, Senior or Complete.? There will be an F on your feed label. Does anyone know anything that I dont know yet or know of horses who have mysteriously died that we can find similarities too? While SS paid for all the testing, the costs of treatment, exhuming and euthanazia and burial are left to us never mind the continuing attempts to treat my friends. The vet is coming here on his own time. We need your help and input here please.

    All the horses who live on pasture and are capable of eating hay and grain are fine. It was just the oldest toothless kids who depended on there grain who are suffering with this. My heart is broken, just broken.
    Last edited by snkstacres; Mar. 5, 2009, 11:21 AM.
    Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

    Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement

  • #2
    Oh my gosh Lori I am so sorry!!!! I will pray for your oldsters, that they will recover.

    I don't have any info for you though...
    I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

    Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.


    • #3
      Bump for Lori. She's been going thru this with the vets helping her (costs $) for months. and she has pneumonia herself.

      Anyone having the same problems? PM Lori if you have. I PM'ed TIER who has had similar problems????, and haven't heard back yet.

      Anyone heard of any recent (last fall to now) feed recalls or horses getting sick/dying in groups? I called my feed company and asked at the feed stores. Everyone please check and help Lori both with information and donations.

      Bad times for rescues.


      • #4
        Please keep us posted. I feed Triple Crown to both my 2yo and my 27yo (everyone in between gets Reliance) and this worries me greatly. My 2yo is proving to be a picky eater at times and this does make me paranoid. Fortunately, my old gal is a great barometer of things wrong...she eats like a hog when all is well in her world...but will refuse to eat at all the minute something is amiss.

        Thoughts and prayers going out to you and your old guys. This is absolutely horrifying news.


        • #5
          I don't feed TC but after the Chinese melamine incident with pet food I have no doubt that what you are thinking is a more than reasonable possibility. I don't have any ideas right at the moment but am thinking.


          • #6
            Symptons of Melamine Poisoning?

            This came up pretty early in Google: http://www.who.int/csr/media/faq/QAmelamine/en/.


            • #7
              So sorry to hear about the loss of your horses, l can't help you with any advice or information but l can tell you of a similar experience.

              l bought a quarter horse mare, it will be 5 years ago this spring, she soon started showing signs of illness, dropping weight, drinking gallons of water and peeing all the time, she continued to get worse and worse, we finally discovered that her kidneys were failing, she was put on anitbiotics for weeks and weeks with no change, we were at the point of putting her down, when l contacted a homeopathic person, she never saw my horse, just listened to the symptoms, she ended up giving me capsules, that would line the kidneys, and give them a chance to heal, than l had to give her 3 diferent types of drops, within a week she was getting better, and she's still here 5 years later, her kidneys are not perfect, but they function well enough to keep her healthy and happy. The vets figured she would die within months.

              Anyway, the part that is pertinent to your problem, l contacted her former owners to see if she had ever had any issues before, they were so glad to hear from me, they had lost my contact info so were unable to contact me, anyway, 3 of their other horses, including my mares yearling, all died of kidney failure during the same time Lacey was sick. It turned our it was something in the feed, Lacey was lucky she left when she did, it was very sad and they were heartsick over the whole thing, they were so relieved that Lacey survived and still keep in touch.

              Anyway l wish you luck and l hope the ones that are still sick will recover, l wish l could tell you what the homeopathic had given me but she has since moved away and the bottles have no names on them. Might be worth it on your end to contact a homeopath and see if they can help, vets here said Lacey was done, but 5 years later she's still here.


              • #8
                Lori -

                That is horrible and I am so sorry.

                I don't feed ss feeds but many people do around here. I have not heard of any cases of illness or unexplained deaths.

                But I promise to ask around and I'll call my vets too. I'll let you know if I hear anything.

                Again - I'm so sorry for your troubles and I hope these horses recover. (and I hope you are feeling better too)
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling


                • #9
                  Purina had a recall mid year 2008 for their feeds due to alfatoxin:
                  Purina recalls contaminated horse feed

                  Submitted by Horseplay on Fri, 2008-05-09 22:44. Check your feedroom. Purina has issued a voluntary recall on feed for the Eastern U.S., including feed made at its Harrisburg plant between Jan. 1 and March 10. No horses have been reported sickened by the feed, which may have aflatoxin contamination above acceptable levels.Aflatoxin has been implicated in causing colic, neurological disorders, paralysis, hypersensitivity, organ deterioration, reduced growth rate, poor feed efficiency, impaired fertility, and death in horses.

                  News Release: May 8, 2008 -- Land O'Lakes Purina Feed LLC has implemented a voluntary product retrieval of certain feeds manufactured between November 3, 2007, and February 8, 2008, at its Statesville, N.C., feed plant; between January 1, 2008, and February 8, 2008, at its Harrisburg, Pa., feed plant; and between January 1, 2008, and March 10, 2008, at its Guilderland, N.Y., plant.
                  This voluntary retrieval was initiated due to the possible presence of aflatoxin contamination above acceptable levels. To date, Purina has received no confirmed aflatoxin-related animal health complaints involving any of the retrieved products.
                  All dealers who purchased any of the retrieved products directly from Land O'Lakes Purina Feed LLC have been notified. These dealers are located in the following states: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia.
                  Purina's investigation and product testing identified one ingredient of concern, which originated from a single supplier. Purina is no longer using this supplier. Other feed companies that purchased from this supplier are facing a similar situation.
                  For more information about specific products included in the retrieval, contact the Statesville, N.C., feed plant at 704-924-5100 or the Harrisburg, Pa., feed plant at 717-737-4581
                  Couldn't find anything on TC feeds though.
                  You jump in the saddle,
                  Hold onto the bridle!
                  Jump in the line!


                  • #10

                    Sounds like poisoning to me! What about your water - is there a factory or something that may have dumped toxins in a stream or could there be something buried nearby that finally leached into your groundwater? Are all the people and other animals around OK?

                    Sometimes, if the mills aren't very careful about what they are milling when and cleaning their machinery, ingredients from cow or other animal feed that is toxic to horses can get mixed with horse feed, and that could be a cause - have you had your feed tested? No chance of nightshade (and there are a number of varieties that are all poisonous) or blister beetles or something in the hay? And, of course, there is alway the melamine problem... this too could be from something else milled in the same bins.

                    Have you contacted Triple Crown directly? Or had your vet contact them - that might be more effective! Have you contacted local papers and asked if anyone else has the problem? Actually, the vet would probably know those things.

                    I know this would break my heart - losing one is tough enough, but losing a bunch and not understanding why? That would do me in.

                    Meanwhile, you might consider buying (organic) oats, corn (and/or barley) and bran and cooking up your own feed. Easy to do - you can PT me, if you'd like.

                    I am so sorry to hear about this - I wish I could help you.

                    My horse had been sick before I bought him (diagnosed with chronic liver disease, according to his vets at the time, who were not my vets, but from whom I was later able to get the records). I have a sneaking suspicion after all these years that he had had the problem before his previous owner bought him - probably started from something on the track. Unfortunately, since it was mis-diagnosed and ignored over the years, it wasn't handled as it should have been with plain hay and low protein feed. That horse had a heart of gold that was bigger than any other horse I've ever known. RIP.
                    co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


                    • #11
                      By the way, as was discovered with the dog food, many different feeds may be processed in the same plants. If Purina has the problems, then TC may also. You need to contact them (and threaten, if necessary).

                      If I were in the US now, I would be mixing my own feed as I do here.
                      co-author of 101 Jumping Exercises & The Rider's Fitness Program; Soon to come: Dead Ringer - a tale of equine mystery and intrique! Former Moderator!


                      • #12
                        Weren't there some mystery deaths at a farm in NC recently? Anyone else remember this or have any info?
                        Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.


                        • #13
                          I have currently Triple Crown Complete - label reads;

                          1919 Lot#:F9035: Bag#:0033 (and 9 others)

                          Don't know when it was made - I bought it 2 weeks ago. I haven't had any problems with horses 2 - 24 years old.
                          ... _. ._ .._. .._


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bird4416 View Post
                            Weren't there some mystery deaths at a farm in NC recently? Anyone else remember this or have any info?
                            The symptoms were different. But the response by the local Vets was a model in how to handle a cluster of unexplained deaths. There was a thread on COTH about the NC horses including links to the Vets. They might be able to help with the logistics of getting a system in place to try and see how many horses have been effected and how to try and solve the problem.


                            • #15
                              Oh Lori, this is so sad. I'm so, so sorry that you're going through this -- you do so much for your guys. I'll keep all of you in my prayers and send jingles that they'll pull through and you can get to the bottom of it.

                              I feed TC (Maturity, Lite and Performance) to my guys, and have heard nothing about issues in our area (NVA). But this is concerning. Please keep us posted on what you find.

                              Anyone know anyone from SS that can chime in here?
                              "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall." - Confucious
                              <>< I.I.


                              • #16
                                You've probably already heard this through the grapevine, Lori, but no, I don't have any of Avery's old feed from that time frame left. I gave it away. Avery definitely WAS one of the horses who did not want to eat it, and I was tracking those threads too - but other horses did eat from those same bags here after he passed away and are asymptomatic.

                                I can't help thinking melamine myself... If Printz weren't involved, I would also be wondering whether they were nibbling bark off of trees or something like that, but I know he's on restricted T/O so that wouldn't apply...

                                Jingling for you and the kids.
                                "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                                • #17
                                  Last fall (August) I had some feed from the LOL-Purina Gainesville, GA plant (I *think* it was in plain alf pellets, but might have been Horseman's Edge). It had some strange pieces in it that looked like cattle feed, so I was worried about rumensin (sp?). My local supplier called the plant, and the plant called me within hours. He said that they do NOT process any cattle feed in the same plant that processes horse feed; the risk is just too great of a mistake happening. I would HOPE that the same is true for SS feeds.

                                  Are there any other farms near you having similar issues? If it were feed, it would almost have to be more widespread than just your animals.

                                  I wonder if our worst nightmare is happening, that some of the locals whose animals have ended up with you taking revenge. How difficult would it be for someone to be slipping cattle feed to your horses in their pastures? (that could also be an ignorant good samaritan, for that matter).
                                  "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                  Spay and neuter. Please.


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by equinelaw View Post
                                    The symptoms were different. But the response by the local Vets was a model in how to handle a cluster of unexplained deaths. There was a thread on COTH about the NC horses including links to the Vets. They might be able to help with the logistics of getting a system in place to try and see how many horses have been effected and how to try and solve the problem.
                                    They were Appalachian Equine (appalachianequine.com) if you want to contact them.
                                    "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

                                    Spay and neuter. Please.


                                    • #19
                                      The Centers for Disease Control are in GA, and they do have a veterinary branch.

                                      Try to get them in on this. They should be interested in cluster illnesses and deaths. And they certainly have expertise in solving medical mysteries.
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire


                                      • #20
                                        Have you contacted the FDA? When one of my dogs was poisoned by a flea control product they were very, very quick to get back to me.