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Horse with a fever-leave him in or put him out?

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  • Horse with a fever-leave him in or put him out?

    Vet was out last night for the old man who spiked a sudden fever (went from 101.5 to 104.0 while I was waiting for the vet). Treated with an injection of Banamine and most likely cause is Ehrlichia. Once the fever broke, he was eating his beet pulp and hay happily. He is a 24/7 turnout horse, but we kept him in last night for observation.

    This morning fever is back up to 101.6 (from 98.5 last night at bed) and he is barely eating. Have a call into the vet as she told me to hold off on Banamine unless he is 103 or higher. My question is this: would it hurt to let him go back out with his buddy or should I keep him confined? What do the rest of you 24/7 people do with a sick horse?
    Gone gaited....

  • #2
    I'd keep him in. Easier to keep an eye on him. Hope that he's okay
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


    • #3
      My horse just got over a similar illness a few weeks ago. Pretty scary. Did your vet test for Lyme & Ehrlichia? Did she recommend starting on antibiotics? If ehrlichia's suspected, it's very important to start treatment asap. I would check with her on that. It usually takes @ 3-5 days to get the ehrlichia results back - that's a long time for a sick horse to wait....
      My horse was put on doxycycline 2 days after spiking his fever (104) & within 24 hrs his temp was back to normal. He tested negative for lyme & ehrlichia, but as I've been told, there's a very narrow window for testing the ehrlichia - and if you miss it, they might not test positive, even though they have it.
      As far as turnout goes, check with your vet.
      My guy is normally out 12 hrs/day with his buddy & they're both pretty mellow. All he did when he was sick was stand out there & nap. But he looked less 'depressed' than when he was in his stall, so I figure it was good for him to be out.
      I would think that as long as your guy's buddy doesn't pester him, & they have a small pasture w/ access to shelter, he'd be fine out there.
      Good luck - I hope he gets healthy quickly!
      Whatever you do, or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it ~ Goethe


      • #4
        I'd turn him out, if his buddies will be understanding of him not feeling well Our 3 are quite understanding if someone doesn't feel well. In a large herd, that would probably not be the case. You need to be checking him regularly to make sure his temp doesn't go high again and to make sure he is drinking and eating at least a little.


        • #5
          I'd keep him in if you don't know what's causing the fever. Why continue to expose your other horse if it might be contagious?


          • #6

            Originally posted by kookicat View Post
            I'd keep him in. Easier to keep an eye on him. Hope that he's okay
            What kookicat said would be best IMHO. Good Luck & Jingles.
            Last edited by Zu Zu; Nov. 28, 2009, 10:04 AM. Reason: addition
            Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


            • #7
              I'd keep him in - less stressful for you and him - warm and out of the weather. Hope he's feeling better soon. Is he on any medication yet (other than Banamine)?
              She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


              • #8
                Is there any way you could bring his buddy in, too? Since you're in NH and the weather is not exactly balmy this time of year, I'd feel better keeping a sick horse out of the elements to avoid putting more stress on his system. You can also keep a closer eye on him and monitor him more carefully. However, bringing in his buddy as well might help keep him happier/less stressed out mentally. As for exposing your other horse if this is contagious - if they were turned out together when you discovered the fever, the other horse has likely already been exposed (assuming it is contagious).


                • #9
                  It really depends on the horse and the situation, but if you think his buddies will be sensible, he may be happier out. If the vet thinks he has Erlichia, I'm surprised she didn't go ahead and start him on tetracycline, as it's fairly broad spectrum and comparatively safe/ inexpensive--and it works so quickly if it is a tick borne thing.


                  • #10
                    How's the patient doing this evening?
                    She wasn't running away with me, I just couldn't stop her!


                    • Original Poster

                      Wanted to respond sooner but....

                      We lost power today! So no internet for awhile...

                      The patient is doing as well as can be expected. Thank you for all the well wishes! His fever dropped below 100.0 so I let him out and he seemed MUCH happier. He also ate both breakfast and dinner tonight (beet only). All day he munched his hay, although with less enthusiasm than usual. His temp his 101.8 after dinner so I gave him Banamine before leaving him for work tonight. He responded quickly and picked right back up. He has also been drinking all along so that is good!

                      His Mom spoke to the vet today. She wanted to see him bounce back from the fever before starting any course of treatment, as he is older. Not sure I agree, but he's not mine and the decision is not mine to make. At this point they will be awaiting the Lyme test, as the erhlichia test may not reveal anything conclusive.

                      I'll keep you posted. His stablemate (my gelding) was very happy to have him back this morning!
                      Gone gaited....


                      • #12
                        I don't mean to disagree with the vet, but we have been having one heck of a time with erlichia this year. If you don't do oyx tet ASAP, you are going to run into the founder monster. I am really baffled why no Banamine. It does block intestinal exotoxins and helps prevent laminitis. This does NOT get any better with time!


                        • Original Poster

                          Since he isn't mine I am not really in a position to have an opinion either way as to whether or not he should be treated. if the roles were reversed and it was my gelding rest assured I would be pushing for treatment.

                          Not sure if you read the previous posts, but we have been using Banamine when the fever hits.... we are by no means taking chances with laminitis. He has been under my constant watch and has bounced back nicely. Today he was his old self and has been fever free for nearly 24 hrs.
                          Gone gaited....


                          • #14
                            I don't understand NOT treating the cause of the fever - especially because he is old. And, preventative for founder is paramount - the fever is a symptom, and the disease process must be stopped - in this case, the nature of the process demands immediate respones - doxy or appropriate antibiotic - anti-inflamatories - or this could become chronic. Really too bad it wasn't gone after right away, because that is when you have the chance for success treating this parasite. Very sad.
                            Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.


                            • #15
                              My 27-y-o spiked a fever of 105 last weekend while I was in Boston (he was in WI). Vet said give him banamine that night, and she came out the next am and drew blood and gave IV tetracycline, because in the am his fever was 106.7 (her thermometer didn't go that high but ours did!). By suppertime his fever was 101, by the next morning before his second shot it was 99.9. 4 days of IV tet. and he cantered out to the pasture. Another of mine had it last year and he was a little dull for about a month - apparently that's pretty common for ehrlicchia. Bloodwork showed he definitely had it. Once his temp had returned to normal, he was turned out as usual. When his fever was up he wasn't interested in turnout, or food.


                              • #16
                                Banamine is not just for fever. The usual trigger for the laminitis is not the fever but the release of exotoxins. Banamine was used for long after the fever was gone and them a month of Equicoxx (Previcoxx) as an anti inflammitory. Nasty little bugger!


                                • Original Poster

                                  Well since I am a newbie to Ehrlichia, is the consensus that this horse WILL develop laminitis or founder due to the fact the vet DID NOT put him on any treatment?

                                  I had not heard this. And it makes me wonder why our clinic (who we have used for years) did not suggest follow up treatment yet. I will mention it to my boarder's mom.
                                  Gone gaited....


                                  • #18
                                    It is not guaranteed the horse will develop laminitis, but it is a huge factor when dealing with Erlichia(sp?). And many times it is after the major symptoms subside. Vets (from many practices) are VERY aggressively treating suspected cases with IV antibios before the test results come in. We are in eastern NY on the Mass border, We have had another cluster of cases last week. Some people are temping all their horses nightly.