• Welcome to the Chronicle Forums.
    Please complete your profile. The forums and the rest of www.chronofhorse.com has single sign-in, so your log in information for one will automatically work for the other. Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of The Chronicle of the Horse.

Announcement

Collapse

Forum rules and no-advertising policy

As a participant on this forum, it is your responsibility to know and follow our rules. Please read this message in its entirety.

Board Rules

1. You’re responsible for what you say.
As outlined in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, The Chronicle of the Horse and its affiliates, as well Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd., the developers of vBulletin, are not legally responsible for statements made in the forums.

This is a public forum viewed by a wide spectrum of people, so please be mindful of what you say and who might be reading it—details of personal disputes are likely better handled privately. While posters are legally responsible for their statements, the moderators may in their discretion remove or edit posts that violate these rules. Users have the ability to modify or delete their own messages after posting, but administrators generally will not delete posts, threads or accounts upon request.

Outright inflammatory, vulgar, harassing, malicious or otherwise inappropriate statements and criminal charges unsubstantiated by a reputable news source or legal documentation will not be tolerated and will be dealt with at the discretion of the moderators.

2. Conversations in horse-related forums should be horse-related.
The forums are a wonderful source of information and support for members of the horse community. While it’s understandably tempting to share information or search for input on other topics upon which members might have a similar level of knowledge, members must maintain the focus on horses.

3. Keep conversations productive, on topic and civil.
Discussion and disagreement are inevitable and encouraged; personal insults, diatribes and sniping comments are unproductive and unacceptable. Whether a subject is light-hearted or serious, keep posts focused on the current topic and of general interest to other participants of that thread. Utilize the private message feature or personal email where appropriate to address side topics or personal issues not related to the topic at large.

4. No advertising in the discussion forums.
Posts in the discussion forums directly or indirectly advertising horses, jobs, items or services for sale or wanted will be removed at the discretion of the moderators. Use of the private messaging feature or email addresses obtained through users’ profiles for unsolicited advertising is not permitted.

Company representatives may participate in discussions and answer questions about their products or services, or suggest their products on recent threads if they fulfill the criteria of a query. False "testimonials" provided by company affiliates posing as general consumers are not appropriate, and self-promotion of sales, ad campaigns, etc. through the discussion forums is not allowed.

Paid advertising is available on our classifieds site and through the purchase of banner ads. The tightly monitored Giveaways forum permits free listings of genuinely free horses and items available or wanted (on a limited basis). Items offered for trade are not allowed.

Advertising Policy Specifics
When in doubt of whether something you want to post constitutes advertising, please contact a moderator privately in advance for further clarification. Refer to the following points for general guidelines:

Horses – Only general discussion about the buying, leasing, selling and pricing of horses is permitted. If the post contains, or links to, the type of specific information typically found in a sales or wanted ad, and it’s related to a horse for sale, regardless of who’s selling it, it doesn’t belong in the discussion forums.

Stallions – Board members may ask for suggestions on breeding stallion recommendations. Stallion owners may reply to such queries by suggesting their own stallions, only if their horse fits the specific criteria of the original poster. Excessive promotion of a stallion by its owner or related parties is not permitted and will be addressed at the discretion of the moderators.

Services – Members may use the forums to ask for general recommendations of trainers, barns, shippers, farriers, etc., and other members may answer those requests by suggesting themselves or their company, if their services fulfill the specific criteria of the original post. Members may not solicit other members for business if it is not in response to a direct, genuine query.

Products – While members may ask for general opinions and suggestions on equipment, trailers, trucks, etc., they may not list the specific attributes for which they are in the market, as such posts serve as wanted ads.

Event Announcements – Members may post one notification of an upcoming event that may be of interest to fellow members, if the original poster does not benefit financially from the event. Such threads may not be “bumped” excessively. Premium members may post their own notices in the Event Announcements forum.

Charities/Rescues – Announcements for charitable or fundraising events can only be made for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations. Special exceptions may be made, at the moderators’ discretion and direction, for board-related events or fundraising activities in extraordinary circumstances.

Occasional posts regarding horses available for adoption through IRS-registered horse rescue or placement programs are permitted in the appropriate forums, but these threads may be limited at the discretion of the moderators. Individuals may not advertise or make announcements for horses in need of rescue, placement or adoption unless the horse is available through a recognized rescue or placement agency or government-run entity or the thread fits the criteria for and is located in the Giveaways forum.

5. Do not post copyrighted photographs unless you have purchased that photo and have permission to do so.

6. Respect other members.
As members are often passionate about their beliefs and intentions can easily be misinterpreted in this type of environment, try to explore or resolve the inevitable disagreements that arise in the course of threads calmly and rationally.

If you see a post that you feel violates the rules of the board, please click the “alert” button (exclamation point inside of a triangle) in the bottom left corner of the post, which will alert ONLY the moderators to the post in question. They will then take whatever action, or no action, as deemed appropriate for the situation at their discretion. Do not air grievances regarding other posters or the moderators in the discussion forums.

Please be advised that adding another user to your “Ignore” list via your User Control Panel can be a useful tactic, which blocks posts and private messages by members whose commentary you’d rather avoid reading.

7. We have the right to reproduce statements made in the forums.
The Chronicle of the Horse may copy, quote, link to or otherwise reproduce posts, or portions of posts, in print or online for advertising or editorial purposes, if attributed to their original authors, and by posting in this forum, you hereby grant to The Chronicle of the Horse a perpetual, non-exclusive license under copyright and other rights, to do so.

8. We reserve the right to enforce and amend the rules.
The moderators may delete, edit, move or close any post or thread at any time, or refrain from doing any of the foregoing, in their discretion, and may suspend or revoke a user’s membership privileges at any time to maintain adherence to the rules and the general spirit of the forum. These rules may be amended at any time to address the current needs of the board.

Please see our full Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.

Thanks for being a part of the COTH forums!

(Revised 1/26/16)
See more
See less

Mystery illness - stroke? Please help

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Mystery illness - stroke? Please help

    I don't even know where to start...

    Horse is a 31-yo paint gelding, has been retired about 5 years. When the weather started getting cold, he seemed to be having a hard time - moving stiffly, a few mild colics. Vet said joint issues/age, and we started him on Adequan and occasional banamine when he seemed especially stiff, as he is sensitive to bute.

    About 2 months ago, found him down in the snow and it took 2 of us to get him up. He was fine once he was back in his stall, and vet suggested keeping him inside in cold weather. He'd occasionally go off his feed a little, but basically normal. But lethargic.

    About 6 weeks ago, he looked like he was laminitic - stretching both fronts out, off his feed. Vet agreed with founder dignosis - we pulled blood for CBC and Cushings test, and treated with banamine and pads on feet. However, despite the founder stance, he was negative to hoof testers, no heat in feet, and vet said maybe it was just joint pain. X-rays showed one degree of rotation in LF, but that had been there for years. Took him off the Banamine and started him on Tramadol. Also Ranitidine. Cushings test showed highly elevated ACTH so we started him on Pergolide. CBC was normal.

    He has gotten progressively more lethargic and moves VERY slowly. He also seems to be, for lack of a better word, slow in the mental sense. He takes a while to realize his feed is in his tub, and moves very slowly toward it. He has taken a couple of steps that look like he is possibly neurologic, but this is not consistent. Aloof, when he'd previously been a total love-bug. (Which may, of course, be due to all the needles and oral syringes and examinations he's dealt with lately.)

    The strangest thing? His whinny has changed. Which for some reason made me think of when my grandfather had a stroke and had trouble speaking. I immediately contacted my vet when this occurred to me and he agreed that a stroke was totally possible. I am guessing that may have been when he was down in the snow.

    In typing this, I am thinking, good lord, put the old guy down. Anyone reading this will probably think the same. But every time I think about this, he greets me with bright eyes and a nicker...a different nicker, but a nicker. To complicate matters, this horse had a mystery illness about 5 years ago, where he had multiple colic episodes, lost about 200 lbs, and turned gray overnight. Vets were stumped, he made a full recovery with tons of diagnostics that showed nothing, but no real treatment. I keep thinking he'll turn around again? And he doesn't seem to be in pain, just lethargic and dull and slow. I know it takes a while for the Pergolide to start working, and I hate to give up before seeing if that makes a difference.

    And then tonight, I noticed that his sheath was extremely swollen and hard, not sensitive though - will call vet in the morning...but I am thinking maybe his system is just shutting down? Bloodwork says no, but just I don't know any more...

    Thoughts? Advice? Awards for reading this novel?

    ETA: Yes, I have heard of the pergolide veil. The lethargy began before we started him on pergolide.
    Last edited by Vandy; Mar. 10, 2010, 12:45 AM.
    Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

  • #2
    I can't help you with the medical part of your question but wanted to tell you that you will know when the time to put him down has come. Its obvious you are in tune with the horse so all you have to do is listen and be ready to act upon what you hear. Jingles for both of you.
    McDowell Racing Stables

    Home Away From Home

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh, Vandy, this is so heartbreaking. I know you must not know which way to turn... but you WILL know when it's time. We who love our horses/dogs have that inner voice. I'll say a prayer for you and your boy.
      SPAY/NEUTER/RESCUE/ADOPT!
      Little Star Chihuahua Rescue
      The Barkalicious Bakery
      On Facebook!!!

      Comment


      • #4
        Some of his behavior may be from a stroke but I would suggest you have his thyroid level checked.

        It's my personal opinion that when you have edema in places it doesn't belong and lethary, among other things, that it can be tied into the thyroid.

        He may need to have medication for the thyroid as well....

        I have gathered, from a previous thread on COTH several years ago, that Cushingoid horses/ponies can have neurological issues. I had an old pony diagnosed with Cushing's who would have trembling at one point but the vet wasn't concerned about it because it was only once or twice, and never lasted more than a few minutes....
        "None of us can move forward if half of us are being held back." ~Anonymous~

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Great news this morning...Scout seems perkier than he has in weeks! Sheath is still extremely swollen, but he was more enthusiastic about his breakfast than he's been in over a month. Low grade fever from last night is gone. Best of all, while he was waiting for his food, he whinnied normally for the first time in 2 months!

          Did call the vet first thing - he thinks the sheath is a side effect of the Pergolide and will resolve within a few days. He recommended continuing with the same dosage, but splitting it am/pm vs one daily dose. I am having him come out to check it anyway and pull blood again just in case, and will ask about thyroid testing.

          But for the moment, I am very optimistic! I saw glimpses of my old horse this morning that I haven't seen in a long time. He took some normal steps and was watching my every move, whereas recently he had been just standing in the back of his stall most of the time, looking depressed.

          I am reluctant to admit this, but...for the first time ever, I had an animal communicator visit Scout exactly a month ago. I know but I was desperate. She gave me a lot of info, but what really stuck in my mind was that she said Scout kept saying "a month". She didn't know whether he meant that he was going to die in a month or get better in a month or what...just "a month". I took it to mean he wanted me to give this a month to resolve, though you can bet I was worried I'd find him dead in his stall this morning...I'm not sure if I believe in this stuff, but strange that exactly a month to the day after her visit, he suddenly seems like a different horse!
          Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

          Comment


          • #6
            Your love for this old horse comes through in your posts. I'm going to rain on your parade. He's 31, and basically "failing". He's had a mild rally. He will not get "better", he will only get older. Throwing money at it won't change this reality. If you let this go on indefinately, it will end up ugly for him, uglier than it is now, and uglier than it has been so far. If you pick a day and end it for him before this happens to him, he won't have to suffer at the end. If you love him, don't wait until he is dying anyway to make your decision. Worst case scenario, your vet is away or unavailable on the day that you make the emergency call. It doesn't matter to him if he lives 31 years, 3 months and 15 days, or 31 years, 4 months and 2 days, or 31 years, 4 months and 20 days. All that matters to him is whether he suffers at the end. You are keeping him going because you don't want to lose him. You are going to lose him, and soon. Make it as easy for him as possible, not you. You will suffer either way. But you will suffer more if you have to watch him suffer. Sorry. Bite the bullet and set a date.
            www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              NancyM, I hear you, although with all due respect, I feel that I am making the right choices for him. I have another pony who is 41 who had an major impaction colic at 35...and returned to work afterwards - now retired, happy and sound. I feel like I have a pretty good grasp on when to let go, although like all responsible owners, I do second guess myself sometimes. The last 2 older horses I have euthanized have not been emergency situation, but rather planned events when I didn't foresee their quality of life improving and they were still fairly comfortable.

              What I would really like is for Scout to enjoy this spring/summer, so he can be turned out and take nice naps in the sun, and schedule euthanasia before the weather gets cold again. I really respect my vet, and when we have discussed euthanasia for Scout, he's encouraged me to wait to see how he does on the pergolide first. Of course, if he takes a turn for the worse, I will not wait.
              Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

              Comment


              • #8
                My personal response would be to put the old guy down. Yes, he rallied, but it won't be for long, and he will continue to escalate odd episodes. To me, it wouldn't matter what it was that happened. I would guess a stroke.

                I think it is extremely important to evaluate a horse's time not by emotional feelings for him, bright eyes, or nickers, but by the quality of his life. If he is experiencing episodes which compromise his ability to function, in otherwords, get up from lying postition, stand without pain, eat and digest well, my personal response would be to end his life kindly, quietly, on a warm spring day like the ones we have been having, when he feels bright and chipper and can be surrounded by friends and even fun.

                There is nothing more selfish than prolonging a horse or other animal's life because of the owner's emotional needs, or because the owner used an emotional criteria to assess putting him down.

                If you are waiting for him to tell you he is failing, he's told you. Allowing him to get sicker until his eyes beg you is selfish and inhumane.

                In my opinion.
                Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  AR, I hope you posted while Vandy was because if you bothered to read her post yours was unnecessary. You and I might take the easy way out but Vandy is putting the horse first, at the vet's recommendation, and pergoglide cost be darned. From the sound of it I'd rather be Vandy's retired horse than yours.

                  Vandy, I'm glad Scout is feeling better and I hope he has those happy days in the sun this summer. If it was a temporary rally and you have to face the inevitable sooner then I hope it is a peaceful passing for both of you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If he is having neurological issues from Cushings, it can be very painful.

                    I had to put my 25 yr old arab gelding down in Sept because he went neurological. He was stable in his Cushings symptoms, but in a lot of pain. After 4 grams of bute I realized how much he had been hurting.

                    I made the appt, it was brutal, but necessary. He also went blind in just a day or two.

                    Even though he was still perky, he had a lot of pain off the bute, and he was starting to fall from the ataxia.

                    My heart goes out to you.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It's clear that you love him very much and that your vet is very involved in his care as well. The two of you working as a team know the horse much better than all of us posting here do. Trust you instinct and your vet's advice; when Scout is having more bad days than good, it will be time to let go. I don't see why you should have to put him down prematurely just because that unfortunate day is coming.

                      Good luck; I hope you have a wonderful summer with him!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        My pony is on Pergolide for Cushings. Originally vet was ordering a powder every month - but at $100 a month that was getting expensive. Found a place where Vet calls in script and they deliver a capsule of Pergolide for $15/mon (extra for shipping).

                        Point is not the money but despite vet warnings that Pergolide may not be a good - my pony is actually doing BETTER on this stuff. I've heard they do a LOT of business and thus it's "fresh" (my vets concern it may not be). Pony has perked up and gotten rid of Cushing fat pads.

                        Vet puts script in at vetpetsolutions.com and owner put in "oder" for Pergolide at thrivingpets.com - so a bit confusing but well worth the extrat bit of work st the beginning.

                        Not sure of where you get your pergolide but the Pergolide Compound Capsule, Apple Flavor, 1.00mg is what I order.
                        Now in Kentucky

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Just wanted to give a happy update. I was concerned about Scout's sheath today, as it was very swollen and fever was back. My regular vet was unavailable and I thought a fresh set of eyes would be good anyway...Vet said sheath is infected and put him on SMZs. He did a full battery of Neuro testing which was NORMAL. He thought the weakness I'd seen in the hind end was discomfort from his sheath, and said Scout was nowhere near ready to be put down... After vet was done with the sheath cleaning and disinfeting in the wash stall, Scout was so ready to go back to his stall that he trotted down the aisle, looking quite sound He is NOT ready to leave us.

                          I understand that from my initial description, many would put this horse down. I have seen horses and questioned why their owners have not euthanized them, and insisted at one point that a boarder put a horse down that was in my care that I felt was suffering. I understand that everyone who suggested I let him go is speaking out of concern for the horse and I have no hard feelings toward you - but I am here with him, have the advice of my regular vet as well as the excellent vet who gave me a second opinion today...And I am at peace with my decision to treat his symptoms rather than euthanize. Thanks again for all the well-wishes.
                          Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Just...don't get your hopes up. That sounds awfully like what happened with my horse (in his case, complications from EPM.) He would get better, then not, get better again, seem happy, then the off-ness and 'slow' thing would be back or he'd be standing like he was foundering but wasn't, the vet couldn't figure out what it was (this was before EPM was the diagnosis du jour) and we ended up not having a chance to put him down. He went from being off then not to having a massive stroke and went down in the field, and died before the vet could get there from the internal hemorrhaging. I'm sure, though, you'll know if things change and it looks like they're going bad.

                            41 on the other pony? Wow. The oldest horse I ever knew was 42 when he died. Worked up until a year before. I really think it was the 'retiring' that sped up the end--he was a schoolie and one of the best. If you've got oldsters I'm sure you know what you're doing, it's just, the symptoms sound so much like my boy's I can't help worrying for you.
                            Author Page
                            Like Omens In the Night on Facebook
                            Steampunk Sweethearts

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Have you got him on a day in day out anti-inflammatory? You mentioned occasional banamine, etc. I've had excellent luck with my own horse (young, but bad joint) and some other "oldies" with B&L Pellets (also available as liquid), or SmartPak's Smart TLC, now available in pellets as well as powder. It doesn't cause the bloodwork changes, and it is less likely to cause ulcer issues than daily bute, but seems nearly as effective. Sure you know of some of these, but wanted to mention in case you hadn't, or wanted some anecdotal approval!
                              I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

                              My horse's antics iamboyfriend.com

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Bif, he has been on Tramadol for the last few weeks for pain management, but not an NSAID. Vet today also confirmed my concern that the Tramadol was causing depression/lethargia - I have taken Tramadol myself and it certainly does that to me! So thinking about discontinuing that, and trying something different. Vet wants him on banamine for the next 3 or 4 days for sheath, but after that I'm still undecided, though I do feel he needs something. I had another sensitive-to-bute horse a few years ago who did great on the BL liquid - maybe that would be good for Scout. Thanks for reminding me about it.
                                Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by danceronice View Post
                                  41 on the other pony? Wow. The oldest horse I ever knew was 42 when he died. Worked up until a year before. I really think it was the 'retiring' that sped up the end--he was a schoolie and one of the best.
                                  Molly was a schoolie too, and I was really worried about that happening with her...but to my surprise, she is thriving in retirement. She plays a lot with her neighbors and is very active, which I think helps a lot. She still loves to run, buck and rear in her paddock on a windy day
                                  Ristra Ranch Equestrian Jewelry

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Yes, Tramadol is good stuff!! So's you knows, it is a morphine derivative of sorts, but not controlled (not considered a narcotic)... still is fun stuff

                                    So, yeah, that could kind of slow him down a smidge

                                    I'm in pharmacy, and like many, I think drugs often cause more issues than they solve.

                                    In a similar vein, with your vet's blessing, I wouldn't vaccinate this guy this spring. He probably would titre fine on everything, and his immune system doesn't need the assault of more "invaders", when he's been having off and on temperatures anyway.

                                    I wish Scout the best of luck! I've known quite a few upper 30s mid 40s horses, God bless all you owners of the "oldies"!
                                    I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

                                    My horse's antics iamboyfriend.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Vandy View Post
                                      Just wanted to give a happy update. I was concerned about Scout's sheath today, as it was very swollen and fever was back. My regular vet was unavailable and I thought a fresh set of eyes would be good anyway...Vet said sheath is infected and put him on SMZs. He did a full battery of Neuro testing which was NORMAL. He thought the weakness I'd seen in the hind end was discomfort from his sheath, and said Scout was nowhere near ready to be put down... After vet was done with the sheath cleaning and disinfeting in the wash stall, Scout was so ready to go back to his stall that he trotted down the aisle, looking quite sound He is NOT ready to leave us.

                                      I understand that from my initial description, many would put this horse down. I have seen horses and questioned why their owners have not euthanized them, and insisted at one point that a boarder put a horse down that was in my care that I felt was suffering. I understand that everyone who suggested I let him go is speaking out of concern for the horse and I have no hard feelings toward you - but I am here with him, have the advice of my regular vet as well as the excellent vet who gave me a second opinion today...And I am at peace with my decision to treat his symptoms rather than euthanize. Thanks again for all the well-wishes.
                                      Well, despite the passive agressive suggestion, not all are well wishes. Some of the thoughts are ciritical. If you think the horse is so healthy as to warrant another 10 years of treatment, what did you post for.

                                      A horse in the condition you described in your OP deserves serious consideration for euthenasia. You, pointedldy, said you "saw the look in his eye" and decided to continue going back and forth with his infirmities with him.

                                      Don't marginalize or shame us who disagree. I think you're doing your horse a disservice, Just announce your intent, and be done with it. What is your interest in having a discussion? Just looking to collect those who have "jingles" and rainbows to throw your way?

                                      That's not what you said in your OP.

                                      And Vandy, I too was writing from what the interest of the horse is. You're making decisions based on your emotionas and hopes. You do your horse a disservice.
                                      Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        If the horse has to live inside 23.5 hours a day, can't enjoy eating or can't enjoy interactions, 100% euth. If his personality change is from a medicine, and he turns around to going outside, being/interacting with others, and is still leading a fairly good quality life, then the euth wasn't needed. Acceptable, understandable, yes; Vandy seemed to be hoping in her OP that others had similar incidents of stroke/symptoms, and have advice or stories, positive or negative.

                                        I've seen horses with strokes that recovered fairly well by three or four weeks. However, I know one who is 37 or 38 and can only go out to hand graze for the hour or less his owner can take him out in evenings. He staggers a lot when walking. It bothers me no end that horse hasn't been euthed. So we all know there are lines, we all want our guys with as long as possible, and we all have an easier time deciding what others should do. Vandy has multiple vets saying it isn't time to euth. But neither would anyone think her out of place if she euthed.

                                        And anyone who says, "Well, he's still eating"- you can see a starving horse or a horse with a broken leg laying on the grass and they will eat! I think the animal's ability to derive a sense of "fulfillment" in herd life and interaction is more important than "is he still eating"? I also agree it is better to euth a month too soon than a month too late.
                                        I'm not really at the top of my game today. I'm not even exactly sure what game I'm supposed to be playing, in fact... or where it's being held...

                                        My horse's antics iamboyfriend.com

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X