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Author Topic: Anaplasma in horses...and weird lameness  (Read 417 times)

Karen

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Anaplasma in horses...and weird lameness
« on: April 14, 2015, 07:46:49 am »

We've struggled with low energy levels, weight loss, stumbling and intermittent lameness for months (and some of the symptoms have been going on for WAY over a year) in Quinn, one of our mid-teens geldings.  We've switched farriers, had a chiropractor out, replaced a saddle, changed hay suppliers, and did a full neurological panel in the early fall (negative tests for EPM, anaplasma, lyme and a half dozen other things).  We decided to do a trial of anti-inflammatories during trial season to see if his issues were related to arthritis.  Quinn is an "anyone can ride" kind of horse that my step-daughter is comfortable on, so we wanted to be able to keep him sound for her to ride lightly at the very least.

We managed to get the weight issue resolved by the time we headed into winter (thank goodness), but Quinn came up lame at our last trial of the fall (early November).  We kept an eye on him as it was suggested that it was probably a stone bruise, and the lameness quickly resolved...and didn't show up again until late February.

Quinn was tip toeing around the paddock, refusing to put weight on his left rear foot.  We assumed the stone bruise had finally turned into an abscess, so we ichthalmol'd, wrapped and put a boot on his foot, hoping to draw out the abscess once and for all.  36 hours later he was getting around fine.  We unwrapped him...no abscess.  The paddock was icy so we hoped he'd slipped and pulled a muscle or something.

We switched farriers again, and had everyone trimmed/shod on 3/16.  VERY impressed with the new guy.

Fast forward to March 21st.  First trial of the season.  We trailer down to Clear Spring, MD, unloaded, tacked up, and my 11 yr old, 100 lb step-daughter jumped on Quinn for 3 braces (90 minutes).  I rode with her and that horse never took a bad step.  We tie him to the trailer for an hour, and when my husband went to get him, he was tip-toeing around again on that same left foot.  We staked him out, buted him, and trailered him home the next day.

By Monday morning you'd never have known there was a problem. 

The vet came out that Friday, did a lameness exam (he passed!), x-rayed his leg and hoof, and did a snap test for Lyme & Anaplasma.  His x-rays showed good hoof formation with no air pockets between the hoof wall and inner structure, and age appropriate arthritis in his hocks....nothing debilitating.  He immediately came back positive for Anaplasma, and after 20 minutes returned a faint positive for Lyme.

He was started on Doxycycline immediately, and 2 trials and a championship later, Quinn is back to the horse he was 2 years ago.  He hasn't shown any signs of lameness and his energy levels have shot WAY up.   The stumbling is also gone.  We're 18 days into a 42 day course of Doxy and Quinn is a different horse.  We're still giving him previcox 3 days before and during a trial, but I'd imagine if all goes well, we'll stop that at the end of the season.

Getting the doxy into him proved to be a bit of a challenge at first.  It doesn't make a very good paste, it's probably close to a tablespoon of powder, so not a small amount, and it smells awful.  We wound up buying sweetened applesauce, and mixing the powder into a 1/2 cup of applesauce, then mixing that with 2 1/2 lbs of feed.  We're adding a probiotic to his feed also, since the doxy is pretty hard on their digestive tract.  He takes longer to eat, but he is eating it.

Just figured I'd share our experience in a one cohesive thread, so if anyone's horse starts to experience any portion of these intermittent symptoms, you can consider doing the snap test for Lyme & Anaplasma.
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Karen

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Re: Anaplasma in horses...and weird lameness
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2015, 10:12:05 am »

Doxycycline also has anti-inflammatory properties, so you may find this is a temporary help as far as any lameness symptoms go.  I saw a marked improvement in our horse while he was on doxy, but after being off of it for a few month is stiff again.  I'm not sure if you went the Cornell test route, but that is supposed to be the most accurate.  My vet gave me some literature from Cornell when our horse tested positive and they are a wealth of information.
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Debbie

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Re: Anaplasma in horses...and weird lameness
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2015, 03:40:04 pm »

So happy for you (and Quinn) that you seem to have gotten to the bottom of his problems.  I hope he continues to do well after he is through with the treatment program you currently have him on!
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Morson, Ontario.  Canada

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slamduncan

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Re: Anaplasma in horses...and weird lameness
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2015, 03:59:13 am »

When Duncan started with his issues ALL his blood went to Cornell.  I can not say enough good about those people at that lab.

Anyway, onto happier thoughts.  as I told you, Karen applesauce has always worked for me. Especially when trying to get Doxy down.
Lyme is a nasty condition and it NEVER goes away away.  You have to be on top of things at all times and because the symptoms are so vague it can be difficult.  I am very glad your horse is doing well and I truly hope he continues to improve.
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Judi and the Boys, Rhode Island

Karen

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Re: Anaplasma in horses...and weird lameness
« Reply #4 on: April 23, 2015, 08:26:17 am »

Quinn will be finishing his Doxy in the next couple days.  Keeping fingers crossed the improvements we've seen "stick".

I have an appt. with the vet this evening for 2 of the dogs.  I'll give him an update and see what he wants to do next, if anything, or we just wait until June/July to re-test.
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Karen

slamduncan

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Re: Anaplasma in horses...and weird lameness
« Reply #5 on: April 23, 2015, 01:46:12 pm »

We retested in 12 weeks.  also give the probiotics for 3 or 4 more days.  that's what I was told to do with Duncan. 
Good luck at the Vets
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Judi and the Boys, Rhode Island
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