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Author Topic: Something going through my herd?  (Read 368 times)

stablemind

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Something going through my herd?
« on: December 30, 2017, 06:41:42 pm »

I've posted on Facebook, but would like to catch up with my GHS friends and perhaps discuss in more detail.

My gelding, Babe went off feed and spiked a fever a few days before Christmas. My vet came out and determined it wasn't colic, but likely a GI infection. He gave him a shot of penicillin and if I remember right, a shot of Gentamycin also, with instructions for me to continue the penicillin. The next day Babe's temperature went up to 104.7. Being so close to Christmas, we felt we couldn't take any chances and took him to Equine Specialty Hospital in OH where they could get immediate lab results and give him IVs if necessary. The vets there also thought he had an infection in the GI tract. Babe ended up staying 5 days - we brought him home the day after Christmas. He also showed some hind-end weakness and stifle issues while he was there, so they started treating for EPM. The EPM test results took a few days and showed him at 55% probability. So we're going to do 28 days of Marquis. By the time we brought him home, all the hind-end symptoms were gone.

Whatever he had, he's over it and back to his normal self. Still has a few days of antibiotics and I've started giving him probiotics to help his gut normalize.

This morning, Rusty Lady presented with the same symptoms. She hasn't eaten or drank all day and her fever started a little over 103 and spiked to nearly 105. We immediately called our vet and got her started on the same antibiotics Babe has been on.

Our vet is unavailable now until Jan. 2 so if we feel she needs IV support, we either have to find an emergency vet or take her to OH.

Tonight, we took Lacey's temperature for no reason other than she was hanging out by the barn a little more than the others and we're in worry mode. Her temp was 101. We've got her in for the night but she's acting fine.

The vets think they've ingested something that's made them sick. I don't suspect their feed. Babe and Rusty hadn't been eating the same feed. They're all eating the same hay, of course. We feed round bales in slow feed nets. A couple bales back, I pulled something weird out of the empty net before putting in over a new bale. it looked like a couple feet of dried up intestine. So who knows. We've had to feed really crappy hay some years, but this year's hay is good, just post mature. Not to say I don't believe there could have been some contaminant in the hay, just that there's nothing about it to immediately suspect.

It has been a roller coaster...Babe getting well just as Rusty got sick, and now wondering if others are coming down with it also. I am a wreck...We're not getting the worst weather compared to all the snow in Erie and cold temps elsewhere. But we are barely into double digits with a week of single digits ahead.

Helpful advice appreciated and even more, prayer.


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kckc

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2017, 07:19:15 pm »

oh my gosh, how terrifying... Not sure how you do your hay but I'd say roll it out, look for anything that looks odd in it.   You might then have to fork it into a net or container but you might find some odd weed or dead animal parts?   Wonder if you might test your water?  Bleach their troughs?   Do they get any of the same thing such as supplements? 
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loneelk

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2017, 06:01:09 am »

This is NOT a good time of year for sick horses.  I'm sorry you and your horses are having to go through this.  Maybe what's worse than them being sick is the not knowing why or what it is.  Prayers and positive energy headed your way.
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Walkin45

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2017, 06:49:03 am »

Botulism? Prayers.
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PAWalker

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2017, 07:19:41 am »

Someone on another forum has a horse with a mystery illness.   The symptoms weren't the same as your horses but the suspicious culprit was believed to either be nettle in the hay (she feeds small squares and found some) OR spruce as she has spruce trees.

also, FWIW, she lives in  Geauga county, OH which isn't all that far from you.  So I could imagine there wasn't anything in her hay or yours, and there might literally be something in the air.

Prayers and good thoughts coming your way:)

EDITED: just saw this link on yet another forum from our Canadian friends.  It talks about "seasonal pasture myopathy".   While we don't have this type of Maple, we in the U.S. do have Maple and perhaps there is some sort of correlation.

It's interest the initial diagnosis was colic, as with your horses.

https://globalnews.ca/news/3936585/calgary-area-family-has-warning-for-others-after-4-horses-mysteriously-die/

^^^My point to linking this is there may be something sprouting in your pasture that should be completely innocent but isn't:)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2017, 07:27:57 am by PAWalker »
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misstux

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2017, 11:02:23 am »

You may never find out what the illness is.  Hopefully everyone recovers quickly.  Several years ago an unknown illness went through the barn where I keep Strider.  Out of 150 horses, 6 got sick.  Of course one was Strider.  Fever over 104.  I went out late 1 night to give him his meds, put his halter on, tied him to a post, turned around to pick up the tube.  When I turned around he was down hanging by his halter.  Scared the crap out of me.  All 6 horses recovered.  Many years before that, my gaited Morgan Dusty got sick.  Fever 104.5.  The only vet I could get out swore to me over the phone that it was a respiratory infection.  I said no, but of course he didn't believe me.  Came out, drew blood & sent it off.  Told me to call his office the next morning after 9:30.  The next morning just after 9:00 I got 3 calls at work, one right after the other - the barn owner, the vet's office & the vet - the message:  get your horse to UC Davis now!  Dust had almost no white blood cells & the ones he did have were riddled with toxic bands.  When we got to UC Davis, I unloaded him, went to check us in then went to walk him to the exam room.  A vet came running out & had me put him back in the trailer & drive him to the exam room.  They told me he wasn't going to make it, that they had never seen a horse with blood work like his go home.  Dusty was there for about a week in intensive care before he came home to finish his recovery.  We had 8 more years together.  They never did figure out what was wrong with him.



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slamduncan

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2017, 03:06:18 pm »

Cyd, I am so sorry to hear of your health issues with the horses.
I would wonder about the hay.  JMO.  If that is the only constant in all these horses.

I do not envy you having to deal with sick horses in this cold.
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fargos handmaiden

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2017, 03:18:47 pm »

Eso sorry you are going thru this. I can image the frustration and feeling of.helplessness. prayers to you, you can get to the bottom of.this and stop it.
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foxtrotter

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2017, 04:32:25 pm »

 Cyd, I have nothing helpful to add.   
Sending lots of prayers for Rusty, and praying none of the others get sick.
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MJ

stablemind

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2017, 06:10:37 pm »

Sunday evening update: Rusty's temp was down to normal this morning. She'll eat some pelleted feed, is picking at hay and hasn't drank much water. But she's definitely perkier and feeling better than yesterday.

Babe is doing fine. He's has a few more days of antibiotic, then Marquis for another 3 weeks

Misstux...I can't even imagine having horses that sick. You must have been terrified!

PAWalker - that is interesting about the maple seeds, and pretty scary to think something like that could temporarily contaminate a pasture.
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oncidium

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2018, 10:55:30 am »

I also agree:  Botulism

O
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stablemind

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2018, 11:10:48 am »

Re botulism...they haven't had any of the symptoms. Just fever, off-feed, lethargy.
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PAWalker

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2018, 12:41:26 pm »

Were liver enzymes done to determine if toxins are involved?
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misstux

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2018, 03:32:00 pm »

So glad to hear your horses are doing better!
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stablemind

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Re: Something going through my herd?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2018, 05:23:10 pm »

Were liver enzymes done to determine if toxins are involved?

When we took Babe to Equine Specialty Hospital they immediately checked his liver enzymes and also kidney function. Both were good.

Both horses are doing well tonight. Rusty finally started drinking again today. She never did get as weak as Babe had been.
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