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Discussion on Cause of hypothermia?

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A. Daniel Tice (Dogman)
Posted on Tuesday, May 29, 2001 - 10:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The horses where we board are on night turn out now because the flies have gotten so bad during the day. Night time temperatures are in the mid 50's here in W.Va. right now and there have been light rain showers on and off for a week and a half.
On Saturday, May 26, one of the horses, a 6-yr-old mare, (not pregnant) was making a fuss during the night. She was found lying down in the 3-acre paddock where she stays with our gelding. It took a great deal of arousing and assistance to get her up. When brought into the barn, she immediately layed down again. At that time and through part of the next day, her ears and the lower half of all four legs were extremely cold. There was a distinct area at which each leg turned from warm to cold, just above the knees. From that time and through Monday afternoon, her rectal temperature by digital thermometer was just over 94 degrees F. At no time have any of us seen any shivering that we've all witnessed when a horse is obviously cold.
It seems obvious that the peripheral constriction was to conserve body heat. But Monday afternoon and today, she seems to have her normal energy, activity, and appetite. The vet drew blood today and does not believe the thermometer, which seems to be working fine. He had no suggestions as to the cause.
Does anyone have any ideas or previous experience with a similar episode?
Thanks!
Dan
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM (Dro)
Posted on Wednesday, May 30, 2001 - 8:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dan,
Well 94 degrees is not uncompatible with consciencness, I have to agree with your other vet, I have had unreliable readings with digital thermometers and do not trust them. Though I have read there is a point where shivering stops as the body shuts down, as the horse recovered he most certainly should have gone through a shivering phase as he recovered.
DrO
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