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Discussion on Colic with Fever?

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Jennifer Adamy
New Member
Username: Jadamy

Post Number: 3
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Thursday, Nov 9, 2006 - 10:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O-

I have a 3 year old Arab/Hanovarian filly that presented two days ago with what appeared to be mild colic. She refused grain in am and seemed lethargic. Few hours later she was laying in the field and I had a hard time getting her up. She was not rolling but stretching her neck out. I walked her for a few hours, she had two small bowel movements. When the vet arrived she seemed to be on the upswing. He gave her bentamine and she seemed fine for the evening, vitals were normal. The next morning she refused feed again, head low, snotty nose, and drooling. Temp was 105, gums very red, 3 second CRT. Vet prescribed bentamine for us to inject until he could get to out farm. After injection resperations were very labored like she had been running. By the time the vet arrived 4 hours later temp was down to 101, gums were almost blueish colored, breathing normal and she was back to eating hay, CRT still 3 seconds. He gave antibiotics and took blood, suggested Equine hospital 1 hour away. When we arrived a the hospital wbc were low, proteins and postassium low. Ultrasound showed no problems, nothing found on rectal exam. Vet suspects Potomac Horse fever or Salmonella. Question, with infection wouldn't wbc be high? No bowel movements and no urination all day, none of which sounds like salmonella or potomac horse fever from what I have been able to find. The slow CRT and pink gums from what I found are associated with shock, would this be indicative of salmonella or PHF as well? I just want to make sure we are heading down the right track and not wasting valuable time and money on the wrong track.

Thanks
Jen
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17053
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Nov 10, 2006 - 7:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Often early in the course of an infection, particularly virus or one with bacterial endotoxins involved, the WBC dips then rebounds. The diarrhea may still develop over the next 24 yours and the changes you see were not severe enough to considered shock and you would expect to see these changes with either salmonella or PHF as both cause a bit of endotoxemia. So from your description these are possible though it is a bit late for PHF unless you are in the coastal regions.
DrO
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Jennifer Adamy
New Member
Username: Jadamy

Post Number: 4
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Friday, Nov 10, 2006 - 11:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank You Dr O.

The Mare has responded to antibiotics and fluids although her temp is still up. She has had normal bowel movements and is eating hay, color in her gums has returned to a more normal color. The vet will be doing another blood check this afternoon to see where her levels are. They are still thinking PHF even though it is late in the season and we are not in a coastal area. She has been immunized for PHF so the vet thinks she may not have full blown symptoms. Would the lack of diarreha rule out Salmonella at this point? I do have other horses in the herd I am concerned with but none show any signs of illness.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17060
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Nov 11, 2006 - 10:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hmmm...one study did not find any difference in the cost of treating vaccinates and nonvaccinates that naturally contracted PHF suggesting little benefit from the vaccine on the other hand some horses have milder and even asymptomatic cases. You can isolate Salmonella from horses with normal stools Jennifer, so that does not rule it out.
DrO
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Jennifer Adamy
New Member
Username: Jadamy

Post Number: 5
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Sunday, Nov 12, 2006 - 9:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank You Dr O. The mare has been taken off IV and bantamine (sp?) and seemed to be doing better,then started refusing feed again.She started "cow patty" type stools but they have since gone back to normal. They are continuing oral antibiotics and have put her back on bantamine. Her white blood cells are still low but proteins and potassium have come back to normal levels, I assume because she is no longer dehydrated. The low white blood cells have me concerned, would this still follow the course of a virus, PHF or Salmonella? I am given the choice to bring her home having my vet pull blood every few days, or leave her for a few more days to see if she stabalizes.

Thanks-
Jennifer
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17070
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Nov 12, 2006 - 6:28 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

No, dehydration drives up protein levels so rehydration is not the cause and dehydration unlikely when the proteins were low. You cannot diagnose the disease from the low WBC count though it may be less likely with a virus. If she is eating and drinking, I see no reason not to bring her home but I would do so with the concern that she may be contagious if it is salmonella, see the articles Initial Evaluation and Salmonella in Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Diarrhea in Horses.
DrO
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Jennifer Adamy
Member
Username: Jadamy

Post Number: 6
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Monday, Nov 13, 2006 - 7:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well I did not bring her home yesterday. She was still depressed, was off her feed again, and the cow patty stools started again. Her stall has a very foul oder to it. It appears she has gone further backwards. I read both of the articles you suggested and have decided to leave her there until some of the labs come back. Thank you for your advice, this is a very informative site.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17077
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Nov 13, 2006 - 7:13 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks Jennifer. She misses the Banamine is my guess. Both the articles on PHF and salmonella have further information on diagnosis during infection.
DrO
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Jennifer Adamy
Member
Username: Jadamy

Post Number: 7
Registered: 8-2006
Posted on Monday, Nov 27, 2006 - 11:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O-

Thought I would update you on my mare. She is back to her normal self again, doing great. All blood work came back negative, unexplained illness.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 17162
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 28, 2006 - 7:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wonderful news Jennifer.
DrO
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