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Discussion on Normal 4 month old weanling temperature is ??

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Debra Moe
Username: Dmoe

Post Number: 7
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Monday, Sep 8, 2003 - 9:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just purchased a 4 month old APHA weanling filly for a song at an auction. She is showing signs of a respiratory infection (slight snotty nose - clear with yellow tinted, cough after trotting, noisy breathing) and have called the vet to come out this afternoon. In the meantime, I've taken her temperature 2x daily since Saturday. It was 101.8 Sat evening, 100.8 Sun morning and 101.8 again last night. I have given her 1/2 gram bute 2x day - (she weighs approx 400 lbs).

I've read here that normal temps are up to 101, some other sources say normal for a horse are up to 100 but 102 for foals.

Does she have a fever?

Could stress alone raise a horse's temperature w/o actually having a 'fever'? I've isolated her for 3 weeks until I"m sure she's not contagious. She's within sight of my other horses but calls to them quite a bit.

Thanks for your help!
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Username: Westks

Post Number: 41
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Sep 8, 2003 - 10:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have one question why are you giving pain killer for an infection? penecillian or sulpha tabs would be a wiser choice.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9055
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Sep 8, 2003 - 6:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Whoa Janette,
In this age of increasing antibiotic resistance, resistant pathogens being spread into the environment from antibiotic treated animals, the possible complications of antibiotic use (colitis, anaphalaxis, neurotoxicity), and the much more common cause of respiratory infections being do to virus's (not treatable with antibiotics) and not bacteria, reaching for antibiotics everytime a horse has a fever or snotty nose is NOT the wisest decision. Also bute, in judicious doses, is perfectly rationale as it also lowers fever makes the horse feel better and improves appetite and drinking.

Debra, just click on Quick References (top of the navigation frame on the left). Then select Lab Values/Vital Signs. You will find the ranges of normal. However high fevers are not often a sign of serious disease and no fever does not mean there are not serious problems.

More important is general condition, how the horse is feeling, and the results of a good physical exam. Sadly many vets take the same position as Janette above, worsening the problems I outline above and having little effect on the outcome of the majority of infectious diseases. I would like for you to review the article on Equine Diseases Respiratory System Foal Pneumonia: Rhodococcus. It is not that common (you will see 1 for ever 200 viral URT disease you see) and a bugger to diagnose but should be looked for and a reason for specific antibiotic therapy. Unfortunately neither sulfa nor pen will touch it.
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