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Billy Blackman
Username: Bblack

Post Number: 32
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Wednesday, Nov 12, 2003 - 8:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post


One of my trim customers called me yesterday about his mustang. He thought the horse was foundering because the horse was having a problem standing. However, after talking with the owner on the phone, asking if the horse was standing in the founder pose (answer:no), any heat in the feet (no), colic signs (no). I told him I didn't think the horse was foundering. He said the horse was having a problem standing, wobbling when he walked. Maybe West Nile? I thought since the horse had received no shot, but had received his EEE. But his eating was normal, no depression, no head pressing, or any of the other WN signs.

The owner said he had made a sudden feed change 24 or so hours before the problem set in. He couldn't tell me anything about what he was feeding before or anything about what he had switched to. He had burned the new feed sacks so I couldn't check.

I went out yesterday (3 days after onset of signs) to check the horse's feet. No signs of founder. The horse is 60 percent better, according to the owner. The horse's CRT was 3 seconds, his heart rate was 44. Breathing was a little labored, but not much. I had on way of testing, but his nose did feel a little warm, but his body's didn't. Could have been a little fever. The horse was grazing, but did seem a little more disagreeable than in my past encounters.

Since the horse was improving, the owner decided not to call the vet, but to watch and if improvement stopped, then call vet.

The horse still wobblies a little in the hind end, and seems unsure of his front steps. But only slightly. He is grazing and I suggested no grain until the problem either goes away or the vet is called in.

The horse in on no worming schedule. His bowl movements are normal, according to owner, however a few hours prior to my getting there, the movements was at first dark and mixed with undigested feed, but before endings, looked normal, the owner said.

I concluded two things: the sudden feed change had triggered a mild colic type problem and the owner had lucked out and no more damage than occured (but that's didn't explain the wobbling); or else the horse has a mild case of West Nile since with the horse improving on its own , the owner again lucking out.

I know it's hard for you to figure out since you have only my information, but what do you think?


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Billy Blackman
Username: Bblack

Post Number: 33
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 - 7:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello again,

I called the owner last night and she said the horse is back to normal, running ect. The old feed was a 10 percent, the feed the switched over to was a 16 percent. So I think, whatever the problem was, even the staggering, was something to do with that abrupt change.

They are back to 10 percent, where they will stay.

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9459
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 - 8:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Still eating while being wobbly does not sound like colic Billy. More a transient muscle or neurological disease but what it might be is unknown with the information provided.
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Darbie Yates
Username: Yitto

Post Number: 3
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Nov 13, 2003 - 3:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Billy,

I was reading this and seems there is something more to the story. Aburpt feed changes do cause problems, but not the wobbling. Seems to me the 16 hay may have had a toxic weed or mold that has caused the problem that is being seen now.
Why would he burned the hay? Maybe something more to look into.
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Billy Blackman
Username: Bblack

Post Number: 34
Registered: 2-2001
Posted on Friday, Nov 14, 2003 - 9:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Darbie,

The owner burned the old feed sacks.

I agree, I've never seen wobbling associated with any type colic. I told the owner to watch the horse closely. If wobbling reoccures, call the vet, because something is going on, maybe West Nile or EPM since they do have opposums in the area. Or, since the horse has access to open pastures and swampie areas, maybe some type of toxic weed, as you suggested.

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