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Discussion on Nasal Discharge Without Fever

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CCTexas
Member
Username: indigo

Post Number: 17
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 12:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O (and everyone else!)

I have a mare that has developed a white nasal discharge. No cough, no fever, has not gone off her feed. She does however sound a little "hoarse" when she whinnies. The mare did seem a little depressed the day before the discharge was noticed (which was 5 days ago) but we got close to 100 degrees that day, so I just thought she was sluggish from the heat and didn't take her temp. Next day when I saw that she was snotty and called my vet, she said it sounded like a cold and to let it run its course without treatment. The mare still has a bit of a discharge, but it is not as heavy as it was. I isolated the mare immediately upon noticing the discharge, but all ten of my horses are pastured together so as I feared, two more have now come down with snotty noses (one has a mild cough as well.) I am thinking that I probably need to have at least one cultured to see what's causing the discharge, but my vet doesn't seem too concerned, said to keep an eye on them and if they develop fever give banamine or bute.

I am HOPING my vet is right and this is just a cold and not something like strangles (no sign of lymph node swelling at this point). All the sick ones have recently been bred.

The thing that is really upsetting to me is that my horses NEVER leave my property or have contact with other horses except when I take them to my vet's office. The mare that initially became sick was taken to the vet about 12 days ago to be bred, and was taken every day for 4 days, so I am relatively certain that's where she picked up whatever it is she has. My vet only has one set of stocks and she does not disinfect the stocks between horses coming and going. I have actually asked her about doing so in the past, but she said it was too time consuming, and that they could only do it once a day (at the end of the day.) Unfortunately she does not like to make house calls, so the majority of the time I am pretty much forced to haul my horses up there.

My questions are:

How likely is it that something such as a cold (or other respiratory illness) could cause the pregnant mares to abort? I know rhino can cause abortion but have never seen any information about diseases like strangles, flu, or a cold causing a more to lose her foal (all my mares are also less than 30 days in foal, some not even confirmed yet.)

Is it standard practice at most clinics not to sanitize in between horses coming in and out?

Do you think this type of discharge with no other symptoms is concerning enough to warrant a culture, or should I follow my vet's advice and just let them "ride it out"?

Thanks!
CC
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20730
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 11:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello CC,
1) There are two diseases that begin as a upper respiratory infection and can cause abortion, herpes (rhinopneumanitis) and Equine Viral Arteritis (EVA). However they do not usually cause trouble with early pregnancy, for more see the articles on each of these diseases.

2) For horses that are staying on the farm with no history of infectious disease we do not wash the stocks down. But when horses are coming in from off the farm we do wipe it down with a quat disinfectant between horses.

3) A culture will not reveal viral diseases and once viral infections have developed usually there are self limiting secondary infections that can confuse culture results. So besides culture you will need to take a swab for evaluation of influenza and herpes viruses to rule them out. This can be quite expensive and the results not back in time to help those infected but may give you some peace of mind. For more on this see the article associated with this discussion.

A list of possible diseases and links to further articles on the individual diseases, their clinical signs, and diagnosis is provided in the article associated with this discussion.
DrO
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CCTexas
Member
Username: indigo

Post Number: 18
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 1:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for the information, Dr. O. What type of disinfectant is best to use on equipment like stocks? I guess since my vet won't do it, I could buy some and take it with me each time I go and do it myself. Might not make her very happy, but I really don't know what else to do.

Thanks again!
CC
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CCTexas
Member
Username: indigo

Post Number: 19
Registered: 5-2006
Posted on Monday, May 26, 2008 - 1:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One more question, Dr. O. As I mentioned, none of these horses have a fever. The only noticeable symptom is the white, thick nasal discharge, along with a bit of a "hoarse" sound when they whinny. One mare does look a little swollen around her throatlatch, but I honestly dont know if she is actually swollen or always looks like this. After reading every article under respiratory diseases, I don't see any mention of a disease that only causes a runny nose with no fever, etc. I know it's impossible for you to make a diagnosis, but what could be causing the snotty noses that wouldn't also cause fever, depression, inappetance etc?

Thanks again!
CC
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 20734
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, May 27, 2008 - 8:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

All of the upper respiratory diseases have variable clinical signs and could present without fever. If the stocks are metal, probably the easiest, least expensive, most effective thing to use would be one of the over the counter spray disinfectants most of which would use chlorine as the disinfectant.
DrO
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