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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 8
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Saturday, Aug 27, 2005 - 12:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry for the long post but I want you to get the entire story. I need some advice regarding my older mare Tawny. She is 27yrs old and 10 days ago I noticed she was dehydrated and she had some diarrhea. I called the Vet and they took blood and checked for parasites. By the time the Vet came Tawny had been drinking and the Vet wasn't concerned with dehydration. It was noted that her heart rate was up. She had a quarter size bump with a crusty scab under her belly, the vet looked at it and thought it might be a fly bite. No big deal. The next day I was told she tested positive for worm larva and they gave me a Power Pack wormer for a 5 day treatment. She was just wormed only a month ago. Tawny seemed to get over the diarrhea. The blood test showed that there was "some type of stress", but it could be the parasites. Everything else seemed fine.
I have been out of town for most of the week and my horses live with a wonderful couple who adore them. The original sore on the belly got bigger- more crusty, during the week, they cleaned it and it got better. They were gone most of the day yesterday, but cleaned the stalls and did not notice anything odd. However this morning Tawny had welts on her and some were draining/ouzing. The welts are about a 1/2 inch high swelling on the skin, they get hard and seem painful, then they ooze a yellow sticky liquid, but not pussy. It seems that after they drain they aren't painful any longer and they go away. Strange thing is that they are all over, 1 on her cheek, neck, belly, hocks, shoulders, inside rear leg, 1 on the front leg, none on the rump or on the top of her back. They range from the size of a dime to 8" diameter. Then she has a large 1/2 grapefruit size lump on the chest, it is soft. I used a different Vet today as they were closer and I didn't want to stress my mare in the trailer on a long trip. The Vet took a sample of some of the fluid from the neck lump for a culture, just in case it is pigeon fever, though she didn't think that it was. Tawny's heart rate was up, and no fever but there was a jugular pulse. The Vet gave me a Healing Tree Body Wash which I used as soon as I got her home. My horse was given an injection of banamine. I was told to watch her condition and check for fever and loss of appetite, so far Tawny is eating normal. I am writing and seeking more information in case someone might have gone through this. I know what pigeon fever is and I am prepared to deal with it and get my mare healthy, but these sores are the size of a hand and they are all over. After we left the vet, another one started on her neck, and is slowly is getting harder. It doesn't open like an abscess into a sore, the skin just starts to ooze like an allergic reaction to poison oak. I'm afraid how many more she will have tomorrow. I would guess that might have started a day or two ago and wasn't noticed till today. Will the banamine help if it is just an allergic reaction? Wouldn't a steroid or benadryl stop the welts? I was told to keep an eye on the jugular pulse- if it moves up the neck it is not good. What does that mean? Help please? Any thoughts? Could a change of Fly spray do this? Could the 5 day Power Pack Wormer do this? Thank you! Lisa
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 13605
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Aug 27, 2005 - 12:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lisa,
At the least you have a bad case of hives and most of your questions about them are answered at, Equine Diseases » Skin Diseases » Bumps / Nodules / Warts / Tumors » Hives, Wheals, and Urticaria in Horses. The ventral sore may well be a bad reaction to a fly bite but that would require an exam to know for sure. Concerning steroid use the vet may first want to establish that there is not a infection before giving a steroid. The Banamine may make the horse more comfortable but I agree it seems antihistimines would be indicated, see the article referenced above.

I don't really see much reason why you would have a jugular pulse develop or what its specific significance in this case might be, but perhaps your vet saw something, so best ask the vet why they said this.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 9
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Sunday, Aug 28, 2005 - 12:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O,

Thanks for the information. When I saw Tawny yesterday she had three more eruptions. I gave her another good bath with Tea Tree shampoo and a good cooling down with cool water. As of yesterday she now has 15 lesions/bumps. The big swelling between her front legs has doubled in size and another small sack is starting right next to it. I contacted the Vet and they gave me Azium powder 10mg., to give her once a day for three days then every other day if needed. I was told she should respond quickly if it is an allergic reaction. But, if she has pigeon fever it could make it worse. We are monitoring her closely. The only other signs are that while she is eating, she is a little depressed, (who wouldn't be), and the diarrhea is back. It cleared up after the power Pack wormer, but now she is dropping piles like cow paddies and squirting liquid. I'm heading out to see her now. I'm hoping for some good news. Any thoughts on why the diarrhea would be back?
Thanks! Lisa
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 85
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Sunday, Aug 28, 2005 - 4:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

A Power Pack is a lot of stress for an elderly horse. I do not think the manufacturer recommends using this product in cases where a horse has a heavy worm load because so many can die at once causing severe system overload, which makes one wonder about the stress to an elderly horse. A friend of mine has a horse that got very sick after using it. It would not surprise me at all that it could cause diarrhea to start up again. Your horse may not have had a heavy worm load, but still could have caused much stress. I believe my Vet. told me that worms can continue dying for up to 10 days post worming. About the original problem with the lesions, one of my boys has gotten such sores all over a few times, with more showing up daily. I washed him with Betadine scrub (rinse well). They also had a discharge like you described, but resolved fairly quickly after they drained. It is possible that there is infection in these sores, and given the age of the horse an appropriate antibiotic might be helpful, but you would need to get the discharge cultured to know. If the Tea Tree stuff didn't help I sure wouldn't continue to use that because your horse might be allergic to it and no doubt it contains tree tea oil, which is quite a controversial thing to use on horses. Swellings on the chest can be indicative of heart failure so certainly hope all the stress is not causing a cardiac problem (worst case scenario). If it were my horse I would wash with betadine scrub or Rain Rot Relief shampoo, get a culture if eruptions continue or increase in number, but if it is clearing up you will notice a steady decline in the number of new sores. (I had something similar cultured once and the lesions contained both staph and strep). If they are swollen badly and causing discomfort, I would consider some Bute. I would also probably try some probiotics or good quality yogurt (with all the active cultures) to help with the diarrhea. It may or may not help but don't think it would do any harm. I am not a Vet and only speaking from my personal experience. Hope all is well for you soon!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13612
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Aug 29, 2005 - 6:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lisa,
The diarrhea could be related to the histamine reaction going on but should be investigated to be sure this is not an infectious problem, for more on possible causes and diagnosis see Equine Diseases » Colic and GI Diseases » Diarrhea in Horses » Diarrhea an Overview.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 10
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Monday, Aug 29, 2005 - 7:41 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank Dr. O- I did read up on the overview when this all started.
Thanks Vickie for your input.
We had no new sores Sunday and they are starting to clear up. Unfortunately the swelling between her front legs/chest has softened somewhat, but is still there. I gave her another good bath and cool rinse which seems to help. She was in better spirits too. I'm hoping we get the culture for pigeon fever, back soon. If the sores start to erupt again I think Vickie's idea about getting a culture on them is a good direction and I will check into that. The Diarrhea isn't gone, but seems a little better too. Thanks!! Lisa
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 86
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Monday, Aug 29, 2005 - 12:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

So glad Lisa, that she is feeling better. It sounds like her whole system is calming down and likely the sores have run their course. If these things are treated well topically I have had good luck without antibiotics, and your faithful and rapid actions likely helped greatly. One of my boys has a touchy digestive system and sometimes wormers help clear diarrhea and sometimes cause it, though eventually it improves. If the horse's other vital signs are fine and there is no dehydration one would hope this will clear as the system is cleansed and settles down. Let us know about the pigeon fever test and chest swelling. It will be very good news to hear that has resolved.
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 11
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 31, 2005 - 1:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, I thought we were over the worst. Yesterday there were no more new bumps. The swelling between the front legs has gone down quite a lot. However tonight there was a new swelling under her belly that was not there this morning. It's about a 5" x 10" oblong bump about an 1" thick. It is not oozing. By the time I got there at 7PM and she was sweating on her back hips and thighs and hot and sweaty on the inside of her back legs/hips. She was radiating heat in the back, not in the front. I took her temp and it was 102. Called the Vet and since no news yet on the pigeon fever they could not give anything. They recommended to give her more steroid. It seemed to help right away. She had been eating but stopped about 10 minutes after I gave the steroid. She seemed to get tired, just stood next to me and was nodding off. I stayed with her for awhile and she didn't seem to be in any discomfort. She will be checked throughout the night. I'm hoping for better news tomorrow. Wish us luck!
Lisa
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13631
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 31, 2005 - 6:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hmmm, the fact that she was so hot feeling suggest she was trying to rid her of the excess heat. Is there an environmental reason she could be so hot? I would suggest with that type heat a cooling rinse off.

The swelling on the belly could be active or passive. Perhaps all this fluid elsewhere is gravitating to the lowest point. If active possibly a bad reaction to a fly bite?
DrO
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 88
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Aug 31, 2005 - 6:36 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Will be thinking of you and your mare, Lisa and hoping for good news.
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 89
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Thursday, Sep 1, 2005 - 10:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Some toxic plants can cause diarrhea and body swellings per the website available herein---(Indiana Plants Poisonous--Picture Index--Senecio, Ragwort). It sounds like some of the others--Crotaleria, Pigweed and others could also and there are probably others not on this site.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13636
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Sep 2, 2005 - 6:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't think it is a toxic plant Vicki, perhaps a plant the horse has become allergic to. The causes of such reactions are in the article on hives I reference above.
DrO
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 92
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, Sep 2, 2005 - 7:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Probably not. I just like to examine all possibilities, however remote, realizing we often never actually GET absolute answers about what caused a problem once it clears up. Along the journey of investigation much can be learned. You and your valuable information and guidance help us keep things in perspective and figure out what are the mostly likely answers. Thanks!
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 12
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Friday, Sep 2, 2005 - 9:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good News, the result of the culture came back negative for pigeon fever. The bumps are healing except for one stubborn one on the withers. The underside swelling is slowing going away and did not ooze but seem to be more edema. The fever did not return and we are weaning off the steroid. I'm hoping we can get though the long weekend without a call to the vet. I think Tawny is on the mend. We stopped all supplements and are giving her only 80/20 grass/alfalfa hay and will slowly introduce them back one by one as she continue to improve.
To answer your questions Dr. O, we live in Northern Cal and it has been in the 90's the past few weeks which is cooler than last month. The horses have stalls for shelter and shade trees. The hot days did seem to be the hardest for Tawny. I'm not sure if these are fly bites, as we don't have a big problem with allot of flies. We were using equitrol supplements which really help with the flies. Thanks for your help. I really appreciate the support and information offered by this site.

Lisa
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 93
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, Sep 2, 2005 - 1:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Great news, Lisa! Hope everything stays on track for you until everything is normal again.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13640
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Saturday, Sep 3, 2005 - 9:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Bees and wasps, particularly yellow jackets, get quite aggressive this time of year in our area and are worse on the very hot days.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 13
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Saturday, Sep 3, 2005 - 10:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,
Last weekend I chased away some yellow jackets that were hanging out in the stall. Perhaps all of this was the result of an allergic reaction to bites or stings.
Thanks,
Lisa
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 14
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Saturday, Sep 3, 2005 - 10:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not so good news tonight. When I got to the ranch today Tawny's back left leg was swollen from the hock down and it eventually went up the leg. It hurt her if I touched with a fingertip. We hosed it off 20 minutes and called the Vet. While I was waiting for a call back, I decided to separate her from my gelding, so I cleaned the stall and gave her some shavings. Once inside and closed off she laid down and almost immediately went to sleep. I thought she was having a seizure at first. She was totally exhausted and keep falling asleep, ( mouth open, tongue out twitching legs), then she would wake up and just lay there next to me. I left to call the Vet and she got up. Was still tired but remained standing. I called (Loomis Basin) and they sent out a Vet who was seasoned and wonderful. We now believe she has congestive heart failure. The pulse in the neck is a back-flow from one of the neck arteries and her heart isn't pumping the blood through. Her respiration is 32, way too high and her gums are pale. She still may have a bacterial infection of some type. We stopped the steroid and she is now on antibiotics for the leg, she has a fever again too. We are going to start pro-biotics and "Red- Cell" in the morning. I'd like to know if anyone has had good luck with extending a horses life who has congestive heart failure. I'm of course hoping she recovers and can go back to a comfortable life. There was more blood taken and I should get results tomorrow. It's been a long day. Thank goodness I have friends who love my horse too, they are keeping an eye on her while I take a break.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 863
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Saturday, Sep 3, 2005 - 10:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I wonder if your mare hasn't had several things going on at once?

The vets at Loomis Basin are really good - at least they used to be, and I think some of the guys there are the same ones I used to deal with quite a few years ago. They saved a couple of our horses over the years when our local vet (a young vet) was overwhelmed. They also used to have no qualms about sending you to Davis if they felt your horse's problem could be handled better there.

Wishing you the best for your mare. Just wanted you to know you're working with some good people.
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Ann
Member
Username: Dres

Post Number: 596
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Saturday, Sep 3, 2005 - 11:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lisa, I agree with the above there are some really good vets at Loomis.. that being said , I would be interested in the vet that came out to you... becus I am sure its not one of the ones that have been there for some time now... ac1@jps.net..

anyway, re the heart condition... I have a friend that has an x jumping WB horse that has the congenital heart condition... he has been retired to pasture and loving life...
On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with SPOTS..
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 96
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 7:02 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Very sorry to hear this but was very worried about those chest swellings as knew they could have been an indicator of heart failure ("worst case scenario.") In humans steroid use will temporarily mask this condition, which may be true for horses as well. Vet should also be checking the liver and kidney functions, especially with rear leg now swelling, though that may perhaps be heart-related as well. If horse's blood is low, this can also be a warning sign of poor liver function/failure. Wishing you strength and all the best of luck during this difficult time.
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Buffy
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Username: Nisquy

Post Number: 26
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 7:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Some years ago I bought a 30-something year old mare who had been a school horse at a stable that was closing. On a routine vet check a very large flow murmur was heard and she was diagnosed with CHF. My vet immediately put her on Digoxin (Lanoxin) which is a people's heart medication. Over the years the amount of pills she was taking had to be increased and I did eventually lose her to this, but we had a great 5-6 years together and I'm sure she was close to 40 when we let her go. Good luck with your girl!
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: Dro

Post Number: 13645
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 10:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lisa, because I am not there to examine the horse everything I say is based solely on what you tell me so must be looked at as such. Your major problems: hives, serum exudation, and inflammatory cellulitis of a single back leg do not sound anything like congestive heart failure. You can get midline ventral chest and belly swellings and leg swelling from CHF but it is bilateral, cool, nonpainful swellings. If you have a jugular pulse with CHF you should have a remarkable murmur on auscultation, something you have not mentioned in your posts and would be an important finding in this diagnosis.

Certainly with fever and cellulitis you should be on wide spectrum antibiotics but there are common non-infectious inflammatory causes of leg swelling called purpura. I would expect this to spread to the other leg though if this is purpura.

I am most concerned about your horse not-feeling well. Your post is starting to sound like a type of connective tissue autoimmune disease: fever and possible multiple and ongoing worsening of generalized allergic reactions. There are many types of these diseases but 2 common types are Equine Diseases » Skin Diseases » Hair and Coat Problems / Itching / Irritated Skin » Autoimmune Skin Disorders: Bullous and Pemphigus.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 15
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 12:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O, The Vet did not hear a murmur and stated that this was a difficult case. She heard a very slight gurgle on the right side when she was listening to her breath but clear on the left.
The leg is still swollen this morning and painful, the other leg is normal. Tawny is feeling better, eyes are bright and she seems to have more energy. Temp 98.1 I kept her locked in her stall all night so I think she got some much needed rest. I gave banamine for the leg and antibiotic. Will the blood work give any indication of autoimmune disease?

Thanks again,

Lisa
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 16
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 1:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O. One more thing I wanted to mention. Tawny has not lost her appetite throughout all of this. In fact, if anything, she has had more of an appetite.

Lisa
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Vicki Zaneis
Member
Username: Vickiann

Post Number: 97
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 1:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Does she still have the diarrhea Lisa? The pale gum color is worrisome. You and your mare will be in my thoughts and prayers as you work your way through this crisis together.
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 17
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 3:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

The diarrhea cleared up and manure looked normal since Friday. I was told to keep an eye on it though as the antibiotic could make it start up again. If that is the case we will switch to penicillin. I did not check her gums this morning, but will do so when I go back to see her. Thank you for your kind words. I'm not giving up.

Lisa
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Suzanne Reed
Member
Username: Sr26953

Post Number: 20
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Sunday, Sep 4, 2005 - 10:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lisa, I didn't realize you were in my area. I've used Loomis too, but I'm wondering if it is time to take your mare to Davis. When I was in Granite Bay I used both Loomis and Gillens. Sue Gillen sent my sand colicked colt to Davis and I can't say enough about the care he got there, which resulted in being able to avoid surgery. He was there four days and the communication, updates, and (after I took him home) follow-ups were excellent. I think they would be very interested in your case, as it seems most unique.

Dr. O, is Purpura related to the Strangles vaccine? Lisa was Tawney or were other horses in your stable diagnosed or vaccinated for Strangles? Long shot, just asking.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13650
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Sep 5, 2005 - 3:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

In the medical dictionary purpura is defined as a hemoragic lesion often involving problems of the blood, clotting system, or vascular disease. In horses this term is usually related to a immune mediated vasculitis of the legs. Certainly the most common cause is related to exposure to Strangles or the Strangles vaccine but any antigen-antibody complex might be possible to set it off.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 18
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 7, 2005 - 12:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr O

The blood work came back and I was told that Tawny is mildly anemic and was mildly anemic two weeks ago with the first blood work. It came up low normal, 27.9% and total red blood cell 5.5 now and 5.0 two weeks ago. (I don't know if the numbers help you) The Globulins in her blood were up then and are still up, so something is still going on, we just don't know what it is. I think you are on the right track. Vasculitis was mentioned today. However, we still aren't sure so the thought is that I take Tawny to Davis for a full CBC and panel, a belly tap and possibly an echo cardiogram or ultra sound. Sounds expensive, but I am willing to do this if it will give me some answers. Tawny's leg was slightly better and is now oozing at the fetlock. She wasn't as bright eyed tonight, she looked tired. Pulse was 100.8. I will look up what might make a horse anemic on this site for more information. Can a horse become anemic if they are on alfalfa for years and then are switched to a grass hay/ alfalfa mix?

Thanks, Lisa
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13660
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 7, 2005 - 7:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not if the grass / alfalfa is good quality. Did you get a number also for the hemoglobin? Be sure to print the units too.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 19
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Thursday, Sep 8, 2005 - 7:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O
I have some blood work results and notes from last Saturday's Vet check that I am taking to Davis that I would like to share with you. This is the one with diagnosis CHF and Cellulitis. No heart murmur or arrythmias noted, jugular pulse up neck, very distended jugular and peripheral vessels. Lungs sl moist ventrally. Has healing sores; surface vasculitis?, on neck, jaw, trunk.

Can you let me know what the blood work might suggest to you? Last night Tawny was eating well. She has been off Banamine for 36 hours now and leg has 2 spots that seem to be weeping but nothing like the other sores. The leg can be touched now without reaction. Swelling is almost gone. No Fever. She still looks a little tired in her eyes but is sociable. I did not see the jugular pulse last night. She seems to be on the mend.
So far, I still have an appointment at Davis on Friday.
CBC Blood work results below:
WBC-9.74
RBD-5.54
HCT-27.9
MCV-50.4
Hb- 10.5
PLT-15.3
MPV-7.4
Pct-0.11%
PDW-7.1
MCH-18.9
MCHC-37.6
RDW-12.1
LYM-13.0
LYM 1.3#
MON-0.7
MON 0.1#
GRA can't read number 86.3?
GRA 8.4#

Other results-
PCV 29%
TP 8.2

VETSCAN
ALB 2.7 2.2-3.7 G/DL
AST 216 175-340 U/L
CA++ 11.6 11.5-14.2 MG/DL
TBIL 1.0 0.2-2.3 MG/DL
GGT 13 5-24 U/L
TP 8.7* 5.7-8.0 G/DL
GLOB 6.0* 2.7-5.0 G/DL
BUN 11 7-25 MG/DL
CRE 1.7 0.6-2.2 MG/DL
GLU 88 65-110 MG/DL
CK 227 120-470 U/L


Thank you!!

Lisa
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13671
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Sep 8, 2005 - 9:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lisa,
The changes in the WBC profiles and the increased globulin strongly suggest an inflammatory response but whether it is infection or strong systemic allergic response, including autoimmune disease, cannot be discerned.

Consider this my wild stab at something that may have not been suggested yet. There is a suggestion, from the ratio of Hb to HCT, that there may have been a mild hemolytic episode. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (where the immune system attacks the RBC's) with deposition of immune complexes in the capillaries of the skin and legs might account for all our symptoms and lab changes. Though the cause of this is often unknown, it also could have been brought about by infection, cancer, or drugs. Hmmm...the weakest part of this thought is I would have expected an increase in bilirubin but if low grade and we are far enough down from the acute episode...

I would continue to monitor the Hct every few weeks or anytime the symptoms worsen to see if it goes lower.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 20
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Friday, Sep 9, 2005 - 1:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr O.
Tawny was good again today and her leg is better too. Tomorrow we will have more lab work and see if there are any changes. Thank you for taking the time to review my post and offer your thoughts. It is very possible that this could be cancer or some type of infection or perhaps something that we will never know. I'll let you know the outcome of our trip to Davis.
Thanks, Lisa
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 21
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Sunday, Nov 13, 2005 - 2:36 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O, This new post probably belong under lameness, but I wanted Tawnys history to be part of this new post. We never got a true diagnosis for all her problems. Davis did a belly tap which was clear, her blood-work was the same, high globulins but nothing else. They did not think she was in heart failure, but could understand the diagnosis at the time. Her heart sounded good, normal for a horse her age. They did a mini-ultrasound and did not see anything. They did want me to come back for a full body ultrasound and I opted out at the time since Tawny seemed to be on the mend. The last time she had a fever was about 6 weeks ago, I called the Vet and her heart and lungs were good, they gave her Bute. It went away the next day. We have stalled her at night and in the day she is free to roam around her corral. She is on 50/50 grass/Alf Hay, pro-biotics and Purena Equine Senior. She is tired at times and walks slowly, but is in good spirits and is a sweetheart. It is obvious when she is tired. I had the Shoer come out last Friday and he could barely get her shoes off. He could lift her legs up but not very high and she would not let him pull out at all and he thought her shoulder joints were sore. He could not shoe her, just gave a quick trim. His feeling was that she was very painful. She put a lot of weight on him, and was having a hard time. When he was done she extended her front legs out which he thought was to take weight off the front legs. She has done this in the past and has never had signs/ or been diagnosed with founder. Her back legs are stocking up some, but that has been common for her in the winter. I have the Vet coming out next Thursday for more blood-work and routine vaccines. On the Vet's advice I am giving her Bute, 1 gm 2 times a day for pain and reducing from there. If the Shoer had not come out, I would not have thought she was in any pain. I actually rode her bareback on a 1 mile trail ride last week and she walked slowly with ears perked and seemed to be enjoying the outing. I'm wondering if any of this "rings a bell" or any thoughts in your mind, based on the previous posting and her blood-work. If she has foundered, could it be due to the breakout she had months past? Could it just be stiffness and soreness and old age? I think we are in for a rough winter. Would it be helpful to use trailer wraps on her legs at night to help with the stiffness. Her joints make alot of cracking sounds when she walks. After a little exercise it does go away, but anything I can do to make her comfortable is my goal. I'm going to get a joint supplement (Flex Free) today to add to her diet.
Any thoughts, advice and suggestions is most welcome.
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WTG
Member
Username: Angel77

Post Number: 75
Registered: 5-2005
Posted on Sunday, Nov 13, 2005 - 6:03 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Tawny,

My horse had several cases of unexplained bumps last year. We finally found out that the fly sheet he was wearing somehow allowed the bees get under the sheet and bite my horse. These bees are very aggressive!

It took several vet visits and a back up of anti inflammatory injections, bute and banamine for my horse to get better. However he did not have a fever. Subsequently I took off the fly sheet. Problem solved until...

This year he got stung on the top of his good eyelid. It looked like a golf ball on top of his eye. What a pain another vet call.

My horse will not tolerate wearing a fly mask because he lost an eye this year. Suffice to say I was out of town when this happened.

Maybe your horse has a severe allergic reaction to stings. The insects have been so bad this year with the amount of rain we have had especially up north.

I used to live up north in Carmel. I was assistant trainer at Pebble Beach Equestrian Center for three years in the early 80's. I know first hand how bad the bees, horse flys, and wasps can be.

Bees and wasps can be quite harmful to some horses, just like people who are severely allergic to stings.

However this may not be the case at all. I am just hoping it is so it does not turn out to be something worse than a bug sting.

How old is Tawny? I certainly hope she gets better soon. I agree with Dr.O. The broad spectrum antibiotic, cleaning and dressing of the wounds, banamine or bute whatever the vet says to keep Tawny comfortable.

I would however stop the tea tree oil. I think there was some discussion on HA as to its toxicity when not diluted properly. You can check around the website to verify that.


Dr.O would it be more appropriate to use a triple antibiotic or something like neosporin? Or maybe Wound-Kote, Scarlet oil spray, Furall, or Granulex? I get some of them confused as to their use because there are so many products.

Lisa you seem to have this under control and are guardedly watching Tawny. That is always great to hear. You are obviously a caring horse owner and are doing everything you can for Tawny.


Good Luck!!! My thoughts are with you both.

WTG
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14114
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Nov 14, 2005 - 9:53 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

You and your veterinarian should start with the problem: "she does not lift her feet for the farrier". Then a thorough physical exam should be done and from there a list of potential problems created. The problem may be solved at that point or there may still be questions. A list of probable causes is generated and might look like this:
  • foot pain (like founder)
  • weakness (systemic disease)
  • stiff joints (arthritis)
  • training (perhaps the recent illness has got her out of the routine)
  • muscle disease (like seen with EPSM)
The next step is devise a diagnostic plan to differentiate the causes. Once a diagnosis is made you can determine what treatments might be helpful. Considering the generalized nature of some of your problems I still am wondering if do not have a chronic inflammatory disease of some type and would be thinking autoimmune or possibly internal abscesses.
DrO
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diane sibley
New Member
Username: Dsibley

Post Number: 2
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Monday, Nov 14, 2005 - 11:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Our barn had an older (26-y/o)mare who had episodic problems with stumbling, which ultimately led to her retirement. No other major causes for concern, other than occasional hoof abcesses which were treated and resolved.
One day, she began to walk in circles, and looked to be close to going down. She could barely stand without leaning heavily on the fence. She made it to the roping box where she knew she would be protected from the others on three sides. We all thought she had suffered a stroke, and thought she was gone.
An innovative vet was called, and he insisted on a relatively new treatment for EPM which calls for massive doses of DMSO by IV. Barn stunk like fermenting garlic for a week, but Molly made a miraculous recovery. She now goes on trail rides and her topline has filled out like she's a 5-year-old. Stumbling has stopped, and she has a new lease on life. I could put you in touch with the vet who tried this treatment if you think EPM might be the cause of all this.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 14123
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Nov 15, 2005 - 9:34 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Though I am uncertain what happened with the horse in Diane's post (I too think the problem likely to have been traumatic or vascular that may have been transitory) it leads me to 2 observations. DMSO is not shown to be curative for EPM and massive doses of DMSO are dangerous as it can cause red blood cell hemolysis.
DrO
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Nicole Tucker
Member
Username: Tuckern

Post Number: 38
Registered: 9-2004
Posted on Friday, Jun 16, 2006 - 4:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Lisa,

I wanted to resurrect this thread because I'm interested to know how Tawny is doing?

Did you have any more episodes after this? Was there any diagnosis made?

Just curious.
Thanks,
Nicole
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 22
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Saturday, Jun 17, 2006 - 9:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Nicole and Dr. O,

Thanks for keeping my post going...

Well, we made it through the winter and now must deal with the Hot weather. We did blood work in November and things looked a little better and she wasn't anemic. A few weeks ago Tawny broke out again with swelling between her front legs, under the belly and on the side of her right flank. I took her to Loomis basin and was given a antihistamine. The one on her side and her belly was very itchy and uncomfortable. They gave a steroid too but we never needed to use it as the antihistamine helped and the bumps went away rather quickly, with some slight oozing on the belly but not on the rest. The one between her front legs was more of a fluid pouch that also went away. Nothing new to her diet or environment that we could determine would cause a reaction like this again. Of course at the time I thought she would break out all over her body, but we lucked out. The Vet at Loomis drew blood and we got the same results. Slightly anemic and high globulin and protein levels. She has had periodic episodes of diarrhea which gets worse with the hot weather. She seems to get dehydrated easy so we now have misters over her stall and water in her stall as well as a big tank in the paddock. We give electrolytes as needed. We took Tawny to U.C. Davis just last Monday and they took some x-rays and did an ultrasound. This was a follow-up to the trip to Davis in September. Everything looks pretty good for a 28 yr old horse. She is a little lame in her front right leg but no signs of founder with the hoof test. She has a small amount of sand but they felt a double dose of equi-aid for a few days would fix that fine. She is still at 1000 lbs and they were very impressed at how healthy she was, good heart, lungs for her age, and nothing obvious for the anemia and high globulins. They did say that she was only slightly anemic. Of course she did not have any runny manure or squirting the entire day at Davis which was my biggest concern this time around. They are running a few more tests for different parasites and strangles, and coggins. As of now we are just watching her and keeping her comfortable and happy. She is still pretty perky and a sweet sweet horse. I keep a fly sheet on her now to help keep flies off her in case they are the cause of the skin break outs. Basically, I was told that if the tests all come out negative, she may have an internal abscess that can't been seen or even cancer deep inside. We will watch her weight which would be an obvious sign for cancer. Thank goodness she still loves to eat.
I'd appreciate any thoughts or suggestions. I want to make certain Tawny stays comfortable and happy in her retirement years. Hopefully for a long time.

Thanks,

Lisa
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 15907
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jun 19, 2006 - 7:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

It sounds like you have done very well Lisa. The only comment I have is that I feel you dismissed the steroid too quickly. If I understand the history correctly it was given with the antihistamine. Problems like this tend to minimally antihistamine responsive but very responsive to steroids, at this time it is uncertain if you would have gotten the same effect with anhtihistamine alone. By the way do you have the particular steroid/antihistamine and the dosage given? You might look at feeding differences of when she was at UCal for a possible explanation of why they did not get diarrhea.
DrO
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Lisa Giannetta
Member
Username: Geronimo

Post Number: 23
Registered: 8-2004
Posted on Sunday, Jun 25, 2006 - 12:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O

We only gave Tawny the antihistamine and did not give the Steroid. I'll find out what it was and the dosage. The only thing I can think of about the day at Davis without diarrhea is that she didn't have a full breakfast, it was a nice day barely in the 80's, and she gets nervous in the trailer and maybe emptied her system. It's just as guess, which is what I've been doing the past year. :-)

The results for Equine Infectious Anemia and Coggins came back Negative so that's a good thing.

Thanks,

Lisa
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Lisa Giannetta
New Member
Username: moesmom

Post Number: 1
Registered: 12-2012
Posted on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 - 12:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr. O! I wanted to say that Tawny improved from the condition she had back in 2005-2006. She turned 34 Last May. In 2006 I changed her feed to Elk Grove Senior Stable mix and her diarrhea cleared up right away. She has been on that feed ever since and her weight has been great and she looks pretty good for her age. She is on Previcox for her arthritis. She had some skin problems the past few years, mostly being itchy on her belly in the summer. She is now blind in one eye and the other eye seems to be losing sight, but she can see. We seem to be starting up with some similar problems. In September she came down with her back leg swelling, painful and a hot spot that eventually oozed and was diagnosed with cellulitis. It cleared up with antibiotics but she hasn't really been back to her perky self since then. I wasn't sure if I should post on the same Thread, But I came back to this one after Googling "a swelling on left side of belly" and I found my old post. I decided to renew as I really appreciate the advice and support your website gives. Tawny has a hard swelling or welt that is on the left side of her belly, about two hands wide. It's not hot. It doesn't seem to bother her when touched. After reading the old post it's alarming that we could be going through a similar thing. Her skin is itchy again, but except for her leg, we don't have the sores and swellings and oozings that she had back in 2005. We tried antihistamines and it didn't seem to help. Benidine baths help for a short time. The left side of her neck is itchy now, though that seems to be the only area. We will be doing some blood work and test for Cushings on Wednesday and Vet will check her belly. I believe she has had a good life and I'm really stressing about the decision I may need to make sooner than later. Im still trying to keep her comfortable and content. I just not sure it's working. I'll look for posts on aging horses too. Thank you!
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Ann
Member
Username: dres

Post Number: 2579
Registered: 10-2000
Posted on Sunday, Dec 2, 2012 - 11:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Your mare has had a very good life due to a very loving owner .. I know you will do the right thing when you and she are ready .. HUGS ..

On the first day God created horses, on the second day he painted them with spots..
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 26433
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 5, 2012 - 7:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome back Lisa,
Well there are so many possibilities that it is to early to start guessing. Infections tend to be hot and painful so unlikely. Not all traumatic swellings remain hot and painful so a possibility. You should review our article on swellings associated with this area for some ideas. Once the vet takes a look let us know what he thinks.
DrO
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Geronimosmom
New Member
Username: moesmom

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2012
Posted on Thursday, Dec 6, 2012 - 12:33 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dr. O,
Vet came out today and its Deja Vu, so similar to 6 years ago... Proteins and globulins are up. No sign of liver or kidney failure.
The swelling on her belly is edema but its unclear why she has it. No hot spots or signs of trama anywhere. Checked hoof pulse and all are fine. No fever. Her neck seems sore to a soft touch but its not a muscle strain. She moved for a carrot side to side and down. He checked all along her neck and she seems fine but she pulls away from a light touch, strange. She definitely is quiet and not moving around much. She is eating.
He believes she will test positive for Cushings, has many symptoms, but feels current issues are not caused by the Cushings. Suggested other tests before Cushings; belly tap and ultrasound of chest and belly. 3 possibilities to look at are cancer, heart failure or internal abscess, pigeon fever. We are doing blood work for the pigeon fever and should know in a few days. I opted for giving an antibiotic to see if she feels better in a few days and we Increased the Previcox. If she doesn't feel better then we will do the Belly Tap next.
Do you think we are on the right track?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 26436
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Dec 7, 2012 - 6:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Can you describe the swelling in more detail: size, location, does it pit, etc. The article talks about the relevant details.
DrO
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Geronimosmom
New Member
Username: moesmom

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2012
Posted on Friday, Dec 7, 2012 - 10:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,
It seems to be non-inflammatory edema, per the article. It is on the vertical midline. It does pit. It changes shape (is that normal?), as it first was noticed on left of the center line and today it has spread across her belly and is thicker on the right side. Maybe a 6" by 10" area, 1/8 to 1/2 thick. The area is raised with a slightly bigger swelling on the right, yesterday it was on left. It is closer to the middle front of her belly than the back. It is the same temp as the rest of her. She doesn't seem to be bothered when I touch or push on it. Ears go back for a second but thats it. Her neck seems more sensitive to touch but we don't know why. Today is day 2 of antibiotics. I'm hoping to get the results of the pigeon fever titer tomorrow. The rain has stopped and I will walk her around the ranch a bit tomorrow to see if some mild activity will reduce the edema. Any other thoughts? If pigeon fever test is negative would you suggest belly tap or ultrasound? Thanks, Lisa
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Geronimosmom
New Member
Username: moesmom

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2012
Posted on Friday, Dec 7, 2012 - 10:55 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I was looking back at my post from Aug 2005. Seems very similar. No wormer involved this time. But I noticed last night that Tawny was wet on the back of her legs, and could have been sweating. I do have a light blanket on her and I took it off to check her and She wasn't sweating anywhere or too warm, so I blew it off as nothing, but now I wonder what that is about... Maybe I am over analyzing.
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Geronimosmom
Member
Username: moesmom

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2012
Posted on Sunday, Dec 9, 2012 - 11:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O.,
The edema is not better and seems to be thicker, it pits deeper. Seems more irritating. It's not hot at all. The antibiotics don't seem to be doing much of anything. My vet called and the results for pigeon fever were negative. He still wants to do a belly tap and ultrasound. I am hesitant that these expensive tests will give any specific results. Is it unsafe to try a steroid to see if it makes her feel better and the edema? I'm willing to do tests if they lead to something but I could spend thousands and not get results. Thanks. Lisa
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 26440
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Dec 10, 2012 - 6:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lisa, even a negative test is important: it leads to crossing out another possibility. At this point you need to discuss with your veterinarian
1) what his list of possible rule outs are
2) what he needs to rule them in or out
3) your goals and resources
then together plan a way forward that is consistent with those factors.

For our thoughts on testing for Cushings you should see HorseAdvice.com » Diseases of Horses » Endocrine System » Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID): Equine Cushing's.
DrO
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