Blanketing a horse with a fever
   

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Blanketing a horse with a fever

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  • Putting a blanket on a feverish horse
  • What blanket should my horse where when he has a fever

 
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    12-20-2011, 05:29 PM
  #1
Weanling
Blanketing a horse with a fever

I did ask this question in my other thread but thought i'd make a separate thread which is more specific.

My horse is running a fever of 103.7 and was given IV bute today and will be given bute until his temp comes down. I forgot to ask my vet if I should blanket him while he's got a fever. I have a medium weight blanket but I normally don't blanket. My horse was a bit sweaty so I could put his cooler on him so he doesn't get a chill. The temps here are around 45 right now and going down to upper 30s over night. He'll be stalled tonight and possibly tomorrow if it's raining.

So do I blanket or not?
     
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    12-20-2011, 10:01 PM
  #2
Green Broke
That's an iffy question. Just like with people when you have a fever you feel cold so you want blankets but blankets will also hold the heat in which can worsen the fever. But... being too cold can cause shivering which will generate more heat, which you don't want during a fever.
Sweating is usually a sign that the fever has broken (going down), in that case a cooler or light blanket may help.
The best thing is to monitor the temperature & give antipyretics (fever reducers) as prescribed by your vet.
I once took care of a boarders horse who had some sort of strange virus which caused a fever to spike over 105. Luckily it was summer & I could cool him with a hose but unluckily it was summer so it was hard to keep it down. I took his temperature every hour around the clock for days. Sometimes between meds his fever would rise 1 degree an hour. I even stayed home from my real job to tend him I was so worried about him.
The scariest time was shortly after the vet gave him something IV to bring the fever down & he started breathing really fast with sweat pouring out of him. The vet only got a few miles down the road before I called him quite sure the horse was dying. He assured me it was from the temperature going down too fast & the horse would be fine-and he was.
We never determined what caused him to be so sick but he came through just fine. Laminitis is a concern with fevers but if you can manage the temperature it shouldn't happen.
Sorry this is so long but I want you to know that as scary as this can be I'm sure he'll be fine with close observation.
     
    12-21-2011, 01:01 AM
  #3
Started
Have you called the vet and talked to him/her about your horse's fever? If not, I would call them right now and talk to them about whether or not to blanket your horse and if they should come out and check on him/her.
     
    12-21-2011, 08:49 AM
  #4
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha    
That's an iffy question. Just like with people when you have a fever you feel cold so you want blankets but blankets will also hold the heat in which can worsen the fever. But... being too cold can cause shivering which will generate more heat, which you don't want during a fever.
Sweating is usually a sign that the fever has broken (going down), in that case a cooler or light blanket may help.
The best thing is to monitor the temperature & give antipyretics (fever reducers) as prescribed by your vet.
I once took care of a boarders horse who had some sort of strange virus which caused a fever to spike over 105. Luckily it was summer & I could cool him with a hose but unluckily it was summer so it was hard to keep it down. I took his temperature every hour around the clock for days. Sometimes between meds his fever would rise 1 degree an hour. I even stayed home from my real job to tend him I was so worried about him.
The scariest time was shortly after the vet gave him something IV to bring the fever down & he started breathing really fast with sweat pouring out of him. The vet only got a few miles down the road before I called him quite sure the horse was dying. He assured me it was from the temperature going down too fast & the horse would be fine-and he was.
We never determined what caused him to be so sick but he came through just fine. Laminitis is a concern with fevers but if you can manage the temperature it shouldn't happen.
Sorry this is so long but I want you to know that as scary as this can be I'm sure he'll be fine with close observation.
Wow, scary story. Luckily the temps are quite mild here right now, in the 50s today. I checked on him last night and he wasn't sweaty or shivering so I left him with no blanket. He's inside so no drafts. I also tried to get a temp reading but the stupid thermometer has such tiny numbers that I couldn't see it. I'm getting a digital thermometer today. I'll give him the bute as and when he needs it. He'll be in all day today because of the rain. He has another dose of excede due saturday which should help to clear up his flu symptoms.

He did sweat a lot after the vet had been yesterday but I just assumed it was because of the IV bute. Maybe not, maybe the fever has broken, i'll check tonight. I have a cooler/blanket I could put on him but with it being in the 50s and him having so much winter hair already I thought he might get too hot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caseymyhorserocks    
Have you called the vet and talked to him/her about your horse's fever? If not, I would call them right now and talk to them about whether or not to blanket your horse and if they should come out and check on him/her.
Vet was out yesterday and took temps, checked my horse over. Gave him IV bute and me bute paste to give him. Also gave him excede because he has the flu. I meant to ask about blanketing but he was looking at my friends horse who is also sick, then he gave me my bill and the blanket thoughts flew straight out of my head. I can easily call him if I need to.
     
    12-21-2011, 09:04 AM
  #5
Banned
OP, this is a really good question....one I plan to ask my vet when I see him next.

As Natisha said, it is a tough call. Of course you don't want a feverish horse shivering, but blanketing him will make him warmer....

What to do?
     
    12-21-2011, 10:29 AM
  #6
Weanling
Oh I know. I really wish i'd asked my vet. I think with the weather not being so bad i'm erring on the side of caution with overheating and leaving the blanket off for now. If it was colder i'd be more worried about him shivering.

It's a tough call.
     
    12-21-2011, 11:31 AM
  #7
mls
Trained
If you are going to be there to monitor, I would say a cooler. Will keep him warm and wick any moisture.
     
    12-23-2011, 09:38 AM
  #8
Weanling
I put a cooler on him the other night and planned to have a friend check him the next morning and take it off. He was damp from lying in his own pee and cold when I checked his temp. (down to 89.8). So I get an email the next day from the BO, she was 'surprised' to see phoenix in a blanket, and that they don't do blankets at this barn. My friend hadn't turned up to take his cooler off, and he's torn the side of it which I don't care about really it was cheap when I bought it 3 years ago.

I'm just a bit miffed that the BO basically told me not to blanket him even though he's sick and was damp with his own pee after his stall wasn't cleaned and had inadequate bedding.

I couldn't get out last night to check on him but I will tonight.
     
    12-23-2011, 11:49 AM
  #9
Green Broke
I'm sorry to hear that. It doesn't sound like your BO is making this any easier for you or your horse.
A low temperature like that is dangerous. He needs deep bedding, a blanket & hay kept in front of him to help keep him warm.
You may want to look for a BO who will be compassionate to a sick horse & worried owner. Then when your horse is better move him there.
I don't know where you live but I wish your horse was here, I'd take care of him for you.
     
    12-23-2011, 01:40 PM
  #10
Weanling
No, she's not making it easy. I've never felt this out of control where my horse is concerned. I'm actually looking to get a piece of land and build a small barn, maybe set up a small business looking after my horse and a few others. There is a patch of land just down the street from where he is now that i'm going to call about.

I might have mistyped his temp, if I recall it was 98.8, silly fingers hit the keys in the wrong order. So not as bad as 89.8, but still not optimal.

He has no bedding, just a mat and a sprinkling of sawdust, no blanket and my friend has been sneaking him hay. It's chilly today too. I just got an email from the BO and she said phoenix is outside in teh round pen and his nose is clear, which is good. Also that he's only coughed once today, also good. He gets his second shot of awesome medicine tomorrow and then i'll see where we go from there.

I'm in Ohio, I wish I was in wisconsin. If I ever move up there i'll look you up :)
     

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