cancer?? . wierd sickness . worms??

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cancer?? . wierd sickness . worms??

This is a discussion on cancer?? . wierd sickness . worms?? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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        10-02-2008, 06:24 AM
    cancer?? . wierd sickness . worms??


    My grey mare, has been sick for most of this year, she's approx. 23-27 years old. She has been loosing condition quickly, she's in a paddock with plenty of feed, getting a feed of hay twice a day, along with being comfy and warm in her stable, with a lovely thick blanket, and a bucket of her favourite charf.

    Her breathing is really rasp, and she swishes her tail lots, rubbing against things (like the side of her stall, or a tree,) also she doesnt eat unless we have her lock up be herself... When it gets really bad, she doesnt want to move, crosses her front legs in front of herself, and also stretches out... we thought she was going to die (she was that bad once! Luckily she hasnt been as bad as that... yet.)

    Her worming paste is ALWAYS up-to-date, along with her teeth, other vaccinations, feet etc. and we have given her 'burg oil' in case it is colic. We can't see how she is getting sick. She should be as healthy as our other 3 horses. (who are eventers in excellent condition)

    Now this little pony is retired, we don't want to spend thousands of dollars to see if it is cancer etc (awful to say this, but our family can't afford special operations etc. for her, beacause we do have other commitments and were not made of money...) We only give her the occasinal ride when she's NOT SICK?? Exactly, why this is wierd, its like she comes great, back to her happy self, but then she goes down hill all of a sudden. Especially when it becomes bad weather in winter. Were hopefull going to get a blood test, so see whats going on...

    I asked our local vet about it, she said it could be cancer, but she's a small animal vet, so we would have to drive the pony, 3 hours + to see a horse vet.. I've actually asked a few vets, they said the same about cancer, and bad things are going on inside that pony. She doesnt 'wee' blood, her manure looks just about normal...but I guess its the other things she's doing that culd be the signs...

    Now we have read up on everything that might be the slight clue, until I saw something about a new worm, of some sort.
    'It lives in the gut, in the small intestine. It is microscopic you wont see it but some horses will live just fine with it others will struggle their entire life with it. It works in 4 week circles, so your horse comes good and then when the cold weather kicks in, they come down bad again.'
    The only worming paste that could 'kill it' is Equest Wormer??
    Do you think this could be what is happening to my dear little pony?
    Any suggestions, thoughts, comments on what could be happening, would be greatly appreciated.
    If you read this I thank you so much
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        10-02-2008, 08:51 AM
    I posted in the other thread about the "new worm"--I really think that is a bit of miscommunication somewhere as there hasn't been any report of a "new worm" in the veterinary community as far as I know and I tend to keep up on that sort of thing. From what that person was describing, I'm betting that the vet was talking about encysted strongyles which are in no way a "new worm" or new problem.

    Is your mare missing any teeth? What deworming program is she on? What exactly are you feeding? What kind of body condition is she at---missing muslce along her topline, cresty or fat pads anywhere, etc? You say she won't eat unless you lock her in alone, does she just pick at her feed or eat a bit and then walk away? Any nasal discharge or coughing? Have you kept her outside her stall/barn to see if her breathing issue improves? Can you see a pattern to when her breathing gets bad---certain plants growing, spending more time in the barn, new hay, etc?

    A good vet exam that includes a respiratory exam WHILE she is raspy would be the best place to start. And a little bloodwork can also help determine whether you are looking at possibly an allergic, infectious or even cancerous condition. Also, try to write down all of your observations and pick out patterns that surround changes in her breathing, stance, appetite, attitude, etc as this can help you vet pinpoint a likely cause.

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