Cold? Flu?

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Cold? Flu?

This is a discussion on Cold? Flu? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Cold or flu in horses
  • Is the horse flu and strangles the same thing?

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    03-04-2013, 09:18 AM
Green Broke
Unhappy Cold? Flu?

So my Lizzy dear has been a little off for the last few days. I first noticed when we went for a ride Friday afternoon. She was sleepy as I was tacking up but that is pretty common for her, she stands like a dream. So with the warmer weather she had been very feisty when riding in the snow, well Friday she was very lethargic as we went for a ride. She didn't really want to trot and didn't want to canter at all when just a few days prior she just wanted to run thru the snow. Saturday I was going to ride but she was still lethargic and now had flared nostrils. No wheezying or cough or heave line but just deeper than normal breathing. Sunday the same thing.

Now since it was in the 30s Wednesday and Thursday with sun I had pulled her blanket during the day. I am wondering if she got a cold from getting chilled if I pulled the blanket too soon? She was blanketed (medium weight) at night and has had 24/7 hay. I put her winter blanket back on last night to see if she was perhaps just getting cold. I didn't take her temp as I need to bring my thermometer from home to the barn. Gums were pink like normal, no abnormal discharge from her nose, no cough or noise when breathing. And not colic at all. I helped treat a horse with pneumonia last spring and this is no where near the kind of breathing that was.

So what are the symptoms of a cold or flu in horses? Can allergies cause a high temp? She does have allergies but it seems a little early. No change in feed or hay. She is drinking normal and eating her feed. Seems to be eating less hay though.

Vet comes out the 14th for teeth and coggins and such so of course she gets sick just far enough out that I may have to vet out twice. She's being checked on this morning by the barn manager to report how she is this morning. I started her back on cough free incase it is her allergies. If she gets worse or has a temp when I check it this afternoon I will be calling the vet out tonight or tomorrow.
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    03-04-2013, 11:20 AM
Green Broke
Ok so this morning she seems to be doing fine. Ate her morning food like usual and no obvious signs of distress.

So can allergies cause this? I will still take her temp tonight and will at least be calling the vet to talk if she does have a high temp.
    03-04-2013, 02:30 PM
Green Broke
    03-04-2013, 03:00 PM
Well horses don't get colds, but they do get the flu and its very serious if you suspect this. Did you get around to taking her temperature? If she is running a fever, you should definitely have the vet out right away. No reason he can't draw the coggins then too, but in the end even if you have to do two visits, the flu is nothing to play around with in a horse.
    03-04-2013, 03:04 PM
Equine flu is not the same "passing thing" as it is for people. There are many strains, and the symptoms vary..but most are accompanied by a cough and they don't ordinarily spring back in one day and start eating and behaving normally. A wide variety of things could cause momentary "lethargy"...including just "I don't feel like it today".
    03-04-2013, 03:24 PM
Green Broke
Well I didn't see her this morning so not really sure. I'm buying a thermometer right now. What are flu symptoms in horses? And can allergies make her like this? She didn't seem real sick but she definitely hasn't been herself for a few days now.
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    03-04-2013, 03:34 PM
Similar to people.

Cough, almost always.
Presumably muscle pain (don't want to move around)
Look depressed (or "look" sick, however you want to put it)
Loss of appetite
High temp, runny nose

That's in general.
    03-04-2013, 03:45 PM
Green Broke
Hmmm. No cough, no runny nose, still eating hard feed might be eating less hay but she's really picky with her hay. But she's very mopey. Will be taking her temp in a coue hours when I get out there.
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    03-04-2013, 03:50 PM
Since it souinds like she is at a boarding barn, if I were you I would go over all the details of the last 2 weeks - especially her contact w other horses. If none of the horses she has had contact are "new" to the barn, and there has been no additional traffic it would at least reduce the possibility of flu. I am sure she was vaccinated for the most probably local strains, and hopefully for strangles. It is all info a vet will find usefull.

But it could be anything. If for nothing more than peace of mind, I would call the vet.
    03-04-2013, 04:00 PM
Green Broke
Well I work there so I know all the horses and no one has left property in months and she's only with one other horse who has never left property. No one at the barn is sick. No new horses yet. She was not vaccinated for strangles but was everything else. But I forgot about fall booster shots since she doesn't leave property after snow falls and most of the boarders disappear for the winter lol.
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