Genetic disease? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Genetic disease?

My mare died about 2 years ago. We didn't have a necropsy done but the vet thought is was some kind of cancer. She went down hill very fast(diarrhea, not eating, etc) In about a week she lost close to 300 pounds. She finally past away about 10 days after the beginning symptoms. She was 6. We spent over $6000 on meds and vet visits and bills. We kept her last filly, Gabby.

Gabby just turned 3 this year. Just recently she has been exhibiting the same signs as her mother. She has lost all her weight even though she has been wormed numerous time, constantly has food(hay and grain), and fresh water. She looks like nothing but a rack of bones. At this point I know we will not be able to save her and we are going to put her down this evening. My question is has anyone ever heard of this? Both then and now all other horses are completely fine so whatever it is obviously isn't contagious. When her mother went through this the vet did blood work and found nothing wrong other then her red blood count was EXTREMELY low. I am needless to say very upset as she and her mother were both my personal riding horses.

I have no idea how her other babies are as I don't know where they are. I just don't understand if it was some kind of genetic thing why it has hit Gabby so much sooner then it did Peaches. If anyone has any incite or advice that would be great. As I said if she even makes it till this evening she will be put down. I, my husband, mother, and father all feel she is past the point of recovery.

Thanks in advance,
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post #2 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 10:48 AM
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Randi, I am sorry to hear of your loss. I really have no idea what is happening, medical mysteries are very difficult to sort out. I offer you, and your family, my condolences.

Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don't be afraid or discouraged by the size of the task, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

1 Chronicles 28:20

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post #3 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 10:49 AM
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Hi Randi,
So sorry to hear about the sad news. My heart goes to you

Have you ever had any other horses go thru similar signs that were not related to either one of those mares? could possibly be an environmental problem? one that would not be noticed even by the expert eye?
If at all possible, just to give you peace of mind, getting a biopsy might be a good idea, to know what the cause was of all of this, identify that it was indeed an equine illness as opposed to something outside. Might save the life of another horse put on the property.

Please come back if you need more support.

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
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post #4 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 11:06 AM Thread Starter
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No we have never had any problems like this in an unrelated horse. The horses are now pastured a good 30 miles or more from where Peaches(her mother) died. So I do not believe it to be due to sometime in the lot. We lost a mare earlier this year in the same lot but it was due to birthing complications. We have had horses for, well, since 1992 as that is when our stud was born and we aquired his mother just before he was born. I have never seen anything like this before. Before this year and Peaches death we have only lost foals. I have only had to deal with two adult deaths prior. One was very very old and the other (our studs mother) ate nightshade and drown in the pond.

I do appriciate the support. It is very hard for me since it feels like reliving the decline and death of my Peaches. And to have her last daughter go through it is just.....

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post #5 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 01:05 PM
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I'm so sorry for your losses. How very tragic.

Are you going to consider getting a necropsy done this time?
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post #6 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 05:09 PM Thread Starter
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I did some asking around in other forums and several people seem to think it is Equine Infectious Anemia. I live in Iowa. I called the ve and our normal vet was gone so I talked to one of the other ones. He said we don't have it in our area, that it is only found down south. However, after reading about it I am very sure that is what it is. It says there is no cure and no vaccine, which helps me deal with our decission to put her down this evening a little better. Has anyone heard of this and/or have experience with it? From what I gather it is very similar to AIDS.

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post #7 of 9 Old 08-07-2008, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
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Well, when we went up there she was down. Just liying there mouning and grunting. Every once in a while she would kick flies off. My husband put her down shortly after we got there. I talked to my mother and she said that the colt Peaches had the year before this filly died as well. The man we sold him to called her and told her about him. I know for a fact that he couldn't be the result of something in the area as the man that bought him lives in Montana. It has to be some kind of genetic thing. As both foals were sired by the same stud and mare. Peaches had one other filly(her first one) that was sired by our paint stud. I don't know how she is though.

Just thought I would update you all. She is with her mother and brother now.
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post #8 of 9 Old 08-08-2008, 11:16 AM
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I'm really sorry for your loss.

And I think you would be well-advised to test all of the horses for EIA as it's possible to see EIA ANYWHERE in the US, especially with the way horses are moved around now. It would also be a really good idea to have your local county extension agent come out and check your pastures and hay for any plants that could be causing problems.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #9 of 9 Old 08-08-2008, 02:44 PM
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Im so sorry to hear about your loss... I hope you can find out what caused the quick decline in your girls.

It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes the difference.
- Paul "Bear" Bryant (Former college football coach)
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