My horse has gotten sick and I don't know why - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-29-2009, 03:38 PM Thread Starter
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My horse has gotten sick and I don't know why

Hey everybody,

I have a 24 year old gelding, had him all his life. Over a week ago on a
  • Wednesday - I noticed he seemed to not feel well,
  • Thursday (next morning) he had not drank any water all night but was eating hay and his feed - triple crown low starch - I should mention too that his fever that morning was 103.1 - took him to vet - no temp and seemed fine. That night, he still did not drink water and didn't want feed
  • Friday morning - still no water and didn't eat feed from night before (temp was around 100, so it was normal), so took him back to vet - tubed him, checked out liver, kidneys, etc, no temperature and sent us home with instruction of no feed or hay until I saw oil in his manure. By late that evening, still no water intake and he began to show signs of really depressed, lowered head, stiff hindquarters and "thumps" in his flank area. Called vet and gave him 10cc of bantamine IM.
  • Saturday morning - still no water intake and he seemed about the same as night before - took him back to vet - she set him up with fluids and began treatment for suspicion of West Nile Virus.
  • Sometime after 9pm saturday night, he began circling to the left, because on Sunday morning when the vet came that's what he was doing. He also began to show signs of other neurological problems. He could see but couldn't see (if that makes sense).
  • Sunday morning or night, he began to eat and drink again - still circling
  • Monday - Saturday morning,a little improvement each day, but still not quite right
  • His tests for WNV and EEE came back negative
On the Monday before he got sick, he and my mare got spooked and she broke through the hot fence lot I had them in and my gelding ran right behind her. He ran really fast up our driveway about 300 yards like a young colt. I wonder if he hurt himself somehow and that's what's caused all this? Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? We still have not completely ruled out EPM, or some sort of week poisoning, but we have 4 other horses and all of them are fine. I'm stumped and so is my vet.

Last edited by sonnykicks; 08-29-2009 at 03:41 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-29-2009, 04:54 PM
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I have had horses over the years demonstrate most of the symptoms you have, except for the circling left and neurological stuff. But two or three times over the last fourteen odd years of owning horses, I have had a horse stop eating, stop drinking, get very depressed, and run a very low grade fever. The vet treated it like a colic, gave the horse some fluids, etc. but I wouldn't describe it as a colic since the horse wasn't in any obvious pain, just not feeling well. Blood tests showed nothing unusual. Obviously the main concern is that it might develop into a colic since the horse isn't eating or drinking. In any case, it only lasted a few days -- probably within five days the horse was fine. Vet figured it was a virus of some sort.

Not sure if that helps you, especially as your horse was showing signs of neurological impairment, which is a lot scarier.
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-29-2009, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for your feedback. Just came in from feeding and Sonny seems to be doing fine eating drinking etc..has a longing look in his eye to go out wiht others but I'm afraid he may lose control of his legs and fall and get hurt. Tomorrow we will try him in the round pen where he is somewhat safe and I can keep an eye on him. Scary!!!!! I love this horse with all my heart, he has been my best friend for 24 years
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post #4 of 4 Old 09-06-2009, 02:42 AM
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most neurological cases are idiopathic, meaning we never figure out what is causing them. A lot will resolve on their own without ever knowing what the heck happened. Please do be careful though, have already seen two owners squashed by neuro cases this summer (thankfully they were not gravely injured!)
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