Not strangles-- other options? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 12:42 PM Thread Starter
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Not strangles-- other options?

Hi everyone-- I went to check on my mare today and she has bilateral nasal discharge that started milky white and some clear and turned a little greenish after she was worked for approx 10 min (walk/trot). She often has clear discharge when the weather is exceptionally hot or cold so I wasn't concerned at first but then I also noticed that her submandibular lymph nodes were also slightly swollen--two distinct swollen lumps that were not tender. Upon trotting she had to stop to get out a singular throaty cough. She has been exposed to strangles in the past and never gotten it-- besides she's far out of the normal range for that now. I would suspect an upper respiratory infection-- but are there any other thoughts? I called the vet and they agree that without temperature we can wait a few days before coming out.
She's still eating, drinking, defecating and urination normally. Still energetic, etc. Last vaccines given late June of this year. I will be checking her temperature tomorrow, I couldn't find my thermometer today :/
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 12:44 PM
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Any lumps on her chest? We haven't normally had Pigeon Fever around here but because of the drought for the last 2 years, we're having a lot of horses in this state come down with it.

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post #3 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 02:17 PM
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Maybe you can run to the local store and get a thermometer? From what my vet told me over the last 2 months is any thick, colored nasal discharge isn't good. The worse they get sick, the longer on antibiotics - and antibiotics are expensive.
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post #4 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 03:08 PM
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Any lumps on her chest? We haven't normally had Pigeon Fever around here but because of the drought for the last 2 years, we're having a lot of horses in this state come down with it.
Dreamcatcher - it's expected to be so bad in our area again, my vet is loading up on Tucoprim. It was hard to get for a while last year due to all the Pigeon Fever. Our whole herd got it last fall, and that was NOT a fun experience! What's more, they don't seem to develop any immunity after having it, so they could well get it again if/when the expected outbreak occurs.

KDeHaven42 - I really hope it turns out to be nothing serious. Strangles and Pigeon Fever are incredibly gross diseases to deal with...

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post #5 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 03:14 PM
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Dreamcatcher - it's expected to be so bad in our area again, my vet is loading up on Tucoprim. It was hard to get for a while last year due to all the Pigeon Fever. Our whole herd got it last fall, and that was NOT a fun experience! What's more, they don't seem to develop any immunity after having it, so they could well get it again if/when the expected outbreak occurs.

KDeHaven42 - I really hope it turns out to be nothing serious. Strangles and Pigeon Fever are incredibly gross diseases to deal with...

Fortunately I only had one horse get it last year. I had just read an article about it and then went out to the barn where I saw a mare with a large swelling on her chest. Kind of had that, "What, you read about it, so now one of your horses has it? ARE you KIDDING?" moment and then went and called the vet. Sure enough, it was Pigeon Fever and you're right, it was DISGUSTING to deal with. I think maybe worse than Strangles because the abcess was a lot bigger. I think it's not as nasty for the horse though, this mare only went off her feed the day the abcess burst. Then as soon as it quit being so incredibly painful, she was fine again, though unhappy about being quarantined.

I'm spredding lime on the manure pile and in the barn, hopefully that will help keep the fly population down to a dull roar. I remember the flies were gawdawful last year too.

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post #6 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 04:28 PM
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Ok.... I'm confused. From what I've read pigeon fever involves tissue abscesses, not nasal discharge. So how does thick green nasal discharge fit into this equation? I'm just going by what I've read, not what I've experienced.

Do horses with pigeon fever have swollen submandibular lymph nodes? My boy recently had an upper respiratory infection and yes, he did have swollen submandibluar lymph nodes.
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 04:50 PM
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I had a horse that started with a nasal discharge and ended up with full blown pigeon fever. It lasted all summer long until he healed up. He was an older horse though and I think that he had a hard time fighting it.
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post #8 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 07:51 PM
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This mare started with a clear discharge that went white, then I saw the swelling and then she had green nasal discharge before it ruptured. It went away very fast when the swelling ruptured, so I think it just was in the lymph glands and needed out. She also had submandibular swelling that also resolved once the chest abcess ruptured, it was kind of just a chain of events that came on 1 at a time and resolved the same way. She was only 4 or 5 but whooooeeee when she got it, she got it!

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post #9 of 14 Old 07-17-2012, 09:18 PM
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None of our horses got their abcesses in areas you would have expected, either. Yes, they all had submandibular swelling to a certain extent, but the abcesses ruptured in different areas, not just the chest. The worst one was daughter's paso fino mare - hers was on the side of her neck. You could literally put your fist into the side of her neck. It healed up fairly quickly after burst, but she developed a second abscess a few weeks later on the bottom of her neck. Another huge, deep hole to deal with. Ick!

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post #10 of 14 Old 07-19-2012, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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hey all, no chest swellings to date, I did get my thermometer, the store wasn't open the first day as it was so early. Normal temps both morning and night, between 99.4 and 100.4. Her lymph nodes are still swollen but haven't gotten larger and the mucuous seems to be mainly milky white now...keeping an eye on her. I've never heard of pigeon fever before now- I'll read up on it now!
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