Pemphigus Foliaceus - Morgan Mare

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Pemphigus Foliaceus - Morgan Mare

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  • Equine pemphigus foliaceus symptoms
  • Pemphigus horses

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    11-11-2009, 03:58 PM
Question Pemphigus Foliaceus - Morgan Mare

I'm battling a horrible condition called pemphigus foliaceus with my 5 year old Morgan mare. I looking for anyone who has gone through this and came out the other with with the horse still alive. This is an auto-immune disease where the body is attacking itself, in this case, the middle layer of skin. She has sores (not open sores) over 50% of her body. I'm trying to get it into remission and can't get it there.

Any information is appreciated.
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    11-11-2009, 05:31 PM
I'm sorry you're going through this, it is probably very stressful for you to see her this way. What treatments are you using and how long have you been trying? Someone else on here was recently asking some similar questions, hopefully she can give you some hope. I spoke with some of the equine medicine specialists at school (I'm a vet student) about pemphigus foliaceus and they said that it is usually very responsive to treatment with all of the caveats of side effects to treatment (predisposed to laminitis). Maybe you just need to ride it out a little longer until she turns the corner?
    11-11-2009, 06:11 PM
Not to be a bad news bear, but I've read about 90% of horses with this don't survive past the first year. That's due to both the condition and the subsequent bouts of laminitis that are possible, like tealamutt mentioned.

I hope your girl responds well to any treatment! Please keep us updated!
    11-11-2009, 09:40 PM
That figure is not at all correct, according to the internal medicine specialists here. Granted her prognosis may be different depending on her age and response to treatment and only the treating vet can give an accurate assessment but you are wrong, 90% is a figure that is much much too high.

Here are two peer reviewed journal articles with more accurate estimates of successful treatment.
    11-11-2009, 10:50 PM
Well, that's good! I got very nervous for the owner when I read this and remembered reading that. It was few months ago - stumbled across it when I was looking up some other skin issues online. But, thanks for telling me I'm wrong - really, I feel a lot better for the owner!

I couldn't get the first link to open, but the second one was very interesting - that one got saved!
    11-11-2009, 10:56 PM
Sorry, I meant to say the numbers were wrong, not "YOU ARE WRONG", reading it again, it came out kind of snippy. I just didn't want the OP to see 90% don't make it and start panicking! =)
    11-12-2009, 08:07 AM
Originally Posted by tealamutt    
sorry, I meant to say the numbers were wrong, not "YOU ARE WRONG", reading it again, it came out kind of snippy. I just didn't want the OP to see 90% don't make it and start panicking! =)
No worries, atleast her mare has a better chance! I hope she comes back and posts here again..
    11-12-2009, 01:35 PM
I'm new to this forum so sorry if I'm a little slow.

Yes, this is great news. But we did find when we tired to bring her off the dexamethisone, it returned and is being harder to calm back down. She is a real fighter and I'm not giving up, just trying to understand a condition that little answers are available. I would not wish this on anyone's horse. My horse was in a lot of pain before it was finally properly diagnosed. It appears to be a long road to walk but I'm determined to do all I can for my mare. She is a very strong horse.

Thank you all for responding.
    11-12-2009, 01:49 PM
To answer the question about what and how long:

She was diagnosed on 11/3/09, that night I have her 30mg dexamethisone (may be misspelling it) and 20 cc Baytril. At that point she could not walk, running fevers (was giving her alcohol baths that day and one prior), she had over 50% of her body in swollen sores (that are hard to explain) and all limbs swollen like telephone poles. Very lethargic and in pain. I was begging the vet to call the lab for results as I didn't think she would last many more days.

Within 12 hours of the inject, it was a big turn around. Next morning, it was 20mg of dex injected. By that evening, 50% of swelling was gone and she could walk easily 20cc Baytril again that night.

Day 2 - 20mg of dex injected and 20cc Baytril orally. By now, almost all swelling is gone, she is trotting and totally different horse.

Day 3 - 10 mg of dex injected and 20 cc Baytril orally. Bucking and looking great.

Day 4 - 10 mg of dex inject and last 20 cc Baytril orally.

Day 5 - 10 mg of dex orally

Day 6 - 10 mg of dex orally, she is starting not to look right,

Day 7 - a.m., new sores appearing, slower to walk and swelling returned in rear legs. It's BACK....had given 10mg of dex orally in a.m. That p.m. Vet had me give 20mg dex injected

Day 8 - didn't respond as well as before, injected 10mg dex and started 20 prednisolone tablets.

Day 9 - Injected 10 mg dex and 20 pred tablets, she is looking a little better, able to walk easily but still painful and some swelling in back legs.

Day 10 - Will give last 10 mg dex injection tonight and will stay on pred tablets for two weeks and reasses at that time. Assuming she is stable at this dose for now.

I hope it's ok to give a blow by blow description. What I'm learning is it is hard to decrease the meds (which have such bad side effects). And each time it come back, it's harder to settle down.

Thanks for any input, hopes, thoughts, and prayers.
    11-12-2009, 07:43 PM
A lot of studies have had more success with prednisone or prednisolone which are both steroids (as is the dex you are currently using). Is your vet willing to try this medication instead? It is true that very often it is hard to back them off the meds but even if you can't they can usually be maintained on the steroids for some time. The fact that it responded so well to treatment makes me wonder if you just need a different steroid.

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