Pigeon fever - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 11-13-2012, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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Pigeon fever

I just found out today that my horse has pigeon fever. The vet looked at it and said it hasn't come to a head yet and to wait a couple days until it does to lance it. Can anyone tell me more about pigeon fever? We live in an area that's usually wet but we had a drought this summer and the vet says that's what caused his. Is it serious? Can I ride him while the abscess hasn't opened up yet? She talked about keeping him away from other horses once it's draining but for how long?
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post #2 of 7 Old 11-13-2012, 08:30 PM
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Read this:

What is Pigeon Fever in Horses? - Quarter Horse News - The News Magazine of the Performance Horse Industry

It is pretty serious and NO I would not ride this horse until this has resolved. I am sorry your horse contracted this. It is contagious so he must be isolated until he is better (another reason not to ride him).
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post #3 of 7 Old 11-13-2012, 09:18 PM
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A few years ago my horses got it. One of them took several months(old horse) to get over it. It was a very long spring/summer/fall of doctoring horses. Be very neat and clean when doctoring! Do not cross contaminate items like your tack, buckets and yourself.

Good Luck!
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post #4 of 7 Old 11-13-2012, 09:28 PM
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First of all, you don't want to supress an abscess with antiboitics. We got an old horse over pigeion fever very quickly. As soon as it abscesses, fill 50cc plastic syringe with ichthammol, and squirt it in the hole. Ichthammol has amazing drawing & antibacterial power. You will be amazed at how fresh and clean the abscess is in as little as 1 day. I would do this 2x a day. It will heal very quickly.

Often times we will slightly melt ichthammol (no more than 30 sec) in microwave, then draw it in syringe. I cut the end of the syringe so it draws, and dispenses easier.

After a couple days, once we are confident infection is draw out & inner tissue is granulating, we use Resolve Wound to dry it up, and pull it together so it is nice and smooth.

Our old stud got pigeon fever, and this his how we treated it. Then, six months later, he got severely kicked in the shoulder by a mare, and it abscessed. Again, we used the same protocol. Never used antibiotics, and he did not have a scar, not to mention he was over it very quickly.

I can't say enough good things about how powerful, and effective ichthammol is.

The attached post goes into a little more detail, and you may find it helpful. Slow Healing Wounds | ResolveWound

Last edited by 6W Ranch; 11-13-2012 at 09:34 PM.
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post #5 of 7 Old 11-13-2012, 10:16 PM
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Originally Posted by 6W Ranch View Post
First of all, you don't want to supress an abscess with antiboitics. We got an old horse over pigeion fever very quickly.
In my case with an old horse, it was not suppressed by antibiotics. Anitibiotics were not prescribed, nor should they be, from what I understand, unless it is a case where the abcesses are internal and even then most vets will not prescribe.
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post #6 of 7 Old 11-13-2012, 10:41 PM
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Originally Posted by COWCHICK77 View Post
In my case with an old horse, it was not suppressed by antibiotics. Anitibiotics were not prescribed, nor should they be, from what I understand, unless it is a case where the abcesses are internal and even then most vets will not prescribe.
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I agree, they should not be prescribed, as they will suppress the abscess.
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post #7 of 7 Old 11-13-2012, 11:28 PM
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We had two horses in completely different herds that got it this year. Vets also blamed the horrible drought and hot temps this year and last. We have never had it here before, but I guess it was all over this year.

We did not treat either one. We put them by themselves once they looked like they were about to break. They each broke, drained, picked weight right back up and were OK.

Both were OK. One was back to normal in 2 or 3 weeks. The other took about a month to stop draining. Neither one even have any scaring from the whole thing. I was just happy it was not in a show horse or one being fitted for a sale or something. It sure would have knocked them out of the program.

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