Strange Symptoms

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Strange Symptoms

This is a discussion on Strange Symptoms within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • My horse hasa swelling under her chin
  • Is there a horse virus going around

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    03-22-2011, 02:30 PM
Strange Symptoms

Before I start I would like to clarify that a vet is already involved. I just wanted to see if there was anyone out there that might have an idea of what might be going on with my horse.

Last Sunday I first noticed my horse acting really lathargic. She was still eating, going to the bathroom and no fever. She was just acting depressed. On Tuesday she started leaving pellets in her bucket but was still eating the majority of her feed and all of her hay. By Wednesday she had completely stopped eating her hay and pellets but was still going to the bathroom and no fever. I called the vet and they told me a virus was going around and to just give her bute and if by Saturday she didn't start eating to call them again. So I gave her bute everyday and on Saturday she looked a lot better. She was even nibbling on her hay. By Sunday I was not satisfied with how she was eating and discovered a lump under her chin (or the area between her cheek bones). Called the vet and he said he was coming out Monday so he would take a look at her. He came out looked at her told me she didn't look sick enough to have strangles and again mentioned the virus. He did take blood though to test for strangles.

It is now Tuesday and it has basically been a week since my horse has eaten her pellets, she now has a temp of 103, and she has thick mucus coming out of her nose, the lump has also grown. I have called the vet again and am waiting for him to call back. She will eat carrots and apples and she is eating most of her hay but she won't touch the pellets. I am wary to believe that she has this virus that is going around. There are horses at the barn that have gotten sick and better but my horse is still not well. I really hate seeing my horse basically starving herself while we wait for the blood results.

I was just wondering if anybody knows what these symptoms might mean or if they have an ideas of what this could be. Again, I have called the vet he is involved and we are awaiting her blood results. I just thought I would post this to see what peoples opinions are.

Sorry for the novel and I appreciate any opinions.
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    03-22-2011, 02:41 PM
Sounds like a mild case of strangles to me.
    03-22-2011, 02:45 PM
Speed Racer I appreciate your quick reply. I do have a question though.

There are no horses at my barn that have had strangles. There was one tested for it about a week ago but the results were negative. Are there other ways for horses to catch strangles without getting it from other horses?

I apologize for all the questions and again thank you for your reply!
    03-22-2011, 08:09 PM
Horses cannot get strangles except from other horses. That being said there are what are called "inapparent carriers" which are horses who do not appear ill yet shed the virus for years and years. It would be very easy for your horse to have picked it up from one of these horses, or any shared items such as buckets, etc. Did the vet take a sample from the swelling under the jaw to culture for Strangles? It would have involved aspirating with a syringe and needle... I am confused as to why the bloodwork is taking so long. Do you know what tests are being run? I would expect this vet to be runnng a Complete Blood Count (CBC), and Blood chemistry (chem panel). They should be available to you within 24 hour of the sample being taken. In the meantime you should limit your horse's contact with other horses and do not share equipment or handle other horses after you have been handling her.

How many other horses have been affected on the farm? What were their symptoms/disease course?
    03-22-2011, 08:29 PM
I could be wrong here, but I thought strangles was swelling around a horses throat latch not the cheek area. Again, I could be wrong or misunderstanding placement of swelling. Last year my horse got a swell right under his right cheek. Found out he had an abcess, he had gotten a piece of grain wedged in between his tooth and gums and it caused swelling and bit of infection. Did vet check his teeth in the back??
    03-22-2011, 08:33 PM
Does your vet know about the drainage from her nose?? Did the vet suggest an antibiotic? Is she still running a fever?
    03-22-2011, 08:52 PM
Originally Posted by Texana    
I could be wrong here, but I thought strangles was swelling around a horses throat latch not the cheek area. Again, I could be wrong or misunderstanding placement of swelling. Last year my horse got a swell right under his right cheek. Found out he had an abcess, he had gotten a piece of grain wedged in between his tooth and gums and it caused swelling and bit of infection. Did vet check his teeth in the back??
I agree...I've never really known a horse to drop grain unless it has teeth problems, but I could be very well mistaken so don't quote me. But that's the first thing I thought of when I read your first post.
    03-22-2011, 09:41 PM
The other horses have only had a cough and some had stopped eating their hay. But almost all (at least that I am aware of) are either recovering or are back to a healthy state. He did not take anything from the lumps. But the blood work came back negative for any signs of strangles and were normal in every other area as well.

I finally was able to get in touch with the vet and talked to him. He knows all about her fever and the drainage from her nose as well as the lump getting bigger. Basically they don't know exactly why she has the lump but they are thinking it is just part of the virus and that she may just be reacting differently to it than the other horses. They gave me antibiotics, so I will see how she is tomorrow. Her fever went down when I went back out this afternoon (it was 103 and when I went back it 101 and I gave her a little bit of Bute). I also got some sweet feed just to see if she would eat it. She doesn't have her full appetite back but she was definitely eager to eat but she refuses to touch the pellets. I have know idea why.

I appreciate everybodys replies and any other opinions you all may have to offer. Hopefully this is just a bad case of the flu.

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