My 20 year old OTTB has begun dribbling and sometimes even producing a small stream of urine almost constantly. It's making his hind legs disgusting. DB has never been shy about showing his penis and it hangs constantly...now it's also leaking urine constantly! We went to the vet yesterday and had an exam...a urine specimen was sent off for examination and I'm awaiting the results this afternoon. The vet palpated DB's bladder through the rectum and found it full. His provisional diagnosis: Johnson grass poisoning! Specifically, sorghum cystitis causing a neurological problem that is usually progressive. I was astounded. To my knowledge, there is no Johnson grass in his field and we haven't been anywhere unusual lately. Despite being a thoroughbred, DB has been a rock solid trail horse for the last 11 years. He lives with about 15 other horses, none of whom have similar problems. Upon returning to the farm, I was floored when the owner told me that the hay she's been feeding (coastal bermuda) has some Johnson grass in it!!! Well dried Johnson grass shouldn't cause a problem, but it seems some horses are more susceptible than others. DB lives in the pasture here in upstate SC 24/7. I know that new shoots of Johnson grass are deadly, but obviously DB isn't dead! I am thoroughly confused and scared for my horse. From what I've read, if this IS the problem, it usually results in the horse being euthanized. Has anyone had any similar experience? Does anyone have any information to share? I'm ready to clutch at any straw!
DB has been my husband's horse for the last 11 years and I honestly don't know how Jim will deal with this if we have to put DB down.