Weight loss, and vet used the "C" word ... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 05-04-2007, 01:42 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Missouri
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Weight loss, and vet used the "C" word ...

My 19 year old mare came out of winter skinny, so I upped her feed and added calf manna, then changed to a better feed and hay (14% protein and alfalfa), started keeping her in at night (12-14 hours off the new grass), and after little if any success (I think we actually lost a little ground), I had blood work done this week. (I'm still waiting to catch up with the vet to discuss, but he said there were some slight abnormalities, nothing jumped off the report at him - low protein level, liver abnormalities). She also has diarhhea and a heart murmur, but seems in good spirits. He palpated rectally and felt a mass. He said he couldn't be sure but thought cancer. He also said to diagnosis it might involve surgery (at another clinic 2 hours away), could cost $1,000, and ensuing treatment might not give her much time.

HELP! Any suggestions? Not sure exactly what we're dealing with. She's eating, seems comfortable, but now I'm watching her like a hawk. When I let her out this morning, I watched and wondered "did she stumble, is she weaving?" I want to help her, not just be on deathwatch, especially if a test can prove it may not be cancer . . . This is a good mare, my show horse, and owned her mother, bred her and trained her. Any help is appreciated.
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post #2 of 4 Old 05-04-2007, 08:57 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Zealand
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:( Gee life deals some crap eh! I have had horses and ponies with this and some things stand out for me....white/gray in colour, initial stage smaller lumps around dock and rectal area and diahorrhea. Some types of C will show lumps in the neck others can present in the skin. Some times we think we have delayed it with a radical change in diet but can't really prove it although I retired a 22yr mare from our RDA two years ago and she went to a racing stables to play aunty to two year olds and she is feed with special attention to vitamin and mineral needs along with attention to amino and linoleic acids which is sold here as Amino66, and she still lives a happy and sound life. Albeit on borrowed time. I would not go so far as to say that this is a cure and you should not put your hopes within it as it is just a personal trial and not vet endorsed. There is still no better advice than that of your vets and you will have to ascertain how much pain your girl is in.......never an easy decision.
First things first, find out for sure what it is! and shop around for advice, perhaps there are closer and more affordable clinics available. Keep in touch.
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post #3 of 4 Old 05-07-2007, 02:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Missouri
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Thank you for the suggestion. The vet said that some of the bloodwork "could" indicate a low grade infection (still doesn't negate the mass), and also said there is a parasite that invades older horses and is undected in fecal sample. We are treating for both since it can't hurt, and who knows, maybe it will help. She sure doesn't like to see me coming with those syringes! I guess as long as she has a preference, she's feeling okay ... I'll keep watching, feeding, and will definitely get a second opinion so I do what's best for her. I love this little mare - can pull her out of pasture after a year and go anywhere - trails, camping, shows, even a parade. Thanks again!
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post #4 of 4 Old 05-09-2007, 11:04 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Location: eastern NC
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I am very sorry to hear that. My heart goes out to you.
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