When you Need to Call the Vet
 
 

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When you Need to Call the Vet

This is a discussion on When you Need to Call the Vet within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • What do you to if a horse is spurting blood from is canon area
  • When to call a vet with horse weight loss

 
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    02-06-2011, 08:24 AM
  #1
Green Broke
When you Need to Call the Vet

We ALL want our horses to be healthy and happy and do well. Still, there are times when we need to call the vet. I am starting this thread with that in mind and hope that others will chime in.

The ways an animal can express illness are limited. The underlying causes for those expressions of illness are a tangled web that can often need a vet to unravel.

SYMPTOMS REQUIRING AN IMMEDIATE CALL TO THE VET:

1.) Horse refusing to eat, pawing the ground, kicking his bwelly, looking around at his flanks, not defecating, defecating only small amounts, rolling, getting up and down, sweating.

2.) Deep wounds exposing underlying tissue or any deep puncture to the abdominal area.

3.) Any wound that is gushing blood and especially any wound that is spurting blood like a fountain indicative of an arterial would (no matter how small).

4.) Three legged lameness.

5.) Depression (not interested in surroundings, not drinking, not eating) and lethargy with refusal to move.

6.) Depression with refusal to eat.

7.) Fever with nasal discharge, dropped head, labored breathing.

8.) Depression with labored breathing

9.) Ataxia (walking and standing as if drunk)

10.) Refusal to move

IF YOUR HORSE EXHIBITS NON LIFE THREATENING SYMPTOMS THAT LAST MORE THAN A DAY, CALL THE VET!! Some illnesses may seem mild but can become serious if let go. Some of these have a high cure rate early on, but can become chronic and disabling if not treated early.

Regular Veterinary care is very important to horse ownership. Things you need to do even if your horse is healthy are annual vet exams including stools samples. The amount of testing stools for worms varies with the type of worming program you are on and what your vet recommends. Back in the dinosaur days there were not the worming products that are available today (Ivermectin was a huge breakthrough) but that does not alleviate the necessity to worm regularly and to have stool samples checked.

Vaccination is also important, especialy if you are competitive. This protocol should be discussed with your vet. More experienced people vaccinate their own horses but in some States where Rabies is endemic, the State may require all rabies vaccines be given by a licensed vet (NY is such a State).

I don't mean for this to come off as "preachy" (tho it probably has.. you know old people 'get like that' LOL).

Please feel free to add to this list and if I am wrong about any of this, do not hesitate to add something saying so.. after all.. my knowledge is sometimes dated. I have tried to keep up over the years.. but I never have stopped learning!
     
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    02-06-2011, 11:56 AM
  #2
dee
Started
Let's add weight loss to the list. Your vet may need to run a blood panel and/or fecal count, and work up from there to find the cause of the weight loss.
     
    02-06-2011, 12:22 PM
  #3
Green Broke
Yes. Unexplained weight loss assuming the horse is consuming the same number of calories and work has not increased.

Unexplained weight GAIN can also mean a need for the vet.

Does anyone think a thread like this ought to be a sticky? Just thinking if anyone comes to this forum seeking help with a sick horse it might be of value???
     
    02-06-2011, 02:40 PM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Does anyone think a thread like this ought to be a sticky? Just thinking if anyone comes to this forum seeking help with a sick horse it might be of value???
I think that's a good idea.

Another thing to add:

Know what YOUR horses normal vitals are. Over a three day period at the same time each day take their temperature, pulse and respiratory rate. Mark these down somewhere handy in the barn. This could be vital information for the vet.
     
    02-06-2011, 03:33 PM
  #5
Banned
This is a list on a brochure made by the AVMA: (the stuff in bold is what you hadn't mentioned)



"The American Veterinary Medical Association suggests you consult your veterinarian if your horse shows any of these following signs:
  • Abnormal discharges from the nose, eyes or other body openings
  • Sudden changes in behavior
  • Abnormal lumps, loss of hair, open sores, or a ragged or dull coat
  • Limping, or difficulty getting up or lying down
  • Loss of appetite, marked weight loss or gain, or excessive water consumption
  • Difficult, abnormal or uncontrolled waste elimination
  • Excessive head shaking, scratching, licking, or biting any part of the body
  • Foul breath"
I'd also add diareah to the list, or the presence of worms in waste materials.

And I third the sticky!
     
    02-06-2011, 07:34 PM
  #6
Showing
3.) Any wound that is gushing blood and especially any wound that is spurting blood like a fountain indicative of an arterial would (no matter how small).

I think in this case it'll be too late to call the vet. The arterial bleeding kills in matter of mins (unless one is extremely knowledgeable on how to control it).

Great thread/posts!
     
    02-06-2011, 07:45 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Well, if it is really a gusher you are right.. but a small spurter can be saved it you clamp it and get a vet to stitch it.

I was a dairy farmer and had a cow get a small arterial wound in her udder (caught it on a fence). I got her in the barn.. and called the vet.. who came within the hour. I had clamped my hand on the wound and stopped the spurting (and it was sputing a tiny stream.. 8 feet!!!).

I held on so tightly that I could not unclamp my hand when the vet came.. he had to peel my hand off the cow. To this day I have issues with that hand if I clamp on anything hard. He put two stitches in her udder and the cow lived many more lactations after that (a Jersey cross cow).

Direct pressure if it has just happened (even a gusher) IF you can do it.. and getting the vet there can save the animal's life. It is NOT getting pressure on it and NOT keeping pressure on it and NOT getting the vet in time that kills the horse.

That being said, there are horses and wounds that cannot be fixed when this happens.
     
    02-06-2011, 07:54 PM
  #8
Yearling
Blood in urine: If you see your horse urinating blood, a severe infection or bladder injury is a possibility.

Choking: A horse is choking if he coughs and salivates with his head down while watery food exits his nose and mouth, backs away from his food, acts anxious, and/or swallows repeatedly. A horse chokes when food is trapped in the esophagus. The food doesn't block the airway, so the horse can still breathe, but you still must call the vet right away. The trapped food can cause damage that will result in scarring and subsequent narrowing of the diameter of the esophagus. This narrowing causes the horse to be more prone to choking in the future.

Inability to stand: A horse that will not or cannot stand up. A horse that staggers or has trouble staying on his feet is also in an emergency situation.

Labored breathing: Rapid breathing, raspy breath, or heavy coughing .

Agitated eye(s): One or both of your horse's eyes suddenly becomes teary, the horse holds the lids partially or completely closed, the white part of the eye is red, or the surface of the eye is cloudy.

Severe pain: A veterinarian should immediately examine any horse that appears to have severe pain in any part of his body.

Straining: If your horse is straining to defecate or urinate and nothing or very little passes out, an intestinal or urethral blockage is likely.
     
    02-07-2011, 03:15 PM
  #9
Showing
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elana    
I was a dairy farmer and had a cow get a small arterial wound in her udder (caught it on a fence). I got her in the barn.. and called the vet.. who came within the hour. I had clamped my hand on the wound and stopped the spurting (and it was sputing a tiny stream.. 8 feet!!!).
That's interesting! I guess when it's small and it doesn't leak "inside" as well there is a chance. I probably wouldn't be able to hold it for an hour though (my hand would fell off).
     
    02-07-2011, 03:33 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitten_Val    
That's interesting! I guess when it's small and it doesn't leak "inside" as well there is a chance. I probably wouldn't be able to hold it for an hour though (my hand would fell off).
It felt like it was going to fall off. Now (years later) if I have to grip something any length of time with that hand it will freeze like that (especially in cold weather).

Getting old is highly over rated. It ain't th' age, its th' MILEAGE.

Direct pressure.. lots of it.. still works. But in this case it requiquired more of a pinch. After the vet told me that I could have used a pair of Vise Grips to clip it off (YOWZER!!).
     

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