DiDi - Whither goeth SHe? - Page 29 - The Horse Forum
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post #281 of 371 Old 05-15-2012, 05:18 PM Thread Starter
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I have to ask if lung cultures have been done via teams tracheal wash. She almost sounds as if she has a fungal issue going on in there, which steroids would exacerbate. Here we have a fungus called blastomycosis which causes much the same and that's what makes me wonder. "

Please explain in greater detail.
We have eliminated bacterial infection for DiDi
The EHV 5 came from out of the blue.

What's this about a fungus? What is the treatment?

Her cough is dry - no mucous- sometimes singularly, sometimes multiple.
Sometimes highly distressing. Accompanied by mood swings.

Her distress seemed to develop after she was given steroids - which have now been stopped.
But my thought is that the brief - a week or so - medication of steroids weakened the immune system and allowed the virus to advance.
The aim now is to halt the progress of the virus.

She has lesions and there is a small dark area on the lungs but the vet is hopeful that she is young enough to recover.

Please direct me to informatiin about fungi.

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post #282 of 371 Old 05-15-2012, 05:57 PM
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This is the specific disease we deal with here. I realize these are not her symptoms it just made me wonder as to whether it could be a fungus causing issues. It can be just lung, or it can go systemic...it just depends on the case.
equine blastomycosis - definition of equine blastomycosis in the Medical dictionary - by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
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post #283 of 371 Old 05-15-2012, 06:35 PM Thread Starter
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Fungal Infection

After reading the entry which you kindly advised me of, it seems that it affects primarily areas of the US where the soil is contaminated - whereas DiDi is grazed in the West of England. UK

Yes, she has a cough but there is no fever to date

The complication with DiDi has been that she suffered two medical conditions at the same time - severe ulcers & EMPF - the symptoms from each ailment overlapped and confused he picture.

We have to wait and see if the anti viral tablets work. I shall keep the forum advised of her progess and will welcome any more comments from you.

Barry G
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post #284 of 371 Old 05-15-2012, 07:50 PM
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Hoping and praying for DiDi.

Beau was very sick with a cough for a while and no one could figure out why.. Vets thought it was COPD/heaves, but it wasn't really consistent with that. To this day I still don't know what happened, but an organic herbal supplement pulled him out of it for a while when none of the steroids, bronchiodilators, cough syrup, or any of the medications would help, along with some advice from my partner who has experience in respiratory issues (human issues, but her ideas for treatments seemed to work??) He was also moved out of state to a completely different facility when I relocated. He hasn't had any issues for over a year and is back to his normal healthy self.

Obviously I don't think that will work for DiDi given the information here, but the point I was trying to get across is that there is always hope that she will pull through. *hugs*

Fly Without Wings

Last edited by Ne0n Zero; 05-15-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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post #285 of 371 Old 05-15-2012, 09:55 PM
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Yes, I realize it is indigenous to our area, just wondered if there were anything out there that could cause it. 10 years as a vet tech makes me think of all of the out of the box things when considering an animals health.
Poor Didi, I guess I am just wanting it to be something treatable.
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post #286 of 371 Old 05-16-2012, 03:09 AM Thread Starter
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Eventually yesterday I made time to sit and read the instructions which came with the tablets. I reached the paragraph dealing with possible side effects. The list read like every ailment known to man
A human takes one tablet three times a day whereas DiDi takes 66!.
It is definitely an :

In humans it is the treatment for shingles or genital herpes even organ transplants. Interestingly no one in the vet’s surgery warned me of the possible side effects on humans.

However yesterday afternoon DiDi had her first treatment mixed up with sugar beet and honey. We have just 41 treatments to go.

Afterwards I led her around the yard in hand to graze on the fresh green grass growing in the verges which seems to be her favourite pastime these days. She coughed singly from time to time but I have stopped counting. But otherwise she was back to her pushy self - pulling me along so that she could reach especially juicy clumps of grass. That’s my Girlie. The pills even give her an excuse to be difficult.

I phoned and told my friend who owns the green valley of the development I also spoke with their local vet whom we know personally from years back. DiDi is still very welcome when she is clear and fit to travel.

It is now a question of following the treatment and monitoring her progress
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post #287 of 371 Old 05-16-2012, 03:28 AM Thread Starter
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What has been a boost to me is the response I have received from many of you out there. Here am I in the UK struggling with the system. My sleep pattern is disturbed, I can't think seriously about anything else and I am, from time to time, becoming very despondent. Only yesterday, when so close to getting the medication, I nearly thought to put DiDi down. Luckily we hesitated.

But then I got home, I dialled up the Forum and here read yet more words of encouragement. I also noted the prayers. Thank you, Guys.

This particular thread has turned almost into a chronicle but I have posted it , largely to keep me sane but also to help others who may at some time be in the same predicament - ie owning a very sick horse which needs treatment to win through. Dealing with this type of scenario is part of what owning a horse is all about - the owner has to know the horse to be able to interpret its condition and to make decisions for it. And with an animal which can't talk sometimes that can be a tricky thing to do.

As yet it is too soon to tell if DiDi has a viable life in front of her but I, my wife and The Countess, have done our best to give her the chance. It is up to her now. What I do know is that in a way, she has now been rendered immortal by this thread. Even if I never get to ride her again - which is very possible - she has left an indelible mark on me and my close friends.

But thanks again to you all for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers. Much appreciated.

Last edited by xxBarry Godden; 05-16-2012 at 03:31 AM.
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post #288 of 371 Old 05-16-2012, 09:49 AM Thread Starter
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I went back to see if the first doses of anti herpes virus 5 powder have had any effect. I am pleased to say that neither the Countess nor I have succumbed to the side effects - as yet. As I arrived DiDi was standing by the gate. She had heard my car.

According to the Countess she was refusing to take the 22 pills. How surprising.

We made up a bucket of water, sugar beet, treacle, treat pellets and pestle crushed tablets. I cleaned off the lick residues from her muzzle and gave her a chopped up pear Then she deigned to snuffle down the medicine mixture from the feed bucket. She knew I’d lead her to the grass verges later. Anyway there were more pears to be chopped up in the bag.

As for her. Well she was coughing at about 50 coughs per hour but she was in mood mellow without being subdued. She hadn’t fallen over, had nightmares, got the shakes, nor experienced any of the other side effects promised by the manufacturer’s leaflet.
And when she tugged me over to the grassy banks to snatch grass, I felt somewhat relieved. She wasn't giving in.

PS The insurance company sent me a note saying they would pay for 90% of the ulcer treatment to date. I’ll pay the rest even if they won’t.
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post #289 of 371 Old 05-17-2012, 09:33 PM
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I can't speak for everyone, but I know I am grateful for the posts about yourself and DiDi. It is inspirational to see someone so concerned and caring for a riding buddy you may never ride again. It's heart warming to hear your thoughts and concerns, while it is obviously a very painful subject. It shows a generous spirit that you can share with perfect strangers around the world the concerns you have for the wonder named DiDi. You introduced us to her, you made her so very real through your own observations, descriptions, and honest assessments of DiDi and her character. You weren't afraid to share the fear, anxiety, and concern for her with us.
You gave her another job without abandoning her to the fates. You are giving her medical care that has no guarantee. You lose sleep for her and her well being. And through all of this you reach out and touch the forum members with your heart and love for DiDi. Thank you for making us a part of DiDi's life and your own.
Ne0n Zero and Ladytrails like this.

I miss you Rascal. Every day, all day.
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post #290 of 371 Old 05-18-2012, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
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Rascal What a lovely compliment that you pay me. Thank you.

You see, the traffic is not one way. I gain from telling you all what goes on with this evil disease. Writing the story as it happens is cathartic for me.

I am now no longer confident that DiDi will survive - so maybe it is wrong of me to cling on to her. But as long as she shows some fighting spirit, then I must support her in any way I can. The pills may help her, but equally in helping her those tablets may put her in even more discomfort. The list of known side effects in humans, haunts me. Humans take 3 pills in a day, DiDi takes 66!

Yesterday she freaked out, ran around the paddock, slipped
and fell over. She picked herself up and started to graze. Why? Why? Why? It must be side effects - or is it?

As her guardian I can no longer guarantee the horse's comfort and well being. Should I allow her to be the guinea pig of a specialist vet? Should I send her off on her final journey? I have been close to making that terminal decision on several occasions.

So long as she continues to fight her corner, then I must support her. It would be much easier for me to wave her good bye.
Once I sense she has given up, then finally I must help her in the only way left to me. But she is not there yet.

DiDi as a personal riding horse has been a disappointment to me but as a lesson in what owning a horse truly means to a human, she has been a learned professor. I'll never react quite the same again with any other horse.

If by telling DiDi's story I help to put across the message that horses are sensitive, intelligent, willing servants of man then maybe this awful episode in my life has been worth it.

And if some other unfortunate owner is told that their horse has a lung disease, then they might now know what to expect.

This chronicle may have only a week or two to run. But as long as when she hears my car, DiDi's ears prick up and she wanders over to the gate, then I have hope - be it increasingly slender.

Again, Guys, thank you all for lending me your shoulders to cry on.
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