Big Goose Eggs! - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 11:18 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
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Old time horsemen called it Poll Fever, or Poll Evil, depending on which they had heard it described as.

Similar to Fistulous Withers, where injury has occurred at high spot on horse, withers is usually where it is seen mostly now, but used to be pretty common in horses that wore a harness bridle daily, with the constant rubbing on the poll area.

It creates a sore, which then may get infected, looks as if it is healing, but in reality, has closed over on top layer but the infection is going down, in withers, down body and into leg even, as the infection makes a channel more or less, in the poll area, goes down neck/face area internally.

Fistulous Withers and Poll Evil
Fistulous withers and poll evil are rare, inflammatory conditions of horses that differ essentially only in their location in the respective supraspinous or supra-atlantal bursae. This discussion is of fistulous withers but, except for anatomic details, also applies to poll evil. In the early stage of the disease, a fistula is not present. When the bursal sac ruptures or when it is opened for surgical drainage, and secondary infection with pyogenic bacteria occurs, it usually assumes a true fistulous character.
The condition may be traumatic or infectious in origin. Agglutination titers support an infectious etiology. Brucella abortus and occasionally B suis can be isolated from the fluid aspirated from the unopened bursa, and outbreaks of brucellosis in cattle (see Brucellosis in Large Animals: Brucellosis in Cattle) have followed contact with horses with open bursitis. A Brucella titer should always be evaluated in these cases; if significant, the owners should be made aware of the public health significance.
Clinical Findings
The inflammation leads to considerable thickening of the bursa wall. The bursal sacs are distended and may rupture when the sac has little covering support. In more chronic, advanced cases, the ligament and the dorsal vertebral spines are affected, and occasionally these structures necrose.

In the early stage, the supraspinous bursa distends with a clear, straw-colored, viscid exudate. The swelling may be dorsal, unilateral, or bilateral, depending on the arrangement of the bursal sacs between the tissue layers. It is an exudative process from the beginning, but no true suppuration or secondary infection occurs until the bursa ruptures or is opened.
Treatment and Prevention
The earlier treatment is instituted, the better the prognosis. The most successful treatment is complete dissection and removal of the infected bursa. The expense of the protracted treatment required in chronic cases often exceeds the value of the animal, and the public health aspects (in cases in which Brucella spp are involved) should be carefully considered. Brucella vaccines have not proved helpful. Sodium iodide therapy is of limited value. It is reasonable to keep horses separate from Brucella-infected cattle, and cattle separate from horses with discharging fistulous withers.
Last full review/revision March 2012 by C. Wayne McIlwraith, BVSc, PhD, DSc, FRCVS, DACVS

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post #12 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 11:23 AM
Green Broke
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Location: Missouri
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If your hands are still than I would really be thinking eye problems here.

How dark is this stall? Does she act oddly going from light to dark or vice versa?

Does she seem to spook any at shadows?

You can, if have comfortable halter, get a poll protector like we use when shipping, that might help you with this.

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Last edited by Palomine; 09-03-2013 at 11:31 AM.
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post #13 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 11:23 AM
Green Broke
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 11:27 AM
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post #15 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 12:04 PM
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If the ceiling height is that low and she is hitting her head that hard I wouldn't have her in there. Personally I'd build a three sided shed of adequate height for a taller animal and use the stall for storage.
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 02:44 PM
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I have to agree with QtrBel, I would get her out of that stall and put her somewhere else. Having her knock her head is not only disastrous to her training (as you've already seen), but it can cause serious problems with her health (as Palomine pointed out).

A stall made of fence panels outside of the barn would be much better than a place where she's constantly banging herself.
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
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eye problems have crossed my mind. the stall is a little dark in the evenings (until we get our barn rewired and new lights put up) she doesnt hit her head standing normally in her stall only when she decides to spook at me for what ever reason and "over reacts". and all i can say it holy crap on poll fever! I never learned that in school i wonder if its such an "old" disease thats why. :-/ its only happened 3-4 times in the last 2 months. She all around is more alert because she is the only horse now instead of being on the bottom in a herd of 4 others. hoping our new donkey will take the protector roll so she can relax. she can see a person wandering clear across 8 acres of flat land and watch i think she can see ok?

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post #18 of 18 Old 09-03-2013, 11:01 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2011
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here are some pictures of the stall my mare is in. the one with her standing at the stall door with light shining in behind her is not her stall but shows the hight of the "ceiling" better? (she was being nibby while we were adding newer boards and mats to her stall)
Attached Images
File Type: jpg photo 1.JPG (32.5 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg photo 2.JPG (33.5 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg photo 3.JPG (37.3 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg photo 4.JPG (36.0 KB, 23 views)
File Type: jpg photo 5.JPG (36.4 KB, 24 views)

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