Vet check-up and mystery diagnosis...
I thought we could play a little game in making a diagnosis. We discussed this a couple summers ago, I'll try to find the thread but first let me give you a run down and then we'll get to the issue....
Vet came out today. Bill was about $1100 between me and my mom. (My 2 were $568)
Each horse received Coggins, Botulism, Calvenza/Flu/Rhino, Rabies, WNV/EWT, and Dentistry power floats. Now, I'm cool with the $90 charge for Riley's float but I must whine about Pistols $90 float because... He has 4 teeth. Total. and they only floated one! LMAO....
Pistol has a heart murmur which I knew about and I had suspicions that his sight was going. They confirmed that his lenses are going opaque? No cataracts or anything...
They were really excited about how fat he is because he is not on a senior feed (he's 29). The reason he's not on a senior feed is because he can't chew it but I found this ADM which is a 10/10. It's a really fine and powdery grain that he seems to be doing good on. Anyway....
The mystery diagnosis comes in w/ our hunt pony Blue...
A couple summers ago he was really tossing his head so after posting a thread on this forum we ended up switching his bit, I think he ended up in a French link and then we had the vet out to float his teeth and put a bit seat in (that was an interesting forum topic!)
Not long after that he came down with a mystery illness. He ran a really high fever for days. His jaw wouldn't open all the way and he was really listless. The vet came out a few times in a week. We tested him for several things including EPM and some other neurological issues. They did find a high white blood cell count but all organs were working fine and there was nothing obvious.
Somewhere there is a thread about this. They ended up putting him on some big antibiotics and over months he began to feel better. His jaw though never fully recovered. We were able to have his teeth floated about a year ago.
This visit the vet tried to float his teeth but could not get his mouth to open hardly at all. They found a lump on one side of the jaw. (This is the same vet clinic I dealt with before but a different vet). She felt the lump and looked at it but without any x-rays she obviously can't diagnose anything.
I have a girl that rides him but she's away in college so I've been feeding him and caring for him but not really paying a ton of attention to him so it is possible that the lump has been there for a while but I honestly don't know. I would have thought I'd have noticed it and I am fairly positive she would have noticed it when she visited in November because she notices everything about that pony.
Anyhow. We are going to take him for x-rays but I'm not sure how soon (within the month I'm sure). There is no fever or pain as far as we can tell. The vet thought it was possible that when he went through all the issues he had that he had broken his jaw and it is now fused.
Any thoughts on what it could be?
(He's also one of the overweight horses so it is not effecting his ability to eat). I think his mouth will open about three inches.
High white count, listlessness and muscle paralysis or inability to move sounds like a deficiency to me.
Has blood been pulled and Vit E, Selenium and Magnesium levels been checked??
Decent price for a powerfloat, even the 4 tooth horse, I am assuming they still had to tranq him, pull 2 coggins, 2 sets of vaccines. I pay $450 for 2 power floats, less if I haul to the clinic, nothing else, and they will clean the sheaths but they don't put that on the bill, so that must be a freebee. The lump on the jaw, I have no idea. Looking forward to what the xrays reveal.
They did drug, that was only $14 I think.
All of those blood tests were run back when the initial onslaught occurred. I'll try to find the paperwork, I think it's in the barn. $1000s with no official diagnosis.
This time they have run no tests. They gave him all his shots and then drugged to float. When I realized they were struggling to get his mouth opened I mentioned the fact that he never was able to fully open his mouth after the incident. They had not seen him, another vet from the same clinic had seen him so they did pull all the info on their computer and said that the original exam was very thorough. I don't think we really focused on the jaw because we were going on the assumption that it was related to whatever the mystery illness was.
I would assume that it is not cancer because I would have thought the blood test would have caught that....
They seem to think that maybe he had broken his jaw and that the fever was him fighting off infection in that joint. They will be doing a full skull x-ray when we take him in. Should I request they pull blood again or wait for their suggestion?
When are you having the xrays done? I would want a list of exactly what blood work they did and what the levels were. Earlier this year, my mare was diagnosed with EMND (caused by vit e deficiency,) but her selenium levels were fine. Which is weird, because E and sel usually go hand in hand. I say that just to say, never assume...always check!
Does he have any other symptoms going on? Or is it just his jaw and the lump?
When he first got sick (summer before last) he ran a high fever, was very listless, dragged the back feet and looked to have some sort of neorological thing going on. He couldn't open his mouth and wouldn't raise his head. (This is when all the tests were run. I'll try to find the paperwork and results from them. Once he got over that we haven't had any other issues OTHER than the fact that he could not open his mouth fully after that.
Now, I did have 2 horses with mystery illnesses over that last 2 years. My TWH mare, she was given antibiotics for a high fever and listlessness, loss of appetite during the heat of the summer. My oldest QH had a sort of colic not really colic type of issue going on with no fever but the results on the blood test came back with some questions on the enzyme levels and the liver and kidney. The next week the second follow-up test came back fine.
I don't know if any of it is related or not. I walked the entire pasture looking for poisonous plants but could not find any although the vet said they could have eaten it all and then there wouldn't be any to find... I also looked up blister beetles because on occassion my barn does get a ton of these black looking beetles near the hay but they don't look like them to me. (I did not show the vet and won't get them back until summer but maybe I should).
So as of right now, the only symptom is the knot on the jaw.
I would love to compile a list of questions and thoughts so anything you guys have to offer would be great. I will probably take him in within the month as they were not acting as though this were a rush issue, although I don't believe it's an ignore issue either.
Def follow through with the xrays. I had a gelding that had broken his jaw, and a few years later he developed a large hard lump on his jaw. The xrays revealed that be aide of the way the jaw had fused together, his teeth were growing out into the side of his face instead of down, and that's what the lump was. The had to chisel into the side of his face and knock those teeth out, and they replaced them with porcelein teeth to aide in chewing. I'm not saying his is what it is, as my guy was young and was still growing teeth, but xrays usually tell a story.
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hmm where is the lump? Is it visible? The last lump I saw on a horses jaw turned out to be cancer of the bone and eventually ended in his demise as it grew quite large and interfered with daily functioning. However from the sound, if he doesnt have other blood markers for cancer etc, Id guess odd tooth issue or broken fused jaw.
I'll take a picture of the lump tomorrow if I have daylight when I get home. It's on the jaw. Not sure if you'll be able to see it or not. I'm going to call tomorrow and try to get the appointment set up for Monday since it's a holiday and I won't have to take leave. He's actually my mom's horse and luckily she usually doesn't skimp on treatments. Especially w/ Blue because she adores him.
I took this picture last week just because he was so dirty. The lump - looking at the picture - would be on the left jaw. You can not see it in the picture, I just posted to show him.....
I wouldn't jump at bloodwork until the x-rays came back.
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