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3acres 12-18-2008 03:34 PM

Sick miniature mare
Hi all - New here.

Looking for some advice. We've had horses for 10 years now and have never had to experience a cold. Until now.

Our 3-year-old miniature mare is sick. Here's the breakdown:

Monday morning: Clear nasal discharge, blowing snot out of her nose. Not wanting to eat. IS drinking. Up and moving about just fine.

Tuesday morning: Clear/whitish nasal discharge also with labored breathing, fast short breaths. Not wanting to eat. IS drinking. Up and moving about just fine. *Gave her some Bute and penicillin.

Wednesday morning: Nasal discharge a little better, breathing better. Not wanting to eat. IS drinking. Up and moving about just fine.
*Gave her some Bute and penicillin.

Thursday morning (today): Nasal discharge pretty much gone, breathing is more of a long slow deep breath now. Not wanting to eat. IS drinking.
BUT - SHE IS VERY LETHARGIC TODAY. She does not want to walk around much, I had to PULL her lead rope to get her across her stall.
Gums are pink.
I am thinking of calling the vet but thought I would check here too. It seems 3 days with no food would make anything weak... How long do colds normally last? She will get another dose of penicillin tonight.

Any advice is much appreciated.

bolderthing 12-18-2008 03:42 PM

After the second day I would have called the vet to get his/her opinion. Despite her gums being alright, her not eating indicates to me that something is not right still.

Lethargy and anorexia can be some signs of poisoning, among other things. What is her temperature? What is her reflex time in her gums? I think if it's beyond 1-2 seconds after you push her gums for color to return that indicates a problem.

I wold call the vet for sure, let them know what is up and get their opinion.


This does sound like a cold. With a mini do not use Bute (unless absolutely nesessary it can cause an ulcer very quickly) use Banamine Paste not injectible (do to reactions in minis a vet should only admin injectible Banamine)
The biggest concern is not eating. Take her temp, and respirations, how much is she drinking? Is she passing a normal amount of urine, and feces? Normal consistancy, color, odor? It is possible that she has a fever and that is keeping her from having an appetite. But I would be very concerned with not eating in three days, is she not eating hay or grain? Both? If she is not eating anything I say take her to the vet. If she is eating hay not grain then I would watch her for any change. I just reread your post, if she is not eating, had labored breathing, and is lethargic, I WOULD


CALL THE VET. Get a list of her vitals, what is going on with her physically, to be ready to answer the vets questions. This may be something that is going on around your area. We had a bug in southern ohio about 3/4 months ago that sounds almost like what you are describing. The vet used SMZ and Banamine Paste to help clear it up. If it is a cold, supportive care is about the only thing you can do, and watch that it doesn't turn into pneumonia. will be thinking about you, keep us informed about what is happening.

Joshie 12-18-2008 05:21 PM

I'd call the vet! A cold is caused by a virus and antibiotics don't do a thing for a virus.

sempre_cantando 12-20-2008 01:56 AM

yes - call the vet. If a horse hasn't eaten for several days it is EXTREMELY SERIOUS!!! Horses need constant food or their bowels just stop and it is often impossible to get their bowels to start moving things along again. The prognosis? Death. I've heard it so many times from my horsey friends who have had experience with such issues.

Ryle 12-20-2008 12:51 PM

Everyone is right on target, you need to get your vet out asap.
Viral infection that present as a "cold" generally present with very mild symptoms, but can progress to pneumonia. The fact that this horse hasn't been eating, had labored breathing and is lethargic is a clear indicator that you need to have a vet out because this is more than a simple cold.

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