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I posted awhile back about the three gift horses that we have had since early September. Well, I had the vet out today (more on that later) and she confirmed that the two ponies are definitely bred and probably due in about 2 months (which fits in with what I was told). The paint mare is open (hallelujah!) She had me in laughing fits about all the ranch mares that the stud has impregnated all over the county...or at least all the ranches within his reach! Anyhow, here's the bad, horrible, awful, disastrous news. The POA gouged her shoulder this week. I scrubbed it down and realized with horror as the hair came off around it, that this was NOT a gouge. It looked like an abscess at the point of her shoulder. There was never any swelling that I noticed and I see these guys every single day. :cry:These horses have not gone anywhere since I moved them here at the end of August/beginning of September. I've kept the equi-spot fly stuff on them. But, yes, it was officially diagnosed today by the vet as pigeon fever, which is currently epidemic here in Humboldt County. The vet says there are over 50 confirmed cases in county right now, even out on remote ranches where horses haven't come or gone. She said the environmental conditions-late fall, drought conditions, create a perfect storm of a situation. Anyhow, I am absolutely bummed. I'm keeping her separate from the other two horses but they've been together throughout it bursting so I'm just going to watch them like a hawk. I'm flushing it with betadine. Anyone out there have any experience with this? I thought I was safe because I'd isolated my horses. So much for that.
 

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Bleach everything that comes in contact wiht that mare. Halters, brushes, weal barow, rakes, anything that come in contact with that mare. Always wash your hands and bleach your boots (or whatever you wear to see that mare) change your clothes. Maybe get your other mares fly sheets and keep them sprayed down with fly spray. It is so highly contageous and it can kill foals. Keep the wound open and draining. Dont let is scab over, or it wont drain and just create a new hole. Pigeon fever sucks. I have been around several horses who have had it. One horse died from it (but he was 30yrs old) then another horse got it in his ear! Only the second horse ever to get it there. He almost died. Just make sure your horses cant even get close to that mare.
 

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Well, considering they were with her when it opened, we are already screwed. We are doing all the biohazard stuff, spraying everything down with bleach/water and at least separating her into the adjoining pasture. The vet said that the foal may gain some immune response from this, but I'm not holding my breath. The mare has one more lump on her other shoulder so I'm watching that as well. I'm flushing the abscess with betadine and the vet said it looked really good as far as management. I stopped to talk to the neighbors (they have horses over the fence) and they said their gelding had it last year. They seemed totally unconcerned which DID concern ME. Anyhow, I've got to let the other neighbors know...I am sooooo bummed.
 

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I am sorry to hear of your news. I will keep you in my prayers.
 

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That's terrible news. I couldn't imagine my horse going it. As posted above, I would be careful with where you keep the gear that stay in contact with her. Even petting her and going over to other horses could cause some transmission problems for the rest of the horses.

I would keep her halters and anything thats been in contact with her, or you after you've touched her in a separate area and I would go see her last in the day. Work with your healthy horses then do whatever it is you need doing last so it makes it easier for you to keep everything separate and help prevent the spread.

Good luck with things. What a tough situation to be in.
 

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I am keeping EVERYTHING separate. Her abscess is healed up on the left side, but the other side, which the vet suspected as developing an abscess is proving true. I am so bummed. I'm watching it closely but it is not ready to lance yet. I wear a pair of rubber crocs in the pen with her. I hose them with bleach water at the gate. I only take them out of the car at the pasture and then store them in the back of my car; when all this nightmare is over, I am throwing them away. I am keeping halters separate and washing the one halter in the washing machine. I am keeping the bucket that I use for a betadine flush separate and washing it with bleach water each day as well. Thank goodness we've had record low temps... 21 degrees at sea level today here on the north coast of California. Fly season is over for now. My hands are soooooooo dried out from betadine wash and bleach water. Does anyone have any suggestions for boosting her immune system?
 

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From what I've briefly read - lower temps actually prolong the life of the bacterium.
I think you are doing all that you can - just make sure that when you are flushing the wounds that you are disposing of the flush properly - it is still contagious. Apparently the bacteria can live for 55 days in bedding, manure and hay.
I would also make sure to be feeding her free choice hay and water and a proper nutritional supplement, and if she is really losing weight grab some rice bran or beet pulp and feed that. I would say that's the best way to keep her immune system up.

Good luck!!
 

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just make sure that when you are flushing the wounds that you are disposing of the flush properly - it is still contagious. Apparently the bacteria can live for 55 days in bedding, manure and hay.
What does "disposing of the flush properly" look like. I googled several articles after reading the original post (I hadn't heard of this particular nasty disease before - so so so sorry to hear you have to be going through this jcran), and they all mention disposing properly, but not what that specific procedure would be.
 

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The only thing I'm doing as far as disposing of the flush is cleaning her in the same spot, tied to the same post, scrubbing the wound with betadine and disposing of the wipes into a bucket and putting in the trash. At some point, I'll scrape the soil down a few inches. I realize the organism can live in cooler weather. My point in celebrating the cold weather is that at least the fly vector is minimalized for now.
 
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