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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Over a month ago my (just turned) 7 year old Irish Gelding, was diagnosed with Pneumonia. He was put on Nordine and Ventipulmin. He also had two steroid injections.
He was tucked up, lethargic and generally depressed. I had stopped riding him as soon as he started coughing and then got the vet out immediately so I acted fast.
Vet came back out because the steroid had worn off and antibiotics were not doing anything. So we agreed on a Scope in the next few days, but unfortunately his breathing rate needed to be 16-20 to do that and not above 30. Which it was.
A week later we managed to scope, they couldn't see anything obvious, no foreign body or abscesses (which were suspected) so they took samples on his lungs.
Another week later came back with Two Bacterial infections which were fighting each other and the Norodine was having no effect. So he was put on the Karidox. 45ml twice a day, with ventipulmin and bute as by now it was hurting him to breathe. He went down to 16-26 as was ranging daily. At this point he was in for half the day and out for the other half as the vet suggested.
I was given two steroid injections to self administer if he got in to the 30's again. Then one evening he got to 40, was flaring his nostrils to breath and was generally struggling. I rung the vet who told me to inject him IM so I did. After 4/5 hours there was no improvement so she came out. Did all the checks and we discussed that we would run allergy and liver tests as last resorts because we are running out of time and also running out of what to do. The medicine is making no difference.
A day later when the steroid ran out, he deteriorated and needed another one.
Vet suggested letting him live out so he has been and theres been no change.
He's been given two weeks, so I'm asking you guys if any of you have seen or had anything like this before?
I've had three different vets look at him, so had new sets of eyes and everything. No one can understand this.
 

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Where do you live? If in the US I would get him to the closest veterinary college...

I suspect you are in the UK.. and I cannot advise where to take him in that country.
 

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I find it weird that he was given steroids, in light of a pneumonia/bacterial diagnosis. Steroids suppress the immune system,and why they are given if an allergy is the cause, not an infection, or, was the infection secondary to heaves?
Far as those antibiotics dong 'nothing', not familliar with either one, but was a culture ever done?Even if you use 'shot gun therapy' in the beginning, as no time to wait for culture results, you take a sample BEFORE any antibiotic treatment is started, and run a C& S (culture and sensitivities ). Then, if no response is achieved by that antibiotic used , as an emergency measures, you have that c&S and can chose an antibiotic to which the organism shows sensitivity.
 

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Two antibiotics used, yet never a culture and sensitivities done, inspite of failure to respond?????
Never heard of two infections fighting each other, although you can have the combined effect of two pathogens at work. What organisms were said to be present?
 

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I assume it was determined to be a bacterial pneumonia, thus here is the usual protecol. Will also post entire link.


Treatment

There are a host of treatment methods available for bacterial pneumonia, McKenzie explained. The majority of the medical treatments include β-lactams (such as penicillin and ceftiofur), aminoglycosides, potentiated sulfonamides, tetracyclines, fluoroquinolones, chloramphenicol, rifampin, and metronidazole. The optimal drug or combination of drugs to use is case-dependant, he said, and each medication or combination poses specific strengths and drawbacks. Veterinarians should decide the best approach for each individual case.
 

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I expect that the steroids were given because they suspected the breathing problem to be caused by a severe allergic reaction to something. Asthma sufferers are more prone to pneumonia if they get any sort of infection that affects the lungs than healthy people are
Reading her first post the OP says that a scope was performed and samples were taken and results given and allergy and liver function tests have also been run


I agree with Elana - if he's fit to travel then getting him to the nearest Equine Hospital is probably your best option now, I don't know where you are in the UK so don't know which is the nearest but your Vet will know
The only other thing that you haven't mentioned trying is a nebulizer
Flexineb
 

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I expect that the steroids were given because they suspected the breathing problem to be caused by a severe allergic reaction to something. Asthma sufferers are more prone to pneumonia if they get any sort of infection that affects the lungs than healthy people are
Reading her first post the OP says that a scope was performed and samples were taken and results given and allergy and liver function tests have also been run


I agree with Elana - if he's fit to travel then getting him to the nearest Equine Hospital is probably your best option now, I don't know where you are in the UK so don't know which is the nearest but your Vet will know
The only other thing that you haven't mentioned trying is a nebulizer
Flexineb
Yes, that is why I asked if he was diagnosed as having Heaves (CPOD ), with the pneumonia being secondary
 

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Agree on getting him to an equine vet facility
Still, a culture and sensitivity should have been done. That is called just good bacteriology!Antibiotics won't do anything, if the infecting organisms aren't sensitive to it!
 

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The way I read her posts tests were done to determine which bacteria were involved
They have discussed doing an allergy test but the treatment would still be steroids and if whatever he's allergic too is all around him then not a lot they can do about that, you can't really put a horse in a bubble


It is possible that he's got lungworm, that can cause coughing and breathing problems that lead to pneumonia if he's been grazed with infected donkeys for any length of time and maybe not kept in the best of health its worth considering and testing for
 

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The way I read it, the bacteria (or organisms ), were identified, but nothing about sensitivity studies done, as apparently the antibiotics were ineffective
Yes, allergies can be very difficult to manage, but they don't come on suddenly, as the animal is first sensitized, then each exposure causes a great auto immune response. The degree of respiratory compromise , is also not immediate, thus I am still wondering if this horse already had serious CPOD, or advanced 'heaves', and that would explain the steroids, versus just throwing a shot gun type therapy. at the horse, covering all possibilities.
Wondering what type of hay the horse has been fed.
Apparently, full time turn out has not helped, which is a key management of COPD horses
Any eosinophil count available?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I find it weird that he was given steroids, in light of a pneumonia/bacterial diagnosis. Steroids suppress the immune system,and why they are given if an allergy is the cause, not an infection, or, was the infection secondary to heaves?
Far as those antibiotics dong 'nothing', not familliar with either one, but was a culture ever done?Even if you use 'shot gun therapy' in the beginning, as no time to wait for culture results, you take a sample BEFORE any antibiotic treatment is started, and run a C& S (culture and sensitivities ). Then, if no response is achieved by that antibiotic used , as an emergency measures, you have that c&S and can chose an antibiotic to which the organism shows sensitivity.
I know that Steroids suppress his immune system which is why I was reluctant to keep giving them to him. When they first listened to his lungs they said it didn't sound like an allergy wheeze, but a infection. Hence Pneumonia but when he was scoped we found two bacterial infections.
I'm unsure as to what a culture or shut gun therapy is, but we did allergy tests, and has come back positive for a lot of day to day things. Changing a lot but we have answers!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I expect that the steroids were given because they suspected the breathing problem to be caused by a severe allergic reaction to something. Asthma sufferers are more prone to pneumonia if they get any sort of infection that affects the lungs than healthy people are
Reading her first post the OP says that a scope was performed and samples were taken and results given and allergy and liver function tests have also been run


I agree with Elana - if he's fit to travel then getting him to the nearest Equine Hospital is probably your best option now, I don't know where you are in the UK so don't know which is the nearest but your Vet will know
The only other thing that you haven't mentioned trying is a nebulizer
Flexineb

We tested for asthma and COPD both came back negative, so it wasn't either of those. So I am unsure on why they gave them. First time horse owner and even though I've had him years and loaned before, never had to deal with something like this
 

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Discussion Starter #14
The way I read her posts tests were done to determine which bacteria were involved
They have discussed doing an allergy test but the treatment would still be steroids and if whatever he's allergic too is all around him then not a lot they can do about that, you can't really put a horse in a bubble


It is possible that he's got lungworm, that can cause coughing and breathing problems that lead to pneumonia if he's been grazed with infected donkeys for any length of time and maybe not kept in the best of health its worth considering and testing for
Yes that's what we were doing! He is allergic to every dust mite, storage mite, midges, carrots, alpha a and other things. We have a lot to change and it's going to be hard but he's breathing better already!
 

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The way I read it, the bacteria (or organisms ), were identified, but nothing about sensitivity studies done, as apparently the antibiotics were ineffective
Yes, allergies can be very difficult to manage, but they don't come on suddenly, as the animal is first sensitized, then each exposure causes a great auto immune response. The degree of respiratory compromise , is also not immediate, thus I am still wondering if this horse already had serious CPOD, or advanced 'heaves', and that would explain the steroids, versus just throwing a shot gun type therapy. at the horse, covering all possibilities.
Wondering what type of hay the horse has been fed.
Apparently, full time turn out has not helped, which is a key management of COPD horses
Any eosinophil count available?
Actually they can come on suddenly, they have for me and have for my horse. The way my vet explained it was that if you get bitten by a fly you may not react, but next time you get bitten you react massively. Or you just react straight away. It can happen and has happened.
No he doesn't have COPD, or heaves, or asthma.
He's fed soaked hay, always has been
 

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I'm pleased to hear that he's improving, it could be that a seasonal allergy thing has exacerbated an existing but not as severe a condition - my own allergy problems have actually been a lot better since I moved here and no longer living close to rape fields
Research has shown that using steroids along with antibiotics speeds up recovery in pneumonia cases so not surprising that they went that route
Hope progress continues to go well
 
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