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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Slowly getting comfortable and learning about horses. Long story...anyway today the barn owner said my horse looks like he has pigeon fever. Do u have experience with this, how easy is it to treat? Vet coming out but i have no idea what to expect, please don't scare me to death...
 

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https://wagwalking.com/horse/condition/pigeon-fever

This is what I can offer. You called the vet, and I don't think there's much else that you can do. How long has that lump been there? Did it appear over time, or suddenly? I'm not entirely convinced that's pigeon fever.. as it isn't affecting both pectorals. That doesn't mean it couldn't eventually. Hopefully somebody else has seen examples of pigeon fever and can say yes or no. The vet certainly will. The good thing is that he's doing alright. You might check his vitals and note the color of his gums.

It's normally pointless to target Vitamin C as a dietary additive...but this is an ill horse. A little extra Vitamin C from natural sources should ensure that he keeps good levels of Vitamin C. I say 'natural sources' because apparently supplemental vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is not efficiently absorbed in the gut. A few fresh carrots every day should help, as well as access to healthy, fresh green pasture is also a good source of Vitamin C as well as E. But if your pasture is nonexistent right now (many of us are in wintertime or drought,) then do the best that you can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes, vet will be out tomorrow morning. I am buying fresh carrots now...Thank you very much. I cant even imagine what the problem is but we'll see...
 

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That is quite a swelling, I don't know, I could be right off base, but just wondered if he got a nasty kick in the chest. I had a horse that had a swelling (not as bad as your horse) that he got from a horse kicking him,

Just throwing thoughts out there as I have never seen a swelling quite like that.
I will be interested to hear what your Vet has to say
 

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I'm not entirely convinced that's pigeon fever.. as it isn't affecting both pectorals. That doesn't mean it couldn't eventually. Hopefully somebody else has seen examples of pigeon fever and can say yes or no.
Pigeon Fever doesn’t necessarily have to affect both pectorals. Had a possible case over the summer that only affected one side of the chest (I say possible because the abscess drained before my vet could collect anything for testing so we were still up in the air about whether it was Dryland Distemper or just a regular abscess.

OP, how long ago did you notice this? My gelding started showing a lump in mid-July. I thought maybe it was a fly bite at first since it was pretty small, but as I do self-care, I’m around him twice daily and really noticed it getting bigger on the left side of his chest the second week or so of July. The my vet just happened to be coming out for another horse so I had her look at it. She thought maybe it might have been scar tissue or something, but told me to measure it and keep an eye on it since it didn’t seem to bother my gelding. His vitals were all good. Appetite fine, no abnormal temperature, went out and had fun riding. He was just his same old self.

About mid-August, I noticed his lump seemed bigger and a little ah … squishier. My vet came back out for fall shots and took another look. Started throwing out possibilities of cancer (not reassuring) if it got bigger, but she wasn’t too horribly concerned. It started looking really funky around the first week of September, when the skin turned a sort of funny color, and he lost hair around the lump. And then I noticed two little scabby bits that were where the abscess eventually broke and drained. Had my vet out right after the abscess drained, but we couldn’t get the pus or anything if there was some to test for possible dryland distemper. She tried flushing it, but it was pretty clean at that point. If it was pigeon fever, he recovered well, and was back to normal relatively quickly.

It’s hard to say just by looking at that lump on your gelding if it is pigeon fever, but I see you’re in California like I am and the bacteria’s in the soil here, plus flies can pass it along, and we never really have a no-fly season anymore, especially when it’s hot in the fall. If he’s not running a temperature, your vet probably won’t do antibiotics (mine didn’t) because usually antibiotics make it harder for the bacteria to go away. Your vet might lance it, but sometimes that does more harm than good because of the possibility of infection. It’s really up to the vet what they choose to do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You know what, he has been bickering with his pasture mate! They usually love each other but lately I have noticed little nicks on both of them and PJ does have little sores on the front above his hooves, about nickle size.... i will bring this up to the vet❤Thank you
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hello friends , the Vet said the mass in his chest isn't tender to the touch so doesn't think it's an abcess, bloodwork showed significant white blood cell elevation and inflammation marker. Hes on antibiotics/anti inflammatory meds...If I want to find out the root of his infection I need to take him in to the equine hospital for diagnostic work, Otherwise I just continue with the medication for a week and see what the swelling looks like at that time and then decide the next move, he is eating and drinking normally. I crushed up the medication and put it in his green which he didn't really like I chopped up carrots as well but he only ate the carrots, I need to add something sweet to the mix so that he will eat the entire dose.
 

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Uckele CocoSun (or CocoSoya) is a great liquid product to get a horse to eat supplements. You can also sprinkle some iodized table salt over the mix, or mix it in. Some horses need to be hand-fed these things too - that's how mine is on occasion. Fussy lady.
 

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I mix meds with sweetened applesauce and for one I have to add flavored electrolytes. Most will eat if if I mix that in feed. A couple though it goes in a large syringe and is squirted in the mouth. A couple squirts with no meds then squirt with then squirt without.
 

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My trainer stuffs pills into apple quarters and that seems to work out alright - just feed the quarters one after the other and hopefully he'll miss that there's meds in one.
 

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So I saw this thread with a question in mind: What is pigeon fever?
Also, whenever I have to give my horse medication and he dislikes it, I have found that if you mix a little grain and molasses with it, then the molasses will stick to the medication and the horse will want to eat it. I personally do not see what is so tasty about molasses, but horses seem to really like it and is frequently added into horse treats. (;
I hope your horse heals quickly!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Pj swelling is almost gone. I bought him molasses/Senior grain on the 3rd day of struggling with him eating his med/carrots:water mix. i also discovered i was mashing the pills too much, almost like dust. The molasses changed everything, I chopped the pills, with the grain, carrots , no water, its a breeze! Im afraid hes addicted....he starts dancing when i pull up👍🏼
 

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So I saw this thread with a question in mind: What is pigeon fever?
Also known as Dryland Distemper. It’s a bacterial infection that horses get and is rather common in the soil in California. Usually a horse will get it if they get a cut or a scratch and the bacteria happens to enter the wound. It’ll then incubate for a while, the most common form of pigeon fever is the external abscess on the body, usually around the chest area or sometimes on the underbelly.
 

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Here's what I know

Slowly getting comfortable and learning about horses. Long story...anyway today the barn owner said my horse looks like he has pigeon fever. Do u have experience with this, how easy is it to treat? Vet coming out but i have no idea what to expect, please don't scare me to death...
Information below is copied and pasted from this site:

https://banixx.com/pigeon-fever-horse-how-to-treat/

QUOTE
'Once the bacteria has entered your horse's skin, there may be external abscesses (an abscess is an accumulation of pus), internal abscesses or ulcerative lymphangitis.

The vast majority of horses develop external abscesses, which can form anywhere along the body or limbs, but are most commonly seen on the middle of the belly and in the pectoral (chest) region.

Internal abscesses are more difficult to diagnose, They can develop when bacteria are carried into the horse's body and infect internal organs.

Ulcerative lymphangitis accounts for less than 1% of Pigeon Fever cases. This form causes swelling and ulcerations on the horse's lower legs, and is extremely painful.

Most veterinarians agree that lancing the abscess and collecting the pus, instead of having the wound drain and further contaminate the soil, is preferred. Flies collecting on pus or infected soil could spread the disease.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Friends, The vet is coming back out, he has a different area thats swollen, as of yesterday, his shoulder region, the swelling is better in between his legs but.....I assumed all problems would go away with the antibiotics and anti inflammatories... We'll see...😢
 

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So sorry to hear there are continuing concerns. Jingles for your boy that he gets better soon.
 
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