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Discuss Odd colic/fever... thoughts? at the Horse Health forum - Horse Forums.

Earlier today I noticed my mare breathing kind of heavily, she was otherwise acting normal, ...
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    Senior Member AmyK's Avatar
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    Odd colic/fever... thoughts?

    Earlier today I noticed my mare breathing kind of heavily, she was otherwise acting normal, eating, drinking, etc., so I chalked it up to the heat and didn't think too much. (I realize now this was a mistake...). Around 230 pm I turned her out to our neighbors pasture... here in AZ they have sparse prarie type grass to nibble on. Stupid me, she seemed fine so I didn't pay attention to her breathing, I had honestly kind of forgotten about it.

    So by 330-345, she came back up to the house, standing in the shade, absolutely just heaving, breathing probably 60/min, like she had just been loped hard... temp was 103.8, she was hanging her head, HR 60's... also pawing the ground, and very little bowel sounds, pale gums, slow cap refill.

    Had vet out, we gave IV Bute, some Rompum (sp?), and an antispasmodic that started with a B? By the time he got there her temp was 104.4. He palped, said she was gassy but no other abnormalities, tubed, said her stomach smelled ok, gave oil/water. Vet pulled blood, told me to cold hose, give a very light dinner of alfalfa pellets wetted down, keep checking temps and hose her down as needed, give more bute in AM if she has another temp. No full meals until she passes oil.

    Just got a call back on the blood, apparently one of her white cells is decreased and he suspects a virus of some kind. Possibly the fever made her dehydrated and colicky? He told me to expect a possible roller coaster with her temp over the next few days, possible a snotty nose, lethargic, etc. We just got a new horse 2 weeks ago, he said it would be a long incubation but it's possible that my new horse carries a virus that Lic has never been exposed to before.

    Any thoughts at all? Anyone ever have this happen?

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    yes, they can carry several tick born as well,
    This is a disease that has been seen with increasing frequency in our area over the past few years. It affects horses of all ages and the symptoms are usually noted suddenly. Unlike many diseases, this condition causes less severe symptoms in younger horses (less than three years).
    The disease is caused by Ehrlichia equi and is transmitted by ticks of the Ixodes family (deer ticks). This condition is related to several other more known diseases such as Lyme Disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted fever. The clinical symptoms are seen most frequently in the winter, spring and fall. The most commonly noted symptoms are depression, anorexia, weakness, limb edema, fever (early in the disease), and immunosupression. The bacteria tends to be engulfed by white blood cells and causes accelerated destruction of these infection fighting cells. After initial infection, the horses will be normal for 10-20 days prior to developing clinical signs.
    After clinical signs develop the horse will deteriorate rapidly and often will show mild signs of colic and become jaundiced over the next 3-4 days. Most horses will survive after 10-14 days of severe illness, but some will develop subclinical infection. Diagnosis is made through a combination of clinical signs, blood analysis, environmental conditions, and response to treatment. With early and aggressive treatment, most horses become more normal within 24-36 hours and complete recovery is usually noticed within seven days. Unlike many diseases, this disease responds well to intraveneous Oxytetracycline given for seven days. Some will require more aggressive therapy including IV fluids, diuretics, wrapping, etc.
    At this time, prevention is solely by reducing exposure to ticks as no vaccine is currently available.the sudden and high fever spikes are alot like ehrlichia, ive been through it almost every year in NJ, the high fever can cause colic and as bad as this sounds, most horses do fine , the other common stand out symptom is the lower legs will swell,stock up , starting with the rear, and the fever will come back soon as you stop the bute , usually within 12 hours, I did look up AZ and its there as well.. but there are a ton of virus's out there too, only thing different , is i would think with a strangles virus, or some of the others, there would be snots and coughing.. they dont get that with ehrlicia, i just give doxy for ten days and it knocks it by the third day, most of the time they go right back to eating once the fever is brought down, I dont think they would with a virus infection

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    Senior Member+ gluey33's Avatar
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    Just had one very sick with very similar symptoms. spent a week at the vet hospital. Several days on fluids, pain meds and biosponge. His white cell plummeted. It was called collitis, an infection/inflammation of the gut possibly caused by salmonella. the biggest concern they had was diarhea. Fortunately for him it didn't start. Still we were very lucky to stave it off. Same fast breathing, nearly panting, extreme temp and heartrate of nearly a 100 and he just looked like death warmed up.

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    Senior Member AmyK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the thoughts. I highly doubt anything tick borne, I have never seen a tick in my area in 3 years. Maybe that's more up north where there are more trees.

    Temp is down to 100.6, she's eating her soaked alfalfa pellet dinner now. She seems fine although her gums are still a little pale.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gluey33 View Post
    Just had one very sick with very similar symptoms. spent a week at the vet hospital. Several days on fluids, pain meds and biosponge. His white cell plummeted. It was called collitis, an infection/inflammation of the gut possibly caused by salmonella. the biggest concern they had was diarhea. Fortunately for him it didn't start. Still we were very lucky to stave it off. Same fast breathing, nearly panting, extreme temp and heartrate of nearly a 100 and he just looked like death warmed up.
    wow, you were lucky! was there any other causes that they may have thought caused it? I know antibiotics can trigger it as well.... the biosponge is supposed to be great ,

    Amyk, glad that the temp is down, im so riddled by ticks, and tick fevers /diseases of one sort or another, its automatic around here to consider that first, so far its been 100 percent of the time .. the new horse could have very well carried something to yours, what was the background on the new horse?

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    Senior Member AmyK's Avatar
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    Well, I just bought her 2 weeks ago. We just put my old guy down last month and I didn't want Licorice to be alone. Found Teeka through a friend of a friend type of thing, I had been trail riding with her and her owner before. Teeka was this lady's only horse, lady did a lot of group rides with her but hadn't for the past month. However, my trainer pointed this out, this woman's property is surrounded by open range cattle that have been known to come up and touch noses with Teeka at the fence, we were kind of wondering if cattle carry something that the new mare already has resistance to but Licorice doesn't.

    Not sure. I'll definitely be up checking temp/stool during the night. Thanks for the thoughts.

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    Senior Member+ gluey33's Avatar
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    Hope she keeps improving Amy

    Quote Originally Posted by dallasbarnone View Post
    wow, you were lucky! was there any other causes that they may have thought caused it? I know antibiotics can trigger it as well.... the biosponge is supposed to be great ,
    No idea what set it off, still keeping an eye on what comes out though. I've also heard of a similar thing being caused by encysted small strongyles.

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    slc
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    Two weeks is just about right.

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    theres one or two virus's that can cause some odd stuff... that can cross over from cattle to horses, but it would be really really odd, that just one wandering nosy cow gave it to the horse then that horse passed it on to your horse, for one thing, the horse being moved would be under stress, hes the one that should show illness... not the one thats been in place and adjusted, and the incubation factor... while a new horse from auction etc, could surely pass a disease like strangles etc, but most often its DURING a flare up , or under stress... You DID have this new horse checked with a coggins test right??

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    close....mare got liver infection in January....IV'ed her 3 times each time we had to tube it back out....ended up pumping her stoamch out..she wasn't blocked up though....just couldn't do anything either way. gave her some DSO...NASTY STUFF something else in a IV and waited through the night with her..she had a 50 50 chance of surviving... She was blanketed up as it was near 20 below out when she grew ill.. thank God she pulled through....she startd to eat and drink after that night..No full meals though fora few days... she was weak lost weight..It was scarey and I never want to go through that again.. !! Hoping your mare feels better soon ...
    BP
    R.I.P Peanut. I miss you dearly. passed 12. 31. 2012


    I gave up jogging for my health when my thighs kept rubbing together and setting fire to my panties.

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