Monday, April 23, 2012

Vet Call

Wow...This last week I have been dealing with a herd of sick horses. It started with the youngsters, Gunner and Beretta. Deep hacking coughs followed by gobs of thick, yellow snot. Since those two have been separate from the other horses for over a week, I kept things that way. With no likely outside influences, I was fairly sure this was just brought on by extra warm days, cool nights and tons of blowing dust the previous week. I put the kiddos on an immune booster and double doses of MSM and figured it would clear in a few days.

Two days later, their snot turned clear and their coughs had lessened. Then I had two horses in the pasture start coughing. Just like the colts, the cough started at dusk and the next morning they had thick yellow snot. At that point, everyone went on the immune booster.

A couple of days later, another horse started coughing. He got a runny nose, but has not presented with the same thick, yellow snot as the other 4. I pretty much figured I had nipped the bug at that point.

Unfortunately, the colts took a turn for the worse over the weekend and both have represented with an almost neon green snot, have become depressed and are not eating with much enthusiasm. Their coughs are not as bad as they were before, but that almost worries me more than the deep, hacking coughs they had at first. At least before, it sounded like they were hacking gunk out of their lungs. When the thick, yellow snot represented...their coughs seemed less productive. So I also started adding some of Moon's bronchial dilator supplement to their feed.

I called the vet first thing this morning and scheduled to have him stop by on his way home (he lives next door to me). I have only ever had to deal with one case of pneumonia in a horse ever...but that is what this looked like to me and that needs veterinarian care.

I was aghast to find both my poor kiddos snotting up a storm this morning. Neon green and their poor noses were absolutely coated in gunk...along with their legs where they had been wiping. I washed their noses off with warm water and wiped out their nostrils. The snot ran out in thick streams faster than I could clean them up. Poor, poor babies.

Of the other horses that have it, Rip and Bugs, seem to be recovering. They still have clear snot and are coughing a bit, but otherwise act fine.

Shooter also contracted it and while he is still eating, he seems a bit more docile than normal hasn't really turned the corner to coming out of it.

Spooks and Jet don't seem to have any symptoms.

Frosty, although he is not coughing or snotty, seems to be breathing a bit heavy. I have been keeping his workouts light.

It's hard to tell with Moon. He only coughs when I ride him, but that is normal until he gets warmed up. Last night he did seem to be coughing more than normal and it had a bit of that 'breath-taking' quality that I noticed when the other horses first came down with this. I cut my ride short and was relieved to see this morning that he does not have a snotty nose and when I rode him this morning, he hardly coughed at all.

Somehow the vet did not get the message that I was on the schedule and had very sick colts that needed to be looked at as soon as he could. This isn't the first time this has happened when I have scheduled through his receptionist, so as the evening wore on, I kept looking out my back door to see if he was home. At almost dusk I see his pickup home and immediately called his answering service and told them I had been skipped and needed him to come t.o.n.i.g.h.t!!

The vet is a really good guy. His receptionist sucks...but that will be the last time I schedule anything through her. He came over and checked the babies over. Relief!!!

They do not have pneumonia!!!

It is an upper respiratory flue virus that has been going around the valley. Lots of horses have contracted it. Not uncommon after a particularly mild winter and the absolute absence of any moisture. It's a nasty little bug, but horses are responding well to antibiotics, so tomorrow everyone who has it will be given a new antibiotic that lasts 3 days in the system. The vet says most horses have recovered after just one shot. ALL have recovered if by chance they needed a 2nd shot.

Since I got exceptionally lucky that none of my competition horses came down with it...they will stay on the immune booster and will be receiving a flu and rhino shot. That's all the vet said was really necessary for local competition.

Here I was all freaked out over the amount of snot the colts were blowing out of their system and when I was telling the vet what I had them dawned on was the bronchial dilator that was making them do that. LOL...I guess it works.:-/

More after the vet comes back...cause I had some other questions for him as well and we will be sorting that out...


fernvalley01 said...

Glad you got them sorted out, and yup, the snot is better out than in, as bad as it gets nicer to see it draining than that thick heavy congestion that wont move .
Poor babies though! and receptionist needs a come to the faith meeting !!!! What a twit!

Paint Girl said...

Poor horses! I am glad to hear it wasn't pneumonia! Hope they are all feeling better real quick!!

Funder said...

Oh no, that's not the update I was hoping for! But glad it's something easy to treat - and glad your vet lives right next door so you can flag him down. Looking forward to the update tomorrow...

cdncowgirl said...

OH wow, glad it wasn't pneumonia.

SunnySD said...

Yikes - neon green snot would definitely freak me out! I was having strangles flashbacks there for a minute. Very glad to hear you got it sorted out!

Laura said...

Glad it wasn't pneumonia... Good thing the vet came by and hopefully got them all sorted out.

Shirley said...

Flu is better than pneumonia- if any sickness could be said to be better than another. Good to hear they are responding to treatment. What immune booster do you use?

RuckusButt said...

Whew! Such dramatic symptoms - glad the diagnosis isn't. Almost all the puppies we foster have kennel cough when they arrive. One was so bad she would sling green snot around the house and I'd have to clean her nose several times a night. It was so gross but we just felt bad for the miserable beast. Can't imagine doing that at horse-scale, lol.

Crystal said...

Glad its not pnemonia, but still poor babies. At least its on its way out with the antibiotics now.

in2paints said...

I'm sorry to hear they're feeling so poorly! Hopefully the antibiotics will kick in and get them feeling better in no time!

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Wow, scary! Especially how so many of them got it and around the same time. I'm glad your vet was able to finally make it out and get them some antibiotics! Thank you again for your help with Loretta! I know that the diet was beginning to help, I track her symptoms and was noticing less severe and less frequent symptoms. I am hoping her owner is able to keep it up, get her fully healed, and find a good place for Miss Lo.