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Re: [RC] sick horse, need advice...(very long) - Heidi Smith

Just a few comments here.... 
1)  Anemia (low HCT and low Hgb) are not uncommon with infection, nor are they uncommon with horses that just "ain't doin' right."
2)  With the anemia, poor appetite, and poor condition, have you had him scoped to rule out an ulcer?  And why would you want to treat him with UGard unless you KNOW he has an ulcer?
3)  Have you looked at dental issues with this horse previously?  I do think you are on the right track checking out dental issues.
4)  You didn't tell us the MOST important aspect of his diet--what sort of forage is he eating?
5)  You might want to get some additional selenium, vit E, and vit C into this horse, particularly in view of the illness.  I'd suspect that he has a poorly functioning immune system as well as looking run down, judging by your description and by the fact that whatever your group of horses has, he has it the worst.
----- Original Message -----
From: Jutta
Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 12:20 PM
Subject: [RC] sick horse, need advice...(very long)

Hi, I need some advice from the vets on ridecamp. My 5 year old gelding (the one I planned to start in LD's this year) is sick.
First his background: He is out 24/7 in pasture with 3 other horses. He came through the winter a little on the skinny side, and I have been having trouble putting weight on him. He gets a "coffee can" (don't you love this unit of measure?) of grain, Pro Gold 200, a multi vitamin supplement and Equijewel. I have tried to feed him beet pulp, but he is just turning his nose up at it. He is a very picky and slow eater and doesn't seem to have a big interest in food.
He was at the trainers for a month and there he was in a big pen with about 10 other horses, although I took grain for him, I don't think the trainer bothered to feed it to him. So he came back a bit skinny. I got him back on May 10th.
Current on all vaccinations, even gave Pinnacle before he went to the trainer. 2 West Nile Vac. last year, and a booster in early April. Worming every two months with Ivermectin, Quest last October.
On Monday he looked lethargic, had a snotty noose (very yellow) and a temp of 102 . Not eating at all. Called vet and started him on Penicillin 20cc. Took him to the vet for a work up Tuesday morning.
Here is where it gets puzzeling. The vet did a CBC and blood panel and the numbers are very puzzeling to me. I think there are two things going on, an acute respiratory thing and something else?
Here are his values
WBC 17.00
RBC    7.25
HGB   11.2
HCT    35.6
MCV   49
MCH   15.5
MCHC  32
RDW   14
MPV 5.9
SEG   50
LYMPH  17.0
MONO   5.0
EOS    4.0
BASO  1.0
NEUT  12.41
LYMPH  2.89
looks to me like infection, but why is his HGB and crit low?
Albumin           2.7
A/G                 0.4
BUN                  16
URIC ACID          <= 0.5
AST                 239
LD                   260
VET ALT           11
ALK PHOS       142
T. BILI               0.5
T. PROTEIN       9.0
TRIG                    8
SODIUM           131
POTASSIUM      3.5
CHLORIDE         99
CO2                25.0
CALCIUM        11.3
Vet says he got some kind of infection, also send in a West Nile and a coggins, since I hope I'll need one anyway. Vet seems concernexd about the high glucose and wants to do a urin test. Not sure how many days it will take me to get a sample. He also wants me to stop feeding him fat. Three more days of Penicillin. Didn't get no real answers.
Here are my questions. Is any of the chemistry accurate if he has an infection right now? Should I worry about a glucose of 163 2 hours after eating sweet feed? Does he look slightly anemic? Why are his e-lytes low? Shouldn't they be more concentraded if he is dehydrated? I have not been working him hard at all.
I had an appointment set up for Equine dentist for Friday, but they don't really want to tranque him while he is sick. Also wonder about ulcers, but nobody has a scope around here, I am in North Dakota. Should I try treating him with U Gard?
Sorry this got so long, I really like this guy and worry about him.
PS Tonight the other three horses all have snotty noses too, but no temp, but then they have the "physique" of a wood tick just before it's ready to fall off the dog. A snotty nose won't ruin their appetite!

[RC] sick horse, need advice...(very long), Jutta