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[RC] Horse Coughing - Wendy Harris

Hi Everyone,


I’m having lameness issues and a persistent cough with my daughters horse.  Here’s the story:


Gunnie is a 9 year old Quarter Horse.  I’ve owned him since he was 2 and he’s always been very healthy.  I haven’t changed anything with his environment or diet.


He came in to the barn one night lame - dragging his back left leg.  I checked him all over and his ankle was very swollen and I could feel heat in it.  I soaked him in warm water & Epsom salt and wrapped his leg with poultice and gave him some Bute.  I stall rested him for a week and continued with the soaking and wrapping and he seemed to get better.  Decided to let him out one day and when I came home he wasn't lame dragging his leg but was only tip-toeing on it.  No swelling, no heat, so I picked out his hoof thinking that maybe I was dealing with an abscess.  I used the pinchers to do the pinch test on him and when I hit the outside edge of his hoof he pulled back like it hurt.  Thought I had found the culprit - NOT!!  Pinched again and absolutely no reaction.  Soaked again and wrapped but this time I poulticed the leg and packed the hoof with Echthammol.  The farrier was due out in a couple of days so I thought I’d get his opinion at that time.  He also though I was dealing with an abscess.  Kept soaking and packing and after two weeks nothing.  He also developed this horrible cough that is dry and deep and sounds horrible.  No temperature, no running eyes or nose so now I called the vet.  He feels that Gunnie has some sort of allergic reaction going so I've had to strip his stall, sanitize it (sucker was immaculate to begin with) put down dried baled pine shaving instead of sawdust, wet his hay and give him cortisone injections.  The day the vet was there they also examined for the mystery lameness.  After 3 1/2 hours of injections to numb and isolate the lameness - nothing!  $400 dollars later and no answer other than they wanted me to haul him to Michigan State and have some sort of dye injected in to him and then they do some sort of Thermographing to determine where the hot spot is.  I decided before I went ahead and did that I was going to give him one month of stall rest and walks and continue with my own program.  He is finally putting weight down on his heel at a walk.  Haven’t tried at a trot yet.  I’m thinking this horse kept re-injuring his ankle area with all the frozen lumpy bumpy ground outside when I was letting him go out.  If he shows any signs of lameness at the end of January I'll have the test done.  Anyone have similar lameness issues or advice?


I'm not convinced that Gunnie has allergies either.  The only thing that I know is different is that he was chewing on the corner posts of the fence which are wulmanized.  He hasn’t ever done that and I’m not sure why he started.  Could he be having a reaction to that?  Vet says no – its an allergy.  At the end of two weeks if the cough hasn't gone away I'm gong to have the vet scope him to see what’s going on. 


I only get the Ridecamp Digest so if you could e-mail me directly that would be great.


Thanks in advance for any help and suggestions,


Wendy – Michigan



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