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RE: [SPAM] Re: [RC] Pigeon Fever - heidi

Regarding Pigeon fever, 
I have seen two posts that mentioned giving antibotics to the horse 
(penicillin)....from what I have heard from 
my vets, and also seen, giving shots can delay the formation and drainage of 
the abcess and can encourage 
it to internalize  and rupture in the abdomen instead of exiting the 
horse.... 
  
If the horse seems comfortable and no high fever, I would personally not give 
antibiotics. 

Karen, you're on the right track.  Some antibiotics (and penicillin is
one of the culprits) kill bacteria by retarding growth.  In situations
where there is abcess formation, this can indeed delay recovery, or
worse yet, cause the horse to relapse at some point.  One of the
antibiotics that does not do this is sulfa--so that should be the
choice in both pigeon fever or strangles, if an antibiotic needs to be
given.

I am not as confident that pigeon fever just gets better, as some have
indicated here.  In endemic areas where horses have had previous
exposure, your chances of recovery are much better, because the horse
is more apt to have some low-level immunity.  But when pigeon fever
hits a previously unexposed population, it is ugly.  Cases just go on,
and on, and on.  I had the unfortunate experience of having to treat 77
cases in such a population of horses in about a 6-week time frame.  The
advice I got from a vet in central California (where it IS endemic) was
excellent.  He recommended giving one massive IV treatment of sodium
iodide, which is a drug long used in cattle for deep tissue infections.
He also instructed us to lance those abcesses that we could, and to put
the horses on sulfas.  Additionally, selenium is vital to a horse's
white blood cells' ability to engulf and kill bacteria, so being
selenium-deficient, we also gave each affected horse a shot of E-Se. 
We only had one difficult case out of the 77, while others around us
struggled and struggled to get it cleared up.  Our tough one did indeed
have internal abcesses, but the horse did survive, after many months of
treatment.

Heidi


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