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[RC] horse cannot swallow, food comes out the nose! Help! - Laura Lund

I'm posting this on behalf of my friend Vicki Hudson and her horse Ninety Proof (Belle) in hope to maybe find an answer or miracle to their situation.

At Christmas time a little over a month ago Vicki noticed that Belle's neigh seemed hoarse and she seemed to be eating a little slower than usual. It seemed Belle had a sore throat. After a couple days with no change, Vicki took Belle to a local vet who noticed Belle also had a crooked nose. He checked to see if she had other signs of what might have been stroke, but found no real evidence of that in all his reflexive tests. Vicki than left the vet with penecillin in hopes in would fix Belle's cold-like symptoms. In the next week, Vicki gave her the penecillin, but there seemed no change in Belle. Her neigh was still hoarse and she was still eating very slowly. During the week of the 15th of January, Vicki noticed some nasal discharge after Belle would eat. On January 19th, Vicki took Belle to A&M where they scoped her and did blood work. They found nothing abnormal when scoping her and her blood work all came back normal. They did send her blood off to be tested for EPM, Rhino, West Nile, etc. at this time. At this time, most of what Belle would eat was now coming out of her nose. Her seemed to have paralysis of the throat. The vets at A&M and Vicki determined her next step was to take her to get an MRI to check for tumors, pinched nerves, or whatever could cause this paralysis. This would require a 4+ hour trailer ride. Vicki then took Belle home (Sat, 20th.) and planned on making an appointment to get an MRI for sometime in the next week. On Monday, however, Belle was urinating coffe colored pee and very lathargic. Vicki immediately took her to a vet where Belle was put on fluids and they decided to start treating her for EPM and started her on a dose of antibiotics. Belle at this time still wanted to eat and would chew hay and spit it out and would eat grain, but it would just come out of her nose. She seemed wobbly, which we are not sure if caused by lack of food in her system or a neurological condition.

Throughout the week, they have continued the EPM treatments, antibiotics, and some steriods. They even scoped her again to see if they could see any abnomalities in the throat area, but everything looked fine. They started tube feeding Belle twice a day. Belle's condition throughout the week has declined and today(27th), she laid down more than ever and she's very lathargic and weak. Since the tube feedings started, Belle's appetite has pretty much gone away, but still drinks water from a bucket or will nibble on grass, but of course, will just come back out her nose.

This case seems to stump every vet so far and we're hoping someone out there maybe has experienced this same type of problem and can offer some sort of explanation or story that could help lead to an answer. Tetnus, rabies, west nile, rhino, ewt have all been ruled out, but the standard EPM test did come back positive even though Belle really had none of the common EPM symptoms.

Our biggest question is: Why is the food coming back out her nose? This is the first time I've done ridecamp so if you'd like to reply to me, my e-mail is larz1444@xxxxxxxxxxxx Any information would be helpful and appreciated.

Laura Lund

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