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[RC] Vet question...clotted jugular... - Natalie Herman

Need some vet advice (or others of you that might have had this happen?). My friend's mare coliced two weeks ago. Supposedly a "salmonella blume" triggered by "stress" (though she had not been to a ride, or out of the pasture except a few trail rides, since the second week of November and no changes in feed, etc...what stress?). That has been resolved, but she had a catheter in her left jugular for a week to administer fluids and meds... Now, an additional week later, we have been in and out of the vets trying to figure why she was running a temp and had a lump in her neck at her head/neck juncture (a ways up from the puncture in the neck from the cath). finally, today, after much shaving and ultrasounding of the neck, the vet says her ENTIRE jugular on the left side, from about the shoulder to where the head/jaw feed into the neck (so, the whole length of the neck) is one big blood clot. NO blood going through at all. He says it may resolve on its own (prescribed aspirin for a while) and may not, in which case it will never carry blood again. Nothing he can do about it besides the blood thinning aspirin and recommending heat packs on the neck as often as possible.
So, two questions. Anything that could help the clot go away (traditional or not...)? And if it does not, what is the future endurance usage for this mare? The vet said "lots of race horses have use of only one jugular" and seems to think she would be fine, but I just think it scary to be running miles and miles (rather than a few furlongs) on just one vein... anyone have a one veined horse that is doing endurance? My friend is just a rider, not a racer, so is not looking for a top ten career, just regular rides with some multidays and eventual 100's thrown in...
Oh, and she is having issues eating (swallowing hurts due to her swelling up by the jaw/neck junction) and she just chews and spits out hay and barely eats a 3ish gallon bucket of mush a day (beet pulp, alfa cubes, and senior feed soaked and warmed slightly). She can't get her head down to graze either.
Any ideas to get her to eat more comfortably (was on 1-2 grams of bute/day and it did not help much. Will the aspirin help more? Started that tonight). Or how to get more calories into her (she does not like ricebran in the mush as it gets "peanutbuttery" then). She was already a lean endurance horse and between the week of barely eating due to colic and now a week of this, she is already dropping weight fast and the vet thinks it "can take up to several weeks to resolve enough to make the neck less stiff" which is going to leave her in a sorry state :(
   thanks for any help,
       Natalie (who is glad she has a rolley polley easy keeper now...she could go a month before she looks skinny :P)

"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming.... 'Wow! What a ride!' "



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