Horse people, have you ever dealt with anything like this?

Kmh1

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#1
Here's the story--any advice, similar cases you've heard about or seen, would be greatly appreciated!

I have owned horses for the better part of the last 25 years and have seen or dealt with many basic veterinary issues. I have no experience, however, with any respiratory type problems. Around September, my 8 year old Rocky Mountain gelding, Bull's Eye started to occasionally have this slight "rattling" type noise in his right nostril when he exhaled. It wasn't constant and everything else was perfectly normal except an occasional clear slight discharge out of that nostril. When this didin't clear up on its own I called my vet. She didn't feel the need to see him since his symtoms seemed minor and she sent me an antihistamine--- this seemed to help a tiny bit--but the symtoms never completetly went away. Then suddenly about a month ago he got worse--thick snot out of both nostrils, really quite different from what he had before---no coughing though and his appetite was still great, but now I got a vet to come out.
They scoped his nose and didn't find any blockages and said his guttural pouches are clear. They put him on two antibiotics. Then when the culture came back --it said it was Strep Zoo so they put him on a different antiobiotic for 10 days. He finished that course of meds a few days ago. He definitely does not have the thick major discharge any more--but he still has a slight discharge out of that right nostril and a slight tear streak out of his right eye---through all of this he has never missed a bite of a meal or a chance to run and play with the mare he lives with (btw he lives at a private boarding facility with no new horses in or out of the facility and no one else is sick. He is outside unless its bad weather.)
So I called my vet the other day and updated her and said I am willing to take him to an equine hospital to get to the bottom of this and get him what he needs. She finally just called me back and said she thinks that is a good idea and she will give me a referral and they will probably X-Ray his head--she said she could do the X-Ray, but if he needs any kind of complicated treatment it is probably better he is at the hospital. This is so frustrating and I'm also so worried, sigh....
 

Dekka

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#2
Sounds exactly like strangles. Except the other horses would get it. How long ago was this... if the other horses get it then you will know. It seems to hit the older and younger horses the hardest.

I worked at a barn where strangles went through. Out of 31 horses 28 got it. Thick white pussy snot that at times 'flows' from the nose (gagging here remembering it) Or some horses it burst externally and the pus drained out the bottom of the jaw.

Strangles is cause by a strep bactieria. Did he ever have a temp.
 

Kmh1

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Hi Dekka, thanks for responding! Strep Zoo is actually a "cousin" of the Strep E that causes strangles. Apparently it is not quite as contagious and responds a bit more to antibiotics usually, There is only one young horse on the place (born there) and he is still fine--he also never gets close to where Bull's Eye lives. The thick discharge and first round of antibiotics started about a month ago. The very minor discharge on his right nostril, which he still has now, started around September. It is a total mystery me, how this got started and why it is lingering --it almost makes me think like there were two issues happening--like whatever was causing the slight discharge left him susceptible to the strep infection, which majorly intensified his symptoms for awhile, and after treatment we are now back to this annoying more minor discharge. He did not have a temp. if my thermometer is working right.
 

Dekka

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#4
Hmm that really is puzzling.

Horses like to find fun ways of getting sick it seems.
 

Kmh1

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yeah, ain't that the truth! I have had Bull's Eye since he was 2 and he has been so healthy and easy until this--and even with this he still "acts" fine, but is frustrating-- I hope I get some answers at the equine hospital---my vet is setting it up for me and is supposed to let me know by the end of the day when we can bring him up there...
 

Kmh1

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The vet hospital just called me and they can see him tomorrow at 10am--I was shocked as my vet who sent them all his info said they didn't do weekend appts. Its almost a 3 hour drive and I'm a little nervous as I've never been to this clinic before, but I'm sure it will be fine. I spoke to the owner who does the morning feeding at the barn and she said right now he has no discharge (of course!) But I've seen it appear to be about gone before and then reappear--so I guess its better to be safe than sorry and take him--even if its for them to tell me he is fine--then at least I'll have peace of mind (and an emptier pocket book LOL!)
 

BostonBanker

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It sounds almost exactly like what we went through a few years ago with one of the school horses at our barn. The only difference is his was out of one nostril only.

He started off just having a sort of snotty nose once in a while; some days thick and yellow, some days just drippy. He hates turnout most days, and especially in the winter, so I thought maybe it was just from being in. I started making him go out, didn't help. Never a temp/acting sick, etc. It finally got consistent enough that I called the vet.

We put him on a heavy dose of antibiotics orally for almost four weeks with not change, and finally sent him in for digital skull x-rays. He wound up having a really nasty sinus infection. He stayed at the clinic and they drilled a hole into his sinus a couple of inches below his eye (it looked like a bullet hole!) so they could drain it. They said they got almost two cups of snot out of it the first time they did it:yikes:. He stayed at the clinic for another 2 days or so getting flushes three times a day, then they did daily flushes at the barn for another week or so. Everything cleared up eventually, and he now just has a tiny divot where the hole was. The entire thing was gross and a pain, but he came out of it 100% and hasn't had an issue since then.

I hope Bull's vet visit goes well. Be sure to let us know what they find out - now you've got me curious.
 

Kmh1

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Thanks BB---that sounds exactly like what I'm going through! Bull's Eye's discharge has been almost totally out of just his right nostril except for when it got really heavy and thick a month ago-- which is what they diagnosed as the strep zoo. It now sounds exactly like what you described and is back to being only the right nostril again.
This morning my vet did mention the "drilling" thing as a possibility if it was a high up sinus infection--ugg, that sounds like a mess, but I'm glad the horse you know made out ok. Well, I'm glad I'm taking him tomorrow--if he needs to stay there for a procedure, at least I will have an answer.
 
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#9
Thick white pussy snot
You gotta hate that pussy snot.


Sorry, I couldn't resist. I accidentally wrote that in a medical chart one time until someone pointed it out. I now say "purulent" ;)


I don't know anything about horses but I hope the problem turns out to be nothin'! :)
 

Kmh1

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Thanks for the well wishes--I'll try to update tomorrow when I get back. I'm nervous for multiple reasons--of course worry over Bull's Eye, but also because I will be driving the almost 3 hours myself to somewhere I've never been. I'm usually fine with long road trips myself, but add a horse trailer and horse to the picture and I get a little anxious--good vibes are appreciated Thanks!
 

Kmh1

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Well it turns out Bull's Eye has a massive sinus infection--the vet said one sinus was almost completely full. They said he now has some sort of catheter drain above his eyes. They will be flushing the sinus and taking it step by step as far as any additional procedures and he probably will be on IV antibiotics. I am so glad I took him up there.
 

Dekka

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#12
I am glad to hear that you have something to treat! Poor Bull's Eye, hope he is feeling better soon.
 

Kmh1

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Thanks Dekka--yeah, I am relieved that now he is getting what he needs--the oral meds weren't doing much--poor boy--I can't believe he always acts like none of this was bothering him a bit!
 

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Well, as much of a pain (and expense!) as it is, I'm actually a bit glad to hear that was the diagnosis. As I said earlier, I know for a fact how well they recover from it. I was thinking about Bull's Eye today when I patting our Folly and staring at his "bullet hole"; I was glad to see an update when I got home.

I hope the treatment works quickly.
 

adojrts

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#16
Glad he is ok, I just saw this and my first thought was also a bad sinus infection that they would have to drill into and flush etc.
The first one I dealt with was with a very unthrifty TB long yearling, nothing worked and we finally took him to Guelph.

It was cool, the vets treated me like a student, I got to be present for when they scoped him, (twice, second time was with a better scope) and for when the did the drilling.

He recovered great and bounced back quickly, never to have any problems again to my knowledge.
 

Kmh1

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Thanks everyone. It really makes me feel better hearing about your experiences and that there were good, uncomplicated outcomes.
 

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