Mysterious Horse Death-Odd symptoms

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Shalom Farm, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2013
    We recent had a death of out corner stone breeding mare. Her death, however, is still a mystery. After ungodly bills from her hospital stay, and no results, we are asking the community of any of their own animals who might have had symptoms? Horse was not a breed which carries HYPP positive concerns.

    Here is the list:
    -No fever
    -No sweating
    -Listless behavior
    -No desire to eat or Drink
    -Minor Colic
    -Mouth Ulcers
    -Low White Cell Count
    -Pneumonia (somewhat treated with anti-botics)
    -Neurological related weakness
    -Tremors and Shaking
    -Labored breathing
    -Fast Heartbeat
    -Blisters in the hind gut
    -Unsteady walk
    -Runny nose

    Eventually her brain activity fell off, although her heart was still going and she was put down by staff. I wanted to do it much sooner, but the lab results were coming back the in the next 2 days, so we waited.

    Ruled out West Nile and HV1. We are suspect of hay which someone else gave our horse while she stayed there during our vacation. They fed her a poor quality hay from an unknown source. Much of the poor quality hay around us, is field clippings just baled up without proper curing or management of grasses.

    I noticed a slight cough when we were working her, but she only did it twice and showed no distress. I assumed she merely aspirated something.

    That is all the information we have.

  2. WallabyOfChaos

    WallabyOfChaos Songster

    Mar 17, 2012
    Texas Panhandle
    My Coop
    Any chance that she could have eaten some alfalfa that had blister beetles in it?
  3. BorderKelpie

    BorderKelpie Songster

    Mar 1, 2009
    outside Dallas
  4. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    A friend lost a couple of miniature horses that had some of these symptoms; necropsy results on one of them indicated ingestion of a toxic plant (oleander was a likely suspect).

    I'm sorry for your loss, and I hope you get to the bottom of this soon.

  5. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2013
    Thank you all <3 We're still reeling from it.

    The blister beetles! I hadn't even thought of that. The vet didn't mention it either.

    I'm very much thinking Blister Beetle with an unrelated case of pneumonia (since antibiotics were helping the pneumonia but not anything else). She DID have kidney issues and problems urinating about 2 weeks prior to her death. We didn't see an infection, but kidney shutdown once she was put into the hospital.

    I actually have the hay that was given to her and I've kept it separate, in a different barn, under lock and key, until I had the time to destroy it in the burn pit. Now its definitely going into the pile for burning.
  6. Allysha1990

    Allysha1990 Chirping

    Nov 19, 2013
    St Malo, Manitoba
    So sorry to hear :( To me, many of those symptoms sound like she ate something that was poisonous.
  7. tls_ranch

    tls_ranch Stares at Chickens

  8. Shalom Farm

    Shalom Farm Chirping

    Nov 23, 2013
    We have improved pasture and hand manage all weeds (non-poisonous or otherwise) from the pastures. We have 2 abandoned pastures belonging to someone else on either side but we mow and manage about 15 feet of it to prevent that horror show from getting close. As to the place we sent her to while we were away? I'm not sure. She was in a sand lot for most of the day then brought out to graze for a few hours, then on hay. The sand lot had a little grass, but it was typical grass. The outside part where the grazed her I didn't even know about. I assumed she was staying in the sand lot with our hay we dropped off. The Blister Beetles though make the most sense since the blistering of her intestine is a noted effect. Her liver was 'alright' until the very end, her kidney function was the first to drop off.
  9. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

    Mar 5, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    I would consider a necropsy if you really want to know. Unfortunately some things can only be recognized post mortem. In this case, it sounds like you have other valuable breeding horses and it may be useful to know if whatever killed this horse could affect the rest of your herd.

    I'm sorry for your loss!
    1 person likes this.

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