Ideas for fever

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by AmyK, Jan 8, 2018.

  1. AmyK

    AmyK Senior Member

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    So... my mare has some kind of respiratory virus. First thing I did yesterday was call the vet, because she had seemed fine (in retrospect, had taken the mint I gave her a little slower than usual, that was the only thing that was off...) I was cleaning stalls, turned around, and she was flat out down, wouldn't even pick up her head, eyes kind of glazed over, obviously something wrong... I assumed colic at first due to the sudden onset. Temp at that time was 100.8, hr and respiratotions were both somewhat elevated but not alarmingly, called vet, got her up and walking, and all of a sudden she seemed... okay. Vet was busy at another call st the time so he was to call me back after a while.

    In the meantime, horse pees, poops, has good gut sounds, gums looks good, not really interested in food, so when the vet calls back I relay all this to him. Per his instruction, stall her, withhold food in case it was a gas colic, and he informs me there is a respiratory virus going around so to watch the temp carefully and bute for fever if needed. Sure enough, a couple hours later temp is 105.... shockingly, mare looks fine, wants food, so I bute and watch all night. She was down more than usual but not "I'm going to die" down just normal sleeping lying down.

    Temp never breaks entirely, hanging around 101 this morning. I just keep watching, creeps up to 102.5 around 1030. Call vet clinic, all vets are out, but per the techs advice I bute again to stay in front of the fever. Mare did eat breakfast (a little less than normal, but ate) has pooped and peed through the night and today, VS otherwise normal, nickering to see me, eyes are bright... she has a mild runny nose, so it all follows that she caught this virus. One of the other horses has a lower temp last night of 102 which has broken so I'm watching everyone.

    Now the mare I buted earlier has a temp of 102.9. Still acting completely fine. Vets office has been advising me to bute 1 gram at a time which seems odd to me, I thought I would give 2 grams and knock it down harder, but I'm following their directions. Problem is, I have to work for 12 hours tonight. My husband can go check on the horse, maybe check a temp and call me at work, but he's not going to be capable of medicating. I'm sure some of you know how that is. Low tonight is around 40, so obviously no blanket, but also obviously I can't hose her... any other ideas?

    I know some people are going to ask why I haven't hauled her in.... a) husbands car broke down today so he has my truck (of course) but also b) she looks so good otherwise I'm inclined to agree with the vet's idea of viral illness, which we all generally know is just supportive care. I asked about banamine instead of bute, the tech at the clinic said they usually use bute... I just would be happier if this temp was closer to 101 than 103. I'm very tempted to give her another gram of bute since I won't be available to give her 1 gram again at the 6 hour mark and I know they can have up to 4 grams in a day (per the clinics advice that was max too....)

    Other ideas?
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Seems like you're doing everything you can under the circumstances. I also have a 'non-medicating' husband...

    When a horse has a fever, I print out a chart and keep writing down the temperature, pulse and respiration as often as I can.

    I also check the color of the mucous membranes in the mouth, and look for any overall discoloration or little 'bruise' like red spots there.

    I try to not let horse get too cold or too warm; at 40 degrees, I'd probably only put on a sheet if horse was in a barn and it wasn't drafty. I do like them to get plenty of air, just not drafts. If the bedding is dusty, I wet it down, and if the horse is getting hay, I soak it briefly (just to avoid any dust).

    If it can be done without too much excitement, I cold hose the horse's legs. If they are really running a high fever I have sponged on a mixture of alcohol and water on the chest and neck and legs, but usually it's not necessary unless it's hot outside.

    I usually put on standing wraps on all four legs, but the thing is, they have to be checked frequently, because with viruses, quite often, legs will swell, and the swelling can switch from one leg to another quite quickly, and a wrap can get too tight on one leg quite quickly. So generally, I only wrap if I can check them every couple hours and re-wrap if need be.

    I try to hand graze them as much as possible as long as that doesn't mean exposing other horses to the virus and doesn't involve a lot of walking or excitement.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2018
  3. AmyK

    AmyK Senior Member

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    No heat or swelling in legs, no heat in hooves so far, and I have no grass to speak of. Her appetite is pretty blah tonight... last time she had a respiratory thing we were pretty sure she wouldn't eat due to the irritation inbher throat.... she is doing some minor head tossing too which is similar to what she did last time she had a respiratory bug and was uncomfortable.
     
  4. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

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    I would get her on antibiotics, could be bacterial. If the ABX stops the fever, it was bacterial..
     
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  5. LoveTrail

    LoveTrail Senior Member

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    We had two horses come down in the last year or so with 105 temps. Vet one just had the owner put the horse on banamine. Never figures out why he got sick. Starts having lameness issues not long after that finally turns into laminitis when they inject him. Later read that can be a sign of laminitis starting.

    Vet two come out, takes the horse's blood and gives antibiotics right away. Blood test comes back the horse has a bacterial infection. Does take him awhile, but he gets over it with no lasting affects.

    So I agree with Manes based on what I saw with those two horses.
     
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  6. sherian

    sherian Senior Member

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    had a mare with a fever of 105 - bute didn't touch it, had to go to banamine IV 3 times a day
     
  7. Dona Worry

    Dona Worry Senior Member

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    This may be a silly question but, are you able to give fluids in the vein? Fevers and lack of thirst is a combination I am not fond of, and some type of saline in the vein would encourage her to drink more, which will help break the fever from within.
    Of course, that won't help you while at work, and I have no idea as to the feasibility of it, but when an animal isn't drinking with a fever, I like to see fluids going in somehow.
     
  8. Kristal H

    Kristal H Senior Member

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    The horse needs to be tested for EHV 1 ASAP high fever, lethargy, respiratory symptoms are all signs of the deadly neurological strain.
     
  9. AmyK

    AmyK Senior Member

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    As far as I know that's been nowhere near my area? I checked the equine outbreak website first thing.

    Anyway if she's still off in the morning I will call and be more insistent on an exam/possible blood/possible viral testing/possible antibiotic therapy.

    Like I said, throughout the day she's been drinking, nibbling hay, making urine/poop, gums look good, or else I would have insisted on having her seen today. Thanks.
     
  10. Alsosusieq2

    Alsosusieq2 Senior Member

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    That's what I'd do also. I always had a separate refrigerator for meds in my storeroom for just this kind of thing.
     
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