Thursday, April 2, 2015

pony prison (a sick joke)

Precious princess Isabel is currently locked in pony prison. I took her temperature Saturday afternoon following her coughing and blah demeanor during our lesson, and all was normal. But by dinner time one thermometer got a normal reading and another was high... 


I was scheduled to ride with our bio-mechanics trainer for the first time this year (finally!) on Sunday, and kept my fingers crossed through the morning chores that the high read was nothing more than a calibration issue with cheap digital thermometers. But alas, when I pulled her in from the field, both thermometers read 103+.... Cue calls to the vet.


so true... just replace 'watch' with 'thermometer'...

Vet took a throat culture and pumped the horse up with long-acting antibiotics via injection, plus some banamine to bring down the fever. The plan was for Izzy to get her temp taken each morning and evening, and get a gram of bute whenever she's 102+.



still coughing :(

Essentially she's presenting with a fever, cough, and runny nose (lungs are fine). Could be nothing, but the vet prefers playing it safe and had concerns about a fairly terrifying bacterial respiratory infection. Therefore the whole barn is shut down by the "Q" word {ughhh don't say it out loud}... And Isabel's in a no-contact zone, complete with bleach foot baths...


Wick got pulled into it too, since he shared close quarters with Isabel on the trailer and spiked a fever on day 2. Adding to our impromptu 'sick bay' is a pony from the field next to Isabel's who also came in feverish and lethargic... All were treated with the long-acting antibiotics.



Le sigh. 


The next day a 4th horse came down with a fever (also from the field next to Isabel's). None of the 4 horses were displaying the characteristic signs of the scary bacterial infection, so the vets moved on to diagnosis #2 - a fairly scary viral respiratory infection. Therefore horse #4 was not treated with antibiotics, and fresh cultures and blood samples were taken from all sick horses.


Tuesday night two more horses developed a fever, one from Wick's field and another from the field next to Isabel's (so she's still the only sick pony from her herd). The cultures testing for the viral infection came in negative at about the same time. 


Meanwhile the three horses who received antibiotics (including Isabel) no longer had fevers, whereas the 4th - who triggered the change in diagnosis from bacterial to viral, and therefore did not get antibiotics - was still feverish and lethargic. 



So the diagnosis changed back to bacterial - with more antibiotics administered and more cultures taken... 

The good news is they are hopeful it isn't the big scary bacterial infection (which would mean a 3-month "Q" {ughhhhh whyyyyyy} starting after the last horse recovered), and it is NOT the viral infection (which calls for a 28-day "Q" {fml....} following the last horse's diagnosis). 

In fact, it's still entirely possible that whatever they have doesn't even warrant an official "Q" {srsly kill me}... but it's obviously a little too late for that now. 

The vet is coming back today for another set of antibiotics, and hopefully will have results from the culture & DNA tests... or at least *something* to tell us.

Please keep your fingers and toes crossed for us  :'(

63 comments:

  1. Damn! What did you guys stumble into?! Sounds like your horses have a version of my horrible death illness. ;)

    Fingers crossed it clears up quickly with more antibiotics!

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    1. thanks! fortunately the horses are recovering nicely with antibiotics (isabel hasn't had a fever since monday - thank god!), but without any diagnosis it's unclear how long we'll be on lock down - or whether they'll just keep us closed for the duration of the worst case scenario ...

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  2. Ugh, went through something similar at my barn (luckily my boys did not get it). It turned out to be a certain virus in the end, but it showed varied symptoms among our horses which made diagnosis take longer. Let me know your email if you want more info. Hope all the ponies are feeling better and can get back out in their pastures soon!

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    1. they're fairly convinced it's bacterial at this point since the antibiotics make such a distinct improvement, but all the same i'd be interested to hear about your experiences. my email is fraidycat{dot}eventing{at}gmail{dot}com. thanks!

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  3. The Q word is the worst! So sorry you and the ponies are going through this :(. Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery for everyone!

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    1. thank you! it really is the worst - and so unexpected! very fortunately the horses are doing well (that's what really matters, right?)... i just hope the barn can reopen again soon!

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  4. Awful!! It's always very scary when something like this goes around... I hope your vets can figure it out and get everyone well quickly!

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    1. thanks :( our vets are very hard at work -- and apparently we're only one of many barns dealing with it....

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  5. Ohhhhhhhhh nooooooooo! I'm so sorry! I hope everyone recovers well and you aren't stuck in the dreaded Q-word for too long. :(

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  6. Boo, hiss! I hope everyone feels better soon and you don't have to be under Q for long!

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  7. Boo, hiss! I hope everyone feels better soon and you don't have to be under Q for long!

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  8. poor girl :( sending long distance cuddles to Isabel and the others!

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    1. thank you - i think isabel would appreciate that even tho she's not normally a cuddly kind of horse

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  9. Fingers are crossed for you guys! But it's looking like one of those things that just passes over :)

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    1. thanks! it WILL pass over, and the horses will all be fine... i just hope it doesn't take our show season along with it (selfish, i know...)

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  10. Sending all my best to them in a speedy recovery!

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  11. Ohh no! Hopefully it all gets worked out sooner rather than later!

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    1. i hope so too, tho i respect the vets and state for being cautious (as they should be!)

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  12. So scary and frustrating! Hopefully everyone gets cleared soon!

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    1. thank you :(
      and hey, if you wanna delay moving i could send bobby some contaminated hay so that you'd just have to stick around with him for a little longer... lol?

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  13. Oh no!!

    I hope things improve for you guys. What a crappy situation - and scary! Feel better Izzy and friends!!

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    1. thanks - definitely very crappy

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  14. Poor Izzy! Hope she's feeling better soon!

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  15. Fingers and toes crossed for you.... that sucks!

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  16. So scary! Q is not fun, but not awful either. I bet everyone will be feeling better soon and life will get back to normal :)

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    1. thanks - i had forgotten about your barn's quarantine a while back. definitely not fun... tho i think this is a little different bc riding (any horse) is not permitted and nobody is allowed on the property except staff...

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  17. Oh gosh :( Fingers and toes and everything crossed. I hope everything resolves really, really quickly.

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    1. thank you - i'm totally on board with the 'really really quickly' part too!!

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  18. Oh noes! That is just no fun at all. I hope all of the ponies heal quickly, and that stupid Q word can go away. And never come back! Poor cute sick Izzy.

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    1. nope, no fun! tho yes, isabel insists on being the cutest patient ever haha

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  19. I hope everyone is feeling much better soon and the Q word isn't necessary!

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    1. thanks. i think they will feel better soon, but that Q word is here, and may be here to stay for a while... sigh

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  20. That's scary! It's like when one person brings the flu to the office or one dog comes to the kennel with kennel cough :( hang in there!

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    1. haha i actually was halfheartedly referring to it as isabel's kennel cough...

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  21. Poor Izzy and friends! I hope they all feel better soon, and it isn't "Q" worthy! We had SOMETHING go around our barn last summer. Not fun.

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    1. yea it's never fun to see a horse sick - and even worse to see them come in sick one after another...

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  22. Holy frak I'm so sorry to hear that! That's scary and sucky and horrible.

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    1. yup that pretty much sums it up!

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  23. Poor Izzy and poor you! :( I hope this all resolves quickly!

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  24. Oh no I hope Isabel gets better soon and all the other horses are ok!

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    1. thank you! fortunately the prognosis is excellent, even if it may take a while

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  25. Poor lady!!! Ugh! I do appreciate your sense of humor though :)

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    1. haha thanks - sometimes you gotta either laugh or cry... and i prefer the former

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  26. Holy crap!!!! I kept waiting and waiting as I read through this for you to say, 'jk, late April fools!' ...but nope :( so sorry to hear this :( I'm glad it looks like everyone will come through just fine, but I'd be mourning my show season too...I wouldn't blame you! Crossing my injera for you that it'll pass real quick!

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    1. i wish it was a joke - and isabel definitely thinks it's a very sick joke indeed - but nope. thanks tho - we will see what happens :(

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  27. Boo, sickness! Wishing all a speedy recovery :(

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    1. boo indeed!! and thank you, we've got our fingers crossed!

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  28. That is so scary! Hope everyone recovers quickly

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  29. Oh no! I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm keeping my fingers and toes crossed for a speedy recovery for all involved! -hugs-

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    1. thank you! it's definitely no fun -- but a speedy recovery would be nice!

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  30. Yikes, hopefully nothing serious. Sending jingles xx

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    1. thank you! not too serious, fortunately - everyone is expected to recover fully. still not fun tho!

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  31. Ughh what a pain! Fingers crossed!

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    1. HUGE pain- just huge. on so many levels.... but thank god the ponies will be ok... silver linings, right?

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