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Urgent ideas on what this might be please?
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martinegroeneveld@mac.com
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 05:38 am
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Dear Dr. Deb,

One of the horse I work with showed up with a skin symptom a few days ago, which got a lot worse today and the vets have no idea of what it could be. It looks like his skin is letting go and starting to break and come off. I have attached several pictures.
He is 6 years old. He colicked on thursday and started getting it on friday. But today it got a lot worse and the skin is opening up. It feels like dead skin and is cracking. No blisters. No fever. It's mostly on the right side, with one little spot on his mouth on the left. He is on Orchard and Alfalfa. The hay looks normal, as usual, and came from the same feed store they always order from. He didn't go out last week, so could not have grabbed some weeds on the trail or something. The other horse in his corral is completely fine. The horse is in Los Angeles, on a sand pasture. The vets drew blood, but have no idea what it could be.
He is very miserable.
Could it be blister beetle poisoning? Except, there are no blisters.
Any ideas of what this might be would be very appreciated.
Thank you so much.
Martine

Attachment: Hinto2.JPG (Downloaded 328 times)

Last edited on Wed Oct 7th, 2015 05:49 am by martinegroeneveld@mac.com

martinegroeneveld@mac.com
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 05:40 am
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Another picture

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martinegroeneveld@mac.com
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 05:40 am
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One more

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martinegroeneveld@mac.com
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 05:41 am
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One more

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martinegroeneveld@mac.com
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 05:42 am
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Last one

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Kuhaylan Heify
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 10:17 am
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Blister Beetle poisoning would be internal and if he got more than a teeny bit he would most likely be a goner. He looks suspiciously similar to what Sidekick had- after 4 vets we settled on some sort of dermatitis. What worked initially was a mix of concentrated cortisone and triple antibiotic with mild lukewarm washing of the affected areas mostly on Sidekicks legs, followed by mild pat drying, and then applying the cortisone antibiotic ointment mix. This was followed by light gauze wrapping with vet rap on top. It was changed and retreated daily to start with for the first week. Than every other day. I suspect in our case Sidekick had gotten into some sort of a liver toxicity situation with a possibility of exposure to Tanzy(sp) which was at a barn I boarded at- or exposure to Hydrocarbons or fire retardant treated wood. Best of luck in treating your guy. Don't hesitate to try skin samples sent to labs and change Vets as need be if one appears to be stuck.
best wishes
Bruce Peek

DrDeb
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 10:59 am
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Martine, you have a red-alert emergency situation here. There is no possible way that anyone on this list, or any other place on the Internet, can be of real use to you, because we cannot perform the necessary physical examination and lab tests. If your attending veterinarian does not know what the problem is, then you must either ask for a referral (and pay for the additional barn call and services), or else await the test results.

The lesions could be from a very long list of possibilities, and this is why your vet does not immediately offer you a diagnosis, because he or she is both honest and wise. I agree with Bruce above however that Blister Beetle poisoning is unlikely. Far more likely are liver disease with accompanying "mud fever" affecting the pink and white portions of the skin, due to ingestion of plants containing pyrollizidine alkaloids; external chemical burn; generalized allergic/immune reactions of a severe nature; occult sarcoptic mange.

You must immediately do two things while you wait for your diagnosis: first, get the horse better hydrated; he is obviously dehydrated in the photos you send. The vet may want to administer an oral "drench" via a cow syringe filled with an electrolyte solution. If skin-pinch hydration test is not positive within a few hours after this, then you need to get the horse to the vet clinic where they will put him on an I.V. drip containing balanced electrolytes. This will also greatly speed his recovery from the colic. The dehydration, you understand, was there before the colic and is a major underlying cause of the colic. While the horse is at the vet clinic, and/or the next time he's under chemical restraint, also have the vet remove any "bean" that may be present under this horse's foreskin (I am assuming he's a gelding, not a mare). Having a "bean" under his foreskin often causes horses not to want to drink, because when there's a bean there, it hurts them to pee.

Second, you need to treat the lesions as they appear. This too might better be done at a vet clinic than at your barn, but if you ask for and obtain instructions from your vet, and follow them out to the letter, you might be able to treat the horse yourself.
Bruce's history with his vet and his horse involved the use of corticosteroids, and your vet may very well prescribe them to you also, either as injectables or topicals. However, do bear in mind that corticosteroids are very hard on the kidneys and the liver, and if the horse already has liver disease from an overload of pyrolizidine alkaloids, then corticosteroids may be contra-indicated.


Please let us know how this comes out and what diagnosis you eventually receive. Thanks for writing in, and keep us posted. -- Dr. Deb

 

martinegroeneveld@mac.com
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 Posted: Wed Oct 7th, 2015 07:21 pm
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Dear Dr. Deb and Bruce,

Thank you for your quick replies. I totally understand it's hard to say anything on internet. I was hoping for any ideas and leads, as two vets came by and two hospitals were contacted and no one has a clue.

The horse went to the hospital. They gave him some fluids, but the horse drinks normal and the skin is not dehydrated. It seems dead, like a corpse.

They did blood work and it came back normal. Liver disease was one of the first directions they looked at, but the blood work came back normal.
While they waited for the blood work, they started giving him steroids and it calmed him immensely.

The vets haven't been able to find anything abnormal yet, they say.

Aloha
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 Posted: Thu Oct 8th, 2015 11:04 pm
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martinegroeneveld@mac.com wrote:
It's mostly on the right side
Hi. I hope your horse is improving.

This is interesting. If he ate something, one would think that the symptoms would be on both sides (unless perhaps it is photosensitive and he stood with one side only to the sun? Probably not likely though.). What kind of fencing does the paddock have? Has it been sprayed or painted recently and he rubbed against it? What about weeds? Could he have rubbed up against some recently sprayed weeds? If he was in the paddock when the tractor came along and sprayed the fenceline? Chemical drift?

The one and only time I used Avon Skin So Soft in a do-it-yourself insect repellant, my mare had a wrinkly skin reaction on the test area on her neck. It also felt hot and was sensitive. New fly spray? Shampoo?

Another very soothing topical you might run by your vets is silver sulphadiazine creme (Thermazene in a blue tub). It is a burn creme, white in color, creamy not oily, and very soothing and cooling.

Any new wood? Oil from the wood? Anything he could have rubbed against?

You've probably already thought about these things, but thought I'd throw them out there just in case. Good luck!

DrDeb
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 Posted: Thu Oct 8th, 2015 11:06 pm
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Martine, do you live in the Pacific Northwest? After the liver results came back "normal", I am wondering whether your animal could have gotten into a lot of Klamath Weed (otherwise known as St. John's Wort). This plant has 2-3" long, smooth leaves with pointed tips arranged oppositely along the stem, and produces pretty yellow flowers with a bundle of feathery stamens in the center. The petals of the flowers, if you look closely, have brown dots along the edges. The brown dots contain a toxin which, if the horse eats it, produces exactly the symptoms you're dealing with. Klamath Weed is very common in Oregon and Washington States, but occurs elsewhere also. Please let us know -- Dr. Deb

Karla D.
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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2015 10:22 am
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Could that be HERDA?

DrDeb
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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2015 12:12 pm
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Please explain what 'HERDA' is -- an acronym for something, I assume.

Karla D.
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 Posted: Fri Oct 9th, 2015 01:15 pm
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It is an abbreviation for hereditary equine regional dermal asthenia. This horse put me in mind of the pictures that I have seen of horses who have HERDA. I don't have any personal experience with it, only read that it is a genetic disease that causes the skin to wrinkle and tear and that it occurs in some quarter horse lines and sometimes in paints and appaloosas and some breeders do genetic testing for it. I don't know much more about it than that.

Joe
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 Posted: Tue Oct 13th, 2015 05:23 am
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Yes, I wondered about that, too. it seems to run more strongly in the Poco Bueno lines, but is a real problem with Q-Horses.

martinegroeneveld@mac.com
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 Posted: Mon Oct 19th, 2015 05:58 am
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Thank you everyone for your input. I wasn't informed on my email that there were so many replies, so I hadn't checked back on this forum.

The horse is in Los Angeles. He is still in the hospital, but doing a lot better. They have done 3 skin biopsies so far. Because all the internal tests came back normal, they think it is something topical and not systemic. I haven't heard back yet if they have a diagnosis, but will probably hear tomorrow or the day after and will post here.

Thanks so much for all the input!

Martine


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