Bute Toxicity vs Botulism

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giddeup39

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Our 12 year old mini mare has just died. We are at a loss of what happened.

It started with founder 4 weeks ago. Feed was not changed, there was not any major changes at that time. I have had horses a long time, but never dealt with founder. The vet came out and prescribed 1 gram of bute paste 2X a day for 5 days, then 1x a day. Also was prescribed banamine 2X a day. Fast forward another 10 days and she had terrible diarrhea and would not eat. Bute was changed to previcox as she was still sore. She was also give two different types of antibiotics because the vet was not sure what was going on and wondered there was an infection. A fecal was done and it showed nothing. After two more vet visits she suspected that Botulism may be the cause (going off the symptom of not eating and fecal would not have covered this). I was feeding her mash for the last 3 weeks, she drank a good amount of water last night. We tried hard to make her live, she tried too.

So, now I just can't wrap my head around what happened. Could it have been bute toxicity? Can anyone that has been through either bute toxicity or botulism tell me what happened? I know it isn't something you want to relive, but just grasping for any information for what could have happened to our girl.

Thank you for reading this and I wish you all well.
 
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Abby P

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First off, I'm really sorry about your mare.

I haven't personally experienced either of these and am not a vet but I think this sounds like ulcerative colitis that can occur from bute toxicity - two grams a day is the dose for a 1000-lb horse. Of course I don't know all the details of the situation or your vet's thought process but that's a lot of bute. Botulism would be caused from feeding haylage or something similar. With no feed changes, that doesn't really fit.

I know there are some people on here that have dealt with similar situations so hopefully they will weigh in too. Again, I'm really sorry about your horse.
 

BSharpRanch

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While I haven't personaly delt with either issue, I have a friend that went through botulism with her herd.

The thing I remember the most was the horses lose control of their tongue first, making it nearly impossible to eat or drink. She taught her horses to show her their tongues multiple times a day. The botulism spores lived in the environment where they were. Their place was kept spotless, fly control systems, etc. However, according to their vet, it was in the ground. They lost two horses before the vet finally diagnosed it. Now her horses are vaccinated against it.
 

giddeup39

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She did not have paralysis, I tried taking her tongue to the side and she had a lot of resistance. She drank at least 4 gulps of water the night before she died.
I am so sorry for our girl. I am not putting the blame on anyone, I just wish I would have questioned things a bit more from the beginning.
Thank you all for your responses and thoughts.
 

chandab

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This is not directed at you specifically Giddeup39, but in general...

We need to be advocates for our small equines, many vets are not well-versed in the specifics of mini vet needs. Such as no Quest (moxidectin) dewormer for minis; well extreme caution (if needed due to resistance with other dewormers), as it has a small safety margin and stores in body fat, so you need exact weight and exact dosing with a healthy weight animal to use it safely. Minis are very sensitive to bute, so also needs precise dosing and use ulcer meds concurrently (same day, not same time); weight is very important, don't let a vet assume the minis weight, get it on a scale or use a weight formula (don't use a weight tape, they aren't very accurate for minis, in my experience they weight 30-50# heavy). Don't use the "large" vaccinations: what I mean is don't use the 6-way and 7-way shots, and don't give multiple shots on the same day; break it up into a couple shots and give on a couple different days spaced a week or two apart, so you don't overwhelm the system all at one time. [I think there may be a couple more of these, but I can't remember them right now, so if I think of them, I'll come back and comment again.]
 

RahRah SC

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Gosh. I wish I’d read this yesterday. My vet was out and gave my mini both of her vaccines. She didn’t seem to have a reaction but I haven’t been to the barn today.
I learn so much from y’all. Thank you!
 

Abby P

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I have to say also that there are some vets that are more versed in mini care than others, clearly. The first thing my vet told me (I've known him for a long time and used him for a long time for my big horses) when he saw Rowan was, "don't OD him on anything". He estimated his weight from looking and I also estimated it from a formula (the two methods were pretty close) and he suggested erring a bit lower than that on any doses that are by the pound. Ideally we'd all have access to a truck scale or other industrial scale to weigh our horses but that's not always realistic.
 

ZuZuPetals

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I’m so sorry for your loss :(I think I’m reading bute & banamine prescribed together?! This is such excessive amounts. I have successfully treated rescue minis with founder & laminitis many times, this vet should be ashamed
 

Cayuse

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"Stacking" or giving bute and banamine at the same time is never a good idea and can create gastric problems. My vet won't do it for the big horses and won't prescsribe bute for the minis because of the narrow safety margin. And we always give something for their stomach (gastrogard or ulcergard) if they are on an anti inflammatory for more than a few days.
I'm sorry for your loss. Founder is a terrible thing to deal with. My welsh pony is going through it right now. Horrible disease.
 

chandab

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Gosh. I wish I’d read this yesterday. My vet was out and gave my mini both of her vaccines. She didn’t seem to have a reaction but I haven’t been to the barn today.
I learn so much from y’all. Thank you!
Some do just fine, and if it's basic shots, it's usually just fine. Just be aware, a reaction could be more likely with a mini than their full-size cousins.
 

MerMaeve

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This is not directed at you specifically Giddeup39, but in general...

We need to be advocates for our small equines, many vets are not well-versed in the specifics of mini vet needs. Such as no Quest (moxidectin) dewormer for minis; well extreme caution (if needed due to resistance with other dewormers), as it has a small safety margin and stores in body fat, so you need exact weight and exact dosing with a healthy weight animal to use it safely. Minis are very sensitive to bute, so also needs precise dosing and use ulcer meds concurrently (same day, not same time); weight is very important, don't let a vet assume the minis weight, get it on a scale or use a weight formula (don't use a weight tape, they aren't very accurate for minis, in my experience they weight 30-50# heavy). Don't use the "large" vaccinations: what I mean is don't use the 6-way and 7-way shots, and don't give multiple shots on the same day; break it up into a couple shots and give on a couple different days spaced a week or two apart, so you don't overwhelm the system all at one time. [I think there may be a couple more of these, but I can't remember them right now, so if I think of them, I'll come back and comment again.]
So what are the best shots to give minis? We need to do spring vaccinations...
 

chandab

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So what are the best shots to give minis? We need to do spring vaccinations...
The best will be determined by your location, so would be a talk to your vet deal (to know recommendations for your area/region). But, if he/she suggests say a 7-way, ask if it can be broken into 3-way and 4-way components, and those two shots given about a week or two apart.
 

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