Cha Cha Update - 8/18/2012

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Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2009
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Here's a link to Cha Cha's issue:

I updated on the 4th that Cha Cha was doing really well on the steroids. That at the 3 week mark, she was acting brighter, eating better almost back to her normal personality.

We ended the steroid shots on the 7th. I took a trip with my daughter for 6 days on the 9th. All was well while I was away (husband and son remained behind and were primary caretakers of all our animals). I return on Tuesday of this past week late so I didn't get out to the horses until Wednesday morning. I saw nothing new or amiss and felt that Cha Cha seemed to be filling out a little bit.

Then yesterday I went out and was getting her feed bucket ready. I found myself staring at her under belly, trying to figure out what my brain was trying to "see". Then it hit me: there's a new bulge under her belly, right in front of her teats. As I examined her, I determined that this "thing" is solid. It can only been seen from the right side. It was about 6 or 7" in "length" and about 1" or 1.5" in "depth" (from where her belly should end to where this "thing" does end). I have small hands but I could "cup" it and it filled my palm.

Today, I see that it has gotten bigger, both in terms of length and width. She doesn't seem to be bothered by me "manipulating" it. I don't think I feel any heat from it.

One of the conditions that could be the cause of the whole issue she was determined to have (thickening of her small intestines) is cancer. I'm afraid this is a tumor that has grown as a result of the steroids. Somethign we knew could happen.

I plan to call the vet on Monday. She's eating, drinking, grazing the same. Her manure is normal. Her respiration seems normal. I plan to check her heart rate and temp tomorrow, just to get information to relay to our vet.

Here are a couple of photos, were taken yesterday:


I have no ideas to even suggest as to the bump, but so glad to hear that she is eating well and has gained some. Hopefully your vet will have some insight on the bump.
It probably isn't this but I thought I would mention it any way. Years ago I had a walking horse gelding that just showed up with a bump at the same place your mare's is. The vet came and said it was from gnats that got under the skin. I had to use Swat and DSMO and in about a week it was gone.
To me it looks like edema....steroids can cause water retention I know, so can cardiac issues...but of course I am no vet.
A couple of other friends I shared the pic with also think it might be edema.

Bluerogue: No pigeon fever here that I'm aware of.

I'll talk with my vet tomorrow and go from there. And of course, update all of you!
Wingnut, I am certainly no vet but your mares symptoms are so like Lawsonia I sure would ask about that again.
Stormy, I was just reading up on the Lawsonia again. Because I'm contacting my vet about this swelling (?), I'm also going to ask her to consider this and possibly draw blood to test for it. Thanks for reminding me of it.
I don't think I ever mentioned that the vets at New Bolton detected a heart murmur as well. I keep forgetting to add that to the mix. So cardiac issues COULD be at play here, though not likely based on what I've been reading. Again, I just need to wait on my vet at this point. I really not good at waiting!!
but this is obviously not an emergency situation at this point, so I guess I need to put my patience pants on.
Today the edema was completely gone by the time the vet arrived. She agreed that Cha Cha is definitely improved in appearance and behavior since her round of steroids. She's not concerned about the murmur at all. I went ahead and had her draw blood for the Lawsonia test and to do another round of the equine base blood panel to see how her protein and albumin levels currently stand (checked in April and again in June and were considered very low). I'll know about the baseline tests tomorrow or Wed but not sure about the Lawsonia test as the UC Davis site doesn't say what their turn around time is.

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