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Strange diagnosis for Little Hopey

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Mulligans Run

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and we knew that they had found something and grew it. Turns out she grew Bordatella....of for those that don't know what that is - like me, it's KENNEL COUGH. My horse has a dog disease. Our vet has never heard of a horse getting this.

Hope has been to our vets office many, many times and they take her in the exam rooms because she's so small. I can only guess that is how she got it. We have two dogs, but they're vaccinated for this routinely.

Has anyone out there ever heard of a horse getting this? My vet says she's going to a seminar next week and will bring it up to all the vets there to see if anyone else has had this happen.

It's bizarre, and if it's going to be bizarre - it'll happen to me! But I'm grateful it's not Rhodococcus. Now we're just trying to figure out if it's contagious to the other horses....
 

hairicane

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WOW!!!! How amazing! Never heard of such a thing.Well I sure hope it is mild in the horses, it usually is not that serious in dogs.Good luck!
 

Laura

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Karin - NaKar Miniatures said:
Heather, that IS strange. Never heard of this either.  How is Little Hopey doing?
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My vet will tell you that certain things HAVE to cross species boundaries. I talked to her a few years ago and she was sick, the dogs were sick and some of the horses were sick with the SAME symptoms! She swears they all had the same thing!
 

liltnt

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[SIZE=14pt]Just a caution, as this is very contagious in dogs, all it takes is the cough and one breathing it in, I would try and keep the little one away fro the other horses till you know for sure. I am by no means an authority in horses but I do know if you have multiple dogs and one gets it they will all get it. At any rate precaution would be best. [/SIZE]
 

yankee_minis

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I adopted a cat from the Humane Society and he had kennel cough. Not a very species specific bug is it??? LOL
 

Mulligans Run

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Hope is actually doing really well. She is off of the inject able antibiotics and is getting one orally, which she eats right out of our hand -yuk! But she probably thinks it's her baby aspirin, which she loves.

She's running, bucking, eating very well and drinking out of her bucket again - in addition to her bottles. I'm beginning to think that she just likes the attention. She has her own stall in the garage where she's in the air conditioning, she has maid service several times a day, lays on a thick comforter and now she gets massages! Our vet didn't want to prescribe a decongestant - she said to "thump" her chest, which works great. Well, my sister mentioned that she uses a vibrating massager on her back when she has a cold and it loosens up the deposits in the lungs.

So....we tried it on Hopey and she loves it! She nuzzles on me while I'm massaging her. She is one spoiled rotten little horse, but amazingly well behaved.

Here's a photo of her first massage...



..... we had already been isolating her from the herd, but now I wonder about her exposure to our dogs...and their exposure to the horses.....wow - could be a continuous circle.
 
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_minihorses4ever_

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I read your little Hopey's diognosis, and I swear I read MORE than a couple times.. I was like, my dog gets bordatella shots!
..


I have never heard of anything like that before! A horse with KENNEL COUGH, now thats a story for family reunions!
 

keeperofthehorses

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Great, as if we all don't have enough to worry about...


It seems to me a vet told me that there were about 30 strains of Bordetella, and most vaccinations covered less than half of them. That of course was relating to dogs.

This just one thing I love about this board. Instant knowledge about a new issue we need to know about. I've got to take some manure down to the vets office here; I'll mention it to them. I love my vets; they get so excited about the new and bizarre.

So glad your baby is feeling better. Hopefully she's the only one who'll get it. Please keep us updated and thank you for sharing.

Suzanne
 

Pepipony

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I may be wrong here, but just finding it doesnt mean that it was at infectious levels. Just imagine what can be cultured at any time from any of us. I am 'assuming' it was a throat culture? Which just means she breathed it in. Now if she had a high level of antibodies to it, I would be worried. JMHO, and I may be way off base. Heather
 

Minimor

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YES! It is in my veterinary (equine only) book! It says it is an upper respiratory disease, but very few cases have been reported in horses; the organism seems to prefer dogs, swine and laboratory rodents.

My vet book also says that affected horses should be separated from healthy ones because the disease is readily transmitted from contamination by nasal discharge.Animals under stress (transport, bad weather) may develop the disease; The presence of other organisms may weaken the horse sufficiently for exposure to Bordatella to cause infection. This bacteria is not normally present in the upper respiratory tract of horses.

Bordatella does not respond to penicillin or streptomycin; tetracyclines and chloramphenicol are the only effective means of clearing it up. The condition can easily become chronic if it is not treated, or if it is not treated properly.

Glad to hear that you were able to find out what was wrong, and your vet is on it now to get her all fixed up!
 
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Mulligans Run

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Wow Minimoore - thank you for posting that. I found information that said that it is possible for the horses to get it, although highly unlikely. Hope might be more suseptible to illness as she was never with her mom and has been bottle fed. She did get the plasma transfer, but I'm not sure if that covers everything that she would need.

She had been at the vets recently for dehydration, and she may have picked it up then, or off of our vets when they visited - if that's possible. Plus my daughter works for our vet, so.....

We are definitely keeping her away from the others.
 

Minimor

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Hey, think of this--with Bordatella being so rare in horses, little Hopey is probably, like, say....one in a million??
Like you didn't already know that, eh??
 

Mulligans Run

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Well, I know SHE knows she is! I had a long talk with my vet this evening and she doesn't feel that it's a "big" deal....it may run it's course through the herd - if they get exposed, but she feels that it doesn't need to be treated unless one of the horses has a fever, etc. We'll see.... However, Hope will remain on anti-biotics for awhile because of her weaker immune system.
 

Dr. Pam

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Sorry--

I'm coming in on this a little late. Here's part of a current article ( I can get you the source and the rest of it if anyone wants to PM me):

Pneumonia in Older Foals

As opposed to neonates that usually acquire pneumonia secondary to septicemia and spread of bacteria through the blood stream, older foals typically acquire pneumonia by inhalation of aerosolized or dust-borne pathogens. Although the viruses mentioned above and EHV-2 can cause pneumonia in older foals as well, the majority of cases of lower respiratory tract disease in older foals are caused by bacteria. The primary bacterial agents involved are, however, different than that isolated from neonates. Bacterial pneumonia in older foals is generally caused by opportunistic pathogens that are normal inhabitants of the equine upper respiratory tract or gastrointestinal tract or are environmental contaminants. Streptococcus equi subspecies zooepidemicus is the most common bacterial pathogen isolated. Rhodococcus equi occurs sporadically but is enzootic on some farms. Because R. equi constitutes the most devastating cause of pneumonia in older foals and is different from other forms of foal pneumonia in many regards, it is discussed in a separate article. Various other bacteria such as Actinobacillus, Pasteurella, and Klebsiella species, Bordetella bronchiseptica and E. coli can be isolated alone or in combination with S. zooepidemicus and/or R. equi.

The spectrum of clinical signs ranges from an otherwise normal appearing foal with occasional coughing and mild bilateral nasal discharge to one with severe cough, profuse nasal discharge, fever, anorexia and respiratory distress. Increased respiratory rate is a typical feature even in mildly affected foals. The respiratory rate is best assessed at rest during the cool part of the day. Resting respiratory rates greater than 40 per minutes at rest in an older foal or weanling is usually considered abnormal and deserves further evaluation.

Once pneumonia has been confirmed by a veterinarian, diagnostic evaluation should be directed at the entire herd because it is unlikely that a single foal will be affected. The need for diagnostic procedures is determined by the herd history, the number and the value of the foals, severity and duration of the clinical signs, treatment used and response to therapy. Foals with pneumonia may have an elevated white blood cell count and fibrinogen concentrations. Although there does not seem to be a high degree of correlation between the severity of the pneumonia and the magnitude of laboratory abnormalities, measurement of fibrinogen concentrations provides a useful means of monitoring response to therapy. Radiographs or ultrasonographic examination of the chest are useful means of evaluating the severity of lung damage and assessing response to therapy. Tracheobronchial aspiration with cytological examination and bacterial culture of the fluid recovered is the most definitive diagnostic procedure available. In the field setting it is not always practical or desirable to perform a tracheobronchial aspirate on all foals with pneumonia. The procedure should be considered on representative cases on farms where several foals are affected, in foals that are not responsive to conventional antimicrobial therapy or have atypical clinical signs, and in foals with markedly elevated fibrinogen or evidence of lung abscessation when R. equi is suspected. Whenever possible, antibiotic therapy should be discontinued at least 24h before performing a tracheobronchial aspirate. If an etiologic agent is cultured, several antibiotics can be tested for efficacy against the bacterial pathogen in vitro and help direct antimicrobial therapy.

Therapy consists of antibiotics to kill or inhibit growth of the causative microorganism(s). Since a high percentage of older foal pneumonia is due to penicillin-sensitive bacteria (this is not true for neonatal foals), penicillin is often used for initial therapy, pending culture results. Ceftiofur (Naxcel®) has a broad spectrum of activity which includes most of the etiologic agents of foal pneumonia, except R. equi. Trimethoprim-sulfonamide combination products are attractive because they also have a broad spectrum of activity which includes many of the causal agents of older foal pneumonia and they can be administered orally. Restricting exercise is important initially in more severe cases to limit respiratory demand. In milder cases and in those that are recovering, limited exercise may help promoting expectoration. Confinement in a cool, clean, dust-free, well-ventilated environment is required.

Most cases make a complete recovery if diagnosed early and treated appropriately. Treatment should be continued for at least 10 days, and much longer in serious cases. Clinical signs, white blood cell counts, measurement of fibrinogen concentrations, and imaging techniques (ultrasound, radiographs) can be used to assess effect of therapy.
 
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mistyrose

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My mare was hospitalized with this as a weanling! We had a kid picking stalls whose mother had a kennel. I don't know if that was where it came from or not. I have a feeling its not as rare as we think. Perhaps many times trachea washes are not done and it is not found.
 

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