Virus?…. Bacteria?…. Who knows?….

On Monday morning when I arrived at the yard Dustry was suspiciously quiet and subdued, I instantly knew something was wrong! After a visit from the farrier to rule out an abscess (he was recently shod, seemed to have a hot foot, and find moving hard, and was favouring the verge on the way to his paddock) the vet was called.

It seems he has some sort of infection (bacterial or viral) and it was causing him to have a high temperature, lose his appetite, and just generally feel uncomfortable and sorry for himself. He was given antibiotics and painkiller, but after a day it was clear the intramuscular antibiotics weren’t strong enough so he was changed onto a 3 day course of intravenous drugs. His legs swelled up as a result of the infection too, but thankfully are coming down little by little every day with him walking it off.

As a result of this I have become an OCD temperature taker, and these were stats over the last few days…

morning – 40
afternoon – 37.6

mornign – 40.7
midday – 37.6

morning – 40
midday – 38.6
afternoon – 37

morning – 38.6
midday – 37.6
afternoon – 37.6

morning – 38

Thursday morning was his lowest morning measurment which then remained low, which was a good sign that he was over the worst, phew! He now has a 5 day powder antibiotic course to finish and a ‘blood tonic’ to help address his low iron levels. He is MUCH perkier in himself and apart from his remaining puffy legs he is now pretty much 100%

It’s scary when things like this happen as there is no answer as to where/when he might have got this infection, and no telling really what/where he was infected. So the vet treated it like it was similar to a case of human flu, generally affecting the whole body, and debilitating him. Thankfully his blood tests came back clear of anything nasty, and once he has finished his drugs he will have a secondary set of bloods taken to see if any more conclusions can be drawn from this.

I am so pleased that I swapped over my insurers for Dustry after the nightmare of dealing with Soap’s treatment and destruction, and KBIS have been brilliant so far. Thank goodness as I hate to think what the final total will come to!!! Yikes!

I recommend to anyone to buy themselves a thermometer, and practise how to take a horse’s temperature as it’s such a quick and easy way to see if there is a strong indication of illness. They can’t tell you they are poorly so having such a simple and quick method for answering this question is priceless.

Once he has finished his treatment I can then play it by ear about when to begin working him again, but hopefully it won’t be long till he bounces back. He’s certainly very bouncy today as the yard have all been confined to barracks to avoid this terrible weather and Dustry is making his objections known by whirling his head around like a banshee…..something tells me he’s feeling MUCH better already 😉

There is some good info on a healthy horse’s vital signs here, but as an indicator a healthy horse’s temperature should be in the range of 99-101F or 37-38C, and a digital thermometer costs around £8-£10 well worth the investment!

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