Dr. Bill 4-30-09
With sadness in our hearts
may Dr. Bill rest in God's tender embrace.
April 22, 2008 - September 13, 2009
May 19, 2009
Owner: Christine Griffin
Referral Vet: Dr. XXX
Discharge Summary for: Dr. Bill
Dr. Bill presented to SLREH for evaluation of increased WBC and fibrinogen, fevers and lethargy. Dr. Bill is thin with a rough hair coat, but he is much improved from when he first arrived home from the ranch in Nebraska. He has been gaining weight, but he continues to be lethargic and run low grade fevers. The remainder of the PE was unremarkable. An ultrasound exam revealed a small amount of anechoic peritoneal fluid. Fluid filled large intestine could be imaged in both right and left caudal abdomen. There were also loops of fluid filled small intestine in the caudal abdomen. Some mild pleural irregularities were present, but no significant consolidation. A fecal floatation revealed an occasional strongyle egg.
Please continue to monitor Dr. Bill for depression, decreased appetite, ataxia, temperatures greater than 101 degrees, diarrhea or constipation. Please contact your vet or this office if there are any problems.
The cause of Dr. Bill’s lethargy and fevers was not determined, but Salmonella, an occult S. equi abscess and gastric ulcers should be ruled out. A fecal sample should be submitted for Salmonella PCR. Your vet will also submit a blood sample for S. equi titers. The dose of zantac should be increased to 1800 mg orally every 12 hours. Please call with the strength of tablet you are currently giving Bill so we can let you know how many tablets to give Dr. Bill.
The WBC was within normal limits today, but the fibrinogen is mildly elevated at 507mg/dl (high normal for our lab is 450mg/dl).
Good luck with Dr. Bill. Please keep us informed of his progress and the lab results once they are available. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any additional questions or concerns.
TK, DVM, DACVIM
Digital Radiograph Abdomen 2
views (to check for sand which was negative)
Internal Medicine Exam
Tests: CBC, Creatinine,Electrolytes, PCV, TP, fecal float & slide exam
Anyone who watches the video will see that this is not normal behavior for a yearling stud colt. He just walked away from the food he was eating and started wandering around.
Today Dr. Bill's mood is slightly better. He is not hanging his head so low today, but does still seem to just wander around. With two other yearlings here, it is quite noticible the difference in their moods. I taped him for weight today and he has gained 25 pounds from 5/3/09, the last time I measured his weight. His temp this morning was 100.4, so a little higher than it has been, but still within normal ranges. I look forward to finding out the results of the blood tests done over the weekend.
Last night Dr. Bills temp was up to 101.6 so the vet came out today. His last series of antibiotics were completed over the weekend and he is already having a fever again. His temp when the vet got here was 102.4 and that was after having Bute last night and this morning. His pulse 48 and respirations 20 - both high. He also has diarrhea that has been getting progressively worse as the day has gone on.
An appointment was scheduled to take Dr. Bill into the hospital tomorrow for more testing. Another ultra sound will be done and depending on the costs, tests for Rhino in addition the testing that was sent out last week for EPM.
It is now 1:45am on the 19th. I am having a hard time sleeping. Dr. Bill is in a stall because he couldn't have food for 24 hours before his testing, nor water 12 hours before. He has a mate in the stall next to him, but he is distressed being separated from the herd and has been whinnying and kicking the wall every so often.
My heart aches that this baby - just a year on April 22nd - is going through this. The unknown is very distressing to me.
Medical Record and Receipt:
Below - This was Dr. Bill on 4-22-09 - Photo taken by Floss at Denkai Sanctuary
I will have to find out tomorrow how much these addtional tests are going to cost.
The vets that did the exams and testing were aware of 3-Strikes before I got there because of an article they had read. They did not know in advance that Dr. Bill had been at 3-Strikes. When they asked about the necropsies that were done and I repeated what Dr. T Furman told me about the necropsies, that no tissue/organ samples were sent for testing and the only blood work on all the horses was for coggins only. That gives us no data to work from.
It has for sure made our job of trying to figure out what is wrong with Dr. Bill take longer and cost more money.
They thought Dr. Bill was an extremely nice and well behaved stud colt. He is currently their only patient named Dr. Bill - several Mr. Bills, but other than what they send out in the mail, he is the only Dr. Bill. I thanked them for their thoroughness and tender care of him.
Today more tests were done or sent out for results. Fecal samples were sent to Texas A&M, to rule out Salmonella, the S. Equi blood samples were sent out, we also did a fecal test at the vets office to find any indications hemoglobin or albumin in his manure. The results on that test were negative.
He was running a low grade fever again this evening - 101.1. His appetite is good and his mood better, but he just can't seem to kick what ever it is that he has.
We have gotten a couple donations to help offset the costs of this testing. Times are tough, yet wonderful people step forward to help.
Any donations are greatly appreciated and I will give all who donate a complete summary of expenses.
The vets office has agreed to take payments directly too, so if you would like to donate for Dr. Bills testing or treatment and want to give it directly to the vet, just send me an email and I will get you their contact information. christine@GentledMustangs.com
Today I am really tired. I think worn out is more correct. I don't know where the time in the day went. I did get two breaks today when I gave Dr. Bill his special feed mixture. He gets brushed and combed and I have found him to be an excellent listener.
His temp has been 101.1 to 101.6 all three times I took it since last evening. If it is not lower in the morning I will call the vet to see if he should have some Bute. With all that is going on we need to be concerned about Bute related ulcers, so I am using it sparingly.
His mood is the same and there is less ataxia every day. But he still doesn't have the strength he should. We are fostering two other yearlings so I test his reaction to a shove on the hips compared to the others and he is still weaker than them and they are girls... That was my late nite atempt at humor.
I want to thank everyone who is stepping forward to help Dr. Bill. Your help means more than you will know. A special thanks to Audrey from Saving Horses Inc., and Raquel from Mountain View Rescue, for offering to help raise funds to pay for his care.
Our three rescued mustangs, Shelby, Bella and Dr. Bill were picked up from 3-Strikes ranch on 4-22-09 and reached our home on 4-25-09. When I saw Dr. Bill, the yearling, I couldn't believe how bad he actually looked in person. I was instantly mad, then, as I watched him and tried to interact with this normally friendly horse, I realized something was wrong.
Examination showed he had a fever, depression, weight loss, loss of muscle tone and top line, swelling in his fetlocks and slight dehydration and mal-nutrition. Blood tests were done and it is confirmed that his is sick and it is not shipping fever.
Further testing is being done and he is currently being treated with antibiotics, has had Bute for his fever, probiotics, electrolytes, OxE Drops (enzymes) and is following a strict diet. He is also recieving wormer via the rotation method. After a week of quality care, he has shown no signs of any weight gain. I will not speculate on his illness and as soon as we have a definate diagnosis I will post it.
I spoke with Amanda Davis this morning (4-30-09) and she confirmed that Dr. Bill had infact seemed depressed in the days before he left 3-Strikes, but she assumed it was from all the commotion that was going on at 3-Strikes.
Once I told her the symptoms and the confirming tests, she said then that he was sick from something at 3-Strikes Ranch. Our horses had been confined with many different horses at the ranch.
Dr. Bill, Bella and Shelby have been quarantined from other animals for the standard 30 days.
I will not comment on anything related with what has happened or what is currently happening with the horses from 3-Strikes Ranch in Alliance, Nebraska. I will only discuss the current health of our rescue horses that were at 3 Strikes Ranch because I think it is important.
I want the public to know that one of the horses came home with an illness from 3-Strikes Ranch in case another horse does not recover quickly like Dr. Bill. If it weren't for the blood tests done and the fact that we rescued him when he was 2 weeks old and know him well, we might not have detected more being wrong than the mal-nutrition.
I would like to thank Floss from Denkai Sanctuary and Monika Courtney for their devotion to horses and assistance with ours at 3-Strikes. I will forever owe them a debt of gratitude.
Dr Bill has been on antibiotics for two days now. His first temp taken today was 101.4, slightly above normal. The results of the blood test have revealed a high white blood cell count and high fibrinogen count.
The high white blood count indicates the infection and the high fibrinogen count indicates inflamation. When I asked for a specific diagnosis the vet informed me that I could spend a significant amount of money to determine that and recommended treating the symptoms first to see if it that will resolve the illness.
For the next week I will be mixing antibotics with applesauce and putting in an empty, cleaned wormer paste syringe, so that I can give him his medications orally. Thank the Lord he is well halter broke. I can't imagine what I would do if he were one of the feral horses.
Additionally he is getting electrolytes and a supplement called Ox-E-Drops by Nzymes.com which came highly recommended to me by several people for it's anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Right now he doesn't look or act any better. I hope in a few days we will see a difference. I will be doing some online research a little later. I will check out the HorseAdvice.com site to see what is says about high Fibrinogen counts and his other symptoms.
His temp is down a little today 100.8 on the high side of normal which is good. He mood is still the same and he is not showing any signs of gaining weight as of yet. I will take some more pictures tomorrow. If I post pictures everyday, changes won't be as noticeable.
I got a call from Dr. Tom Furman, Alliance, Nebraska. He was the vet on site at the rodeo grounds where the other horses were taken. He is concerned about Dr. Bill's health and will be consulting with our vet so they can follow Dr. Bill's illness, but also if any of the other horses from 3-Strikes become ill.
Dr. Furman did tell me that temperatures were taken of each of the horses on the rodeo grounds, but the only blood tests done were for coggins. I told him my concern for the other horses and that I hoped people adopting those horses would recognize the signs of illness versus mal-nutrition, since in Dr. Bills case, his symptoms just looked like mal-nutrition.
At least he will be trying to keep track of horses from 3-Strikes having illnesses. But he will only find out if the adopters do blood tests and then know enough to contact him and tell him their horses are sick. Perhaps they will have that contact information available in the adoption paperwork.
Loving Care For all Equine In Need!
Equine WellBeing Rescue, Inc.
based on the information in an article from thehorse.com (see today's blog) the fever rings would indicate that his illness started approx-imately two months ago. So a horses feet can help give us an indication of how their health has been too.
Thanks to Laurie Adamo www.thebarefoothoof.com for the information on the fever rings on Dr. Bill.
I started a blog about Dr. Bill and I am currently working on transfering the daily posts to this page.
6-1-09 Pictures of Dr. Bill's Hooves - note the fever rings about 1 inch below the cornet band.
A day at the hospital. With the exam, tests, ultrasound, etc. we were there for almost 4 hours. This was my first time at this hospital and the staff was very nice and helpful.
Several tests were recommended and some still need to be done. Here are a few pics of Dr. Bill today. He is not sedated, that's just how sick he is. Below the pictures I have put the Discharge Report.
Well today is looking better. When I went out to the pasture, Dr. Bill looked up and when he saw me he immediately came over. Though he didn't have bounce in his step, he wasn't hanging his head like he has been for the last week or so. He still ran a low fever, but really low - another good sign.
Tomorrow he will be getting an Ultra Sound to rule out bastard strangles. Dr. Furman called my vet today for an update too.
It has been a couple days since my last post. Dr. Bill had his ultra sound on 5-5-09, which ruled out strangles, but indicated pneumonia. Additional blood was drawn and manure was given to be tested for parisites, sand and salmonella.
Since the anitbiotics he was already taking were having no impact on him and he was not showing improvement, we have changed the treatment to Gentimicin (IV) and Penicillian (IM) for 10 days. It isnot pleuropnuemonia.
We discussed doing a tracheal flush but decided with the cost of the test and the probable findings, the treatment would be the same, so we opted to save the couple hundred dollars and go straight to the treatment.
Dr. Bill did awesome during the ultra sound, which was done in the garage with the door closed to make seeing the display easier. He had his tummy shaved and stood very nicely for the whole process. He really is a trooper.
His temps are finally coming down. No fever today for the first day since he has been home. Although he is not liking all the shots and getting his temp taken twice a day, he is very well behaved for a yearling.
We had one major problem today, he stepped on my foot. Landed his hoof right on my big toe and then turned his hoof. He is fine, but I suspect I will be loosing my toenail. It feels like the thumb that gets hit with a big hammer on the cartoons - swollen and throbbing... We will both be in pain together...
I don't see Dr. Bill recovering as quickly as other peoples horses that are being posted on the internet which gives me contined reason for concern.
He has been very listless the past several days and seems depressed again - inspite of getting both Gentimcin and Penicillian. His temps have stayed between 99.2 - 99.6 all week.
He gets one flake of alfalfa in the morning, high quality feed twice a day with EquiPride minerals and probiotics, zantac, and lots of love. But moves like Eyeore.
The initial blood tests, from today's blood draw, show his fibrinogen count normal, but his white blood cell count is still not normal. We sent the blood for further testing and should have those results by Monday.
I have taken video of him because his gait seems off and he seems to wobble around when he walks. I have uploaded it to YouTube and will add the link as soon as the video is available.
My concern is still that their may be other horses from 3-Strikes ranch that may have these symptoms and people are thinking it is just mal-nutrition, when it could be the same thing Dr. Bill has.
Here is a picture from today.
Today Dr Bill ran a low temperature part of the day he started out with a temp of 100.8, mid-day it was 101.2 and at dinner time 101.5, so we administered Bute to help get it down to normal limits. His appetite was down and I taped his weight at approx 615 pounds and he is 13.3 hh. Again his mood was depressed. This is day four on antibiotics, enzymes, electrolytes and a strict, but plentiful diet. Not much change is noticed.
I also took pictures of Shelby and Bella so you can see how they look. The first picture was taken at 3-Strikes Ranch on April 3, 2009 (one month ago), the second taken today.
Picture below take 1-30-09 a few days before leaving for 3-Strikes Ranch in Alliance, Nebraska.