Botulism and horses. Healing vibes AND positive stories needed.

micramadam

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I can't believe I am asking for this again. Some of you may remember it was just over 2 years ago when my beloved Ruby was fighting for her life and didn't make it.
Her son, Four Seasons, our up and coming dressage star and the only thing we have left of her, is now fighting for his life and I am desperately hoping we don't lose him as well.
He moved livery yards on Saturday and on Sunday evening was rushed to the veterinary clinic seriously ill. At first we thought it may have something he had eaten as there are some poisonous bushes on the new property but not within reach of the horses.
The vets then thought they had diagnosed this today as persistent ddsp but it turns out he actually has botulism as do 5 other horses who came in today from the old livery yard.
Has anyone else had a horse with botulism? How was it treated and did they recover? For a recovered horse any long term side effects?
I'm not going into all the ins and outs of how he got this and he is getting the best care possible but any information that will help would be greatly appreciated.
 

WelshD

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19 October 2009
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I am so sorry, I remember poor Ruby's story

not a horse but I know of a dog that got botulism, he recovered but has been left a sensitive soul, his diet has been stripped right back as he has a sluggish digestive system that malfunctions very easily and he still gets muscle problems that cause him to not be able to move properly every now and again, his quality of life in general is good - he just cant be as rough and tumble as other dogs. its rare in dogs so it left the vets scratching their heads.

Hopefully the treatment for a horse is better and means your boy will bounce back ok
 

micramadam

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Thank you WelshD.

There are possibly some of you who will jump to conclusions that we are not feeding our caring for our horses correctly to have a life or death situation again.
When it comes to my horses and their health, I spare no expense. They get the best care possible and there are many many people who will vouch for us including vets etc. We just seem to be very very unlucky.
 

Pearlsacarolsinger

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I'm so sorry to hear your news. I do remember Ruby's sad story. I am sorry, I know nothing at all about botulism but am sending you <<<<<<vibes>>>>>>>>, in the hope that they help all the horses to recover.
 

WelshD

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I dont think that at all MM and would be surprised if anyone else does

Its clear that you are devoted to your animals and that you have had some terrible bad luck
 

Cobbytype

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Sorry to hear you're poor boy has botulism.

I recall there was an outbreak of botulism at a local equestrian college (Caythorpe) some years ago; the cause was thought to be rodent damage to haylage wrappers. I'm afraid I can't remember how many horses were affected, or whether any survived, but the fact that I can't remember suggests that it wasn't a total disaster. Maybe someone on here will have a better memory and be able to offer some positive news.
 

be positive

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Thank you WelshD.

There are possibly some of you who will jump to conclusions that we are not feeding our caring for our horses correctly to have a life or death situation again.
When it comes to my horses and their health, I spare no expense. They get the best care possible and there are many many people who will vouch for us including vets etc. We just seem to be very very unlucky.
Something such as botulism is no reflection on the care you give your horses and it would be unfair for anyone to suggest it, this sounds as if it was totally out of your hands and due to a contaminated batch of haylage as it has affected several horses on the same yard.
I hope you have caught it in time and that your stunning young horse can pull through, you do not deserve this after all you went through with Ruby, lots of vibes coming your way, will be thinking of you and your daughter who must be devastated.
 

Murphy88

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Firstly, so sorry to hear this, botulism is awful. How is your horse currently? The main thing with treatment is to administer the anti-toxin plasma as early as possible. Once the anti-toxin is administered, there should be no further progression of the disease and it is just a case of supportive care. Without the anti-toxin, the final outcome is respiratory failure. I have had some cases survive, all of whom were strong enough to walk into the clinic. One actually went down on the trailer on the way home and was unable to stand properly for a couple of days but the owners were diligent in turning him and giving fluids and he survived. Unfortunately, if the horse is already down and recumbent before it gets the anti-toxin it is much harder to come back from; it's going to be a minimum of a week before you see any improvement and that is a lot of time/expense in intensive care.

If he is just having trouble swallowing and you've caught it early then it is absolutely possible to save them, but it is just a slow process. We tell people to not expect any improvement for a least a week, maybe longer, and it can be a lot longer before the horse regains normal function.

Good luck with him.
 

Snow Falcon

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How horrid for you. I hope that he makes a full recovery. Nothing worse than losing a loved animal only for illness to strike again. Sending bucketloads of healing vibes.
 

skint1

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Botulism is one of those awful things that can strike anytime anywhere, please try not to blame yourself, though I know its the natural reaction sometimes. Sending good thoughts to you snd your horse x
 

sychnant

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I know nothing about botulism in horses apart from - this is not down to anything you have done wrong!

Sending vibes and best wishes to you and all the affected horses.
 

be positive

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I am so sorry, I came on hoping for good news, I cannot imagine how you are feeling but do not blame yourselves in any way, sending some virtual hugs as there is nothing else I can offer.
 

paddy555

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23 December 2010
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Four died at 07:00 this morning. The 2nd of 4 so far. The serum has just arrived and being administered to the remaining 4.
Devastated is not strong enough to describe what we feel.
I'm sorry. I had one with botulism who did survive. I know what it is like.
 

Merrymoles

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So, so sorry micramadam. My thoughts are with you. Nothing we can say will be any help right now but I hope it will be a comfort in future to know that other people are feeling for you. x
 

FestiveG

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I am so sorry for your devastating loss, what an awful illness and horrible outcome. Thoughts and sympathy to you and all the other owners going through this.
 

MadisonBelle

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24 July 2007
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So sorry for your loss..... I also lost my beloved mare to this horrid disease and am devastated for you and your family..........xxx
 

milliepops

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Another returning to your thread hoping for better news. So, so sorry to read this. He was a beautiful horse. You must all be in pieces. Please take care of yourselves.
 

Pen

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28 June 2010
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So very sorry to hear of your tragic loss. I can well imagine how totally shocked you must be at present having lost one of my own very suddenly earlier this year. Sending all strength and good wishes.
 

Tobiano

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I am so, so sorry. I too can empathise with how you must be feeling as I lost the youngster I had from 6 months old to egs 8 weeks Ago. Your Four sounded just wonderful. No words really just x x x x
 
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