Saturday, September 26, 2009

Severally Stung!

My dear Jessie is suffering from an attack of yellow jackets. I didn't know what happened in the first few days. She showed no drastic signs last Thursday evening when I think she was stung. The following Saturday morning, she didn't want to eat her hay which is not good as she loves to gobble hay although she did eat a 'cookie' and she did graze a little bit. All gut sounds were normal in all quadrants. Her poo was excellent but she was off and didn't track up when I hand walked her. I figured she was sore since both horses were running and bucking as they often do when it comes time to bring them in from the 'barn' paddock. I gave her Banamine paste since she responds best to that anti-inflammatory. She ate some of her grain and seemed to perk up so I turned both horses out in the larger paddock down the lane next to the cemetery. She tracked up just fine on the way back to the barn after a 5 hour turnout although she was walking a bit slow, but she does that at times. She is 25 years old and it was a relatively warm and muggy day. Her legs felt cool and held no heat. I always feel the legs and hooves being an eventer.


The next morning she was off hay and grain and treats and her water bucket was untouched! I went to walk her and she was extremely stiff in her hind legs so I immediately quit. I knew she was in a lot of pain. I felt all over her body, looking for sore spots, tissue damage, bite or kick marks, anything. She had no leg heat except overall she felt too warm and when I bent over to feel at her 'ankles', I looked up and discovered her udder area was severally swollen and huge. OMG! What is going on? My good vet came within an hour. She was in such pain that she could not stand anyone touching the hot red swollen areas. He lightly sedated her so she wouldn't kick while he visually examined the tender areas. Her temperature was 102.5 (slightly elevated) with horses the average is 100-101.I shined this huge spot light for him which helped tremendously. She began to develop breathing problems and acted totally 'drunk' as they say (can be common in sedation but Jess has been sedated many times with ankle injections, etc. and this was a first). I couldn't stand watching the labored breathing and tears began to well up. It was difficult to remain calm. Jess is my baby and this was not a good sign. My vet had no idea what caused the swelling. No snake bite evidence. No marks at that time whatsoever. Even her 'private area' was a bit swollen and underneath her jaws was puffy. Had this been a brown recluse, the skin would have shown damage by now. Black widow bite? He didn't think so. Maybe Blue kicked her? No shoe marks, no nothing! We were clueless.He prescribed antibiotics (Uniprim powder...like smz only called sdz which signifies it is in powder form...anything stronger she colics) and Banamine paste twice a day and mercifully he injected her with Banamine IV. That helped so much! I also gave her Gastroguard as she can be sensitive to all of those meds at once. Long story short, she is eating and drinking, and her blood test results were fine. The huge edemas have moved to her belly (they travel to the lowest point) and the udders themselves were never swollen, just the surrounding areas which remain swollen and firm but with no heat. I have added Tri-Hist to her daily regimen and Ulcerguard as a preventative. She is finished with her Uniprim and gets Banamine once daily. I can now see tiny black hairless marks all over her stomach, udder area and back legs. I found a couple of tiny scabs. I called the vet Friday evening, worried that the udder area has not shrunk at the pace I expected and thinking Cortizone would be the next step but he cautioned me that founder could be a result and with her age and the fact that she is eating and drinking and pooping very well to wait it out a couple of more days. This has to be yellow jackets. We killed a nest near the house two weeks ago. My poor baby girl. I pray she heals 100% with no complications very soon. Prayers to you my dear Jessie. I love you so very much!

14 comments:

lisa said...

Poor Jessie, I am soo glad to hear from you! I know how you feel, it is so scary to go to your baby and know something is wrong and not be able to figure it out! I lost my first horse, and we still to this day don't actually know what happened. We think he had an airbubble and it burst, he bled to death internally and that was one of the worst day's and you are so lucky to have found what was wrong and I hope she is ok.

Anne Marie said...

banamine worked well with Jordan a few years back (which she is prone to collic too) -

she had an abcess that went away with treatment

and we have noticed she most likely has some sort of cancer........poor honey......my heart aches when I think of it -
hope your jessie gets well soon........

JC said...

Oh My ... bees are so dangerous. My cat, Lacey Ann, was stung ... this is many years ago ... her face and leg were swollen. At the time, I just had a feeling that something was really wrong. I took her in and the vet said she had been stung and would have died if I hadn't gotten her in. It was going up into her head.

I do hope your sweet horse get better each day.

Now, go find those nasty bees

Kathleen Coy said...

Oh, poor thing! Sending love and prayers to your Jessie. Yellowjackets have been terrible here this Fall. It almost makes me wish for a hard frost to kill them off, even though I'm not ready for that yet.

Kritter Keeper said...

thank you dear bloggy buddies for your comments and prayers for jessie. yes, i want to find them and walked on the outside of the paddock and didn't see a thing a warning bee or hear anything...i know she is in that corner...just a matter of finding them!

Jan's Place USA and Mt Forest Pictures said...

I can only imagine how scary this is...I am so glad Jesse is on the mend. You obviously have a good vet.

Yellow Jackets are so vicious...

and welcome back.. I have missed you! I figure with the road issue and summer, you have been pretty busy.

Paint Girl said...

I am so sorry to hear about Jessie! I hope it heals real soon! I will keep you and Jessie in my thoughts and prayers!!

Andora said...

I hope poor Jesse gets better real soon..those yellow jackets are very bad..I hope you can find them and burn that nest out...my hubby got into a nest of them and they really messed him up for a while...take care..

Ali said...

Oooh poor baby (and poor YOU!) I will pray that she recovers soon too. And that you can find the yellow jackets and get rid of them. It is so good to hear from you, I was missing ya =)

Dusty Devoe said...

I will keep Jessie in my prayers. I hope your sweet baby gets better soon.

Rural Rambler said...

Kritter Keeper I am so happy to see you, I have missed you! But I am so sorry that your sweet Jessie is dealing with yellow jacket stings. I am praying for 100% recovery too and quickly! She is a beautiful bay girl!

Julia said...

That swelling is so bad it looks like pigeon fever! How awful. She must have been stung by 20 or 30 or more wasps/bees? I hope she is back to normal quickly and you can feel a little relief. It's hard to look at your loved horse with those kind of swellings... My Gemma horse had strangles last fall SEVERELY. It took four months for the abscesses to rupture. And another 2 to get totally well again. :(

Leslie said...

My thoughts and prayers are with Jessie and you I wish her a full and fast recovery. It must have been so scary for both of you. You are such a loving mom and that will make all the difference. PS - I hope you find those bees real soon.

City girl turned Country Girl said...

Oh your poor baby!! I hope she is feeling better now! I know how frustrating it can be in situations like this..