Question: November 14, 2012 Our old AQHA stallion (20) has lost an incredible amount of body condition in the past week, his coat went from gorgeous
to dried out and ugly, his body condition moved from generous to ribby. He typically drinks maximum 5 gallons of water per day, he has quadrupled that consumption in the past 2 days.
The skin on his neck feels spongy.
His feces were formed normally (above) but by later afternoon but had liquid splatters in the snow around the main pile.
He has edema in all 4 legs.
Overall lethargy, he has been quiet the past 2 weeks but yesterday this went from quiet to lethargic. I walked him around the yard and he was not even interested in looking at the main herd, let alone talking to them or strutting his manly self as he usually does.
What is happening?
November 14, 2012 blood pulled, results will be available tomorrow morning.
November 15, 2012 Added electrolyte to his water. Edema was slightly reduced in 3 legs, almost completely in one hind leg. Neck is spongier. He is less lethargic, raised his head and pricked his ears when I came into his pen (normally he charges over talking). He drank 5 gallons of electrolyte and water this morning. Showed interest in something at the north end of his pen (non horse related), yesterday he showed interest in nothing.
November 17, 2012 Blood work is within the norm, nothing unusual. Swelling has subsided completely, water consumption down to 6 1/2 gallons. He is exhibiting close to his normal behavior-not quite as active as normal. Continuing to monitor closely and will probably pull blood on him again.
November 21, 2012 This stallion is recovering very rapidly with no intervention. His water consumption and feed is back to normal levels for him. He contracted strep through a crack in the skin, causing the edema. His body attempted to clear the strep by flushing copious amounts of fluid via the kidneys. We anticipate that he will regain the weight lost with no further troubles, however continually monitoring him is a necessity - he is old and it is winter in Saskatchewan.
Answer: I am not sure what is happening but my recommendation is to pull blood on him immediately. We will be able to determine if his kidneys are shutting down. We have had 3 cases recently that are very similar to your description that were successfully treated. Thanks Dr. D.