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DrMelJ, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 825
Experience:  experience in racetrack medicine and general practice; owned and ridden horses throughout life.
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I have rescued a horse and she has, what looks to be fluid

Customer Question

hi, i have rescued a horse and she has, what looks to be fluid under her belly and at the bottom of her neck between her front legs. it seems quiet excessive. it is hanging down about 5 inches and totally covers her belly.
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?
Customer: there is no wounds on her feet
JA: What is the horse's name and age?
Customer: her name is ***** ***** she is 16 months old
JA: Is there anything else the veterinarian should be aware of about bambi?
Customer: not that i know about
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 10 months ago.

Hi there. Thanks for the question. I am sorry you have had to wait so long for a response. The edema along the lower part of her body is very concerning. This happens most often when a horse is not very low protein or is not able to absorb protein from their gut. Here are some possibly explanations:

1.As a rescue horse sometimes this is because they have been starved and their body is not able to absorb the protein well. DO NOT feed a newly rescued horse a rich diet.....very plain grass hay in small amounts initially to help them get used to it.

2. Significant intestinal parasite infection can affect GI absorbtion of protein. Be VARY careful about deworming a young neglected horse on your own....use vet supervision....killing off too many worms at once can cause fatal reactions.

3.Additionally As a young horse, Lawsonia infection is a possibility as well. This is an infection of the GI tract that thickens the gut wall so that they can not absorb nutrients and will cause edema along the head, neck and belly. A vet can perform tests to check for this disease and start treatment.

4. NON GI tract related- if this horse has a significant heart abnormality, it can also cause edema of the body and legs. Has a vet listened to her heart?

I would highly recommend a vet exam to help you determine what is going on. I hope this helps. Best wishes.

Expert:  DrMelJ replied 10 months ago.

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?