Archive for September 22nd, 2011

Concern, Greed, Insanity, or Smarts?

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

I didn’t want to post on this until I saw clear improvement in Fudge.  On August 17th I told you that I had worked with my vet to order the decoquinate preventative for Fudge, because he does have a low titer to Sn.  Over the course of the month, I have given Fudge the prevention dose.  And, well, I see great improvement in the amount of feed he drops.  Will this convert to better work under saddle?  I don’t know – he goes bitless:-)

I have done a lot of reading on decoquinate over the past month.  It appears from published literature to be very safe.  It’s over the counter (OTC) for all other farm animals.  So… I get this hair-brained idea to see if a full treatment dose will help more.  Some of you will read this, and pick an adjective from those in the title.  Maybe you have another one.  No, my vet was not consulted on this.

While safe, there is a trade-off with the immune system.  At the preventative dose, the protozoa in the intestines are killed, and a few in the blood stream or intracellular.  The few killed in the blood circulate.  It primes the immune system to produce IgG antibodies specific to Sn.  This cuts the two-week lag time for the horse to go from non-specific IgM antibodies to specific IgG antibodies.  This is important when the protozoa reproduce and multiply by four every few hours.

At the treatment dose, all Sn protozoa in the body are killed within 10 days, and the body stops producing IgG antibodies because there are not any more dead protozoa in the system.  I have shot the immune-training ability of the preventative.  But, what IF Fudge had a sub-clinical infection?  The only way to find out was to give the treatment dose.  I’ll let you know what happens.

A word of warning.  Decoquinate is OTC for other animals.  It is also combined with Rumensin or Monensin which are both very toxic to horses.  Don’t use OTC decoquinate for your beloved horse.