Sweating Symptom in 18 year old gelding who also has odd abscess in area of two year old pigeon fever.


I would like clarification regarding sweating as a symptom.  I have an 18 year old Norwegian Fjord who is very, very overweight.  We tested him last winter, and his ACTH was fine, but his letpin and glucose were high.  I will get the exact numbers from the vet.  His hair coat might be a little long and rougher than it should be, both winter and summer, but I am not certain of that. His body condition score is probably between a 7 & 8 right now.  We have reduced his feed to 15 lbs a day (roughly 1.5 % his ideal weight, and he is slowly,, slowly developing some condition.. On California Trace, salt, magnesium, flax, vitamin E, and meadow grass hay that appears to be low enough calorie, but is not tested..  He is fat enough in the sheath that his pee sometimes comes out wrong because his penis is surrounding by so much fatty sheath.  Fat pads on shoulders, relatively soft crest, but enlarged.

He does not look unwell, or have a pained look in his eye that my other Cushingoid horses have had.   His coat might be just a bit heavy, but not certain.  Feet seem to be fine, but I have seen him ouchy last winter.

 His main suspicious symptom is that he sweats when other horses are not visibly sweating, and when his hair coat does not appear to be much, if any, heavier than his pasture mates.  This is at a standstill, in sun, and is on the sides of the shoulders, belly and flanks.  And between the front legs.  

His other symptom is a waxing and waiting "infected" area on his shoulder that is left over from treating pigeon fever.  I probably caused it by too aggressively flushing the area with betadine, but without perfect sterile  technique.  It recently swelled up and burst, but then wanted to close over.  Calcified behind  the area.  Not painful like you would expect an abscess to be.  When he lowers his head, the area sometimes pop like there are air bubbles trapped in the shoulder area.  We treated with SMZ's for 10 days, and it went right down but has since shown signs of minor resurgence. .  Vet took sample from inside and found Staph aureus, and agromyces (I think...not actinomyces).  It is funny.  You will notice a "puff" of blood on his shoulder every so often, with no sign of where it came from, but it must be from the abcess.  

We took  a blood sample  for an  SHI, which I gather finds pigeon fever abscesses.  The pigeon fever episode ended two years ago but the same popping was present in the shoulder at that time.  the shoulder is not overly enlarged from what I can see, but it seems to be calcified.

I have no doubt that this horse is IR, and we are working on getting that under control (finally), but I am wondering what the sweating might be a clue of?  Am suspicious of the longstanding infection as well.  Could he be sweating just because he is so fat, or is this potentially a clue about Cushings?  I am expecting the ACTH to come back elevated, but not drastically so given it is the time of the seasonal rise.  I used the sweating and the two year old abscess as motivation to get the ACTH test, but do not know if it could just be a sign of IR?

Will work on a case history tomorrow.  This horse is Odin.   Brother, whose case history is below, and needs updating, is doing spectacularly on 1mg Prascend at age 25.
Gail Russell 8/30/2008


Brother Case History

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