April 21, 2015 should be a day Perk Me Up Now (O’Malley) will never forget. The emaciated three year old gelding was purchased by Michelle Breaux and immediately brought to Garner Equine for evaluation of his malnourished condition. Dr. Seale did a thorough examination, completed some in-house lab work and collected stool samples to be sent to Texas A&M for further testing. The initial in-house complete blood count and chemistry profile results were to be expected with a horse in his condition.
He was started on systemic antibiotics, anabolic steroids, and his grain ration, fat supplement, and alfalfa were gradually increased to the maximum he could safely be fed. The next two weeks O’Malley enjoyed the increase in feed and hay but still had loose stool that seemed to negate all of the good feed he was getting.
When the laboratory results from the stool samples came back it was clear what had been causing his weight loss issues. O’Malley had rotavirus; this virus (which usually affects younger foals) spreads through licking contaminated fecal matter. When ingested, the virus attaches itself to the intestinal lining limiting food digestion. This makes it impossible for the foal or horse to digest and absorb milk or feed resulting in diarrhea, malnutrition and dehydration. If not treated, the infection can lead to death.
Long term steroids and probiotics were going to be the plan. O’Malley was hospitalized at Garner Equine for sixty-six days. The transformation had just started when he went to his new home to continue his recovery. Today he has completely recovered from the rotavirus and, as you can see from the pictures, is doing great and ready to get started under saddle.