A textbook case of bastard strangles | TSLN.com

A textbook case of bastard strangles

Loretta Sorenson

When his easy-going Belgian gelding, Pat, first started backing off on feed and hanging out more and more by himself in the pasture, Alan Sorensen wasn’t unusually alarmed. Timid in nature, Pat generally kept some distance between himself and Sorensen’s other four Belgians.

“I didn’t get overly concerned till he started backing off his grain,” Sorensen says. “Pat always inhaled his ration. Typically he eats so fast that I keep rocks in the feedbox to slow him down. I noticed that he was just nibbling at the hay I fed out in the yard. He’d take a few bites and then just walk away.”

After observing Pat for a couple of days and pondering the options for the gelding’s strange behavior, Sorensen noticed some swelling on Pat’s right side, just behind the belly area.

“My first thought was that he’d been kicked,” Sorensen says. “Timid as he is, the other horses gang up on him sometimes. It wouldn’t have surprised me to know a hoof connected in a scuffle.”

Over the next couple of days, as Pat’s appetite continued to decline and his massive frame showed signs of significant weight loss, Sorensen decided it was time to consult a veterinarian.

“The symptoms were pretty vague and I kept second-guessing myself as to whether or not there was really anything wrong with him,” Sorensen says.

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Initial bloodwork that included a complete blood count (CBC) and serum chemistry panel didn’t reveal anything conclusive. When the veterinarian recommended taking Pat to Dakota Large Animal Clinic (DLAC) in Harrisburg, SD for an abdominal and thoracic ultrasound and second opinion regarding his condition, Sorensen readily agreed.

“The veterinarians were just as puzzled as I was,” Sorensen recalls. “It was clear that something was wrong, but none of the tests or exams were revealing the problem.”

When his easy-going Belgian gelding, Pat, first started backing off on feed and hanging out more and more by himself in the pasture, Alan Sorensen wasn’t unusually alarmed. Timid in nature, Pat generally kept some distance between himself and Sorensen’s other four Belgians.

“I didn’t get overly concerned till he started backing off his grain,” Sorensen says. “Pat always inhaled his ration. Typically he eats so fast that I keep rocks in the feedbox to slow him down. I noticed that he was just nibbling at the hay I fed out in the yard. He’d take a few bites and then just walk away.”

After observing Pat for a couple of days and pondering the options for the gelding’s strange behavior, Sorensen noticed some swelling on Pat’s right side, just behind the belly area.

“My first thought was that he’d been kicked,” Sorensen says. “Timid as he is, the other horses gang up on him sometimes. It wouldn’t have surprised me to know a hoof connected in a scuffle.”

Over the next couple of days, as Pat’s appetite continued to decline and his massive frame showed signs of significant weight loss, Sorensen decided it was time to consult a veterinarian.

“The symptoms were pretty vague and I kept second-guessing myself as to whether or not there was really anything wrong with him,” Sorensen says.

Initial bloodwork that included a complete blood count (CBC) and serum chemistry panel didn’t reveal anything conclusive. When the veterinarian recommended taking Pat to Dakota Large Animal Clinic (DLAC) in Harrisburg, SD for an abdominal and thoracic ultrasound and second opinion regarding his condition, Sorensen readily agreed.

“The veterinarians were just as puzzled as I was,” Sorensen recalls. “It was clear that something was wrong, but none of the tests or exams were revealing the problem.”

When his easy-going Belgian gelding, Pat, first started backing off on feed and hanging out more and more by himself in the pasture, Alan Sorensen wasn’t unusually alarmed. Timid in nature, Pat generally kept some distance between himself and Sorensen’s other four Belgians.

“I didn’t get overly concerned till he started backing off his grain,” Sorensen says. “Pat always inhaled his ration. Typically he eats so fast that I keep rocks in the feedbox to slow him down. I noticed that he was just nibbling at the hay I fed out in the yard. He’d take a few bites and then just walk away.”

After observing Pat for a couple of days and pondering the options for the gelding’s strange behavior, Sorensen noticed some swelling on Pat’s right side, just behind the belly area.

“My first thought was that he’d been kicked,” Sorensen says. “Timid as he is, the other horses gang up on him sometimes. It wouldn’t have surprised me to know a hoof connected in a scuffle.”

Over the next couple of days, as Pat’s appetite continued to decline and his massive frame showed signs of significant weight loss, Sorensen decided it was time to consult a veterinarian.

“The symptoms were pretty vague and I kept second-guessing myself as to whether or not there was really anything wrong with him,” Sorensen says.

Initial bloodwork that included a complete blood count (CBC) and serum chemistry panel didn’t reveal anything conclusive. When the veterinarian recommended taking Pat to Dakota Large Animal Clinic (DLAC) in Harrisburg, SD for an abdominal and thoracic ultrasound and second opinion regarding his condition, Sorensen readily agreed.

“The veterinarians were just as puzzled as I was,” Sorensen recalls. “It was clear that something was wrong, but none of the tests or exams were revealing the problem.”

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