Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Better News

One exhausting part about horses and illnesses is how your emotions can swing so wildly. I just talked to the vet, and he said Anatolian's x-rays show only a 2 or 3 degree rotation. He said he has had low-grade laminitis for a long time now, probably since before I got him; I agree with that now that I've thought back to ever since I met him and little things I've noticed about him. (I would also bet quite a bit that that was why he was such a dramatic flop at racing - Racehorses can be prone to laminitis due to all the grain they are pumped full of starting when they are babies, and if he consistently had a little bit of inflammation in his feet, then no wonder he didn't try very hard).

Anyway, I told the vet honestly that I am not capable of dealing with a horse for the next 20 years who has to be fed a very strict diet and has to be watched every day to try to prevent flareups, and who would still inevitably have flareups occasionally, causing his feet (and my wallet) intense pain. I also said that, while I had been resigned to him possibly having bony injuries from the track to keep him from being ridden much, if he was a permanent cripple/on the edge of lameness, that that would not be fair to him at all. The vet listened to me, and said that in this case, if it were his horse, he would definitely try the bute for a few weeks, icing, and simple egg bar shoes. We discussed shoeing/barefoot options this morning, and even though I am a strong believer in barefoot for soundness and recovery from laminitis, it does require a good and experienced trimmer to help. Since the guy I was using has been so reluctant to come up to this area any more, there really isn't anyone like that around here. So, we will try the shoes once. The vet works with this farrier all the time and says he's had a lot of good results. So, we'll see!

Anatolian has a reprieve of a few weeks. Very little movement for him (fun, fun) and lots of icing and bute. Grass hay only, with applesauce and bute to relieve the boredom. I am really hoping this works!

Andolu is usually a good boy about medical stuff/cleaning stuff, and he is good about the bute. But it has been a bit interesting doing the icing so far. I'm not doing his legs now, but his feet. I do have a wide rubber pan to put the ice and water in, so it is easier to get his feet in. Then I sit on the stool next to him and try to read. I keep the end of the lead rope looped around his leg, and that way he can't take his foot out of the pan. He is supposed to eat while he soaks, but it seems to be making him grumpy, so he has been making persistent efforts to bite me or eat my book. Argh! Despite this, the only times I've been able to relax today have been out there with him...

Anyway, I am amazingly ecstatic that it was such a "little" bit of rotation. The vet says he does not expect this to escalate into Mira-style bills and that we will re-evaluate immediately if he does not respond the way he should. So for now, I am to pray a lot and try to keep him sane! Does anyone have any good ways to make toys?


L

8 comments:

onthebit said...

Are lamanitis and founder the same thing? We have a pony at the barn where I work with 9 degrees of rotation from founder and he is still happy as a clam. We do muzzle him for turnout and he only gets grass hay, but thats the extent of his special needs. I cannot imagine that 2-3 degree rotation would prevent you from doing really anything with him.

Original L said...

Laminitis often leads to founder... He has mild founder. I do know of a lot of horses who have been successfully rehabbed and are working sound with 20 degrees of rotation. It's the maintenance of an insulin-resistant horse that scares me. Soaking hay before feeding, being super careful about treats, watching the stress because it can trigger an episode, being ultra careful about the feet - for 20+ years - he is not IR right now, so maybe he is going to be an easy case to manage. The bad thing right now is stall rest for 4 months! If I could just give him hot chocolate and a book to read...

Lori Schmidt (LoriProPhoto) said...

Hi L, it has been a while since my last visit andmy blogging in general has been suffering but I am trying to pull myself straight aain and get motivated.

I am so sorry to hear of the problems that you are having with Dude, poor boy, laminitis is no fun at all. Here's hoping that your treatments and the bute work and the shoeing helps. I will be back to keep up to date.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there and don't give up just yet. I have a welsh mare that was diagnosed with chronic founder.
(We've only had her for a few years so yes we were duped but I couldn't let this sweet thing suffer due to unnecessary gross human negligence by the previous owner.) With a little patience you can get the "founder care" down. It's not that complicated.

We only feed our mare triple crown low starch pellets (keeping potential IR in check) and grass hay. Buy last years and you won't have as much sugar and no need to soak. No grazing at all and she wears a grazing bucket when in a grass paddock. Soaking does take time yes, and sometimes I don't have it. So during those days I bought the largest size of disposable diapers and soak them in water till they are satureated then stick them in the freezer. They are easy to wrap around a hoof with the velcro tabs and I don't have to sit there. I also wrap one around her lower legs too up to her knees. That's really important to not over look that part of the leg. Hooves alone don't cut it. Even when our pony had the worst inflamation and 12 degree rotation in one hoof, she was only on stall rest for one month. Recheck that. You must keep the blood circulating!!! For that minimal rotation that seems excessive. Our pony is on no treats at all expept when I have to give her medication....apples help the medicine go down. Get your horse a good probiotic chewable from your local health food store. (mine likes the banana flavored one) Helps keep the gut incheck if long bute treatment is necessary. (Don't want colic on top of founder) Know that you are not alone, it will get easier but it is a roller coaster ride so read everything you can online.
Good luck and hang in there. PS. The pony mare canters around on days, and has lost lots of weight. She looks awesome and will be bred next year and can be lightly ridden. Her hunter show days are over but her wonderful personality is better than ever and she is a member of our family. We just couldn't turn our backs on her when she needed us the most. I now smile broadly every time she canters around her paddock.

Original L said...

Hi Lori, nice to see you again. Yeah, my blogging has been pretty pathetic the last few months too. Life gets in the way!

Anon - thanks so much! Those are great tips. I am going to get a daily probiotic supplement for him. I used to read a lot about how to prevent/treat laminitis and thought they were getting a good preventive diet, so this was a shock! I know it is very achievable to rehab him, but I'm hoping it won't be too long and complicated of a process.

Original L said...

Hi Lori, nice to see you again. Yeah, my blogging has been pretty pathetic the last few months too. Life gets in the way!

Anon - thanks so much! Those are great tips. I am going to get a daily probiotic supplement for him. I used to read a lot about how to prevent/treat laminitis and thought they were getting a good preventive diet, so this was a shock! I know it is very achievable to rehab him, but I'm hoping it won't be too long and complicated of a process.

Rising Rainbow said...

That's a very slight rotation. That's good news at least. It's early to be thinking about what this might turn into. Don't put yourself through that until it's time to do so........that will be plenty soon enough if that time comes.

Original L said...

RR - I am trying not to worry too much. I do feel a lot better now, thanks!