Friday, 16 December 2011

Update on the sick, lame and lazy

Hi Everyone,
Thought it was time to update everyone on the horse health front, as we've certainly had our fair share of problems this year!
Timone has now had his final treatment (around 4 weeks ago) so it has been a long road of box rest, walking out in hand and turning him out in the school. He is wearing round shoes now, and he is not great at keeping shoes on in the field in the winter, so we decided he would have to come and live in to give him the best chance of keeping his shoes on. Timone doesn't mind this at all, as he loves being in with all the attention.
He is now being lunged - meant to be quietly, but he has his moments where he takes off bucking and he is far sounder than he was before treatment. Unfortunately, he is still not completely sound and although he is happy being ridden in walk and lunged, he is still unlevel on his right fore, so unable to do any more work at this point. We're hoping that he will come fully sound eventually, but at least we're at a stage where he's comfy, happy and enjoying himself rather than feeling sore. We don't have any concerns with him continuing like this into the New Year, till we see if he comes fully sound, so you need to keep your fingers crossed for him!
Onto Reggie - who developed a worrying looking crack on his left hind foot and then went lame in the field. We decided to x-ray his back feet to see what was causing the crack, and to see how his foot balance looked as Reggie has always suffered from having dreadful feet - they are small, flat and in poor condition, so it is always a battle for our poor farrier to get shoes on and keep him sound, as well as keep his feet looking good. The x-rays showed that Reggie had poor foot balance, with his pedal bone basically veering off to one side, which was the underlying cause of the crack. Luckily, the x-ray showed no pedal fracture, which we were concerned about and showed that if we could get his foot balance improved, the crack would hopefully go away.
The vet and farrier discussed Reggies shoeing, as he is more problematic than a horse with good foot condition, as he is unable to take wearing heavier metal shoes (such as heart bars). They decided that the best type of shoe for Reggie would be an imprint sports shoe (there are photos of them coming soon on our facebook page), which are made of moulded plastic and basically glue onto the foot. This gives the foot slightly more mobility, meaning that the painful crack can move rather than being fixed in place. After 2 days - what a result! Reggie is now sound and ready to work, although he has had a slight problem when he pulled the plastic shoe off his good foot in his stable! He must know they are very expensive.......
Holly and Abbey are suffering from a bit of a cough this week, we were a bit paranoid and called the vet right away when Holly started coughing, as Chloe had a cough a week before we lost her, but the vet seems confident that it is just a bug that is going round them. They are obviously off work, and on a broncho dilator drug, and Holly has improved already. We often get bugs like this going round the yard every couple of years, so it just needs kept an eye on - Holly and Abbey appear to be enjoying their extra time off!
Speaking of Chloe, some of you may be aware that we requested a post mortem be done on her because we lost her so suddenly with such strange symptoms. Normally, we don't do a post mortem as the cause is obvious and the vet has been involved since the beginning, however with Chloe, we wanted to absolutely rule out that it wasn't something the other horses could catch or suffer from.
Chloes bloods showed that she was having a huge immuno response to something, and more telling, she had blood in her spinal fluid, meaning that she was haemoraging bleeding into her brain, hence why she started fitting suddenly. We also sent her lung and liver tissue away for analysis, which showed that she hadn't been exposed to any toxins, but that she had been bleeding into all her major organs. Although we won't ever have a complete answer, it would appear that Chloe had some kind of very odd response to something which led to her developing a clotting problem, or that she had a large tumour in her lung or close, which basically ruptured.
Whilst it is not an exact answer, it puts our mind at rest that there is nothing more we could have done for Chloe, and that euthanasing her was the right decision in hindsight.
Hopefully our next blog will have less horse health issues!

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