Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

Tucker's Liberation

Dr. Klayman was out today to give fall vaccines. He examined Tucker and decided he could go back out with the other horses.

He decided to give Tuck a pretty good dose of tranquilizer to keep him calm until his buddies settled back down with him.

Tucker was super quiet with the drugs. Toby was rather confused and tried a few "stallion" squeals and strikes. Not sure what that was exactly unless he was reestablishing his role as dominant horse. At any rate, there was nothing malicious about it and soon all three Boys were scattered about the front paddock nibbling on what is left of the grass.

Later, they all made their way out to the pasture.

When I went out to feed dinner, all three came to my whistle at a nice walk and headed for their original stalls. (Tucker and Chance had switched stalls for the three month lock up.)  It was as if the imprisonment had never even happened.

The run-in on Chance's side still has the side blocked off with corral panels just in case Tucker's hock flares up and he has to be penned up again.

I do need to monitor Tuck for a while to be sure his leg is really OK. Dr. Klayman told me to call him immediately if it causes any problem. Tucker also does not have front shoes for the time being. No point in shoeing him until I am sure he is OK. I would actually love to leave him barefoot, but that has not been possible in the past as he seems to bruise easily.

Right now, it's a happy "wait and see."  It is quite a relief to have Tuck out and about. He was supremely good about the layup, but freedom is so much better.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Saw Them A-Frolicking

The Chestnut Frolic

I was so happy this morning just before I went out to feed the Boys.

Chance and Toby were trotting, galloping, and frolicking all over the arena and paddocks. Chance, especially was full tilt and trotting along without a trace of a limp.

Normally, this would not be a big deal, but considering that a month ago, Chance was dead lame and Toby was just coming off some soreness himself.

Toby was sore in front in September, to the point that I called the vet out to make sure he was not having a bout of laminitis. (he has Cushings)  My vet was totally puzzled and we even drew blood to rule out some kind of other physical issue including Lyme. We ruled out EPM or other neurologic conditions and later discovered all the bloodwork was perfectly normal.

I bought some Keratex and started painting Toby's soles with it, and that seemed to do the trick. Scott, my farrier, had trimmed him a few weeks before, and I guess his soles were tender. The trimming was not too short by any means, but the dry, hard ground may had played a role.

Anyhow, that did not solve Chance's lameness. As readers already know, my treatment for Lyme disease may well have helped him turn the corner.

However, I had not seen the Boys playing much and Chance didn't seem to be expending any extra energy out on the paddock. He was generally walking kind of slowly and just lazing about.

Not this morning. It gave me a thrill to see them romping like that.

I did feel sorry for Tucker, though. He was watching them frolic from his tiny little pen.  He looked more wistful than anything. I've only seen him get riled up once or twice since his confinement. Either his hock hurts or he understands he must be careful until he heals. Too, over the last nearly three months, he's lost a lot of muscle.

Dr. Klayman, the vet who took care of Tuck's hock in the first place, will be out tomorrow to give all the Boys their fall vaccinations. I will see what he says about the hock.

Meanwhile, I do need to share a trail ride story to finish. up:  I'm not a big fan of hunting, but I do respect hunter's rights and the game laws. I could never do it myself, but I do understand those who hunt.
I just want to compliment a hunter I met while I was out riding Chance the other day. He was aiming his gun into the woods from the field lane I was riding in. I whistled to let him know I was coming and he immediately dropped his gun, "broke it" and stepped backward off the lane to give me room to ride past. He also asked if my horse would be OK if he was standing there.

I thanked him, of course. Then he told me he was just about to shoot a squirrel when he heard me.

"So I saved a squirrel's life?" I asked.
He grinned and nodded.
"I like squirrels," I said.
"So do I," he answered. "They are delicious." We both had a bit of a laugh and I rode on, telling him I'd be back along the same track shortly after I rode one of the shorter wood trails.
He told me he'd be gone by then and we parted our friendly ways.
I have such respect for him. Not only did he give up his shot, maybe his planned dinner for me, but he also went out of his way to make sure I and my horse were safely on our way. Thank you, sir. You are a true sportsman and a gentleman. You are a model for hunters everywhere.
I guess the squirrel needs to thank me.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Rather Excited

Good News So Far

As you recall from my last post, Chance was VERY lame.  It could have been a resurgence of his navicular, but I suspected, since he seemed sore on all four, that it was actually a recurrence of his Lyme disease.

After a some research and a better understanding of how the Lyme bacteria can hide and play chameleon in the body I decided that another course of antibiotics might not fix things.

For more information on how insidious Lyme is, this is an excellent presentation by Dr. Joyce Harman:  Lyme Disease in Horses.

After listening to an online forum presented by Dr. Harman, I decided trying some other protocol would be worth the effort.

My research in the past into colloidal silver as a good antibiotic which bacteria and viruses cannot resist, led me to this site:  Colloidal Silver for Horses  This is a veterinarian's site and he endorses the silver.

So, using information from both sources, I decided to put Chance on colloidal silver and colostrum to build up his immune system. I also ordered another herbal immune booster from Australia, but that just arrived a few days ago, so I will not yet put it into the equation.

After about a week or two of treatment, and a new set of shoes from Scott, my farrier, Chance did seem a bit better, but not quite.  So for about four days, I put him on a course of bute, twice a day, tapering down to once a day. He was much better on the bute and it may well have triggered the inflammation to subside.

I have continued the silver, colostrum, and immune supplements since. I has now been just a bit under a month since I started treating him.

I am excited and delighted to say that after a quick lunge to see how Chance looked at the trot, I saw a virtually sound horse!

So, I saddled up and took a short trail ride. I could hardly keep him at the walk as he just wanted to trot merrily off.

My seat was OK, but definitely not good enough to ride an eager horse for too long, but my brain was so happy I didn't care.

I need to work on my own seat until I regain all the riding muscles I need, but at last I have a horse ready to go.

I am absolutely delighted.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Chance Report

You Never Quite Know

I am currently treating Chance for Lyme disease by using immune system herbs and colloidal silver.

I am not 100% sure that is why he was lame, but it's worth a shot here.

My farrier, Scott, came out and checked his front hoofs, trimmed and rebalanced his shoeing, and that also helped. When he pulled the shoes, he tested for soreness and found absolutely nothing.  I would have thought if it was navicular syndrome, there would be some heel soreness.

After listening to a lecture from Dr. Joyce Harman on the Internet, I realize that Lyme is a most sinister disease that hides in the body where antibiotics cannot touch it. The only way the body can rid itself of the bacteria for good an all is for the immune system to figure out what the invader is and finally conquer it instead of being led astray.

I am still awaiting an immune formula from Australia, but I am using colostrum supplement at the moment.

Colloidal silver is a very effective antibiotic that attacks bacteria that are immune to antibiotics. It disrupts their ability to function.  It has been successfully used against Lyme.

I gave Chance a course of bute for about four days and have since weaned him off. So far, as of this morning....third day without bute...he looked pretty good.

I'm keeping my hopes up. He is such a sweet horse and such a good trail mount, I really do want to be able to ride him.

But for now, I just want him to be happy and sound enough to enjoy the lovely fall weather roaming about the paddocks and pasture.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Good News, Bad News Again.

Back in the Saddle

I finally managed to take a ride today.

I knew as soon as I got on Chance that he did not feet super sound. He had lyme disease last summer and when he finally recovered, the vet was pretty sure he had navicular. We treated that with Osphos, he seemed much better and then we found out he had OCD in his stifle. That would not keep him from being a trail horse--and he LOVES trails.

So today, after working all summer to fix my own hip issues, I saddled him up and headed out for a short trail ride.

It was shorter than I expected because a tree branch snagged my prescription glasses about 2 feet out of the arena and I had to dismount to look for them. Since I really couldn't see to well, I didn't find them. So I headed back into the barn, cross-tied Chance and went into the house to put in my contact lenses so I could hunt for my glasses.

Fortunately, I found them hanging on a bush.

I remounted and headed out. Poor Chance felt like he was walking on rocks. He was decidedly lame on both front feet. Bummer.

I've contacted my vet to see if there is anything we can do to help him out.

Meanwhile, Tucker is still laid up and will be until at least January.

And Toby, the elder master of the herd is just acting strangely. I had to vet out to look at him when I thought he might actually be having a bout of laminitis. But he was fine. His blood work was fine, neurologic tests were fine, and he does not have Lyme disease.

He is sluggish come in for meals and is walking "funny."  I did start to paint his feet with Keratex just in case his feet are sore from the summer ground.

It's just strange.

So, three horses in the barn and I'm not sure I can ride.

At least the Boys are in my back yard, so I can easily take care of them with all their special needs.


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Medical Update on Tucker

Not The Best News For Sure

I've been icing Tucker's hock with frozen diapers/epsom salts twice a day now for over a week.

There isn't much change in appearance.

I contacted my vet to see how long this tendon sheath injury may take to heal.

His answer? 6-8 months.

Tucker will need to be confined for the whole time.

Holy moley!

I am going to need to find a way to entertain him. He does have the run in shed in addition to his stall, so he gets "out," sort of. And I have to admit Toby and Chance do spend a lot of time visiting him, so that's good.

I've been picking grass 2-3 times a day to give him with his hay.  But what I will do when the weather changes and the grass dies, I do not know.

In the meantime, after talking it over with my human chiropractor, I realized there is one option I haven't tried....kinesiology tape. I've used it with great success on my knees, and it is used on horses.

I found a website with some good directions for taping a hock to reduce inflammation, and I ordered the horse version of the tape from Amazon. It should be here by Thursday.

It is not a cure, but the support and stimulation the taping offers could speed healing.

I don't know if my vet is aware of taping, but I emailed him about it. It's a "no harm" treatment, so there should be no problem.

Now, do you think I need to get Tuck a TV?

Latest hock pictures:

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

No Significant Change

But An Escape!

I was in Tucker's stall, adjusting the ice boot on his hock and I left his stall gate open.

What I did not realize was that Chance's stall gate (Tucker's actual stall as he is rehabbing in Chance's stall and run in) was open as well.

Tucker made a break for it. Out he went into the paddock. The ice boot slid down around his ankle scattering the ice packs hither and yon as he trotted about, and even took a few strides of canter as I grabbed a lead rope and tried to catch him.

Fortunately, it was hot. Fortunately neither Chance nor Toby felt inclined to join in the romp.

Fortunately the water trough seemed more attractive to Tucker than a full breakaway. Besides the slipped hock boot and his not quite comfy hock gave him enough pause to stop for a drink and I snagged him with the rope around his neck.

Bless all the ground work I've done because as soon as I had the rope looped around him, he was under my control. I let him drink and led him back into the confined safety of the barn.


He certainly didn't get any more exercise than he would have on the end of a lead line if I'd tried to walk him

With a potential tendon sheath injury some limited exercise is OK, such as walking about the little run in shed area, but trotting and cantering are not.  Bless his heart that he put his head back together and calmed down as soon as I caught him again.

I keep telling him I'm so sorry he has to stay in like this. I think he understands and is really trying to be good about it.

I may call my vet tomorrow just to give him a report on the fact that the swelling seems to be pretty much the same. I wonder if he has any other ideas to help ease it a bit.

Meantime, I've been watching the Olympic horse events on line, live streaming them from NBC Olympics.  If you have the NBC stations on your cable or satellite provider, you can watch too. If not, I don't know if the US offers any other way of watching. NBC has exclusive rights.

On the plus side, they do offer coverage of just about every event at the Games live without commercial interruption.

Oh, by the way, the announcers for the horse events---on the Internet feed, not on broadcast TV--really know their stuff. Good commentary for the most part and good analysis. On TV? Well one could wish for better.