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.