If you follow my BGD page on facebook, you may have seen a rather vague but slightly depressing post this week. And this would be the follow up explanation as far as I know for the moment.
Jack has been NQR for a couple weeks, but nothing so alarming that we should call the vet. Until it got alarming enough to call the vet. And the vet confirmed that I’d likely be drowning my sorrows in the barn’s boxed wine that afternoon. Which I may or may not have done. (I did.)
And then the next day I got him all dressed up to take photos
As soon as the foot block proved negative I knew we were in trouble. We were able to improve his gait about 70% with the pastern block, and so that is where we will be doing exploratory ultrasound on Thursday to look for what is likely a soft tissue injury.
Until then, Jack has been resting, and we created a small rehab paddock that he could enjoy with as minimal risks to himself as possible. I was told to hope for a period of about 2-4 months out of work, but much of that will be confirmed Friday after my vet(s) assess the ultrasound images.
Unfortunately that’s all I have to go on right now. I’m also trying to devise ways of staying in the saddle while Jack is in rehab, but that is a similar work in progress.
Stay tuned and please think of my golden boy as we wait for results.
Luckily, Jack’s eyeball is starting to improve, thanks to my wonderful barn family stepping in to medicate him 4x/day while I was away. But as you can see in the picture below, there’s still noticeable swelling and weepiness.Jack’s been a pretty good sport overall about getting his meds. Which is great, because all of the people doing the medicating are shorties like myself, and fighting with a 17h giraffe is not the greatest time.
We have a check up today at 2pm, and I’m hoping the vet will give us the green light to ride again, but who knows- as I wouldn’t want the dust from riding to aggravate his condition.
And with all that said, I also want to look into his respiratory issues (the heavy breathing thing mentioned last week). So right now I’m seriously thinking of scrapping our next show (mid June) in favor of a lighter schedule while we all recoup.Again, sorry on being lighter news-wise. Medications and all that are not so interesting.
In the latest part of Jack’s ploy to keep our vets in every comfort, Jack came in yesterday with this:
Unable to open it, swollen as hell, fuckery.
The vet came out, and he’s getting a fully fledged arsenal of medications. That I then misplaced.
Horses are dumb. And apparently so am I. Because being a human this week is basically more than I can handle.So if you’re wondering about us, I’ll be off gassing up my struggle bus.
Hope everyone has a good weekend.
So Dex must be some kind of miracle drug, because by 5 yesterday, Jack was looking so much better. And while still a little groggy, he was a little perkier- certainly better than the obviously miserable state he was in that morning.
Yesterday at 5pm L side
Yesterday at 5 pm R side
Y’all, I have never seen hives like that on any creature. Seeing a breakout of that magnitude on my own horse was equal parts amazement, stress, and shock. I’m so lucky that my vet was able to come out and ease my fears and give him the IV injection he needed to make everything better.
This morning, things are looking even more improved.
A LH that actually resembles a leg
No more hives!
The plan is to keep him on decreasing doses of oral Dex for the next couple days, and probably keep him off of his normal pasture since we still don’t know what it was that set off the reaction in the first place. This evening I’ll head out to check on the golden boy, ice his leg and stuff him full of carrots.
These horses, guys, they’re going to be the death of me.
So, because nothing is ever dull with horses, I spent the morning with my vet. Again.
Yesterday, I pulled Jack out of the field and noticed this:
A bath in case it was skin related, icing around the legs where there was a little filling, and a dose of antihistamine and I stuck him in his stall and bade him goodnight.
When I checked in with the barn manager this morning, we found this:
Halp! My horse is mutating!
pool noodle legs and rather doughy sheath
Based on the distribution, we’re going with the assumption that he ate something he is obviously allergic to. He got an IV shot of dex and I’ve wrapped him all around to try and get the leg swelling down- right now he’s so swollen he doesn’t care to walk around.
I’m lucky to have a team of people keeping on eye on him, but it still makes a horse-mom worry. Has anyone else ever dealt with hives like this? Do you know what caused them, and what did you do to treat them?
So the vet came by yesterday to evaluate Jack’s slight lameness (slash just NQRness) and after poking, prodding, and whacking his feet with hoof testers (those being based on my observational terms, not the scientific ones), we narrowed the problem down to his hocks, particularly the right one based on flexion tests.
Instead of lollygagging and just waiting to see if things improved on their own, I chose to go ahead and get his hocks injected. When I purchased Jack, I knew that hock maintenance was likely to be part of the equation, and since it’s been 7+ months since his last injections… It could make sense that he needs a little extra help in that area.
So the golden boy will get today off, followed by a light hack tomorrow and Thursday, then gradually back to full work over the remainder of the week.
Fingers crossed it was just a little joint juice that he needed!
A certain blonde creature that we all know and love, who definitely has opinions, also seems to be a discerning food critic. Treats go out of popularity quite quickly these days, and getting meds into him? Fuggedaboutit.
Now, I haven’t exactly run the gambit of coaxing (or tricking) him into eating his meds (right now a basic anti-histamine for clearing up his nose). The first day he actually accepted his now-weird tasting food with aplomb. But since day 2 he’s been leaving about half his breakfast (which was wet and mixed up to “hide” the medicine) behind. Not good for a pony that I’ve been working hard to fatten up these last couple months.
Last night I tested the apple sauce idea, just to see if he’d eat it mixed with grain (no meds yet). And that too got a weak nope from Jack.
Riveting material here
Short of mixing his meds with a little water and squirting it down his throat, what can I do? I would like my horse to still like me when it’s all said and done. But it’s important for him to get his meds as well.
What tricks do you guys have for masking medicine? Any tips for hiding icky flavors? Or treats that won’t turn noses?
Foster had his chiro appointment Monday, and the results were both encouraging and somewhat as expected. He was a bit back sore, so the vet examined the saddle fit and found that the soreness is due to his pelvis being out-of-whack rather than due to tack. Always great to hear, because I’m not quite ready for another saddle flocking.
No new photos, so here are screenshots from the lesson
Other than a small adjustment around his withers, all of Foster’s issues seems to revolve around his hips and pelvis. She noted that his pelvis was particularly wonky, and I should expect him to travel straighter as a result of her adjustments. After getting the day off yesterday, today will be a return to work and it would be great to see some improvement as a result of the chiro session, which did not come cheap, sadly. A possible recheck in 2 – 4 weeks may happen as well.
Learning self carriage- better hind end muscling will only help!
Both vets have wanted to start introduce exercises into Foster’s regimen that will help him develop his hind end. Essentially, hills or cavaletti work. Since I am both adverse to trail riding and not familiar with where the hill in my area is (not to mention not having daylight during the week to get outside the arenas), I’ll be looking into incorporating cavaletti into our schoolings. Also, I need to get him to lift his back as we groom, working up to lifting his back 5 times for 5 seconds each, in order to strengthen his back muscles as well.
Can anyone out there point me to a good resource for cavaletti and pole exercises? Of course we will still be jumping occasionally, but other recommendations for hind-end exercises would be great!
Foster may look like a body builder by the end of the year with all this muscle growing! Now I just need to hit the gym to keep up!
Bodybuilding meme that comes to mind every time