Wednesday, October 12, 2016

What's Up Wednesday!

Today is Yom Kippur, so forgive me if I become incoherent in this post... Fasting isn't really my thing. I mean it could be if I could have coffee, but I can't. Ugh. I'm probably not supposed to be blogging either, but I figure blogging didn't exist when Yom Kippur came to be, so there's probably no written rule. Right? Sure!
So lots to talk about today, though very little media. Friday we finally, FINALLY had our vet appointment. Guys. It was FIVE HOURS LONG. And we didn't even really finish. Yikes. That should be a fun bill. Let's start with Jampy since that's who we started with on Friday.
Blurry selfie cause no media
So Jamp has been not quite right ever since coming back to work after winter. My vet called him serviceably sound but has been scratching his head along with me all season. Here's what we already knew: flexions were mildly positive, but not significant. He had zero response to hock injections, back injections, stifle injections, and miso. No noticeable difference when on bute therapy nor previcox. That's a lot of nothing. We tried working him really hard to see if the lameness would show itself. Including jumping 3'-3'6" courses. No change. So Friday we brought out the block. We started down low and worked our way up the leg. Blocking out the hock/ high suspensory area DID actually show us some improvement. Not 100% but pretty significant. Blocking higher, up through the stifle area was not significant. Ok! This is good. We had something work with.
Doc used the ultra sound to see what's happening in there, and didn't really find anything very worrisome. He has some bony changes at the attachment which could be causing the problem, but there are no tears or holes. So what this means is that it's a chronic unsoundness. It's probably not particularly painful, but does have him using himself a little awkwardly. Likely whatever this is exactly will never go away (he is 17 and a former breeding stallion, so not shocking). The good news is there are several therapies we can try to help improve it for him. Now I just have to decide if we want to start these things now, or wait until spring time. I would hate to drop a whole lot of money and then have him just sit around and have to start it all over again anyway. So I'm thinking about my next step before acting.

sad faces after getting rained on
Next up was Romey. Romey had a small tear in his suspensory branch in his left front leg in the spring. He's been doing walk trot ever since to keep him slightly working while that heals. Lately, he's been feeling off behind to me. So Friday's visit was to re-check the suspensory and investigate the hind end issue. I also wanted to make sure he had actually been fully gelded as his behavior of late has caused me to question that. He was a ridgling, so one of his testicles never dropped. I'm not confident both were removed when the previous owner gelded him. And lastly, I wanted to see if we could get to the bottom of those hives he's had on his neck all year.
During Friday's visit, the suspensory was still reactive when palpated, but due to his decreased range of motion in his ankle (old racing injury) my vet said the suspensory is not being stressed when worked and he can start to do a little more. None of the flexions aggravated it, so that's good news on the front leg!
The hind end was trickier. None of the flexions made a difference so we moved on to blocking him out much the same way we did Jamp. Only this time there was no change at all anywhere. Ugh. This actually made us all more curious about his potentially not being fully gelded. If he does in fact still have a ball up there, it could be causing what we're seeing behind. Another possibility is that he WAS gelded but he may have some scarring in there that's causing him discomfort. So we await the blood test and then decide how to proceed. I should hear this week sometime.
As for the hives, doc took a biopsy, so we have to wait and see on that too. It could be fatty tumors, or any number of things. But probably not run-of-the-mill hives. More wait and see on that as well. We also checked him for ulcers because of his attitude problems, and that came back a very mild positive. So he's being treated for that while we wait on all the other tests. (Yes, I plan to eat nothing but Ramen Noodles and pb&j sandwiches for the foreseeable future... You know, once the sun sets and I'm allowed to eat again.)

Rio had a quick and easy appointment (shocking, I know)! I had doc take a look at his sore foot and palpate on his giant back legs. Consensus was to put him in flip-flop shoes up front and keep wrapping his back legs. My farrier was able to come out Saturday for the shoes which was great timing. Rio seems to be a LOT more comfortable in them. If  you've never seen flip flops for horses, here they are:

Basically, they get half a steel shoe which has a full pad attached to it. The pad extends out just a bit, but is flexible. The holes in the front of the pad allow any sand or shavings to come out instead of getting stuck inside. The purpose of this shoe is to allow him to shift his weight away from the sore section of his foot, without having to contort his body. In the Z-bar shoe he had on before, he was standing with his leg out to the side which over time was causing the hoof capsule to change shape. You don't want that! Hopefully this will let him just rock onto his toe to alleviate any pressure and his feet should keep their shape. My farrier said he used to shoe a horse with these who wore them in the Olympics! So if he's ever sound again, I can ride him with these on. Obviously Rio's Olympic dreams are far behind him anyway.

As for the weekend... it rained. Saturday morning was dry, though cool and overcast. Badger was kind of a child to start out, snorting and spooking at anything he could find. But then the canter happened. It started out much like it always does for he and I... Too slow, his stride compacted, me not having any idea what I'm doing up there. But then... I FOUND THE MAGIC CANTER! I found it! For the first time EVER on him. He was right in between all my aids. His withers were up and his stride was open. It was amazing. I couldn't wait for Sunday morning so I could find it again. But alas... pouring rain. All. Day. Sunday. So I only got one ride on Badger this weekend. Actually, everyone only worked Saturday since Sunday was a total washout.
I got hay Sunday though... That's what you want. A hay delivery in the pouring rain. My awesome hay guy said to call him if there's any mold and he'll make it right. When you find a good hay guy, you better hold on to him!
The rest of Sunday I spent cleaning out the shoes, and attempting to organize them. It's a work in progress because I'm such a hoarder.
The nice thing about getting rained out in the barn was more time with the Pugs. No walks obviously, pugs don't do rain. But we got in lots of snuggles.

Well that's what's up this Wednesday. What's up with you? Tell me about your week in the comments!


  1. <3 Pugs (and shoes). Boo lots of vet visits though

    1. Me too!!!
      Eh, it's ok. I've been frustrated with all the guessing so I'm glad to finally be getting somewhere. At least with Jampy.

  2. Pugs sound suspiciously like dachshunds in their feelings toward rain 😉 haha

  3. Happy Yom Kippur! Damn that's a lot of shoes!

    1. Thanks! I'll be happy when it's over. I'm so thirsty!!!!!!!
      As for the shoes... that's not even half of them. (I may have a problem, but currently in denial.)

  4. Now my vet and farrier bills for this month feel SO much more manageable! Thanks! ;)

  5. That would be information overload for me with that vet appt! I would need a nap afterwards. Tell Badger to text Henry about the magical canter. Henry doesn't have a canter yet, only awkward leaping. <3 your pugs!

    1. It was a lot to take in! And then I realized we spent all that time diagnosing and didn't even fix anything...
      Fear not, Romey doesn't really have a canter either. All in good time!