Well... This guy:
About a week ago, Rio started being really picky with his hay and just wasn't finishing it. I wasn't terribly worried because I was at the tail end of my last hay delivery (which came in the rain) and I was finding moldy bales. Obviously I didn't feed those, but if they're all hanging out together, even the good bales were probably a bit musty. And SOMEONE can be picky. Also he was due for his dental. So I was hopeful those two things were the cause of his being offended by the meal offerings.
For those of you who don't know the whole story about Rio's EPM, it started with a hay eating problem. He was spitting out hay for a bit before not eating it at all and then he quickly deteriorated landing him at Cornell for a two and a half week visit. I wasn't sure he'd come back from it. But he did.
He has chronic EPM though, and has to stay on Ponazuril for the rest of his life. And now maybe you're starting to understand the aforementioned public water works.... Since Rio is on Ponazuril already, there isn't a whole lot more we can do for him should he relapse. We can try him on Oroquin, but historically that hasn't worked for him.
My vet gets the Ponazuril compounded for him. I have always felt like Marquis is a bit more effective for him than the compound, but the small difference in him between the two didn't justify the price difference. (Marquis is about $900 per month, the compound is around $300.) I keep a tube of Marquis in the barn though in case we run out of the other so I decided to switch him and see if it helped. Next Spoiler: It didn't seem to be making a difference.
I threw him on the lunge line Saturday and he looked pretty impressive despite his refusal to eat hay.
Saturday he started eating hay again. Or so it seemed. But actually he was just chewing it up and spitting out. Not actually eating any of it. He was having no trouble eating his grain, or cookies, or carrots. But hay was a real problem. I keep a tub full of chopped hay in front of him all the time (just in case this sort of thing should arise) and he's been able to eat that. But I know he prefers actual hay. So he's getting nutrition and he's definitely not starving, but he's definitely frustrated about the hay. And I was fearing this was The Thing.
Monday morning arrived despite my best efforts. I figured I should wait until I got to work to call, because you know, not wanting to be THAT CLIENT. And then I realized I couldn't have that conversation out loud. I had already cried in public once this week, that COULD NOT happen at work. Nope. Not happening. So I took the super mature approach and texted instead. A pit forming in my stomach and the lump already in my throat as I hit send.
But you know what I love most about my vet? He loves my horse almost as much as I do. He never gives up on Rio. Not ever. Not when I thought we had to when he first got sick and definitely not now. He texted back with some other things to try. And that his office would get the meds to me tomorrow. And you know what happened later in the day? Rio started eating hay again. And drinking more water again (he also wasn't drinking as much as normal. He wasn't dehydrated, but it was a noticeable difference in fluid intake). So I will check in again tomorrow to see if I should keep him on the marquis a bit longer and see how that goes, or if I should make the switch.