Monthly Archives: April 2015

Just Keep Getting Closer Everyday…

Luck and Chance are finally happy neighbors! The first time they met, Lucky had to be moved to the other side of the barn because Chance was so upset by Lucky’s presence. After months of slowly getting them  aquainted, the two are now able to not only be neighbors but they’re also able to go outside together without too much drama.   

Why Can’t We Be Friends?!

A handful of months ago I decided to get my horse, Chance, a companion. He has always loved miniature horses but we already had one at the farm (with a very strong personality) so I decided on a miniature donkey. That is when I found Lucky. 

Well, Chance did NOT like Lucky from the moment he saw me leading Luck off the trailer. Chance paced and neighed incessantly until he actually broke into a sweat! 

I have tried everything- putting them in neighboring stalls, putting them in neighboring paddocks, walking one outside while the other one is grazing, putting something of Lucky’s near Chance’s stall so he could get familiar with the smell, etc. 

Today Lucky decided to escape out of his stall and run out to where Chance was. At first Chance just stared, then he went after Luck but he stopped once Luck moved a few feet away. Slowly, Luck inched his way closer and closer until he was a handful of feet away from where Chance was grazing. Chance  didn’t seem to even care. 

Fingers crossed this is the beginning of a forced, we-will-put-up-with-each-other friendship. 

   

 

The BEST Treatment for Scratches 

The other day the vet gave me a way to treat and get rid of my horse’s treatment- resistant, stubborn, and seemingly  IMPOSSIBLE to get rid of scratches or Pastern Dermatitis. 

She suggested mixing Betadine and Vaseline and applying it to the infected area, then wrapping it with Seren wrap and a standing wrap. Leave it on for 12 hours, remove, clean, and redo if necessary for up to 3 days. 

Well, it worked! The scabs just fell off! No more trying to pick off the scabs resulting in the discomfort of my horse or struggling to get him to let me pick at him! 

I have been fighting my horse’s scratches for about 15 years- antibiotics, ointments, MTG, baby oil to soften them, Zinc Oxide, wraps, immune boosters, etc- and nothing has worked until now! 

Lucky’s Teeth

Luck had his first ever dental floating today! It was quite the ordeal for the poor little man but, according to the vet, Luck was in desperate need of some work due to the sharp points of some of his teeth.

Thankfully he did great and was pretty laid back despite the contraption he had to wear and the big file in his mouth. But, to be on the safe side the vet gave him a little sedative.

The vet explained that an animal who receives a sedative should have all their hay and feed removed because the drugs usually make them hungry, but due to their drowsiness they are likely to choke!

Luck drugged up

 

Luck also got his sheath cleaned for the first time. Apparently, stallions or Jacks normally keep themselves very clean and do not require much sheath maintainace.

Now Luck is up to date on all of his vaccinations, hoof trimming, and dental care!

Check-Ups

Chance had a chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture, and electro stimulation on his cervical spine. He actually fell asleep resting his head on someone’s shoulder while receiving the stim for 20 minutes. 

I also spoke to the vet about Chance’s unrelenting scratches on his hind legs. She suggested mixing Vaseline and Betadine and applying it to the affected area, wrapping seren wrap around it, and then wrapping it with a standing wrap. After 12 hours, remove the wraps and clean area. – scratches not improving.  Once scabs have all fallen off then he can begin an Antibiotic like Baytril. 

Chance is still stiff on both sides of neck, although he can bend with better balance (when vet holds one of Chance’s front legs up while he bends to the opposite side).  He also shows Improved lateral flexibility on right side. Right base dorsal secrum and d-v flexion improved. 

  

Chance’s skin is having a “typical chestnut reaction” and the vet advices to discontinue transfer factor due to his immune system working too hard, and then use 1/2 of current dose. Start Tellurium 1 teaspoon a day for 5 days and then 1x a week to help with his skin. 

 Edit    

Chance in heaven while receiving stim

A Beautiful Shiny New Coat

A couple posts ago I expressed concern over Chance’s recent hair loss especially under his chest.  Yesterday, while I was giving him a medicated bath, I noticed that he had this soft new fuzz and no longer had bald patches on his chest!

YAY! Another medical mystery solved! Or rather, not needing to be solved!

Before

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After

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Trust Your Instincts

Chance being lunged after many years of not being lunged due to a DDFT injury and possible EPM treatments.  He is still stiff and needs to build up the muscle in his hind end thus why he is being lunged.  In addition to his chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, stretches and massages, and all natural pain medication (MicroLactin), he is also doing physical therapy- walking over poles, walking serpentines, and walking up and down hills.

Lucky & The Goats

 

This week Luck is staying with the goats due to there being a house guest staying at the barn and his early morning brayfests.

Even though he used to live with the goats at his previous home, Luck is less than enthuised to be with little guys this time around. He is so angry with me that he won’t even greet me when I come to see him or groom him.

Thankfully he only has until Tuesday until he can come back into the barn. This weekend I’ll be preparing a new stall for him so that he will be next to Chance. I’m hoping being closer they will get used to each other faster. And now that Lucky isn’t new to the farm and Chance doesn’t want to trample him any longer, I figured now would be the time.

New Concerns Have Sprung

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Chance greeting me as I drive up

The days are finally feeling like spring!  The grass is green, the blankets put away, the sun is shining, and the horses are shedding.

Chance is continuing to gain weight, although as I said in the previous post, he still needs to put on a good 50-75 lbs.  As the days continue to get warmer, Chance’s arthritis seems to become more manageable for him; his stride is longer and he runs around (mostly after Lucky) more frequently.

Unfortunately, when the farrier came out about two weeks ago Chance was too stiff to get his back right shoe on. The farrier decided to come back out to try and re-shoe him and, during that time in between, Chance must have tweaked it…AGAIN! 

 While Chance did not have a shoe on his back right I kept it wrapped to provide some protection and also even out all of his hooves.  However, when I arrived I noticed that Chance was significantly twisting his back right leg inward at the walk & it had some swelling.  The swelling was not horrible but it was noticeable. I cold hosed his leg for about 45 minutes while I groomed him & gave him a dose of Equinox (pain medication) and Ulcer Guard.  I put on his back leg wrap to help with reducing the swelling and provide some extra support.  Chance did his neck stretches effortlessly and was baring weight on his back hind. 

But as I was grooming him I noticed, on the left side his chest, he had patches of hair loss and dandruff.  The area did not look red or inflamed, nor did it seem itchy or painful.  So I continued grooming him and decided to put a call into the vet to come and check his leg and the hair loss.

Of course, I turned to Google to try and find out what exactly could be the cause of the patches of hair loss.

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According to a handful of sources, there are a few possibilities for hair loss- mites or Lice, a vitamin deficiency, rain rot or crud, or even just his natural shedding tendency. A skin scrape would help to confirm what may be the cause. 

 As for the swelling of Chance’s back right leg, I decided to call our previous vet who collected and injected Chance’s DDFT with stem cells to heal the hole in his tendon. We have some stem cells left over and I wanted to see if injecting his leg again would be of any benefit.  I also would like to get an ultrasound recheck to ensure that there is not another injury to his DDFT tendon sheath again.

The twisting of his back hind leg is worrisome as well.  

Everything I have read about EPM states that horses can have a relapse in symptoms after treatment is complete. My concern is that the twisting are due to the neurological symptoms coming back since Chance’s EPM treatment has been finished for a little over two weeks…. 

 Our current vet believes that Chance’s ataxia and twisting is not due to EPM but his cervical spine instead.  Could the twisting be worse due to the swelling of his hind leg?  Or is the swelling and the twisting two separate issues all together?