Category Archives: Medical

This and That… HAY TEST RESULTS (and how to read them…), CHASTE TREE BERRIES, and a very sad FATAL lesson…






Today I have a bunch of this and that….

HAY TESTING RESULTS

Last week, I told you that I was having my hay tested.  It is really easy through Dairy One Forage Lab.  Here is the link the the post all about how to test your hay.

Well, today I received my test results back via email.

I didn’t really know what these scores meant, so I asked the Founder Warrior.

This is what she said (how to read and calculate the numbers below)  VERY USEFUL INFORMATION!!:

So here’s what I look at: always look at the DM or dry matter column – we can’t compare sample results using the as fed column because every sample has a different level of moisture in it and that affects the “as fed” column.  We want to know what the numbers are regardless of water content.  So then I look at the WSC and starch.  WSC plus starch = NSC. No matter what else you read on the web NSC is by definition, without question,  WSC plus starch.  The WSC includes ESC plus fructans that don’t show up in ESC.  Thus it includes all of the potentially harmful carbs.  In this case the WSC plus starch is moderately high – 14.7 + 2.5 = 17.2% NSC.  Too high for a critical case like Tess.  I wouldn’t feed this to my own 19 year-old IR/Cushing’s horse who hasn’t had laminitis (knock on wood 3 times) unless I soaked it.

Here are the results I received from Dairy One:

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 10.44.31 AM

NATURAL REMEDY FOR CUSHINGS

What is Chastetree Berry? (I copied this from ECIRHORSE.ORG)

CTB, Chastetree Berry (Vitex agnus-castus): An herb with some of the same effects as the drug pergolide and which may control equine Cushing’s disease symptoms in some horses. Most horses will need to be placed on the drug pergolide for effective control.

I am going to try this on my ponies.  Their Cushings isn’t as bad as MamaTess, so I think it could help, couldn’t hurt…  I will still keep them on the Pergolide.

If one peruses the internet, you can find many stories on how Chaste Tree Berries help regulate the hormones that create the Cushings condition.  However, veterinary reports say that most horses will still need Pergolide to maintain.  It seems that the Chaste Berries help with the symptoms but ARE NOT a cure.  So, DRs keep the horses on Pergolide.

If you read blogs and personal accounts, many owners say that 1 heaping teaspoon of ground Chaste Berries twice a day really helps.  Some say 3 heaping teaspoons spread out over 24 hours… I teaspoon for ponies, depending upon size.  Dosage seems to be trial and error.

My ponies will still receive their pergolide but I will add the Chaste Berries to support their bodies naturally – and I will note if I see any differences.

–Where to buy chasteberry?

I went tot Mountain Rose Herbs to order and Ground chaste berries were only $9 per pound!  So, I purchased 2 lbs for Tess and the ponies.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 11.13.19 AM

This is my order…

UPDATE FROM A READER WHO USES BOTH CHASTE BERRY AND PERGOLIDE:

Dawn,  that says that chastetree berry MAY help with the SYMPTOMS of cushings (i.e. shedding out, etc.)   There is no scientific data that it controls the ACTH in cushings horses.  That is why the pergolide is necessary.   Pergolide controls the ACTH, but sometimes doesn’t help with shedding out, etc.  Without the ACTH being controlled, the horse’s cushings disease is still raging, however the CTB will make it appear that the horse is better then he is.  This can lead to a false sense of security.  Uncontrolled cushings will cause uncontrolled IR, which in turn can cause laminitis/founder.   Both of which we wouldn’t wish on our worst enemy, having been there ourselves.

My pony is on pergolide and CTB.  He wouldn’t shed out on just the pergolide.  So the CTB has helped immensely with that. 

I just wanted to clarify that because people use CTB in place of pergolide, and they aren’t interchangeable.  They don’t address the same issues.  I need the scientific proof.  I spent a $1000 on meds for my IR pony for a medicine that was never going to help her.  Had I done my research, I would have found out that it wasn’t going to help her and saved myself a whole lot of money and stress/worry over why it wasn’t working.

VERY SAD FATAL LESSON…

I received this very sad email yesterday.   A kind reader wanted me to benefit from her loss – as she knows I have dogs.

I thought we could all learn from this tragic story – we could all learn about STRING/THREAD and dogs…

After all, string makes up baling twine and there are threads in every fabric we wear.

Here is her story:

I had to put my sweet dog to sleep on October 18th.  It could have been avoided.  She was a tiny Chihuahua.  Went with me to all the horse shows…everyone knew her.  anyway…I digress.   She stopped eating.  so after 36 hours of not eating I took her to the doctor, I had been supporting her with sugar water so she would not crash from low blood sugar, the doctor did an exam and nothing was abnormal except “her tongue was a little dark and discolored”  the vet chocked it up to dehydration, with out further examining WHAT ELSE could cause a discolored tongue. If only she had…my baby would still be here.   In stead she handed us an estimate for 450.00 worth of blood work and xrays they wanted to do to see what the problem was.  I was pissed.  And in the end the xrays and blood work would not have shown it either.
 
I refused to be held hostage and told them to just do a blood panel …which only showed a minor elevated white blood cell count   I took her home with some special food and a syringe and and antibiotics.  for 2 more weeks I did everything i could and she got worse.  So went to get a second opinion the day she was thrashing around writhing in pain.  
This doctor asked if she could do an xray and I agreed.  She could not see anything wrong….it is what she could not see that bothered her.  She could not see her intestines.   So she did a rectal exam and found a string.
The string was wrapped around the back of her tongue.  2 weeks earlier, had the other vet bothered to shine a flashlight in her mouth…it would have been able to save her. Strings do not show up on xrays.  
the string moved through her system and the body tries to get it out so her tiny intestines were working away and the string sliced through her intestines…I am heart broken.  She was a healthy happy little dog…2 weeks earlier and they could have cut and untangled that string before it got to her tummy.

 

Prayers to this poor baby… and the poor Human Mom who had to endure.  If this tragic story saves just one other dog,  I feel it is worth posting.

 

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HOW TO TEST YOUR HAY!: EASY AND INEXPENSIVE!






Fotolia_17164966_Subscription_LNow that Tess cannot have high sugar in her hay (I’m soaking all of her hay), I’m trying to make sure I understand the amount of sugar in whatever hay I purchase.

Since I purchase about 80 bales at a time, it makes total sense for me to test the hay I buy

The Founder Warrior told me about Dairy One Forage Analysis Lab.  She also gave me a kit that she had handy in her truck.

But even if you don’t have a kit given to you – it is really easy.

All you have to do is go to their site and contact them, they’ll send out whatever you need.

Click image to go to website

Click image to go to website

THE KIT

The kit was simply an order form (which I am sure you could download and print…), a baggie (which I’m sure you have around) and an addressed plastic envelope (which I am sure you could duplicate).

Or just call them and they’ll tell you what you need and what to do:

Dairy One
730 Warren Road
Ithaca, New York 14850
Ph: 1.800.496.3344 or 607.257.1272
Fax: 1.607.257.6808

The kit... order form, baggie and mailing envelope.  Easy.

The kit… order form, baggie and mailing envelope. Easy.

HOW TO PREP THE HAY

The Founder Warrior told me to grab fistfulls of hay from several different bales.  Then, put those fistfulls into a plastic bag.

Get scissors and sit in front of the TV and cut up all the leaves and stems into 1-2″ pieces.  You are chopping it up, basically, and mixing it.

Then, stuff it all into a quart sized baggie.  Take the air out of the baggie.

Put the order form – with payment – into the baggie.  Mine cost $20.

Seal.

Put baggie in Green Plastic mailing envelope.

Mail!

These are my fistfuls of meadow grass and my scissors - in a plastic bag.

These are my fistfuls of meadow grass and my scissors – in a plastic bag.

HOW I PREPPED MY HAY…

So, I followed the Founder Warrior‘s instructions… and did this in front of the TV.

I found myself glued to a Timelife  “Best of Soft Rock” infomercial.

 

Yup.  As I was snipping my hay, I was glued to this infomercial!  The guy on the right is from the band Ambrosia.

Yup. As I was snipping my hay, I was glued to this infomercial! The guy on the right is from the band Ambrosia.

I swear to Horsegods.

Those songs would come on and then they’d show the artists… I NEVER KNEW WHAT ANY OF THEM LOOKED LIKE!

I was mesmerized.

Uh huh... could you tell me what the guy from Air Supply looked like?  Me, neither.

Uh huh… could you tell me what the guy from Air Supply looked like? Me, neither.

Song after song was a song I recognized and I face I’d never seen!

Here I was, snipping while looking at the TV – very dangerous!

Anyway, it was fun… in fact, the infomercial is still playing on downstairs and I’m so tempted to keep running down there to see the faces of all those voices!

OK, I know Rod Stewart...

OK, I know Rod Stewart…

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 7.39.57 PM

But Mike and the Mechanics??! Nope. I have never seen these guys but I know the song…

newrule2

Morning Star Glow - down.  Click to help our Navajo 12 and this sick little one.  OCTOBER BUCKET FUND!

Morning Star Glow – down. Click to help our Navajo 12 and this sick little one. OCTOBER BUCKET FUND!

 

 


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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!