Category Archives: Medical

MamaTess Update. Not good, not horrible, nothing is certain… yet.






Thank you all for your well wishes yesterday.

I greatly, greatly appreciate the support.  It was a tough day and you all helped me prepare for today.

TODAY

The vet came out to take Xrays today… (I had Xrays done right before that fateful trim… and she was fine.  That was two weeks ago…)

Silly me, I actually thought there would be no rotation.  You see, for all the laminitis I’ve seen in the past 23 years, never has there ever been rotation.

Until today.

It is not good – her future depends on the next week.  If we have been successful in stopping the cascade, then she will survive.  If she holds this amount of rotation, we can work with it.

THE LAST FEW DAYS

As you know, the old tyme vet came out to help me with her on Thursday.  He felt very optimistic that she didn’t have any sinking and that we were dealing with abscesses.

I called the old tyme vet out to help me with Tess last week.  She was so uncomfortable.  Here she holds her foot in front of the fan.

I called the old tyme vet out to help me with Tess last week. She was so uncomfortable. Here she holds her foot in front of the fan.

And, the next day, she did show signs of abscess on her coronet band.

I felt good…  finally the abscesses were coming to the surface!  She would have relief.

Except, she only had minor relief.

He had put in poultice to draw out the abscesses and two burst on her coronet band.  I thought we would be home free now...

He had put in poultice to draw out the abscesses and two burst on her coronet band. I thought we would be home free now…

 

IN THE MEANTIME

In the meantime, she wasn’t bouncing back as she had in the past.

To make things more difficult, Hubby had treated the well and when I soaked her hay, she wouldn’t eat it.  In fact, she wasn’t drinking any of her water.

As soon as I realized this, I remembered a Rubbermaid garbage can that I filled with water 8 years ago – in case our power went out and I couldn’t get water to the horses.  I have not used it and probably have only looked inside once in those 8 years.

I washed off the lid and opened it.

Phew.  Perfect well water.

I used that exclusively for her during the last three days so that she would have drinking water.

This is the garbage can that I had filled with water 8 years ago.

This is the garbage can that I had filled with water 8 years ago.

I WAS CONCERNED SO I CALLED THE VET OUT ON MONDAY

I wasn’t home, but the old tyme vet came out on Monday – just four days after he had been there – and was very concerned himself.  He wanted to do Xrays.  He said she didn’t look good and her coronet band felt wrong.  He thought she was sinking.

Gulp.

I knew she wasn’t bouncing back.

Hence my doom and gloom yesterday.  I was sick inside.

I tried to keep her comfortable.  I bedded her stall very, very deeply and bought fresh hay with a very low NSC level.

I tried to keep her comfortable. I bedded her stall very, very deeply and bought fresh hay with a very low NSC level.

TODAY CAME…

The vet arrived at noon to take the Xrays.

Watching her be so stoic but in huge pain was killing all of us.

It took us an hour to take the Xrays.

She had rotation on the left that was bad – however she had enough sole to make it all workable if she didn’t rotate any more.

The right had only slight rotation.

However, she kept lifting her right foot.  She wasn’t standing on it well.

I listened, kinda numb.

I had thought she would be OK… I thought she had abscesses.

The bad news.

The bad news.

CLOGS

The vet carries clogs for foundered horses.  They can be padded to support the heel or walls or whatever area and they break over easily.

He applied those via casting material.

Tess gritted her teeth and let the vet do his thing.

She was so good.

He then tubed her with DMSO, which she hated.

I have never used that previously, ever.

Fixing the trim and preparing her feet for the clogs.

Fixing the trim and preparing her feet for the clogs.

BED

As soon as we were done (3 hours later), Tess went back to her stall – haltingly and in pain – and immediately drank then went down.

She didn’t get up for 4 hours.  Flat out.  Very scary.

I went inside the house and nearly lost it.

Every time I ventured to the barn, she was down.

The last photo I took before she hit the deck and went down flat for 4 hours.

The last photo I took before she hit the deck and went down flat for 4 hours.

7:30 PM

I went out at 7:30 to find her by the tack room door…

Hmmmm.  She was still walking uncomfortably, but she was up and moving.

So, I gave her dinner.

She appeared by the tack room door. So, I gave her dinner!

She appeared by the tack room door. So, I gave her dinner!

She felt well enough to yell at Mayla.

She felt well enough to yell at Mayla.

I then decided to give her more clean water so I went into the wash rack and got her fresh bucket started.

Before I could fill it, she appeared!

She appeared at the wash rack as I was filling her water!  So I let her drink.

She appeared at the wash rack as I was filling her water! So I let her drink.

I heard a ruckus outside so I ventured out.

It was  just the dogs, playing…

 

The dogs had distracted me so I went outside of the barn.

The dogs had distracted me so I went outside of the barn.

When I came back in… I saw that Tess had moved to the back gate.

She had moved to the back gate.

She had moved to the back gate.

NOT ALL ROSY, UNFORTUNATELY…

Yes, she is up.  Yes, she is moving in her new clogs… But, she had moved this much in the last few days and she still got worse and had rotation.

She wasn’t getting better.  She was getting worse.

So, I am not confident that she will recover.  I am not confident that she won’t recover.

I can only wait….

MOVING FORWARD.

I continue to have her on the special meds and anti-inflammatory meds.  I have added the Remission.  I continue to use herbs…and low carb everything.

I have no idea how this will go.  But, I am not ready to lose her and I know that she is a fighter.

I guess my end note for tonight would be:

Don’t do what I did.

Make sure you understand your horse’s anatomy and foot structure before you agree to a trim on a foundered horse.

Understand the mechanics.

I wish I had…  I simply trusted.

SPECIALISTS WEIGH IN…

The general consensus from all of the specialists I’ve contacted is that the trim – taking away her support system of walls and heels and leaving a protruded frog – put undue pressure on her pronounced frog which created intense bruising under her canon bone which created inflammation … and the rest is history.

Many of you have written to me saying that the Barefoot trim is a lifesaver… And maybe it is for your horse with his anatomy and his type of founder.  I’m not arguing successful result for others.  I’m happy that it worked!

But, for my mare… it was not correct for her type of founder and for her conformation.  In fact, that trim may be her undoing.

Not any one trim will work for all horses.  It is all about the mechanics.

Huge Lesson – that I didn’t want to learn.  But… I know now.

And so do you.

My very kind mare.

My very kind mare.

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Sitting here, helpless… waiting for the vet.






Here’s hoping that most of you will never have to go through what I am going through tonight.

MamaTess has taken a turn for the worse.  I’ve given her everything in my aresenal to ease the laminitis pain but nothing is working.

Why?  Is it really really bad?  Or is it abscesses?

I’ve put in an Emergency Call to my longtime vet.

I’m scared.  I’m mad at myself.  I’m worried.

I feel helpless.

I’m wondering if my decisions along the way have hurt my mare.

I’m wondering if my longtime vet will be able to do anything.  Will he will be angry with me for putting her in a clinical trial instead of calling him right away – in the beginning.  I’m wondering if he will be angry that he has to come in and try to save her now.

I also wonder if I should be this honest over the Internet…

That awful profile... the alternating raised feet.  The back feet under the body.  The pain... What every owner hates to see.  I'm so upset tonight.  But, at least she is upright.

That awful profile… the alternating raised feet. The back feet under the body. The pain… What every owner hates to see. I’m so upset tonight. But, at least she is upright.

SHE WAS DOING SO WELL…

I chose to put MamaTess in a clinical trial for her laminitis because I hoped to find something wonderful to share with all of you.

To be fair, the protocol was really working.  (You can read about it here.)  She was definitely improving!  After three weeks of the protocol, MT was walking fairly freely, could turn around comfortably and was well enough to make a fuss about being locked in the barn.

All good signs.

She was still wearing her Softrider boots, however… and she needed a toe trim.

THE FIRST DECISION I REGRET

As I sit here, I am banging my head against the wall.

I had a vet trim her because I figured that was the best choice for her.

What I didn’t know was the this vet believed in a type of trim that I don’t believe in.  We hadn’t discussed this, somehow… We had only discussed cutting back her long toe and rasping it to make a nice rollover.

I had no idea that this vet believed that the frog should make contact with the ground when simply standing – not when fully loaded.

And so, without me being there (mistake #2), the vet cut back her toes beautifully, but also took off all of her hoof wall and heel – so that her frog was now making contact with the ground at all times ‘to support blood flow’.

Disaster.

MT was totally lame from that moment onward.

I mashed up all the medicine and put in in her food... no difference.  She was refusing to eat any steamed or soaked hay so I had to give her orchard grass again.  She needs to keep her stomach acids in check.  She is supposed to have no stress and here I let her be trimmed improperly and let someone serve her a stall of alfalfa.

I mashed up all the medicine and put in in her food… no difference. She was refusing to eat any steamed or soaked hay because we had just treated the well – so I had to give her orchard grass again.

THE SECOND DECISION I REGRET.

I asked a family member to put one of the dogs in the stall, instead of doing it myself.

The stall we use for the dogs is the one that previously housed the alfalfa and grain hays.  So, the stall floor was full of rich, beautiful alfalfa leaves and yummy grainy remnants.

The family member didn’t latch the stall properly.

Yup.  MamaTess got in there and ate it all up.

Disaster #2.

A rare moment with both feet on the ground.  I have put her water right next to her feed so that she doesn't have to move much.  I have a fan blowing to keep the flies off as we wait... for the vet...

A rare moment with both feet on the ground. I have put her water right next to her feed so that she doesn’t have to move much. I have a fan blowing to keep the flies off as we wait for the vet…

IN A PANIC, I CALLED MY LONGTIME VET.

She was now totally lame on both fronts.

The fact that I could not find anything to relieve her pain makes me think abscess…

Is it an abscess?  Or horrible founder from the stall-raid sugar spike?  Was it the trim and the subsequent bruising?

Every time I rubbed her coronet band I wondered if it felt the same… was she sinking?

I’m sit here in front of my computer, hoping that my longtime vet will be here soon and will work his country magic.

But mostly, I’m praying that I won’t have to regret the decisions I have made…

The girls knew I was upset.

The girls knew I was upset.

THE VET ARRIVES.

The vet arrived at 8pm.

He had already been to see Tess before I had a chance to run down to the barn.  He said that she was laying down.

Yikes.

I showed him my Protocol sheets and stood back…  he actually read every word.

“Very Interesting”, he said, “I have no idea what this SEH Inhibitor is but I agree with the Protocol of Coxes… I think this idea is innovative and could work.”

He wasn’t angry with me.  Phew.

“OK, let’s look at your mare and I’m going to take her temp.”

He roused Tess and she agreed to stand.  She was very unstable and ouchy.

Doc inserted his mercury thermometer and we waited and waited and waited – as Tess became more unstable…

Me:  I have a digital one, if you need it.

Doc:  Don’t use digital.  Too inaccurate.  Can’t get mercury in California anymore.  Don’t know what I’m gonna do when this one breaks.

Temp = Normal.

He took out his hoof testers and Tess readily gave him her sore left foot.

Doc:  Hmmmmmm.  She is only sore on the inside toe.

Me:  Abscess?

Doc:  That’s what I’m thinkin’.  She isn’t sinking or I’d see the plunger effect on her coronet band – although she does have fluid in the joint… But, her soles are too dang hard.  We need to soften them up so the abscess can come down and out.

Me:  What about her other foot?  She’s lame on it, too.

Doc:  Well, she won’t let me lift it to check it. But, my hunch is that if we have tried IV Equioxx and every other kind of ‘cox and there is no relief, it isn’t founder we’re dealing with – it is pressure.  An abscess.

Me:  That would be so wonderful.

Doc:  Well, that is my hunch.  Do you have a paper bag?

Me:  I have a paper feed bag.

Doc:  OK, give it to me.

So I did, and he ripped off a piece.

Then he used his scissors to cut two hoof shaped paper pieces out of the feed bag.

Doc:  Got any Mud?

Me: I have this kind and that kind.

Doc:  I like this kind (Sore No More) cuz I’m familiar with it.

Me:  OK, use whatever you want!

Tess was down when the vet arrived.

Tess was down when the vet arrived.

Darkness was falling as the vet took my feedbag and cut two hoof shapes.

Darkness was falling as the vet took my feedbag and cut two hoof shapes.

 

THE APPLICATION

Doc took his paper and the mud into the stall.  He schmeared the Sore No More Poultice onto the paper and slapped that onto her hard, sore hoof.

He wrapped it with medical tape and put her boot back on.

Voila.

…The other foot wasn’t so easy…

Understatement.

It took us half an hour to coax her to lift that foot (and put pressure on her worse foot) and let us put on the mudwrap.  Eventually, we let go of any paper application idea and found ourselves simply begging her to lift her foot so we could put her boot back on that we had pre-filled with mud.

Finally, we did it.  But, it wasn’t pretty.

We got the mud in there, but it wasn't pretty.

We got the mud in there, but it wasn’t pretty.

THE COUNTRY VET LEAVES.

My longtime vet told me to make sure to call him in the morning and keep him posted.  He hoped the abscess would draw out soon – but if it didn’t, just call…

And with that, I nodded my head and smiled.

Protocol, schmotocol… yes, the fancy vet protocol probably really helped stop the initial founder onset and laminitic cascade but… sometimes a country vet can wrap you in his knowledge and fold you into his hunches.

Doc may be totally wrong, but tonight I will sleep because I believe him.

God bless that man…

After he left, Tess ventured out of her stall and showed me her foot - Doesn't her face just say it all...?  "I deserve a treat for what you just put me through!  Look how much my foot hurts!"

After he left, Tess ventured out of her stall and showed me her foot – Doesn’t her face just say it all…? “I deserve a treat for what you just put me through! Look how much my foot hurts!”

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42 YEAR-OLD Buster from  Sweetwater Rescue has NO sponsors!

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