Category Archives: Medical

The Perfect Bit.






First of all, thank you all for your concern with Mama Tess.

From all of your emails, it seemed that many of you have had the same ‘cycle’ type of laminitis with your mares.  That is very interesting… My vet is gathering all of this information and is planning to write a paper about it.

Now, as far as MT, well, I’m taking really good notes.  I cannot really deduce anything for sure yet, but…

Here is what I think so far:

–I have to half dose her every 12 hours instead of a full dose every 24 hours.  She needs the boosters.

–She is much better an hour after the Regumate.  However, she isn’t right.  She is just better.

–The Regumate works more quickly when she is on an empty stomach.  But, I feel uncomfortable giving it to her on an empty stomach so I feed her right after I give it to her.

–Today, after giving her the Regumate on the 12 hour cycles instead of 24 yesterday, she greeted me at the front of the barn (a very good sign).  She had been hanging out in her stall.  Today, she was willing to move.

–Right now, Mama Tess is only getting Regumate and Omega Alpha Anti-Flam.  No pain meds.  I am also giving her Omega Alpha Gastro-X to help her stomach deal with the previous Banamine and the Regumate.

I’ll continue to monitor this and give all you mare owners the scoop according to my mare and her particulars…

Mama Tess after her Regumate and after dinner, relaxing with the other mares.  The thing on her right foot is a melted ice pack.  (As you can see, she has full weight on her fronts.)  She isn't sound, but she is better.

Mama Tess after her Regumate and after dinner, relaxing with the other mares. The thing on her right foot is a melted ice pack. (As you can see, she has full weight on her fronts.) She isn’t sound, but she is better.

STORIES FOR HORSES… by Michael Johnson.

Do you know about the author, Michael Johnson?

He wrote the book and audio CD, HEALING SHINE.  Looved it!  I read the book and keep relistening to the audio CDs of the book (when they aren’t on loan).

No affiliation.

Anyway, I needed some more audio CDs for my daily commute, so I ordered the set called REFLECTIONS OF A COWBOY: STORIES FOR HORSES.

(You don’t have to be a Western rider to love these book – at all!  The information is universal.)

My set arrived fast – in two days!

THE PERFECT BIT

So this morning, as I was prepping for my commute, I unwrapped my volume of Stories for Horses and slipped it into my CD drive in my car radio.

Like butter melting on a hot pancake, his soft voice eased me along my dirt road to the highway… my mind following his Cowboy yarns, musings and wisdom as we both maneuver towards my work.  Luckily for me, the stories TOTALLY engross me to the point that I do forget my worries.  I really just sit in the moment and listen.

I love that.

Anyway, today, I heard the story about THE PERFECT BIT.

Immediately, when I heard Michael suggest that there was a ‘perfect bit’, I kinda cocked my head.  You see, I don’t consider myself a horseman – at all.  I’m just a gal with a lot of horses who has learned some things.

One thing I’ve learned is that I cannot ever and have not ever and probably will not ever find a perfect bit.  In fact, I don’t use bits at all.  I have spent quite a while trying to find the perfect non-bit.

So, to hear Michael talk about the ‘perfect bit’, I was very open to listen because I figure the reason I cannot find a bit could be because I’m not a very good trainer…  dunno.

And, to be honest, talking about bits is like talking about saddles or religion or politics… get ready for a heated conversation!

I know this.

So, when I tell you what Michael said, I’m sure I’ll get many letters.

Just know that Michael Johnson is a roper.  A header.  I think it was a real risk (and room clearer) for him to commit to saying a bit is perfect in his circles.

Anyway, this is what he said (I’m smiling even now when I think about it…).

(paraphrasing this from memory)

Michael learned about the perfect bit from a true old horseman that he had consulted to help him with one of his roping horses.  Michael thought the horse needed a different bit.

The older, wise cowboy said that indeed, there was the ‘perfect bit’ that would work on Michael’s horse.

First, however, the old guy showed Michael how to communicate with his legs/weight more clearly – and then removed the bridle of Michael’s horse (while he was riding) and told Michael to go through all of his commands using only leg and weighting…

As Michael’s horse performed perfectly, without a bridle, Michael exclaimed in disbelief, “How can this be?  Yesterday I couldn’t get this horse to take one good step forward…!”

And the answer from the wise old horseman…

A bit of Knowledge.

A bit of Understanding.

A bit of Love.

You might want to buy the audio CDs.  They are filled with inspiration and real life stuff that relates.  I now cherish my commute time.  Whoda thunk that – ever?!

Reflections

Click image to go to the website.

 

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A Regumate experiment: will it help my laminitic mare?






Well this was interesting today…

My mare, Mama Tess, seemed slightly off about 10 days ago.

At that time I put her in the barn.  She’s been totally off grass, has had anti inflammatory medicine daily and I’ve had her on Omega Alpha’s Anti-Flam.

That usually does the trick.

And, she seemed to be improving – in fact, she seemed almost normal – but I kept her in the barn to be safe –  with no green grass and on a restricted diet – for the past 9 days.

This morning, the 10th day, she was dead lame on the fronts.

Ahhhhhhhhhghhhh!  What tha?

I gave her a loading dose of Banamine, deeply bedded her stall, iced her feet and called the vets.

OMG.

This has never happened before – where she got worse for no reason – except when it was an abscess.  Yet, I could feel no heat and she hoof tested ‘not sore’.

I know, it could still be an abscess up high in there…  but in both fronts?  Could be…

Luckily, I got a call back from one of my vets.  She would come right over (love that).

After taking Tess’s temp and pulse, it was clear she was in pain but not infected.

We tested her hooves again.  Nothing.

We felt for pulses.  None.

But Tess would not move her fronts.  She was like a statue.

Even the Banamine had no effect… it had been two hours since I double dosed her and it was not doing anything.

Wow.  I was becoming frightened.

I told the vet my regime over the previous 9 days.

“Hmmmmmm”, she said.

“Let me tell you a story…”

I went back into the barn at 9pm and she seemed much brighter.  I gave her the Regumate at 6:30pm.

I went back into the barn at 9pm and she seemed much brighter. I had given her the Regumate at 6:30pm.

THE STORY

The vet proceeded to tell me about a few mares she cared for who foundered last Spring and a few more who were presently foundering/laminitic like my mare.

She said that in her mind, it seemed that this type of laminitic episode only happens in mares – where you catch it early, do all the right things and they continue to worsen, or get better then worsen for no obvious reason, or they worsen overnight when there are no triggers – and none are helped by non-steroidal anti-inflammatories.

She hadn’t experienced this with any geldings.

Hmmmmm.

She said she was thinking that there might be a hormonal component to this kind of laminitis.

“I mean,” she said, “why is it always in April and always mares?  April is when their heat cycles kick in… right?”

She then proceeded to tell me that on a hunch, she dosed these mares with Regumate to inhibit their cycles.. just in case the heat cycle was the trigger.

All 4 mares got better within 24 hours – and continued to improve.

As you can see, she is leaning on her fronts.

As you can see, she is leaning on her fronts.

“HMMMMMM”, I SAID

I cannot stand to watch Mamma Tess suffer.

This episode was very odd.  I could not find a reason for her to be sore like this overnight – especially since I had been controlling her every move for 10 days.

I thought the Regumate was worth a try….

Couldn’t hurt, could help.

So, we gave her a dose.

By the time I write to you all tomorrow, it will have been 24 hours.

We shall see…

As I was leaving, I gave her some beet pulp and she moved over to get it.  I'm crossing my fingers that she will continue to improve.

As I was leaving, I gave her some beet pulp and she moved over to get it. I’m crossing my fingers that she will continue to improve.

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