Starting the New Year with a ‘Day in the Life of Mama Tess’.


Thursday, January 1st, 2015 | Filed under Mama Tess




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Many of you ask me what I do on a daily basis to take care of Mama Tess and her chronic feet issues from her extreme founder (rotation, sinkage, coffin bone infections…).

Well, to be honest, I don’t have a set protocol.  I play it by ear, so to speak.

Oh sure, I have my  ‘regulars’ like: no sugar, very low carbs, her meds… and then I supplement the rest according to how she is feeling – or according to whatever ailment might strike.

You see, recovering from unrecoverable founder is a very unpredictable road.  Tess now has so much damage to the tissues inside of her feet, her blood flow and regrowth abilities have been compromised in ways that create other issues.  Since she hasn’t given up, the plan is to keep on keeping on until we have sufficient recovery to grow a healthy hoof.   Every day is a new (and different) day.

Actually, if I write the book, the motto will be, “Always wait 48 hours”.  Of all the scary days – and there have been many over the last 20 months – 2 days later, she has pulled through.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve almost lost hope.  I cannot tell you how often I’ve thought that I had failed her or that this journey was hopeless – only to find her up and about like a Champ just a day later.

I always feel silly afterwards… my horse has more inner strength, faith and knowledge than I do.

HOW DO YOU DO IT, DAY AFTER DAY?

So, my personal motto is, “Faith.  This odyssey is beyond my comprehension so just go with it.”

And that is what I do…  with veterinarian and Founder Warrior help, of course!  But most days, it is just me and my mare.  When I’m down in the barn, attending to her feet or assessing how she is feeling, I simply clear my head of FEAR and try to listen to my inner self to figure out what to do each day.

Usually, it is simple common sense with a dash of HorseGod intuition, I think.  If you do something every day, it becomes second nature.  You notice little things much more loudly.  It all becomes easier in the medicinal sense.  And, if you are able to calm the emotional side of yourself, each day is a learning gift.

I actually do feel like I could write a guidebook on all the simple, little things I’ve learned that make it so much easier.  And my goal, if and when she grows a healthy hoof, is to write the guidebook.

‘Mama Tess’ Guidebook to Unsurvivable Founder.’

Yup.  I promised her that.  If she makes herself better, I will write the book to help other horses and horse owners.

A DAY IN THE LIFE… in pictures

Most days are pretty uneventful.

Usually, it starts with breakfast on the Theraplate.  But, since MT is recovering from a Bladder infection, she hasn’t wanted to be on the Theraplate… So, I have let her slide this month.

On my way to the barn, I noted that MT had opened the haybarn door during the night and helped herself.  (I had forgotten to chain it when they delivered hay yesterday.)  All the hay is the same - low carb and tested.  It is OK that she did this... it just shows me where her head is at during the night.   Devious and hungry.  That's my girl!

On my way to the barn, I noted that MT had opened the haybarn door during the night and helped herself. (I had forgotten to chain it when they delivered hay yesterday.) All the hay is the same – low carb and tested. It is OK that she did this… it just shows me where her head is at during the night. Devious and hungry. That’s my girl!

I found her, just awakened, munching on her buckets from the night before.  I gave her the 'yummy stuff' (her meds in her favorite food - Renew Gold) which she gulps down immediately.

I found her, just awakened, munching on her buckets from the night before. I gave her the ‘yummy stuff’ (her meds in her favorite food – Renew Gold) which she gulps down immediately.

I gave her a quick brushing which she HATES when she's busy eating.

I gave her a quick brushing which she HATES when she’s busy eating.

...but I had forgotten her tail so I did that really quickly.

…but I had forgotten her tail so I did that really quickly.

I'm not affiliated with anything or anyone that I am showing here today... just showing what I use.  To groom her, I use these products.  The  Cleansing Spray helps when she has laid down in something untoward.  The Udder cleaner is great for her girly parts - it doesn't sting and you can leave it on, lovely scent.  The coat refresher is just what it says... great for a horse that lays down a lot.  The Main-ly stuff is GREAT for fast detangling.  I don't know how good it is for her hair... but it works fast which is good because Tess is very impatient.

I’m not affiliated with anything or anyone that I am showing here today… just showing what I use. To groom her, I use these products. The very gentle with calming fragrance Cleansing Spray helps when she has laid down in something untoward. The Udder cleaner is great for her girly parts – it doesn’t sting and you can leave it on, lovely scent. The Coat Refresher is just what it says… great for a horse that lays down a lot. The Main-ly stuff is GREAT for fast detangling. I don’t know how good it is for her hair… but it works fast which is good because Tess is very impatient.

I have an assortment of supplements I administer depending upon what is going on at any particular phase of her recovery.  Right now, I am giving her Biotic 8 to get those gut probiotics back after her round of antibiotics from the bladder infection.  The Hemex is to build up her red count (We did blood testing after the antibiotics to make sure her infection was gone and that her liver and kidneys were OK and to check her insulin levels.).  She was anemic which we think has to do with the ulcer she got from the bladder infection antibiotics - ugh.  So, she is getting Hemex and Gastra-FX for her ulcer.  The Anti-Flam is probably obvious.  That is the only supplement she gets daily - no matter.  The Liver Flush is to help her recover since certain levels were higher than expected.  Her kidneys are fine.  But truly, of this list, I really only give her Anti-Flam daily since she is usually healthy and not on heavy antibiotics for a bladder infection....

I have an assortment of supplements I administer depending upon what is going on at any particular phase of her recovery. Right now, I am giving her Biotic 8 to get those gut probiotics back after her round of antibiotics from the bladder infection. The Hemex is to build up her red count (We did blood testing after the antibiotics to make sure her infection was gone and that her liver and kidneys were OK and to check her insulin levels.). She was anemic which we think has to do with the ulcer she got from the bladder infection antibiotics – ugh. So, she is getting Hemex and Gastra-FX for her ulcer. The Anti-Flam is probably obvious. That is the only supplement she gets daily – no matter. The Liver Flush is to help her recover from the antibiotics and ulcer since certain levels were higher than expected. Her kidneys are fine. But truly, of this list, I really only give her Anti-Flam daily since she is usually healthy and not on heavy antibiotics for a bladder infection….

Here she has walked outside and noticed that I shut (and locked) the hay barn door - much to her disappointment.

Here she has walked outside and noticed that I shut (and locked) the hay barn door – much to her disappointment.

She looks at me asking me to open it - but she knows that I won't.

She looks at me nickering at me to open it – but she knows that I won’t. (I put on her flymask because she is sensitive to sunshine in her right eye.

In the meantime, I've worked on refilling her food court.  All day long, she has access to CoolStance (coconut), Low Carb Senior and soaked beet pulp pellets.  I have also added Enzion Horse Hoof supplement to whichever bucket is closest.

In the meantime, I’ve worked on refilling her food court. All day long, she has access to CoolStance (coconut), Low Carb Senior and soaked beet pulp pellets. I have also added Enzion Horse Hoof supplement to whichever bucket is closest.

On her outdoor rotation, she usually stops here first so I leave her a tiny bit of hay to eat while she socializes.

On her outdoor rotation, she usually stops here first so I leave her a tiny bit of hay to eat while she socializes.

When Tess is out socializing, I work on her bed to make this volcano shape.  She sits in the middle and lays her head down.

When Tess is out socializing, I work on her bed to make this volcano shape. She sits in the middle and lays her head down.  (That is Remi in the background.)

MT makes her way down to her favorite morning spot...

MT makes her way down to her favorite morning spot…

As I'm sitting down, taking my pics of Tess, Fluffy Kitty (the barn cat that wants to be an indoor cat) starts making biscuits on my back.  I  put the camera over my shoulder to take this shot.

As I’m sitting down, taking my pics of Tess, Fluffy Kitty (the barn cat that wants to be an indoor cat) starts making biscuits on my back. I put the camera over my shoulder to take this shot.

Here Tess has settled into her morning spot and is requesting a small snack to eat with her friends.

Here Tess has settled into her morning spot and is requesting a small snack to eat with her friends.  She wears a mask because her right eye is sun sensitive.

Of course, I oblige.  She also has a little tub of water.

Of course, I oblige. She also has a little tub of water.  MT loves to feel like a normal horse.  Eating with her friends is a real joy for her.  She does this every day.

After I'm done with all of my chores, I tell her that I'm going inside to work and she should rattle a gate if she needs me.  She says she's fine, a big horse and can take care of herself.

After I’m done with all of my chores, I tell her that I’m going inside to work and she should rattle a gate if she needs me. She says she’s fine, a big horse and can take care of herself.

I checked on her a few hours later and she was back in the barn, eating off of the Food Court.  Next she will nap...  And so it goes.  She will visit with the ponies after her nap and then it will be dinner time.

I checked on her a few hours later and she was back in the barn, eating off of the Food Court. Next she will nap…

Naptme.  When she heard me, she sat up.  But you can see that she lays flat out when she sleeps.  I think she naps about 4 times a day.  I'm not sure how much of that is age (she's almost 25) and how much of it is getting off of her feet.  In any event, I'm glad she rests.

Naptme. When she heard me, she sat up. But you can see that she lays flat out when she sleeps. I think she naps about 4 times a day. I’m not sure how much of that is age (she’s almost 25) and how much of it is getting off of her feet. In any event, I’m glad she rests.

Screen Shot 2015-01-01 at 11.50.15 AM

Tess visits with the ponies after lunchtime nap. Then it is dinner time…

For food, Tess Eats CoolStance, Low Carb Senior, Renew Gold, chia seed, psyllium powder and Enzion Hoof Supplement.

For food, Tess Eats CoolStance, Low Carb Senior, Renew Gold, chia seed, psyllium powder and Enzion Hoof Supplement.

SHE DOES ALL OF THAT… WITH FEET THAT LOOK LIKE THIS.  Healing in Progress.

If you just saw her feet – their shape and condition change weekly – … and didn’t see how well she moves and how happily she greets each day, you wouldn’t believe it.

She does all of this with feet that look like this - hard to believe.  But, it is all a part of the process of healing.

Her feet change constantly.  Right now, this is her left.  This is the one that had coffin bone surgery.  As  you can see, the new hoof down the center is very deformed due to damage and blood flow issues. The Purple color is from PURPLE MUSH which we put on her hoof to draw out any abscesses that might be in there.  This foot seems to have no pain.  Generally, she wears a Hoof Cinch, but we removed that for the trim.  I will put the Hoof Cinch back on tonight.  We use the Cinch to help stabilize the foot with the newer, weaker hoof material down the center.

Screen Shot 2014-12-31 at 5.58.03 PM

This is a blurry shot of the underside of her right foot. She has an abscess that is finally draining (thanks to growth and the trim) in the left lower corner here.  This is actually doing really well.  She has tons of sole and we now only have infection on the left side of her right foot.  Her frog is clean and healthy.

This is the right foot just before her trim.  You can see the lumpy section - that is the abscess that was just released via the trim.

This is the right foot just before her trim. You can see the lumpy section – that is the abscess that was just released via the trim.

 

 

 



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2 comments have been posted...

  1. dawndi Post author

    GOOD QUESTION! I forgot that part. Yes, she is on Prescend (pergolide), She was on Metformin but it didn’t
    do anything for her and she really doesn’t need it because she has lost so much weight and her insulin levels remain
    good, She is on Thyro-L daily and she also takes Previcox.

  2. Nicole

    Thank you for the summary Dawn.
    I wonder if you have MT on any meds? Pergolite, Metformin? Thyro-L?

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