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.
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…”
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.
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.
“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…
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