Cushings, Sinus Infections and Sand in the Gut… Slick is finally recovering! I’ll tell you worked.






A few months ago, I told you that my dastardly pony, Slick, was sick…

I went to feed and noticed watery, awful diarrhea.  His breath smelled like he had an infection.  He had a snotty nose.

I put my hand on his back and pushed down all the winter hair – and it was then that I felt the weight loss.

OMG.

Slick was sick.

After I quit kicking myself for not noticing sooner and calling myself a ‘bad owner’, I ran inside and called the vet.

Over the phone, he said, “It is probably sand in his gut.  Go get some SAND CLEAR and we’ll be right over.”

(Sand in gut can lead to sand colic quickly!)

I did what he said.

Two months of antibiotics to fight the infection and Prescend - for the Cushings.  Horses with Cushings are prone to sinus and tooth infections.  I didn't know this.

Two months of antibiotics to fight the infection and Prescend – for the Cushings. Horses with Cushings are prone to sinus and tooth infections. I didn’t know this.

THE VET

The vet thought his diarrhea was related to his weight loss caused by the sand in the gut, but he felt that the snotty nose and bad smell was probably not related to the sand in the gut..

So, he took some blood.

Before he left, he told me that Slick probably was Cushings and Cushings horses are prone to sinus and tooth infections.  His best guess was that Slick had two things going on:  Cushings which created a sinus infection (or tooth) and he also has sand in his gut.

It was imperative to start working on the sand so he told me to:

1)  Soak beet pellets and serve them REALLY WET with some type of Sand Clear product twice a day.  I was told to give Slick a normal sized horse ration of the Sand Clear to get him started.

2)  Give Slick PRASCEND to get his Cushings under control.

3)  I was given Uniprim, an antibiotic, to help with the infection

4)  Since he was on an antibiotic, I gave him BIOTIC 8 from Omega Alpha to help with probiotics and nutrient absorption.  (I used this for a month)

5)  I always give him Equion… but I doubled the dose to help with nutrient absorption and vitality.

I then set about making sure he was comfortable.

I wanted him to be out of the rain and in the barn where I could help him through the worst of it.

These worked.

These worked.

 

This psyllium product did not work as well...

This psyllium product did not work as well…

 

SLICK IN THE BARN

I kept Slick in the barn for three days, watching his diarrhea ebb.

He hated being in the barn.  He wrecked the place.  A good sign.  He was feeling well enough to make a mess!

The vet had asked me to check his manure for sand using the ‘baggie method’.  (This is where you pick up some manure in an insideout baggie, right it, then pour in some water in and wait for the sand to float to the bottom of the bag.)

I could never do it right…

However, obviously the Sand Clear was doing its thing because the diarrhea was going away.

The antibiotics were also helping with the infection.  The mucus was gone and so was the smell.

After a few days, he was well enough to go outside – but he wasn’t healthy.

Here is the patch of dirt that used to be covered by wood that I used to fortify Bodhi's shelter to fit Slick....  (Note the photobombing Shiva!)

Here is the patch of dirt that used to be covered by wood that I used to fortify Bodhi’s shelter to fit Slick…. (Note the photobombing Shiva!)

VET CHECK

A week later, Slick’s blood test proved he had Cushings.  No big surprise there…

And, he still had his infection – supporting him with the Prascend over time would help with the infection, we hoped.

The vet came back out to check Slick’s sinuses and while doing so, Slick started to choke.

Hmmmmm.

We took an Xray.

Nothing.

We sent the Xray to a specialist to make sure.

Clear.

Hmmmm.

The vet said he would come back with his scope.

This is the ugly but useful job I did in retrofitting Bodhi's shelter to fit little Slick.  I used my girly Makita to drill in the board that had been on the ground - yes, I admit it, we had a sheet of plywood out in one of the fields.  My bad.  But, it came in handy!

This is the ugly but useful job I did in retrofitting Bodhi’s shelter to fit little Slick. I used my girly Makita to drill in the board that had been on the ground – yes, I admit it, we had a sheet of plywood out in one of the fields. My bad. But, it came in handy!

AFTER THE ANTIBIOTIC

After Slick had the two week antibiotic course, we stopped the antibiotic.

He regained all of his infection symptoms in about 2 days!

Yikes!

Luckily, the vet was coming back out to scope his sinuses and listen for sand.

The scoping showed nothing.  All was clear.  No Gutteral Pouch issues.

Nothing.

Hmmmmm.  He has always had wheezing issues so we decided to keep him on his herbal remedies (Omega Alpha – Respi-Free).

The vet said he could still hear the ‘wave’ sounds in Slick’s gut.

We needed to keep him on the Sand Clear.

*Now this was odd that the wave sound were still there – because the Sand Clear had been really helping… But then I switched products.  I bought a new kind.  And, that new kind didn’t work nearly as well as the Sand Clear.   When I switched to Equus brand of psyllium, he went backwards.

He went back on Uniprim (antibiotic) and was kept on for 2 months.

My hand on his back today - looking and feeling plump!

My hand on his back today – looking and feeling plump!

TWO MONTH THERAPY

When this all started, I separated him from his buddies (poor guy) and put him across the fence in Bodhi’s pasture.  He could still see them.

In this way, I could make sure he got his meds, that he was eating, I could check the firmness of his stool and that he was using his shelter and staying warm.

I fed him a wet mash of beet pulp and his meds every day – twice a day.

I gave him (and continue to give him) Prascend for his Cushing (stuffed into an apple bit), the antibiotic, Sand Clear (3 weeks on/1 week off) and a double dose of Equion.

And right now, he is looking great!  He is all plump again.  I see no signs of the infection.  He is his horrible self again!

WATCHING HIM LIKE A HAWK!

Today, I finished with his 2 months of antibiotics.

Hopefully, the Prescend has started to kick-in and the infection won’t come back.

But, I don’t know for sure, so I’m watching him like a hawk.

Slick is healthier for sure.  His attitude is dastardly as ever and he’s back in with his buddies – pushing them around, a good sign!

Here he is this morning.  His plump and healthy pony self!

Here he is this morning. His plump and healthy pony self!

LEARNING EXPERIENCE

Sand can happen even where you don’t have sand…  In the 20 years of housing horses, I’ve never even heard of ‘sand in the gut’ in my area…

But he got it… in my area.

Cushings can take hold, especially if the horse is compromised.  I think the Prascend has made him much more comfortable.

ALWAYS feel the spines of your fluffy horses during winter.

Sand Clear products do work – but not all.

I love Omega Alpha products and EQUION!

Slick looks great!

Phew…

Now I wait.

And while I’m waiting, I’m going to give Sand Clear to every horse here for 3 weeks.  Just for good measure.

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newrule

 

bucket-horsegd177

 

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



Only one comment so far...

  1. MET

    Hooray for Slick! I think now that he’s on Prascend you’re going to notice a huge difference in how he looks and feels. (My own horse went from a super easy keeper before Prascend to a horse with a normal, real metabolism – and little in the way of any infections in the 2+ years he’s been on it.) Now, how is Norma (it is Norma, isn’t it?) :)

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