It has been three weeks since Tess went into ICU.
Before I go on, if there is one thing I hope all of you who have laminitic horses learn from my story, this is the most important:
DO NOT LOSE BLOOD FLOW IN THE SOLE.
Whatever you do, when laminitis strikes, get that sole off of the ground so that the vessels – which are on the bottom of the foot – are not compromised or destroyed. Having blood flow is very, very important in healing.
Seems so simple now…
Today we had a meeting of the minds to discuss her progress and future treatment.
I was a bit nervous on many levels going into this meeting … I wanted her to be better but I knew she wasn’t. I wanted the Xrays to show no more rotation/sinking. I wanted to change what we had been doing in favor of what I wanted to do – but was afraid I would insult the vets who are working so hard to save her.
I wanted the Horsegods to not abandon us today.
I arrived to find Dr. E and Jesse (master farrier) working on MT. She was in the aisle with bare feet, freshly trimmed.
To see here there, all shiny and healthy, the mind doesn’t want to believe her actual condition. I mean, to see her in wonderful shape, incredibly shiny with dapples and a robust luster, you’d think she was in the hospital visiting another horse.
All those supplements and the 24/7 care has done her well.
Except, she is still sick.
Both Dr. E and Jesse were there to discuss, with open minds, her condition and her future.
I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was because as soon as I saw her and felt the somewhat dour feeling in the room, I started to well up.
I knew her founder had not improved.
Dr. E told me straight up that he had just finished taking Xrays and the good news was that there was no new rotation.
The bad news was that she had several highways of abscesses – still – which were apparent in the Xrays. These abscesses broke through her newly healed sole. We didn’t know if these were the old abscesses still draining or new abscesses but the bad part was that there wasn’t enough blood flow to clear up these abscesses – so they didn’t heal.
The goal is to improve blood flow and get these abscesses and her soles – healed.
There is no sure-fire remedy, clearly…
WHAT WE DID
(I have no affiliations with any of the products mentioned – I’m just telling you what we used…)
Jesse trimmed her growing toe and angled her heels to promote easing of her tendons. Then, we decided upon a circular, aluminum, wedged shoe.
Jesse hammered down the toe of the shoe so it didn’t touch the parts of her sole that are soft and draining.
He put in a half pad but left her soles open to drain and be treated.
We put the Hoof Cinches (Hoofcinch.com) back on because they do help with her pain.
They will continue treating to harden her soles. They agreed to use my Sore No More “The Sauce” to make the sugardine.
WHAT WE ARE GOING TO DO
Usually, the DRs don’t like to change a lot of protocols at once because then you don’t know which change actually worked – if it does work.
But, we decided that time is of the essence so we are doing several things differently.
1) We are going back to the anti-inflammatory acute pain protocol I was using when she was still here in my barn. It seemed to work better – but we aren’t sure why.
2) We are going to see how she does in the next few days with the new shoes… if she is in more pain, we will remove them.
3) Once she is stable, we will do a venogram to find the true condition of the vessels of her feet. I am a bit afraid of this one… if she does not have sufficient blood flow to heal herself, we will find out with this test. We have avoided this because vets/owners tend to make decisions based on this test but the tests aren’t 100% accurate.
4) We are going to give her acupuncture to help relieve pain she might be feeling in her back and to promote circulation in her feet. (Dr. E surprised me with this recommendation!)
5) Dr. E is willing to use my ArcEquine (arcequine.com) unit on her legs to promote blood flow and healing.
6) Dr. E asked me to reorder all of her supplements (Omega Alpha) because she hasn’t had an ulcer, she looks great and ‘they appear to be really helping”. So, I am in the process of reordering AntiFlam, RegenerEQ, Gastra-FX, Biotic 8 and MinerEQ.
DOCTOR, OWNER, PATIENT…
As we were done with all of our discussions and treatments, Dr E, Tess and I were standing there… She wanted her dinner and seemed contented.
I told Dr. E that I really didn’t think she was hopeless or that we should give up hope. He turned to me and said that he didn’t think she was bad enough to be put down, either.
He told me that if I came to that conclusion, I would have to convince him. He said he would never give up on her unless he was forced.
“That mare has the best attitude, ever…” as his voice trailed off, he shed a tear. “There is no way she is ready to go anywhere… She’s right here with us. Just look at her! That is the kind of attitude that makes us all do anything and everything for her.”
Yup. Once back in her stall, she was furiously attacking her haynet and looking at us with her bright eyes.
Atta girl, Tess, atta girl!
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
That’s my girl!
My heart goes out to you in this difficult time. Remember, you never get more than you can handle. Just hang in there.
Keeping MT in my prayers. You have found a great veterinarian, Dawn!!!
I heard once upon a time that laminitis was like a migraine headache in the feet and that nitroglycerin patches helped bring blood flow back to the feet in a big way. It might have been thehorse.com where I read that. Just wanted to mention it in case you or the vet wanted to check it out. Sure hope Mama Tess gets better.
Oh Tess, praying for you strong girl! And for Dawn who has to make the tough decisions.
Sending lots of prayers and healing vibes your way!
Power up, Mama Tess (and Mama Dawn). We are all pulling for and praying for you! Hugs to you both.
Continued prayers for Mama Tess. When my Morgan mare had a terrible case of laminitis last year my vet did acupuncture too. He told me her recovery had much to do with “how big her heart is, her will to live”. I think those Morgan mares have huge hearts.
Dang it! You got me crying again!! Just the thought of that kind man caring that much, and MT’s beautiful, wise soft eyes set me off. Squeezing out all the good karma I have left to send to you.