Here’s hoping that most of you will never have to go through what I am going through tonight.
MamaTess has taken a turn for the worse. I’ve given her everything in my aresenal to ease the laminitis pain but nothing is working.
Why? Is it really really bad? Or is it abscesses?
I’ve put in an Emergency Call to my longtime vet.
I’m scared. I’m mad at myself. I’m worried.
I feel helpless.
I’m wondering if my decisions along the way have hurt my mare.
I’m wondering if my longtime vet will be able to do anything. Will he will be angry with me for putting her in a clinical trial instead of calling him right away – in the beginning. I’m wondering if he will be angry that he has to come in and try to save her now.
I also wonder if I should be this honest over the Internet…
SHE WAS DOING SO WELL…
I chose to put MamaTess in a clinical trial for her laminitis because I hoped to find something wonderful to share with all of you.
To be fair, the protocol was really working. (You can read about it here.) She was definitely improving! After three weeks of the protocol, MT was walking fairly freely, could turn around comfortably and was well enough to make a fuss about being locked in the barn.
All good signs.
She was still wearing her Softrider boots, however… and she needed a toe trim.
THE FIRST DECISION I REGRET
As I sit here, I am banging my head against the wall.
I had a vet trim her because I figured that was the best choice for her.
What I didn’t know was the this vet believed in a type of trim that I don’t believe in. We hadn’t discussed this, somehow… We had only discussed cutting back her long toe and rasping it to make a nice rollover.
I had no idea that this vet believed that the frog should make contact with the ground when simply standing – not when fully loaded.
And so, without me being there (mistake #2), the vet cut back her toes beautifully, but also took off all of her hoof wall and heel – so that her frog was now making contact with the ground at all times ‘to support blood flow’.
MT was totally lame from that moment onward.
THE SECOND DECISION I REGRET.
I asked a family member to put one of the dogs in the stall, instead of doing it myself.
The stall we use for the dogs is the one that previously housed the alfalfa and grain hays. So, the stall floor was full of rich, beautiful alfalfa leaves and yummy grainy remnants.
The family member didn’t latch the stall properly.
Yup. MamaTess got in there and ate it all up.
IN A PANIC, I CALLED MY LONGTIME VET.
She was now totally lame on both fronts.
The fact that I could not find anything to relieve her pain makes me think abscess…
Is it an abscess? Or horrible founder from the stall-raid sugar spike? Was it the trim and the subsequent bruising?
Every time I rubbed her coronet band I wondered if it felt the same… was she sinking?
I’m sit here in front of my computer, hoping that my longtime vet will be here soon and will work his country magic.
But mostly, I’m praying that I won’t have to regret the decisions I have made…
THE VET ARRIVES.
The vet arrived at 8pm.
He had already been to see Tess before I had a chance to run down to the barn. He said that she was laying down.
I showed him my Protocol sheets and stood back… he actually read every word.
“Very Interesting”, he said, “I have no idea what this SEH Inhibitor is but I agree with the Protocol of Coxes… I think this idea is innovative and could work.”
He wasn’t angry with me. Phew.
“OK, let’s look at your mare and I’m going to take her temp.”
He roused Tess and she agreed to stand. She was very unstable and ouchy.
Doc inserted his mercury thermometer and we waited and waited and waited – as Tess became more unstable…
Me: I have a digital one, if you need it.
Doc: Don’t use digital. Too inaccurate. Can’t get mercury in California anymore. Don’t know what I’m gonna do when this one breaks.
Temp = Normal.
He took out his hoof testers and Tess readily gave him her sore left foot.
Doc: Hmmmmmm. She is only sore on the inside toe.
Doc: That’s what I’m thinkin’. She isn’t sinking or I’d see the plunger effect on her coronet band – although she does have fluid in the joint… But, her soles are too dang hard. We need to soften them up so the abscess can come down and out.
Me: What about her other foot? She’s lame on it, too.
Doc: Well, she won’t let me lift it to check it. But, my hunch is that if we have tried IV Equioxx and every other kind of ‘cox and there is no relief, it isn’t founder we’re dealing with – it is pressure. An abscess.
Me: That would be so wonderful.
Doc: Well, that is my hunch. Do you have a paper bag?
Me: I have a paper feed bag.
Doc: OK, give it to me.
So I did, and he ripped off a piece.
Then he used his scissors to cut two hoof shaped paper pieces out of the feed bag.
Doc: Got any Mud?
Me: I have this kind and that kind.
Doc: I like this kind (Sore No More) cuz I’m familiar with it.
Me: OK, use whatever you want!
Doc took his paper and the mud into the stall. He schmeared the Sore No More Poultice onto the paper and slapped that onto her hard, sore hoof.
He wrapped it with medical tape and put her boot back on.
…The other foot wasn’t so easy…
It took us half an hour to coax her to lift that foot (and put pressure on her worse foot) and let us put on the mudwrap. Eventually, we let go of any paper application idea and found ourselves simply begging her to lift her foot so we could put her boot back on that we had pre-filled with mud.
Finally, we did it. But, it wasn’t pretty.
THE COUNTRY VET LEAVES.
My longtime vet told me to make sure to call him in the morning and keep him posted. He hoped the abscess would draw out soon – but if it didn’t, just call…
And with that, I nodded my head and smiled.
Protocol, schmotocol… yes, the fancy vet protocol probably really helped stop the initial founder onset and laminitic cascade but… sometimes a country vet can wrap you in his knowledge and fold you into his hunches.
Doc may be totally wrong, but tonight I will sleep because I believe him.
God bless that man…
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