Friday, July 17, 2015

The verdict on horse stress.

So as it turns out, my horse stress was a little warranted.  Apollo came up lame two weeks ago on Sunday, when I'd taken him up to NT's over the Fourth.  I jumped to hot nail or abscess, since he'd just been shod that Friday.  Farrier came out, pulled the heel nails in his RF, and I scheduled the vet to come do radiographs - if it was an abscess, I felt like he'd abscessed a few times on that foot already, so it was time to see what was what.

He was rather sounder on Wednesday for the vet but not totally sound, so hot nail was the diagnosis.  Rads didn't show any abscessing, buuuuuut ... he does have mild navicular disease in that RF.

Sigh.  Now, navicular isn't the doom it was 20 years ago, but it's not nothing either.  Fortunately it's mild, and he did come back to sound after I buted him for several days.  So we have a treatment plan that includes pour-in pads, avoiding hard or irregular footing (XC isn't necessarily irregular; I'll avoid the dry, rutted pastures though), and close monitoring.  If he deteriorates to a point at which he can't jump without pain any more, then we won't jump any more.  If he deteriorates to a point at which he can't be ridden without pain any more, I'll retire him.  And if he can't move at all without pain, I'll take the pain on me and let him go.


Signs point to successful management right now.  So we're not going to consider the worst case scenario, just know what we'll do if it comes about.

We also did a titer for EPM, which came back kind of bafflingly - two of his levels indicate non-problem, one is elevated.  His inflammation marker was high, but then again, we know that he had some inflammation going on based on the rads.  Pedal osteitis, is what the vet called it.

So the plan for that is "wait and see."  More like wait, keep him as healthy and fit as humanly and equinely possible, feed him until he pops, and if he shows symptoms or deteriorates inexplicably, then start treating.

And yes, feed him.  Vet said she thought the roach in his back was a combination of inflammation and needing weight on.  Apollo is very much enjoying the heaping piles of food he's getting now!  He now gets:

Pasture 24/7  (not really good quality, but green growing forage, as much as he wants)


3 qt Strategy Healthy Edge
1.5 qt beet pulp, soaked
1.5 qt alfalfa pellets
1/2 scoop electrolytes
2 scoop Cool Calories
2000 IU vitamin E


4.5 qt Strategy Healthy Edge
1.5 qt beet pulp, soaked
1/2 scoop electrolytes
2 scoop Cool Calories
2000 IU vitamin E
1 scoop Nu-Hoof Maximizer

2 flakes alfalfa hay in a nibble net
grass hay to fill out the nibble net

This seems like a LOT to me ... but he is perking up, seeming shinier and more cheerful, so I think he's feeling good.  He's sound again, which can't be hurting his attitude either.   I'd be interested in recommendations for supplements, especially herbal, and must have science to back it up, that help reduce general inflammation.

And I'll be getting alfalfa to feed him through the winter, too, rather than just the grass hay.  I just don't think he does as well on grass hay.  *shrug*  This might be my horse-owner idiosyncrasy, though.  Everybody's got at least one conviction or habit or practice that's considered weird in their area, and alfalfa hay is mine.  The idea scandalizes people around here, that horses can just eat alfalfa.  SMH.  I'll own it: I'm weird.  

But my horse won't be thin any more.  :)