Monday, September 28, 2009

I Was Unaware of This...

So I have a big gorgeous TB gelding. He is by Affirmed. Yes, THAT Affirmed. He is a floaty gorgeous mover and gets looks where ever he goes. A Great show horse and loves to jump. Recently he's been plagued by awful abscesses that wouldn't go away, my farrier thought everything looked OK. So I continue to soak and soak and treat and treat his little feet. Everyday. I thought about putting shoes on him thinking that would help, I contacted my vet, but nothing, no one had any answers.

So one of my good friends came out a few days ago and looked at how TB was walking and she said to me just as plain and simply as could be.... "He has Laminitis and needs to get to a stall ASAP." Laminitis??? That's freaking on it's way to being FOUNDER!!! How can a normal horse of 10 years of age be foundering?? He isn't over weight, isn't on lush pasture, What the hell????

Well, I'd never dealt with a foundering horse before. EVER. So little did I know that there are SOOOO many different kinds of founder and laminits. I took Big Boy up to my friends house where he could be monitored 24/7 and in a HUGE stall... Easily a 20x20. Her very good friend who is a natural barefoot trimmer came and confirmed that he does have laminitis. She put pads and an equi cast on both front feet and instantly he began to feel better.... So obviously I wanted to know what on earth could have caused him to get laminitis and she simply said...."Anything. He more than likely had a metabolic upset and it threw his feet into a tailspin." Thankfully, They are taking AMAZING care of him and he just eats happily and can finally relax. His hooves are growing new sole and he gets turned out 3 times a day for a little at a time. His mood has dramatically improved and he is truly happy now!!!

Who on Earth would have thought???? Certainly not me.... It terrified me even as they were telling me "It'll be OK, he will recover, we caught it in time!" Ugh, talk about some stress.... While he is recovering beautifully and I am ever so grateful for the help of my friends, it worries me to think that I'd missed that and that he could have really gotten some serious damage done to his hooves and legs. It was my "Oh Shit!!" Moment of the year!!!! So has anything like this ever happened to you??? And always know that even if your vet and farrier are out of ideas, a friend may hit it on the noggin for FREE!!! LOL


OneDandyHorse said...

My horse abcessed this summer. I am a barefoot trimmer myself, I got her as a 2 y-o and she never had a trim in her life. I started to trim and rebalance her feet. They became hard and grew really fast. Her walls were so hard that I had a hard time to trim them! When she abcessed, I read a lot on the subject. Abcesses can be "dormant" in the hoof for years and are caused by imbalances or strains of the hoof (long toes, etc.) I got her healed up and now she is sound. Don't forget to soak her feet, that ensures that the wound doesn't close up before all the puss has drained. Make sure to check for fever (it was a problem with my mare) and hand walk him everyday (it helps a lot!) If you have a dry lot or pasture where he could be turned out with a calm, submissive buddy, that would help in getting him moving a little bit, especially if you cannot hand walk him. Be patient, I gave my girl a month off before starting light work again, but I guess it depends on the severity of each case. Good luck!!

phaedra96 said...

Wow! Isn't it amazing how things happen. If your friend had not looked at him....I have dealt with abcesses; my gelding stepped on something last summer(we found almost totally buried broken off T-post this summer-maybe?). Did the stall, soak, shots routine and it healed. Then he blew an abcess out his coronet. Same thing over again. He blew another one in January. That one messed his hoof up but it is almost grown out. The thing that I never could figure was he never showed a lame step until just before it erupted so I was not looking for it. Freaked me out for awhile; thinking I would lose him at sixteen when I plan to have him forever--I hope. He is doing well now, and we have had no more occurances since January. We figure he had some dirt still in the puncture even with having it opened, soaked and all. I am so lucky he is a good boy and only gave me trouble about day 5 with the antiboitic shots. We changed over to tablets crushed in goodies and he took them down. I love my horse! It is scary through the beginning but he will recover to run another day. Really.

sammijane said...

sounds to me like you need a new farrier AND a new vet.

SweetPea said...

I have an arab who is kind of sensitive to shots when I had given them to him in the neck in previous years. So I asked a vet (was new to the area) what would be a better option. He told me to give the injections in the chest instead. So I gave him a Fort Dodge 5-way on the R side and West Nile on the L.

That night he was fine. By morning he had swelled up so bad he could barely walk. I called the same vet and asked what to do. They gave me DMSO to put on topically and Tri-Hist to put in his grain. That was Thursday.

By Friday his whole R leg was so stocked up that you couldn't see his knee or elbow and his ankle was barely discernable. His head was down, his eyes were glazed and he was panting. I called the same vet again explaining that he couldn't get in the trailer to get there because he couldn't move his R leg let alone lift it to get it in the trailer. He almost fell over when he tripped on the hose!! They said they couldn't get there until 5pm or later (it was 10am).

I called another vet (who turned out to be the most wonderful vet I've ever had) and explained what was happening. She was there in a 1/2 hour giving him an injection to ease his breathing and had even brought out a trailer with a ramp to get him to the clinic.

When she went to drain the swelling, instead of fluid coming out rancid air came out instead. His chest literally deflated like a balloon. When she opened it up his chest muscle was rotting away and infection was rampant. He had had a bad reaction to the carrier of the vaccine for the 5-way and it had triggered a flesh-eating bacteria. He was immediately put on almost-lethal doses of penecillin to try to halt the infection and bacteria and was being debrided 4 to 5 times a day. He was in the clinic for 8 days total getting worked on.

Then he came home and I had to continue to clean up the wound for the next 6 months. Fort Dodge payed for 90% of the vet bills... which by that time were in the thousands of dollars.

Elmo is alive today because of that vet. His chest is a scarred mess and he walks with a little bit of a drag, but is otherwise sound and healthy... although he can no longer have vaccinations. I've posted a link to pictures below. BEWARE: VERY GRAPHIC!!

Elmo's Wound Pics

Union Square said...

My old TB Amarillo was laminitic much of his life - from White Line Disease. That stuff can just sit in there and when you have a constantly abscessing horse, that's what you're sitting on - a dormant laminitis.

I have a broodmare with it now. All you can do is soak, and trim, and soak, and trim, and hope to someday fight the separated hoof wall back to the point where the bacteria no longer has a hiding place. It's hard work.