Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bella is having a laminitis attack. I thought it was odd the other day when I trimmed her that she seemed to have trouble standing for me, like something hurt and she could only hold a foot up for so long. At the time I wondered if it was her stifles, or even just flies bothering her. But yesterday it was obvious something was wrong. She's lame on all four feet. Her digital pulse is pretty strong but at a normal rate (44), her hooves are pretty hot. She walks okay but it's uncomfortable. Standing was uncomfortable for her before the bute, she was constantly shifting her weight around. She's not lying down. She will pretty easily allow me to lift a hoof but she needs a break after about a minute holding it up.

I'm treating her with bute, ice baths for her feet, soaked hay to remove the sugars, epsom salt as an emergency magnesium supplement (I'll get something better ASAP), and her hooves are padded to support the sole and coffin bone.

She also has some strange lumps under her skin, most notably along the sides of her jaw.

So I'm wondering if this is a chemical/toxic reaction to the wormer I gave her the other day. If there were a lot of worms (I never saw any evidence of any and I was looking) their deaths add toxins to the system as well. That and the fact that she's too fat and obviously predisposed to metabolic issues just adds another reason as to why she might founder. I think the wormer probably just tipped the scale in the wrong direction, and she was probably on the verge of founder anyway. She'll need better feed management in the future.

This is a good lesson in something I knew but didn't practice - don't let your horses get too fat, and when the neck crest gets hard you're in the danger zone. She has been off pasture and losing weight, but I shouldn't have had her on pasture so much and allowed the weight gain. So now I have 4 easy keepers and one slightly hard keeper. I think I'd much rather have a hard keeper than an easy keeper. Or better yet, a trouble-free horse! I'm not sure there is such a thing.

Oh, I do have some good news though. My sister says she's never seen a young horse that didn't have ascarids and she wouldn't worry about it at all. (She's had and cared for a LOT of younsters, since they run a boarding facility). Horses develop an immunity as they age and most any wormer will kill them. My vet advised worming them again in 3 weeks and again in 6 weeks, with whatever is cheapest, Ivermectin, Panacur, or Strongid.

Another good news is that Scout's facial marks are bite marks, not a fungus. Thank goodness I don't have to bathe his face.


AKPonyGirl said...

Thank goodness you caught the laminitis early.

A suggestion though - when a horse has such a large infestation of worms, my vet recommends deworming with a daily (strongid 2cx) for a month before deworming with paste (I use Ivermectin) and then continuing with the daily. That way the worms are killed off slowly so they don't all die at the same time and cause problems.

I love daily dewormer. It works to keep the parasite load under control and I don't have to remember to give it every other month. I only use it from breakup to freezeup but deworm with paste every other month all year long.

Anonymous said...

It could be the death of worms after worming, it could be the grass, it could be the fatness - but you're doing the best you can to treat it now. Keeping fingers crossed for you.

My mare Maisie has had two laminitis attacks, both times without rotation, thankfully. She tends to gain weight easily, and to be cresty. I've got a grazing muzzle for her and we're beginning to try that out. She's also on a supplement designed for insulin resistant horses - chromium, magnesium, selenium (this might not be needed in your part of the country - we're selenium-deficient here) and vitamin E. It's made a difference, but I need to watch her weight.

Anonymous said...

Also - I'm with AKPonyGirl and use daily dewormer for my horses, with fall and spring paste worming.

Tina said...

We have a supplement here in Oz that is called Founder guard. My sis uses it for their cresty pony. Might be worth seeing if you can get it locally and feed it to Bella to help avoid future attacks. It is so hard managing these insulin resistant types unless you live on a bare property year round.

Andrea -Mustang Saga said...

I've ordered a similar supplement, unfortunately nobody local carries anything like it. I'm hoping it will get here quickly. I used to keep all of my fatties on it but I got complacent.