We went to the vet this morning. Seeing the wind and pouring rain when I got up, and the way Tonka was spooking so badly he could barely eat his breakfast, had me worried. But he was a pretty good boy for the vet.
The good thing is that the vet took all my vague unease seriously. He agrees that there is something going on. I was afraid that it would all be too ethereal and he'd wonder why we were even there.
He agreed with you all - Tonka does look dull, his hind end is puny, topline lacking muscle, he has a little pot belly. Just not quite right. Tonka gave him a good example of the belly kicking that he does (because he does it a lot more when he's agitated) and we talked about all the little details. He looked at the skin problem. He thinks it's not rain rot but says to keep treating it with the diluted iodine spray that seems to be helping. It may be allergy related. It is likely exacerbated by the systemic problem we're seeing. He thinks his selenium level should be good since I have him on Horse Guard, and his heart sounded good. He shouldn't be deficient unless he's not absorbing it for some reason. We won't test for that unless we can't find anything with the initial bloodwork. I didn't understand the jargon, but he's doing more than your average bloodwork. I hope it comes back with some answers. Another idea was to possibly do an elimination diet and see if there's something he has an intolerance to. But it's all on hold until we see the bloodwork.
He also mentioned enteroliths and something I hadn't heard of before - fecaliths. He thought the incoordination during loping could be a sign that there is pain in the intestines. The sucked up look and stopping and parking out slightly while we're just walking along are also good signs of that. I sincerely hope Tonka doesn't have a large mass that has to be surgically removed. But if he does, I will raise the money to make it happen if I have to sell all my tack and both of the other geldings. Luckily I have a little saved up for horse expenses right now anyway.
My sister made the point that maybe I'd better hang on to Scout just in case. Ugh, I hate to think I'd have to retire Tonka... But she has good reason to say that. She sold a good young horse once to cover her special boy's vet bills, and the special boy ended up not being rideable anymore.
Speaking of money, I didn't get that job. I'm not really sure whether to be upset or happy about that. I kinda wanted the job. I kinda didn't. Liam really didn't want me working full time. But that may be something that happens in the future whether he likes it or not.
But back to Tonka. I decided to turn him back out with the other geldings. Which means no blanket to keep him dry, but as I suspected would be the case, he didn't appreciate the blanket much anyway. He seemed happy to be separate and warm and dry while he was sick, but once he was feeling better he was really acting like a crackhead and wanting back in with his buddies. I'm glad to finally have a good blanket for him just in case he needs it though.