Monday, September 29, 2008

Gringo's Hock

Well, I got another look at Gringo's 'hock' sore today. Actually, a chunk of the scab peeled off. Still not bothering him at all. For that, I'm happy.

That left front, though, is a totally different story. He's still lame on it and just walking in from the pasture, he's very lethargic. I gave the vets a heads up... but I think I'm just gonna monitor for the time being.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gus's leg bump...

Well, the bump is still alive and unfortunately it's not getting any better. I finally tried (albeit with my cell phone) to get photos. They aren't the best but the do show the bump I'm talking about. Today I just applied Surpass and then wrapped both hind legs. He's been left unwrapped since Thursday morning. I'm planning on rewrapping Sunday and Monday and then rewrapping again Wednesday evening. Not sure about the rest of the week. I'll be giving the vet a call again with another update to see where we go from here.

So in this picture, it's the leg on the right, although you're really looking at the right and left leg, respectfully. His legs are a bit torqued, but looking at the "white" leg, you'll see up near where the white and roan meet you'll see the bump - as a bow outwards. The leg is also much thicker all the way around, though that's not obvious from the photos.

This photos makes the bump much more easier to see. It use to be much larger in size but has compressed over time... though not being wrapped has allow the bump to expand back out a bit. He's still lame on it and it does bother him, though not as much as it did a couple weeks back.

Again, those weren't the greatest photos, but they were taken on my cell phone, so what can you expect?

Conformation Shots

Well, I went out to see Gringo today after work. He's still lame, go figure right? He doesn't seem nearly as bad as he was on Thursday, but he's still definitely off.

So today I decided to snap some new conformation shots of Gringo. I've not done that in a while, so here goes. Feel free to critic.

I'm particularly partial to the "butt" shot... gotta love those Appy spots. And that dang tail of his, I spent about 30 minutes trying to clean that today (shampooing and all). Well, I finally decided that it's going back in a tail bag until next spring.

This next shot is a photo of that scrape on Gringo's right hind leg, just above the hock. Still don't know what he did there. It doesn't both him at all and he doesn't seem lame on that leg. I'm just going to keep monitoring it. Nothing I can do about it now as it's already healed up.

Oh, and so far, no reactions due to the DD of Ivermectin. He seems to be just fine... not extra itchies or anything along those lines. We'll see what happens when he gets the DD of Equimax in a couple weeks.


Here's my first attempt at stenciling stars in horse hair. Boy, let me tell you, I got more then I was bargaining for. My technique involved Contact paper, star clip art, Sharpies, scissors and PATIENCE! The result is below.

It took three hours to do, when all was said and done. I ended up leaving just Gus's head and legs... everything else is nekkid. I'm going to be reclipping him again in a couple weeks, so he may end up losing a couple stars as they just don't show up very well. But, for my first attempt, I'm very pleased.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Double Dose

Awww, the powerful "double D". I'm big into reading CoTH ( and stumbled upon a thread about double dosing ivermectin (or Equimax) for neck thread worms (NTW). Common signs of NTWs are bumps on neck, chest, belly line or extreme itchiness.

Neither boy has any real signs of NTWs but from reading the thread, I decided that I'd DD Gringo first to see if it helps at all with some of the noseeum reactions he's been having. So, Gringo got dosed for a 2000 lb horse yesterday (he taped at 1000 lbs). I also gave him 20cc of Maalox afterwards, to ward off any possible stomach upset due to the dewormer. Plan is to follow up in two weeks with another double dose of ivermectin.

I plan on DD Gus after his next barn worming. The BO deworms every eight weeks or so and doesn't like us doing any deworming at all... but I would really like to either powerpak Gus or DD with ivermectin. The vet agrees that Gus would likely benefit from the powerpak because of all his other issues (maintaining weight, older, etc...).

Otherwise, Gringo's lame again. What's new? BO called me yesterday to let me know that he was off in his left fore, again. Not sure what he did, but he's pretty off. I also noticed a large chunk of hair loss on the right hind leg, just above the hock. Who knows what the guy did this time. It's already scabbed over (all black in color) and doesn't seem especially tender to the touch. Does not seem off on it either. So, for at least a 12 days he's on Devils Claw Plus (by Uckele) for pain. If not better, I'll do bute for a week.

Gus seems better today though. The swelling in the left cannon bone has gone down again. It was wrapped overnight and will be left unwrapped until either Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. He's walking much better on it now also. Still has the sore on his stifle, less painful then prior days but still very much bothers him. We'll see how the weekend goes.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

He's out with the herd.

Well, I just got a voicemail from Gringo's BO (totally different lady then Gus's BO). Looks like he'll be out with her whole herd now. Used to be just him and another gelding, who we'll call L. But, as of this morning, he's out with three mares now (the fourth is on stall rest). He's adjusting well, so she says. I'm not at all surprised that there are no antics. Gringo's a very laid back fellow and won't provoke unless provoked. And, I'm so fortunate that he's not herd-bound. I love that about him.

Haven't been out to see him lately otherwise. Planning on getting out there within the next couple days, as I've got some time off. Would attempt to lunge him again but it's been raining all day, which equals slippery and muddy. Don't want to chance anything with him.

As far as Gus goes, I haven't been out since this weekend, but I'm hoping that the swelling in his cannon bone has gone down. If not, well not sure what I'll do. I'm still wrapping it nearly everyday, just some days it's harder to get out to the barn to rewrap.

I'll hopefully have positive updates in my next post.

ETA: Well, I made it out to see Gus today... and he's worse then he's been in a while. The cannon bone has swollen back up a bit and he's got a new sore on his left stifle. The sore is about a quarter in size and it's already pretty well scabbed over. It's very painful to the touch (Gus was attempting to kick me while I was putting ointment on it).

I did rewrap both hind legs and applied the "sweat" mix onto the left hind. Hopefully it'll be looking better tomorrow, we'll see.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Gringo's Story

Gringo has a sketchy past. I know little about what happened to him prior to my ownership. I got Gringo from an ex-boarder. She had gotten him from his breeder. He was only three when I got him and already had so many problems.

By the time I got him in October of 2006, he had already been at numerous (think about 5+) barns in just two short years. He had supposedly been "broke" to ride, but we found out soon enough that he either had no training or very bad training (I personally think it was a combination of both).

It took weeks before I could lead him without either being plowed over or stepped on. He had no concept of personal space and was as flighty as a bird. I do know that when his previous owner (PO) attempted to lunge him, he got away from her and got tangled up in a barbed wire fence. He has scars to prove he lost that battle.

Anyways, the training of Gringo progressed very slowly. He would be making good progress but within minutes would back track - miles back. For every one-step forward, it would be four steps back. It took a long time to build his trust in humans... makes me wonder what really happened in all those barns before I got him.

In early January, the BO thought it was time to finally throw that other leg all the way over. Well, needless to say, that did not go so smooth. I ended up with permanent nerve damage on my left side - primarily in my left arm and leg.

By late winter, we knew something was not right with Gringo. He would have okay days, and then he would have outright dangerous days. No rhyme or reason. No expression before he would freak... just one moment he's with it, the next he's trying to kill everyone.

In May, we stopped training. We just weren't making any progress. By then, I'd already had the vet out a couple times but we could never find anything wrong. Well, in early May we thought we had the culprit... an abscess in the left fore. Treated it for a couple weeks with no real improvement.

Therefore, we had the vet back out. This time we took x-rays. Found out he had fractured the coffin bone (extensor process was where the break actually occurred). So, my options were limited. Stall rest, corrective shoeing or surgery. I opted for a mixture...

In August, after having two months off and just chilling out in the pasture, I send Gringo to my significant other's (SO) parents' house. He had the luxury of being on pasture board for 9 months. Him and I finally bonded when he moved there. I was his "human" and he was always so happy to see me. Those 9 months out there did wonders for him. He became a horse again. He also became more trusting.

In March of this year I took Gringo to the specialist (same one Gus saw actually... love Dr. T) to see if there was any improvement in his x-rays from the previous May. Found out from Dr. T that the break was old... not just a year old, but like years old. Great. So, that means that while the PO had Gringo, this "accident" occurred... and she knew about it.

We never did notice it on the PPE back in October when I had gotten Gringo, but then, I didn't do x-rays. Lessons learn. Anyway, Dr. T recommended corrective shoeing. His other options were joint injections, stem cells, IRAP or surgery to remove the fragment. None of those were feasible... so I opted for the cheaper route.

So, now Gringo is sporting lovely shoes with clips, rocker toes and pads with frog support. He's sounder now then he's been in years. I also had his coffin bone injected back in early August of this year. That injection seemed to cause more issues, temporarily. He was very painful for about two weeks. But, he's seems to be getting along better now.

Thankfully, things seem to be resolving. There's no guarantee he'll ever be sane enough to be ridden. He has such a history and so much of it we don't even know. I do know that he's very reactive to pain... for what that's worth.

ETA: This is more for my own benefit, but here's another blogger's post about coffin bone injuries - great source of information! See:

Gus... his story.

Gus has literally been through hell and back. When I got him back in 2000, he was definitely not eye catching. He had not had a "job" in three years, so he was fat, happy and sassy living in a pasture in the rural Midwest. However, despite that winter coat and those long, overgrown hooves there was something about him that caught my eye.Gus was my first horse. I have always been one of those little girls that loved horses. I was finally getting my own horse; I just jumped at the first one we checked out. He was worth it.

His first "accident" happened that first May, May 2000. My trainer/barn owner "BO" was lunging him. Well, he decided to be stupid, as was his thing on the lunge line, and ended up slipping. That accident resulted in a hyperextended stifle. He recovered just fine with about a month off.

No further issues until the spring of 2003. That was our first spring together in the South. Did not know what was going on. Vet finally diagnosed the problem as arthritis in the left front fetlock. Sorta resolved itself over the summer.

Spring of 2004 brought about another bout of lameness. This time the vet thought it was navicular in the right front. Treatment consisted of really expensive, custom bar shoes. Was sound after that.

Spring of 2005... Guess what? Yep, you guessed it. Another spring of lameness. New vet. Didn't think it was the front end this time, but thought it was the back end. Diagnosis was hocks, specifically the left hock. Ended up doing a round of hock injections, which seemed to help, but still wasn't 100%.

Fast forward a couple months... I moved Gus back home following graduation. BO at our "old" barn (same barn we were at prior to the move south) thought it was stifles. Vet confirmed the diagnosis as probably arthritis. Treatment consisted of injecting the left stifle with a steroid/sodium hylauronate mixture. He was sound, 100% again.

Ended up needing the stifle injected multiple times in the course of a couple years. Legend worked wonders in helping prolong the time between the joint injections. However, this spring, things were very different.

So, this March Gus was lame, again. What's new? My vet and I have been through so much with Gus so we both immediately suspected the stifle, except this time it felt like it was the right one, not the left. Ended up injecting both stifles in March. Moderate improvement, but still lame weeks later.

It wasn't until May that I decided to take him to the specialist, to see if we could get a more concrete diagnosis. Well, I got more then I bargained for. By the time I got Gus to the equine specialist, he was so lame he could barely even walk. Diagnosis was a torn cranial cruciate ligament. Prognosis was poor.

Gus ended up on stall rest for about 4 weeks. Then he was allowed turnout, only after he'd been ridden. Finally, by late June, he could be turned out in the mornings like everyone else. He was making progress, even if it was slow.

But, like everything else, we had our setbacks. First one was in July. He had been previously turned out by himself, but in mid-July, the BO turned another horse out with him. Gus, quite literally, beat the crap out of the other guy. In doing so, he reaggravated his injury.

He was getting better, and then ended up running around on his bad leg again a few weeks later in August. Since then, he's not been getting any better. And, now we're dealing with a swollen cannon bone (noticed on Labor Day).

Aghh. I don't think any of this will ever end. Had the vet back out for the swollen cannon bone (it's his left hind). Not sure what he did... it could be a number of things. Like: bee sting, infection (splinter possibly?), or (getting dramatic now) he could have fractured something. We don't know. So, with the help of a DMSO/Nitrofurazone/Dex sweat, the swelling has come down. However, after a week of sweating the leg, the swelling is still present.

It's frustrating because he's still lame... though now on both hind legs, but more so the left hind now then the right. But, he can't be on Bute because it's causing a lot of stomach upsets... he's been cribbing again since I put him back on Bute back at the beginning of the month.

He's got until October to get this issue resolved, then I'll do x-rays. He's comfortable, but it's so sad seeing him not "happy". And, I can't even ride my boy right now, which is frustrating in itself. But, at least he's weight is up and his coat is looking nice again. I'll have to post photos of his stars sometime soon.

ETA: Another blog I follow, Behind The Bit, had a nice article on stifles... so for my information (mostly) here's a link:

Who exactly is G2?

Well, I suppose I should introduce who G2 is. G2 (pronounced as G squared) is the name given to my two equine boys by a good friend of mine. Gus and Gringo. I have had Gus since the spring of 2000, Gringo I recently acquired back in October 2006.

Gus is a registered Appaloosa gelding who was born back in January of 1990. He is one of the greatest loves of my life. He's brought me a lot of happiness, however, in recent times it's been more sorrow and heartache. Gus was recently diagnosed at Anoka Equine in May of 2008 with a torn cranial cruciate ligament in his right stifle. Fancy saying that he torn a ligament in his knee. Prognosis is not good. No guarantee he'll ever be sound again. Depressing. More to come on Gus's issues in later posts.

(This is Gus... he's my favorite, but don't tell Gringo!)

(Gus definitely enjoys rolling after a good bath. I only included this one because I'm also monitoring his weight. He's hyperthyroid and has issues maintaining his weight because of a hyper-active thyroid gland. He gained about 50-60 lbs since this photo was taken back this spring.)

Gringo, on the other hand, is a triple registered Andalusian/Appaloosa gelding who was born in February 2003. When I got him in October 2006, he was given to me by his previous owner (read between the lines - FREE). Little did I know why. Well, about $2000 and a couple years later (after months of lameness issues) I know why. Gringo suffers from a broken coffin bone. To be more specific, he fractured the extensor process of his left front coffin bone. Basically, he broke his "foot". He has a crappy diagnosis also. No guarantee he'll ever be sound 100% again either. Although with corrective shoeing and careful weight management, he's doing much better now.

(This is Gringo, doing what he does best... EAT!)

(In this picture, you can definitely see the Appy characteristics.)

Therefore, this blog is really going to be more of a diary of their difficulties in life. I need a place to vent at times and yet keep track of how things are progressing. I hope to accomplish that with this blog.