Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Spoke Too Soon

You guessed it. Gus is worse again.

I was out to the barn yesterday after work to put a light ride on Gus. All we did was about 20 minutes of mainly walking, with about 5-8 minutes of trot work thrown in (only doing about 1-2 minutes at a time though). He was okay with all of that, but upon leaving the arena he stumbled heavily with his right fore. He didn't really walk out of it either, but seemed okay once back in the cross-ties in the aisle. As I went to turn him around to go back to his turnout, he really struggled to move his body around.

B, the BO, was there and watched him move. She couldn't believe how bad he looked again. We ended up talking for a while about Gus and she was wondering if he could benefit from shoeing as-if-he-were-a-Navicular-horse. That is the treatment that the other lame horse at the barn was prescribed by a top notch lameness vet (whom Gus has also seen previously).

I ended up talking to the vet today about Gus and she's at loss as to what to do too. She's wondering if he has arthritis in his neck or in his right fetlock. I had x-rays, once upon a time, that proved there "supposedly" was arthritis in the right front fetlock... also had x-rays that said he was Navicular. Both of those theories went out the window when Gus was finally diagnosed with a bad stifle. Since we have fixed that, the other issues have gone away, least until now.

The reason why we suspect something with that right front is because it was bearing a lot of the weight load for a good month when Gus was first having issues with that abscess in the left front. So, who knows what is really going on but I think we will try a shoe/trim approach first and then go to x-rays next... if needed.

It's quite frustrating not knowing exactly what is going on. Poor Gus.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

It's been a while...

Wow, it's been way too long since I've updated this blog. Lots of things have happened over the past month and I have tons of photos to share, but unfortunately those will have to come at a later date.

Firstly, Gus was shod back in mid-May (May 13th to be exact). J put on just fronts... nothing special, to see if we could get him sounder. To no avail though. He was still just as lame as before. We all thought that the shoes would make a difference. Oh well. J really trimmed up his hooves too. They actually looked a bit too tiny. I have photos... will need to post them later.

So, after that didn't work we just kept monitoring him. Had the vet back out the early part of June (I think) or it was the end of May. She took some x-rays (which I'll post later) and basically couldn't find anything, even though the left front hoof was warm to the touch. Both B (the BO) and myself thought it was both fronts... cause he was equally lame both directions on the lunge when theoretically he should be sounder looking one direction over the other. The vet still thought he and an abscess and recommended soaking and wrapping, again. So, we did another week's worth of that and no improvement, whatsoever.

Needless to say, we ended up pulling his shoes early June, the 10th actually. J pulled the shoes and trimmed Gus again, even though it had only been four weeks. He was so incredibly sore afterwards. He ended up doing this weird drunken-sailor movement where he was swinging his front legs out and over the other front leg. He had a hard time walking a straight line.

After videoing this (I do have the video also) we (my BO and I) had a hunch that it may be something higher up causing the issues. B thought it was his knees. Turns out this knobby things his has on his knees (he's had them FOREVER) were very hot to the touch. Gus moved off decently enough in the arena... he even navigated some trot poles just fine. But the moment he walked on the concrete of the barn aisle, he was head-bobbing, leg-swinging lame. He even moved great in the pasture and walking in from turnout. It was just the barn itself he had difficulties with.

So, sending that latest update to the vet (still haven't heard anything back from her) we still weren't entirely sure what was going on with Gus. He seemed okay when you palpated his legs... and the only heat that was showing up now was in the knee area. The knobby things didn't both Gus at all. I ended up applying some Sore-No-More gelotion to the areas... not sure if it helped or not.

Now **knocking on wood** Gus is doing quite well. No more leg-swinging, drunken-sailor moving horse. Yippee! He is sound moving outside, inside (including the concrete aisle) and in the arena. I hopped up on him Thursday morning to see how things were and I was pleasantly surprised. He is still short-strided in the front but willingly moves out.

The odd thing is that it is his right front leg that he's short on, even though he was only ever off on the left front (least according to the vet... B and I always thought differently). Still, he's not on anything for pain, just his MSM and HA, and he's comfortable. We'll see how he improves in the course of the next couple weeks. Hopefully, it's only for the better.

Now on to Gringo. I kinda feel bad about him as he's been on the back burner lately due to my work schedule, Gus needing a lot of time and moving (oh, and the wedding!). I'm hoping to change that soon though.

Needless to say, that boy is looking pretty good. He seems to be staying sound and OVERLY err, plump, this spring/summer. I talked to the future MIL about decreasing his hay... I really don't think he needs half a bale of hay to himself, especially since there is a really nice pasture growing right now. In fact, Gringo had gained nearly 60lbs in a month. Sixty pounds that he desperately DID NOT need. I have photos of him too... comparing him from May to now. I'll need to post those for your viewing pleasure. But like the other photos I need to post, they will be posted later.

Other then the weight gain, Gringo is looking and feeling well. He seems happy for the most part, but I think he, in his own little way, misses Gus. Gus on the other hand does NOT miss Gringo.

I'm pleased so far that both my boys seem to be getting better/staying sound. I'll try to get those photos posted as soon as possible... it's interesting to see the changes in both Gus and Gringo.