December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to my wonderful friends!

Sending you wishes for a beautiful Christmas
from our house to your house.

December 18, 2008

Are You Lonely, Royal?

Our rescue horse becomes Royal's babysitter.

Thanks to all of you wonderful, fantastic, helpful friends that have made such good suggestions and have been great at just "being there" during these very long worry days/months.
This ordeal with Royal has been traumatic and we'll all be glad when it is finally over.
They say it will take him about a year for recovery, but I just can't deal with that !
I've lost count on how many times the vet has been here, how many times I felt like crying because he said things weren't going so well with Royal, and how scared I've been that I might lose my boy.

But here is the latest report on Royal.

Remember after that steroid medication (that he should not have had) and how he blew up like a fat bubble wrap boy? Well, the welts and edema are almost gone. The blood work is showing that the insulin resistance situation is improving, and his weight is getting back to normal.
We still do not know if he is really insulin resistant or if the steroid medication caused the situation. But whatever, he is being treated for IR ... and laminitis and rotation.

Tomorrow, both the vet and the farrier will be here to remove his wooden shoes and see what we have underneath. More x-rays will be taken to see what the situation is and then they'll decide what type of shoes and pads he will have put back on.

His medications have been reduced, but he is still on his diet ... much to Royal's disappointment, even though he is much thinner.
In fact, I think he looks thinner than the day I bought him. He's always been a big boy ... you know, tall, dark and handsome.

Probably the toughest past of his confinement has been being stuck in his stall. I mean, take a look at it !!
It is a constant reminder that his mom needs to get out the paintbrush and get things back in shape.

Royal pretty much just hangs around looking out the window watching dogs, cats, geese, ducks and the world go by ... and, of course, waiting for me to show up for the 45th time just to check on him. He's such a good patient.

With all the rains, he has managed to stay dry. I suppose that is the good part of being stuck in the stall.

I'm counting on good news from the vet, tomorrow.

That's all I want for Christmas ... a healthy Royal, running up and down the hill to the upper paddock and calling out to me just to be sure I know where he is.

Just couldn't ask for more ....

December 3, 2008

Royal- Worry and Sleepless Nights

Click to enlarge photos
Royal ~ The Love of My Life!


Royal has always been the horse I could depend on. He's my army tank, perfect feet, perfect attitude, healthy as a horse, the one that just keeps on rolling with his beautiful, heavenly gait, day after day.

Suddenly, he is now suffering laminitis in both front feet, on 30 day stall rest just for starters, on Banamine twice a day, Ace twice a day. He has rolled wooden shoes screwed to his once upon a time, perfect feet.
As soon as we had the diagnosis, we did five days of ice/water soaking of his front feet for 15 minutes three times a day. Near the end of the process, Royal would just pick up his feet and plop them in the bucket. He seemed to know we were trying to help him.

The alarm went off when Royal was being such a quiet babysitter for Shadow. Royal is an active boy, always flagging that tail as he runs to the upper paddocks on a regular basis, or prancing his way down to the arena.

I've kept a detailed chart of the accumulating time bombs along the way. It seems things keep getting worse, the list of possible causes is getting longer.
I'm an absolute worried wreck and nearly living in the barn round the clock.

If you read through my panic post and see red flags along the way or have any suggestions, ... I'm listening!

I love this boy!

Late last August, a new young vet made a routine call to the barn. She recommended Royal be given some medication for those annoying "can't see 'um" fly bites. A short time later, Royal blew up the size of a house. He looked like he was a big roll of bubble wrap. I later learned the medication was potent steroids given several times a day.

Later, my regular vet came by and ran x-rays of his feet to get a base line in case of further problems. The results were ... perfect feet.

Then blood tests were run for insulin resistance. It came back positive. However, on second opinion, I learned that steroid overdose can cause artificial metabolic syndrome and excess weight and bloating. Whatever the cause, he now has laminitis.

Royal's menu is now 16 pounds of soaked timothy hay a day, along with 1 cup of Purina Low Starch feed with his usual vitamin/mineral supplement. (He's a big boy, almost 17 hands and big boned.)
Even though Royal's thyroid is normal, he was put on 4 scoops of Thyro-L daily to lose the weight.

Three weeks later, he has developed laminitis. X-Rays were done, again. It shows rotation in both front feet, numbering 7 in the right front and 10 in the left front. Now, he is in serious condition.
My farrier says he has seen this before. He believes the steroids started the process and the thyroid has caused the laminitis. He recommends slowly bringing him off the thyroid, since his new diet will bring down his weight. He believes to continue the thyroid for another 2 months will cause further problems.

Now, I don't know what to do about the thyroid medicine. The vet says to give it to lose weight fast and the farrier says no, that it is risky.

Both my vet and farrier are excellent. Just differing opinions. And I don't know what to do.

I've been reading Victoria's very similar problems. She sure has kept me together through this trial. I'm so glad to see things are on the mend with Siete.

My thinking, at the moment, is Royal does not have insulin resistance, and I'm very concerned about the effects of the thyroid and the laminitis.

My vet was here this morning and we discussed this thoroughly. He sees no relationship in the timing of the medication and the laminitis. He'll be back again, tonight and we'll be doing more blood work to run another test for the insulin resistance.

In the meantime, I'm going in circles, checking Royal constantly and worried sick.

If any of this is familiar to you, if you agree or disagree with my thinking, please post a word or two.
If you have suggestions ... any help is greatly appreciated.

Right now, I'm back to the barn ...