Sunday, September 08, 2013

Summer Gala, 8x8 oil on canvas.

Some scary news yesterday.  My horse was noticeably "ouchy" when he walked in from the fields for dinner.  Usually, it's a race between horse and goats (who always get a head start).    But this was more than ouchy and I suspected it was his shoulders or hips because he's 30 years old after all and has had a hard time balancing for the shoer for some time now.  So we called Doc C out.  Nope.  It was in fact, founder.  We knew it was a distinct possibility but expected it more during the spring, not late summer.  The unusually wet weather made it possible according to the vet. 

Spring of 2012 we began to turn him out 24-7 as opposed to locking him up in the paddock at night.  Doc said in light of his age, dramatic weight loss from the hard winter and dental condition what he needed was grass.  Not hay.  Regardless of the threat of founder.  So doc did some dental work on what was left of his teeth, we put him on rice bran morning and night along with his vitamins and turned him out to graze the rest of the 24 hours.  He looked fabulous by the end of that summer.

The rice bran and grass helped him hold his weight all winter and I was always impressed to see him running in with the goats for dinner.  He had a beautiful coppery coat and silky flaxen mane.  He's an Arabian.  Need I say more? 

This spring he even shed his coat for the first time in several years.  Wish I had known about rice bran earlier.  However, we had some fluxuating weather this late summer which caused the grass to grow hot and sugary.  Also, says doc, the days are starting to shorten and apparently that affects the pituitary gland.  That's about all I know about that.  There was also some mention of cushings disease.

My beautiful, trusty friend who taught me to ride and face my fears is now on bute and some other liquid that goes under his tongue.  10 days is the magic number. 

Doc says if we cant get the inflammation and pain down in 10 days then we have to consider his options.  There aren't to many for an old gelding.  He's already out to pasture.   

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