Archive for May, 2009


Sunday, May 24th, 2009

Fudge had deep trauma to his neck and chest at the previous owners, compliments of a miniature donkey jack.  When we brought Fudge home, he had some scar tissue in this area, and a little unevenness in the skin.  The bumps have slowly grown to the size of an egg.  There are several possibilities that could cause these bumps.  The vet did look at them when she was here to do vaccinations, but didn’t know what had caused them.  They have grown since then, which makes them troubling.

Bumps on chest have slowly grown

Bumps on chest have slowly grown

Hematomas are blood-filled pockets that are common with kicks to the chest.  They generally appear soon after the trauma, and are slowly absorbed by the body.  These are benign bumps that are caused by trauma to the skin and muscle.

Sarcoids are thought to be caused by the bovine papilloma virus, and have been linked to a weak immune system.   They come in six different types.  Most people are familiar with the type that looks a little like a cauliflower.  They can also be nodules under the skin.  They generally occur in areas where the skin has been broken or traumatized.  Fudge is loosing hair over the bumps.  Additional small bumps can now be felt in this area.

Sarcoids are not so nice.  There is no cure for them, and they tend to multiply.  While they are not cancer, they can definitely affect the health and performance of the horse.  Trying to surgically remove them is not always successful, and many times can make them grow more aggressively.  Even trying to biopsy the sarcoid can make it grow.  Wiki has a informative page for sarcoids.  The vet will be back out next week.

MicroLactin and Vaccines

Monday, May 18th, 2009

Yesterday Fudge had the last of the vaccines in the refrigerator, for West Nile Virus.  It has caused a clear runny nose, slightly worse impairment of the hind legs, and general malaise.  A worsening of symptoms is typical for EPM horses, but you never know which vaccine may cause problems.

I have Fudge on the supplement MicroLactin (Duralactin) for help in reduing the inflammation in his central nervous system caused by EPM.   It helps to control neutrophils, a type of white blood cell that is the first defender to arrive at the scene of infection or trauma to the skin.  Neutrophils are closely tied to the process of inflammation, so limiting them limits inflammation.

MicroLactin has been studied in humans for reduction of inflammation, and has one horse trial by Dr. Bello, involving 58 horses.  Links to the study abstracts are below.  This over-the-counter supplement is worth a try for EPM horses – especially during vaccine season.

The Use of MicroLactin for Inflammatory Conditions in Equine Veterinary Practice“, Bello, Thomas.

Effects of a Milk-Based Bioactive Micronutrient…“, Colker, Carlon.

Centered Riding Clinic

Monday, May 11th, 2009

I spent Saturday and Sunday at a Centered Riding Clinic with the Level 4 instructor Susan Harris.  Wow, what an eye opener.  This clinic entailed two 1.5-hour lectures, two 1.5-hour riding lessons, and watching other lessons.  I learned more about the mechanics of riding and balance in two days, than I have in many years of lessons.  This was the first Centered Riding clinic that I have attended, and it left me with one question, “Why didn’t I do this 20 years ago?”  If you get a chance, get to a clinic by Susan.  Better yet, find a joint clinic with Peggy Brown.

I cannot emphasize enough how much this helped me.  Thank you, Susan.

Tellington Touch

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

There is a Tellington TTouch book for neurological deficits including EPM.  I have used these procedures on another EPM’er.  While I can’t tell you emphatically that they made the remaining deficits go away, I do think that the exercises helped.  The exercises DID help me to more fully understand the extent of the horse’s deficits.  They were more extensive than I knew; the horse had learned to compensate.  The exercises help to combat the boredom of rehab during the first weeks or months when you are only ground working the horse.

I will be using the TTouch exercises on Fudge in the coming weeks, and will post some photographs.  You can find the TTouch booklet here: