Posts Tagged ‘Lazy D Acres’

Snow Monsters

Saturday, February 6th, 2010

The blizzard of 2010 kept us busy clearing the driveway and cars this morning.  We are lucky to still have power after the high winds and heavy snow.  The horses are rarely stalled, but we put them in last night due to the possibility of branches coming down.  They were very happy to get out. 

Fudge (star) plays with Drifter (star and stripe) in the 28″ of snow.  Fudge has come a long way in his recuperation.  He is still not ride-able at more than a walk or trot.  We will continue to work on this rehab with ground exercises, and walking the trails.  It’s a very long way to the hunter pace this May.  I don’t know if Fudge will ever come back far enough to ride at a canter.  Time will tell.

The Mustang mare is obviously bored with the play of the geldings.  She is eating from one of the slow feeders.  It’s made from a small mesh hay net over a muck bucket.  It closes with a double ended dog snap.  These slow feeders are easy to fill and drag over the snow.

 

It has been one year since we purchased Fudge from Paula Derby of Lazy D Acres.  She has relocated to Ocala , FL.  She still obtains horses from the infamous New Holland Auction in Lancaster, PA. 

One of the things that stresses horses is trailering.  Long distance trailering suppresses the immune system.  When researchers want to infect horses with EPM, they use the trailering stress model.  Somehow, I can’t see the auction process, followed by long distance trailering as beneficial to the health of a horse.

A Bump in the Road

Tuesday, June 30th, 2009

While the vet was out last week, I asked her to take a very close look at the bumps on Fudge’s chest that we blogged about in May.  They were scars at the time of purchase, and have grown since then.  After five months hematomas should have been reabsorbed.  They didn’t look or feel like any sarcoids the vet had seen. 

This time around Fudge stood very patiently as the vet probed, squeezed, and palpated his chest.  He trusts us now not to hurt him down there, and the pain from the injuries must have subsided.  She carefully examined and compared all the bumps/scar tissue/injuries along his neck and chest.  These appear to be the result of deep cuts through the skin and a layer of muscle.  The edge of the lacerated muscle has curled up, forming an egg sized lump under the skin, and a shallow pit where the muscle is missing.  This is a much better diagnosis than sarcoids.  Hopefully the muscle will stabilize during his time off for rehabilitation, and not tear further.

You’d think that if the horse had flaps of skin and muscle hanging from him, that the owner would have noticed, and then gotten him some veterinary attention to suture the wounds.  Yes, you’d think.

Vaccines

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

For most horses, one veterinarian visit per year with a whammy of six vaccines is par for the spring weather.  For an EPM horse with a weak immune system, this could bring on a relapse of active EPM.  Veterinarians generally space single disease vaccines out over a long time, and watch carefully for reactions.  With a lack of history on Fudge, the decisions on vaccines have been problematic.

Why such a long face?

Why such a long face?

We do know that Paula Derby did not vaccinate Fudge while she owned him.  We do not know when he last had vaccines.   That means he needs every vaccine ASAP.  The preferred route for EPM’ers is to wait on vaccines until well after treatment. 

The veterinarian prioritized them in this order:  Rabies, Tetanus, PHF, West Nile, Rhino/Flu, EEE/WEE.  She suggested that we space them out one each week, and watch for reactions or a worsening of neurological symptoms.  The problem has been trying to find individual vaccines, particularly the PHF.  The veterinarian does not normally carry vaccines this way, and would have to order them by the 10 dose vial.  The EEE/WEE is not available through any supplier without Tetanus, so Fudge will probably have to get re-vaccinated with Tetanus in six weeks.  For EPM horse owners, learning how to give vaccines will save weekly visits by the vet.

Is This a Relapse?

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

We were not able to obtain much information about Fudge from Paula Derby, the seller. We do not know if this is a first EPM infection, or a relapse. The lack of a health history has mandated that we treat this as a relapse. A relapse is generally treated more aggresively to try to kill all protozoa in the central nervous system.

For his second month of treatment, the vet perscribed Diclazuril at 5X the FDA dose, after we all read the article “EPM: Managing Relapses”, by Robert MacKay, Compendium Equine, Jan/Feb 2008. The price of this compounded drug was $200/month for 5X the dose, compared to $775/month for the regular dose of Marquis. Fudge is still on a probiotic/vitamin/mineral supplement, and an additional 10,000 IU of vitamin E per day.

We are seeing a more rapid improvement after two weeks on this treatment. However, we know that there is no way to scientifically separate what might have happened after the first month of Marquis at the normal dose. Fudge is more stable on his feet, and doesn’t seem like he will fall when a rear hoof is lifted. His turns are still rough and slow. His general attitude is brighter, and he has more energy.