Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Away Again.

It'll be a few more days before I get to see this cute face again. Though, does anyone else think he looks a little like a holstein cow, in the face? I totally see it....

Anyway, I'm set to fly out to Edmonton on business this afternoon, and desperately wish I could be visiting him right now instead of packing. Though a huge part of me wants to just pretend he's not sore, go away and come back to a sound pony.

The time is ticking. Between believing we're dealing with something self-repairing and no big deal, and believing it's something more chronic. Next Tuesday is 3 weeks from when I first discovered him lame, and he's been worse, he's been better and he hasn't given me any real sense of what's wrong. Just some suspicious bruising that's hoof tested positive. And there IS some data suggesting subsolar bruising can take awhile to heal. But if I can see the bruise, doesn't that make it an old bruise??

I left a message with a local vet, to discuss what she would suggest as far as diagnostics. "My" (aka. the only vet who's looked at Moon) vet doesn't do any sort of diagnostics on horses (beyond hoof testing) and refers out to the local vet anyway. So I'm just gonna skip the middle man in this process.

I hope today to also chat with a popular lameness vet from the city and get his opinion as well.

Where do I go from there? I get my trailer fixed up (hello tax return) and I haul his bum out to the vet. The only issue is that the weather is being a typical March Mad Hatter. Seriously. Yesterday I was totally bummed that it was going to rain all Sunday and then Monday be freezing rain. NOT condusive to trailer repairs. Nor condusive to dragging a trailer out of a wet and well-treed property.


Today they're saying a slight chance of rain on Saturday and dry the rest of the weekend. The BF and I modified our haul-out plan and he's gonna peek in on the property Thursday. If it's dry, we'll haul Mr. Trailer out on Friday evening. Which means I might even get to start ripping it apart on Friday when I'm home!

Which means if Moon continues to be lame over our schooling show weekend, I'll book him in to the vet for my day off on April 2nd. That'll be the mark of 4 weeks of lameness, and long enough to warrant at least some nerve blocking and an xray.

I've scheduled a lesson with W for March 27th and if Moon's still sore, will see if she'll give my lesson on the Black Stud and let me use him for the practice show.

So I have a plan. Oh, and I called up Durasole yesterday and wow. Small company or what? Anyway, they were supposed to call me back in the afternoon to let me know where I can buy it in Canada. Guess I'll give them another call today. I figure I'd best get on with the hoof hardening in case sole bruising is our beast. Plus with (hopefully) lots of trail riding coming up.

The other company I've been chatting with is Fiske's. After Moon's allergic reaction, they let me know they've never seen that in any other healthy horse. One was immunocompromised, the other had a different product already on the area. Strange.

They asked me to play detective and reapply to a healthy area, which I'll do later this week when I'm back. I AM a scientist at heart ; )

I went out on a limb (totally not the normal me) and asked if they would refund my purchase price. Since I bought the 1L container for nearly $40 and now can't possibly use it. And no one at my barn is gonna buy it off me after what happened to Moon!

And they said yes! Yippee! I have to say, they've been great to deal with and if I got another horse, I'd give Fiske's another try. Moon is just a little freak (kinda like his owner) and I certain can have faith in a company that stands behind their product. And is interested in investigating the "odd" occurences.

In other news, I'm going to slowly start moving my gear over to the new place since we're just a month away from the big MOVE. Hoping Mr. Moon will be sound by then. I've had a great email chat with one of his future paddock mate's owner and she's awesome. The one who graciously lent me her horse for the trail ride this past weekend. It's going to be a cute and funny little herd, as they're all M's. Moon, Manny and Merlyn.

I really desperately want to start de-fattening Moon and know I'm just a month away from the start of the program. H, the BO makes everyone in the back pasture use Hockey Nets for feeding hay. They're like portable slow-feeders that people use in stalls, and work amazing. Her guys have all lost a ton of weight over winter, instead of being chunky like mine : P When I picked up our orders in the States a couple weeks back I told her I'm moving with mine!! It's just pure genius and they last a fair while at only $60 bucks a pop. A bit of a pain to fill (at least they'll almost be into grass season when we move) but certainly better then dealing with founder!

H and I are also going to start Moon's vaccination program when I'm home, so he's all set-up when we move over. He'll get the regular 3-way, plus West Nile, Tetanus and Influenza. If he goes to the vet, I'll get him poked for Rabies as well, or hold off until a vet comes around.

I'm not sure I made mention of my Sunday afternoon visit with Moon, but he'd recovered completely from the hives. He was worse at trot then Sunday, especially when I was riding him bareback. Swapped him over to a halter and lunged him (he's more like his old lunging self then he was a week ago) and he was noticeably better. Strange. No head bobbing at lunge, head bobbing when ridden.

Something to investigate for sure.

This of course, was with boots on, so I'm gonna try him with, without and with pads the next time I'm out.

My proudest moment when I was out in the arena working with him, was when a couple of the kids that work at the barn were goofing around. I don't fault them for being goofy, it makes the day more enjoyable and most of the horses were outside in the paddocks anyway. But at one point I was lunging and they were charging up and down the stairs yelling at one another. Wooden stairs. Big, loud and noisey. And Moon was a gentleman. Just a little wide eyed, but totally sane. I gave him a great big kiss for being such an awesome boy!

So that's that. Everyone cross your fingers that the weather holds out this weekend, the ground dries AND that Mr. Moon finds soundness!

Last thing. Any suggestions on saddle pads that help alleviate back pain?


Wait. Just got in touch with the local vet...

She says based on Moon's history, there's a good chance he's just dealing with a sole bruise which needs time and some shoes. However, with the length of lameness, a lameness exam might be warranted.

So $75 for exam, $25 per nerve block, $30 per xray (4 per joint) and travel time.

Guess I'm sticking to the plan and will begin my investigative procedure upon my return. The plan:

1) Moon on concrete, barefoot.
2) Moon on concrete with Moon-boots.
3) Moon on concrete with Moon-boots and pads
4) Moon on sand, barefoot
5) Moon on sand, with Moon-boots
6) Moon on sand, with Moon-boots and pads
7) Moon on sand, barefoot, ridden bareback
8) Moon on sand, barefoot, ridden with saddle
9) Moon on sand, with Moon-boots, ridden bareback
10) Moon on sand, with Moon-boots, ridden with saddle
11) Moon on sand, with Moon-boots and pads, ridden bareback
12) Moon on sand, with Moon-boots and pads, ridden with saddle

Then call vet if the Moon-boots (and/or) pads aren't making a difference (bruising), or if he's the same with or without saddle (sore back).

Now, I should probably start packing... ; )

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