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New horse - Lots of questions

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        02-19-2013, 11:48 AM
    I emailed Dr. Valentine yesterday and she already got back to me this morning. She suggested, for me, to send mane samples to the University of Minnesota to test for EPSM/PSSM for my percheron. I didn't realize you could do that, I thought testing was only through muscle biopsy. So, this is very exciting for me and affordable. I think you have to pull ten hairs with roots. Just info for you in case you need it:

    Recent advances in PSSM genetic testing - CVM - UMEC, University of Minnesota
    JenniMay and PunksTank like this.
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        02-19-2013, 01:12 PM
    Just want to follow along with his progress. No experience rehabbing, but really happy for you that you're reunited! What a great story.
    PunksTank likes this.
        02-19-2013, 01:54 PM
    Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons    
    He doesn't look that bad from behind. I would of expected a more sunken in on the sides of his croup. Try the other "tests" and see how he responds to them.

    I have never seen saddle sores on a driving horse like that. You will sometimes see them up on the neck from the collar but never on the back. As one area was sore they would just move the saddle back and start again. I can't fathom how that damage occurred with a wagon as there should be almost zero pressure on the saddle from it. It would of been broken but still.

    I'm surprised the public allowed a horse in his condition to work on their roads (if that's what he did). Here, he would of been on the news 100# ago.
    I think what happened with the sores on his spine was the surcingle part (which has a fuzzy pad, which is often wet or filthy) was first where it belonged, just behind his withers, but caused rubs from being wet or dirty, but as he lost weight it fell further and further down his spine until it was where you could see the dried sweat marks, half way down his back. Causing rubs along his top line the entire way :( The rubs from his breeching and breast collar seem to be superficial, just rubbed fur, not much damaged skin. But he has a few more spots on his face that are rubbed raw that I think if the hair grows back it will be white, from wearing a halter for so long.
    I don't know why there wasn't more public awareness about his situation - to be honest he is the only one out there that looks like this. So perhaps people didn't notice or care, in the harness much of his appearance looks less terrible too. You could barely see him under all the equipment. I know for a fact the local SPCA had been called on a regular basis on the carriage companies on the streets, but as so many people call so often over things that don't matter the SPCA usually comes and does a quick look over the ones at the stand and carries on. Sometimes they'll make a particular horse go home that day or say one needs something before they can work again, but things aren't checked or followed up. To be honest I think all the public out cry about carriage horses has done a great disservice to the horses that actually need the help - like crying wolf. Several years ago while I was working there the SPCA came and told me they got a call my horse had a broken leg they needed to check. The caller said the horse 'was holding up a hind leg like it hurt', he was resting, like any normal horse would. We got other complaints about the fact that they're abused by having nails in their feet with shoes in. While I'm not a huge fan of shoes, they are far from abuse, especially for a horse working on pavement.
    If people had taken pictures and gathered up evidence to prove actual neglect or abuse were happening before just whining about horses not belonging in the city maybe something could have been done. I keep waiting for the day the business is outlawed. But I did love the job, I got to bring the wonderful world of horses to a group of people who had never had the chance to experience it before. So many times I was told "I've never actually pat a horse before!" That made the job worth it for a while. But our hours being from 6pm-11pm on weekdays and 11am-10pm on weekends were taxing on all of us, horses and people. That and issues with the carriage companies fighting with each other. The owners of the companies all truly being in the business for money, not for the love of horses. All this added up to me just not being able to handle it anymore. I left with my offer to buy my horse on the table and every month I stopped by with a pocket full of peppermints to feed him and I reminded them I wanted and was willing to pay for him. Well finally they got an offer for several other carriage horses being sold to them, so they were willing to sell me my boy in exchange for money to replace him.

    Sorry, that's my carriage company rant.

    But I tried some other things, he had a hard time moving his hind end away, seemed to not be able to balance himself right away. Just my putting pressure on his hip - this was not an issue 2 year ago, but now he seems to hesitate, pull his legs under himself and then shift over and rebalance - it takes him some time. I called my vet, they'll be calling me back today or tomorrow with an appointment date, but also to talk about these sorts of things.
    Thank you all so much for your help - I will definitely look into that hair sample EPSM thing!! Thank you all

    As for today - he must have slept well! He has bedding all in his hair, he's also much cleaner, I groomed him as much as I could yesterday but a lot was caked and hurt him for me to brush, but I think the bedding helped clean a lot of that up :) He seems to be feeling well - when I took his blanket off this morning he didn't look quite as 'deflated' as he did on arrival, I think the water has helped him a lot - he's drank about 5 buckets (5 gallons each) as well as had several buckets of soaked hay cubes. But he has finally peed too which is good. So it looks like everything's going well :) I'm going to turn him out today and if that goes well I'm going to start some short walks around my driveway to get his body moving. I'll post pics when the farrier is done with him too, that should be some great before/afters o.o
        02-19-2013, 01:57 PM
    Oh - Desert, I've been trying to give him alfalfa pellets and he just won't eat them - even this morning, when I gave the others their breakfast and he was nickering for food, I gave him a cup of soaked pellets and he took one sniff and went back to asking for something better. I think maybe I should stick with the alfalfa/timothy cubes, because he is eating those. Would hay stretcher be beneficial? I'm also giving him compressed hay which he seems to like, but only small amounts at a time with ample breaks between it. But I don't know much about compressed hay, it looks 'different' to me, which always makes me funny - but someone told me it was really great?
        02-19-2013, 03:55 PM
    I have alfalfa/timothy pellets(Standlee), you can try to add a tiny bit of alfalfa pellets to his cubes, upping it little by little, easing him into it. Sometimes they need to be convinced what's good for them
        02-19-2013, 03:57 PM
    Gotta check out the "compressed hay" clue what that could be......
        02-19-2013, 04:10 PM
    Green Broke
    I thought compressed hay was just a regular bale of hay that's been mechanically compressed? One boarder at my barn has compressed bales for her horse- looks like regular orchard grass but the bales are smaller than normal bales, even though they weigh the same (AFAIK compressed bales can be made of any type of hay)
    lmyers52 likes this.
        02-19-2013, 04:51 PM
    The little plastic-wrapped Standlee bales TSC sells? For pharmacy prices?
        02-19-2013, 05:48 PM
    Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
    I have alfalfa/timothy pellets(Standlee), you can try to add a tiny bit of alfalfa pellets to his cubes, upping it little by little, easing him into it. Sometimes they need to be convinced what's good for them
    That's a good idea I'll do that, then at least he's getting it. No, I don't think it's that stuff, it's not plastic wrapped and came from my supplier it was $12.50 a bale, but it's about 70lbs.
        02-19-2013, 06:17 PM
    Alright ready everyone for hoof pics? My farrier rocks!! She was real patient with him, he was good for her, but had a hard time holding his fronts up for very long and his back feet were very sore to the touch. He has some seriously disgusting thrush built up in all his feet, to the point where his heel bulbs are very hot and very painful. So she pulled all his shoes, trimmed all his feet then showed me how to apply special medicine that's above and beyond regular thrush medicine. She mentioned his heels are 'run under' and says it'll take some time to fully correct that, but did what she could today. So here are the befores and afters!

    Right front before:

    Right front after:

    Left front before:

    Left front after:

    sorry missed the side view :P

    Left hind before:

    Left hind after:

    Right hind before:

    Right hind after:

    I'll have to stick the medicine in his soft heel bulbs and squash cotton into them poor baby! She also mentioned he has string halt in his right hind, which she 'prescribed' a little exercise for. The white goop on his legs in all the pictures is desitin for his scratches.

    All in all things went pretty well. He's still eating his cubes and hay, I called the vet and hope to hear back soon. He went out for a short while today and seemed to enjoy that quite a bit! I'll post those pics in a few!

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