Well as we arrived at the vets bright and early I was in a depressed mood. DiDi was to be subjected to yet more tests and I was wondering where they would all lead to. She was a little subdued although she had an excuse in that she had been starved for twelve hours ready for the Xray.
Eventually after the tests had been completed, the vet came out and immediately I asked him whether the news was good or bad. He smiled and said that there was nothing that was life threatening for DiDi. The key test had been to look into the lungs and, yes, whilst there were a couple of small lesions on her lungs, they were nothing to worry about. Yes she had traces of a herpes virus but so did most horses to some degree or another.
There were signs that she had suffered some more stress but the Gastrogard would take care of it. We sat in front of a computer screen for half an hour and the vet explained as best as he could what he had found.
I asked: what was to be done and the vet said: - ‘go put her out in a secure field of grass for a few months, let her ulcers heal and stop worrying about the lungs‘.
If she did start to cough too often then come back for some anti-biotic.
He made a further comment that the practice had in house criteria for a horse warranting euthanasia and DiDi would not figure on the list. OK, there may be some unresolved health issues but finding them would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. If she was off colour on one day or another then don’t get too worked up about it.
Likewise if DiDi did from time to time fly off in a panic, then sit it out. He said that back in the old days he had even heard of sparkey horses being given anti depressants.
The big discovery had been the ulcers which were horrendous. As long as DiDi’s management was adjusted to minimize stress, there was no reason way they should reappear. Additionally the steroids for the lung issue could be dropped forthwith as they may not be beneficial.
OK, so she doesn’t always stand properly and maybe that was a result of her fall a couple of years ago. So what! As long as her movement is not
irregular and so long as she doe not show signs of lameness then she will do fine. The horse is twelve years old, the owner can expect some ‘defects’. So, manage them.
I said to the vet: ‘the more we know about horses, the more we realize how much there is to know‘.
He laughed and said : ‘Join the club‘.
She’ll not now be competing at dressage in the future. All pressure will be taken off her. And if every now and again she is a little crabbie in her attitude then I’ll put it down to her being a mare or the possibility that the moon has turned blue.
At least I still have a horse. This episode highlights to me that there are times when I have to look at her and make decisions, even if I do not have either the full information or the complete knowledge. As her owner that's my role in her life.