I haven't quite gotten to an introduction thread but I wanted to get some opinions from folks here.
I'm worried my gelding may be IR. He is a 12 year old QH gelding. There is quite a bit of history to him but I will try to sum it up into a time line.
What I'm noticing:
- a second laminitic episode since our first one 2 years ago
- An easy keeper and "heavy" carrying fat deposits over his ribs and in belly area. Throughout the winter it was over his hindquarters and tail area (has since lost that and looks better). Obese when first purchased in 2007 has improved but still carries those fat deposits.
- Sheds a lot but is difficult to really shed out
Yes I do plan to have him tested after his current case of laminitis as I was told this will interfere with testing due to pain causing stress etc.
- Early 2009 diagnosed with arthritis in hocks and possibly left stifle. Recommendation to keep on glucosamine/chondroitin supplement.
- October 2009 diagnosed with navicular (caudal heel pain) via nerve block, signs and x-rays. Recommendation was shoeing. Started barefoot trimming using the wild horse model in April 2010 with great success. Began using 1 tsp ground white willow bark twice daily. Dose has been altered between 1 tsp once to twice daily as needed over the last 2 years.
- In late summer of 2010 we experienced a mild episode of laminitis. Signs included a digitial pulse, sore over firm footing and while turning, a little bit of weight shifting. Lasted 1.5 weeks. Reason was being turned out full-time on grass field while being fed sweet feed and 2 flakes hay three times daily. Treated with bringing into deeply bedded stall at night, cold hosing and in-hand walking with boots. Pads were not needed.
- October 2010 switched facilities over feeding concerns.
New facility he was switched to Gro n' Win ration balancer and free-choice mixed grass hay. Stalled at night. Turnout for ~10 hours per day.
- January 2012 facilty no longer able to get Gro n' Win and had a nutrition consult to switch all horses over to Lifeline feeds. My horse had been switched to All Phase (don't remember weight off the top of my head) in addition to his supplements. Battle with thrush in left fore foot - on going to date.
- Feb 2012 I noticed him become stiffer in his hocks. He always maintained well on a glucosamine supplement. Found out he had been kicking in the stall due to a bad match of neighbours. He had been rubbing his hocks and was reluctant during trims. Things improved over the next couple months.
- April 2012 odd behavior noted during trim. When his left front was being worked on he buckled at the knees and wanted to go down. Since this trim he had been off and on lame (from limp to short strided in right front). Had him evaluated by two additional farriers and no findings. Healthy feet apart from left front frog battling thrush. Suggestion was angle measure him and see if they are off.
- May 2012 (trim on the 18th) I noted a digital pulse in both front hooves that day. Decided to treat as if laminitic again. Still buckled at the knees during trim but not as bad as previous month. Reluctant to move out on the lunge, appeared stiff. Farrier noted feet to be healthy. Suggested to turn him out full time to get more movement and to develop structures in the foot.
It has been 5 days and he is handling it well without boots or padded boots. He exercised well in boots on the fifth day showing no signs of discomfort. Continuing to cold hose hooves. Digital pulse improving.
Currently being fed once daily:
- All phase (will get weight)
- 2 tsp white willow bark (ground & 100% natural - for inflammation)
- 1 tsp ground yucca (for joints)
- Ubavet Glucosamine supplement
All supplements come from a human natural health food store. There are no additives or other ingredients.
Farrier recommended organic apple cider vinegar to aid in digestion. Have not started this.
I joined the yahoo group for IR horses to gain more knowledge. The recommendation I recieved I am hesitant to do. The recommendation was to pull him off pasture completely and return him to a stall with in-hand walking when he is comfortable. I realize that this is the traditional treatment but movement = circulation = healing. I can use padded boots to keep him comfortable but so far not needed, he is not that lame. Being in a stall is going to continue to break down his frogs and affect his joints by restricted movement which was a reason I decided to turn him out. Opinions? I use Pete Ramey's rehabilitation protocols successfully in the past so I am reluctant to go back to traditional route that is going to affect other on-going conditions.
It was also recommended I pull him off the All Phase (I would like to see him back on Gro n' Win) due to the molasses in All Phase. Gro n' Win is low glycemic index and low starch and no sugars. It was also recommended to pull him off ALL supplements ... which is to help other on-going conditions. I am hesitant because the joints need assistance since he was diagnosed arthritic at 9 years old. I could see stopping the glucosamine/chondroiutin but the yucca and WWB are 100% just that nothing else. The antiinflammatory will aid the laminitis without the same effects as bute.
I'm also looking for ideas to soak large square bales/round bales if he is to continue outside? Suggestions?
Opinions on the situation please.
Oh, yes I do plan to have him tested after his current case of laminitis as I was told this will interfere with testing due to pain causing stress etc.
Being a technician, no I did not call a veterinarian for the laminitis. They aren't going to tell me anything new apart from action I've taken and continue to take. Grass fenced off (hoping he won't break through it because he won't wear grazing muzzles). I'm getting him off All Phase (dislike the molasses in it) ... I'd like to see him on Gro n' Win?
I'm maximizing movement by keeping him turned out. He met Pete Ramey's requirements for turnout and exercise although he never keeps boots on for turnout. I'm cold hosing his feet to help reduce inflammation. White Willow Bark will help with inflammation. I'm providing in-hand exercise in boots because he has a heel first landing so exercise is ok.
Grass pastures can be extremely high in sugars depending upon the variety of grass and the time of day. You need to limit his turnout from early mornings until noon. Get him off of all concentrates. He doesn't need the calories and the nutrients he
does need can be easily met with a quality vitamin/ mineral supplement, ADM Growstrong is my favorite, with no extra calories.
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