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It's great to know you two are recovering from your ordeal and sounding back to near normal. :cool: Re the dandruff, it doesn't happen to my horses (who are blanketed much of winter) if I have canola meal in their ration - about big coffee mug's worth will do it. It's high-(good)-oil and has a useful range of amino acids too, and horses with canola in their ration have an unbelievable shine in their coats as well. It's high-calorie, so something else might need to get cut back to compensate. Always great for keeping weight on a poor doer, and was a big factor in keeping Romeo happy and in reasonable shape until age 34 - not that Nick looks like a poor doer!

When you were talking about arena work going better for you without stirrups, I remembered I had exactly that experience with my (now deceased) Arabian mare as well. I sat deeper and was more in tune with her without stirrups. It was actually harder for me to do her dressage training with stirrups!

I hope you both stay warm. We're starting to get our first really hot days here in the southern hemisphere. Saturday is going to be a scorcher!
 

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Discussion Starter · #282 ·
Nick has a cough. Vet can make it out to see him Thursday, so fingers crossed he's enough better by then that this can be dismissed as viral, or it can be something that can be dealt with quickly so that Nick gets back to happy go lucky pony. He let me touch his ears today which is a sure sign he is under the weather.

For now, we are blanketing 100% at night, and during the day too depending on the temperature and the conditions. I'm taking him for walks/work in hand since I think light work is good for getting them to take deep breaths so they don't go pneumatic (I'm assuming it's the same for horses as people). He's also getting spirulina mixed with apple sauce about 30g daily, and a full dose of electrolytes. I am likely 100% overreacting. But it's my one horse, and since the accident I'm far far more prone to babying him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #284 ·
Vet looked at him. Because of the rain while everyone was putting up hay this year, this year's batch has a lot more dust/mold in it. Because there are not pens available so that he could be fed individually and have his hay soaked, and there aren't better boarding situations available, so given the present situation, I'm going to pick up some immuno-stimulants that he can have with his grain tomorrow morning and we're going to try and give his immune system a bit of leg up on it, and hopefully get him feeling a bit better. I also ordered some Lung EQ since it has good reviews for helping with similar ailments. We don't want to suppress the cough, since I was right that he needs to clear the air ways so he doesn't get pneumatic. So that's how things will proceed with pony.
 

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Discussion Starter · #285 ·
Well Nick is into his pile of drugs- he's on a few different ones and is essentially being treated for heaves.. I'm supposed to work him long and low a little so he will "drain" a little. Due to exams, homework, and weather, I haven't ridden him, but I've been able to work him in hand and do lots of liberty and lunging, and oh boy is he draining. I take a microfiber rag out with me to mop his nose and mouth, since the shear amount of mucus is incredible. I think he's feeling a little better with some drugs on board, but because he does have a hay cough and it could develop into heaves I'm hunting for somewhere else to board or seeing if hay and conditions at his present barn can be improved.
 

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Discussion Starter · #287 · (Edited)
The pony update:


Health: Nick has been on Primarin (I think, it's in my feed bin so I can't make sure the name is right), ventipulmin syrup, and prednisolone pills. He's at the point where he's having everything other than the antibiotic every other day and he only has one day left on the antibiotic. Honestly I haven't seen a lot of improvement since he's been on the drugs. His coughing has been consistent, and he's had days of absolutely hacking up mucus. Since heaves is related to hay quality, I've had a few conversations with the BO about moldy hay being fed. He has stopped feeding end bales (most moldy) but is still feeding bottom bales (fairly dirty) I think they are used to cutting corners for the horses on pasture board- I can't imagine them feeding the crap hay to horses in the stalls. So I am looking for new boarding situations, but there's not a lot in the area. Today, I actually saw some improvement. He was still coughing, but it wasn't wet, and there was almost no mucus. I was able to ride him for the first time in awhile, I'm supposed to be riding him and working him long and low so he gets a chance to drain. But I have been a bit limited. Sunday I tried to give him a ride and he- hot and fiery from the steroid spooked while I was bridling, exploded, ran down the fenceline and then turned around and ran back, in the process absolutely obliterating the bridle that was halfway on his face. So much for riding that day(RIP Micklem). Today he was hot hot hot. But after a long lunge, I was able to work him long and low in WTC. It did take me about twenty minutes to settle him after I got on even with the long lunge. But we got there and we got good rhythmic gaits with a long stretch and he coughed a fair amount, but not as badly as he coughed when I first noticed his ailment.

He has started Lung EQ today and I'd like to evaluate how he's doing on it in two weeks, and also 6000iu of vitamin E. So we will see if that helps I can comfortably afford to maintain him on those if they are as effective for us as they have been for others.

There is a lot of angst tied up in this, I've been quite livid at the Barn owners for even feeding moldy hay. Their facility is alright, but they are the only boarding barn in the area, so I think sometimes they dont put a lot of effort into care since it's hard for people to go anywhere else. Since I'm not a big money boarder- I am on pasture board, and I do not pay the trainer for lessons or training, I doubt I'm a very convincing voice. But if this continues, or they go back to moldy hay, I'm very likely to move him all the way back down to Dillon (an hour+ drive and ~60 miles) to a facility where I know the hay is good, even if it means I can't see him very often.


One of the things we have been doing is in hand work, we do all our laterals and some trot work. My friend got some video of his baby piaffe, no I don't want a critique, I'm 100% aware he is not rhythmic and it's a bit of a struggle, this is progress, and it's showing that he is getting comfortable working with the whip on his haunch, which was previously an instant explosion.



Anyhow. Horse pictures.
 

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The piaffe session looks like a great start, @lostastirrup! :) Like everything new, it comes together gradually. I'm really sorry to hear about your boarding / feed situation and hope you find a better place soon. That's a lovely horse you have, and no horse should be fed hay that gives it respiratory problems. Poor Nick got really ill from that cost-cutting the BO did, and now you're shouldering considerable costs in veterinary treatment. :evil: ...is it possible to find a situation where you can supply the BO with hay you've selected yourself? (Or where the BO doesn't feed any mouldy or dirty hay at all?)

Many years ago, when my family started with horses, we were barn boarders, and after a few months, the BO stopped mucking out daily, and did it weekly - the whole place smelt of ammonia from the urine, and the horses were in filthy boxes. We left that establishment pretty quickly, as the BO seemed to think there wasn't a problem...

Great photos - and impressive sky! :cool: Give Nick a get-well-soon hug from me...
 

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So sorry you're having to deal with this cough @lostastirrup! I hadn't gotten caught up on this thread for a while... I was hoping everything was going smoothly for you after your accident -- and I see you're making great progress! But this coughing has to be very frustrating.

We went through this with Harley. He was diagnosed with heaves, put on Dex the first winter we had him. At the time, he was boarded at my neighbors and their indoor was horribly dusty. The vet said that's probably what caused it, but it never went away, even after we stopped riding him in there. And I hated giving him Dex. He was on all sorts of things, and eventually, I had a vet who is a friend, and actually a small animal vet (but with training on horses, he just doesn't treat them anymore) come and do acupuncture on him. It helped. He also suggested Ventipulmin, but I see you're already doing that. After 28 days of ventipulmin, it was over and never came back. Of course I also steamed his hay all winter so there's that... not as much work as it sounds, but since you're boarding, it's probably not realistic. The good thing about steaming is that the heat can kill some of those nasty moldy spores. I do hope you find a better situation, but I can't imagine how you're dealing with all this on top of your coursework right now.

Do remember that Nick will be ok for a little while longer in his current situation. He is being treated and the BO is aware of the fact that there is an issue with the hay. Don't feel guilty, you are doing all you can. Harley coughed for over a year, and would also throw huge gobs of mucus, but with the right setup (24/7 turnout, steamed hay until he got better, back to regular dry hay now, then 28 days on Ventipulmin followed up with Zev or Respi-free whenever he gave the slightest little cough), we cured it. He can hold on a little bit longer until you sort things out and finish your university term.
 

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Discussion Starter · #291 ·
Thanks @Acadianartist, I was thinking of you and Harley through this and how you were able to manage it. I'm hopeful good hay and a leg up for his lungs with meds will be all we need. It's a catch 22 here if I stalled him it would be worse I'm sure but he could have his hay soaked, on turnout he gets the dregs and his hay cannot be soaked. I'm hopeful the hay stays halfway decent and I can hound the BOs enough that the moldy hay incident (they were feeding moldy hay for 2ish weeks) doesn't repeat itself, and Nick can get back to feeling better. He seems peppy, and other than the coughing has been very much his usual self-but I worry, and I don't like to court respiratory issues.
 

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Discussion Starter · #292 ·
So as for pony. He came off the meds. And honestly I didn't see enough change by them to really say they helped. I'm still salty about the barn situation, but I was unable to find another place to board. So we stayed after I felt assured the hay quality would not decline again. If it goes back to nasty I am moving him. He has started to improve, five days post meds. So at this point I'm convinced not science or medicine are governing his health rather some occult fates are rolling dice or something equally as statistically plausible. I have been riding him. All long frame with his neck below the horizontal and in front of the vertical to assist in draining. When I spoke with the vet last- he said not to bother blanketing- but if I blanket he does better. So I blanket. It seems to help. He has a high neck midweight that I use a lot.

Gave some baby jumping lessons down one town south for a friend on a well behaved AQHA, it is heartening to see a horse who will never over jump anything just because the laziness is infinite. So I think we have the makings of a crossrail champion, and the pole work and low rails have made the pair much more adept and confident in the ring than before which is cool.
Also I held a terrifying bird that looked like a fat bowling pin. And a few chickens. They terrify me. So I call it a triumph and a character building episode.
 

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Discussion Starter · #293 ·
Pony, Thanksgiving, and some thoughts on Pony health. also stray kittens.

With Pony's weird cough that didnt respond really to drugs, I somehow managed to leave him in his midweight blanket over thanksgiving break with a friend looking in on him, and I went to see Mostly Family (as in they are not family but they might as well be) and my SO. So after dumping an extra scoop of Lung EQ in him and making sure he was as snug as a bug in a rug, I left him and myself, my friend and my cat went to her (the friend not the cat) parents house for thanksgiving break. She drove, since while I'm gaining confidence, Im agonizingly slow- far more than is necessary for the conditions. Had a lovely thanksgiving with lots of naps, cooking and baking, board games with a 10yo (which I won) and yet another 40lb turkey that had to be literally squeezed into the oven and cooked from 7am to 6pm. Since apparently everyone is lactose intolerant now (myself included, darn mysterious allergies that show up in my twenties) we had no turkey shaped cheeseball this year. ah well.

After a lovely break where we headed home and nearly ran over what we thought was a chunk of dirty ice in the road but turned out to be a cat. at which point I jumped out of the vehicle with my coat and went to go check on the thing. It was slow moving, and while it tried to get away it was no match for me in slippers hopping through the snow and i managed to throw the coat over it and wrap it up. Misty rides loose in the car on my lap, but we bring her carrier with, so i had a place to stuff the cat. after stowing the hissing dear unfortunate soul we turned around and went back to the house where we discovered the cat was a 4-5 month old kitten who was practically bones of the earth it was so skinny under the floof. It brightened considerably when offered food and turkey, and it was decided that the kitten would stay there while my friend and i continued home. The plan was that they (mostly family) would take it to a shelter this week- but the angry little floof has apparently won their hearts and so now its getting worming and shots and it will be staying. It was probably feral- but young enough to be tamed. It hisses, but once you pick it up it starts to purr immediately so perhaps if he/she (too much floof to say) minds itself it will have a happy home where people are inclined to pamper it. At least I can hope. If it does not work out there with the kiddos and the terrier, it will come live with me and Misty.

Once back in my town I checked pony. The cough was gone. I rode him the next day and he was fabulous. The day after that not so much.. the cough had returned. At which point I about nearly went to pieces. I stopped work immediately and got ahold of my vet tech friend. I would call my vet- but honestly Im not really sure how thorough he was with Nick and his diagnosis and I didnt want to pay more for a "gee thats weird" So my friend said a few things that made sense-
1. Nick was undoubtedly immunocompromised from the accident. And although he looked and acted fine, he was more susceptible than he usually is to ailments.
1.5 Poor (rotten) hay combined with a potential bug going around (new horses have been coming in and several of the "fancy" stalled horses have been seen coughing as well) would be just the ticket to land Pony dearest with a bad cough.
2. The amount of mucus and that Nick never struggled to breath just had a hacking cough, would be more indicative of bronchitis or a virus even if he wasnt running a fever. Also we dont know what his "okay" temp is since he better be sedated if you want to put a thermometer up his butt. She thinks that its possible that he had a respiratory infection either bacterial or viral which the course of antibiotics and steroids wouldve done some good for- and now he is in that irritated airways phase kind of like a person would be.
3. Nick did not seem like a heavey horse to her. Really the only symptom he has is the cough (was wet, now dry) and she says that heaves can be overdiagnosed in horses since its a pretty serious illness and most vets want to be really on top of that possibilty.


So on this vein- and since i didnt see much effect from the steroids that he was on- present plan is to maintain Lung EQ dose and to do nothing but walks in hand until after the new year. At which point we will reevaluate. Given the fall he's been through and the cold of the winter we're having its perfectly valid that he will take some time to recuperate.
I am treating him like a heavey horse, since at this point I dont know- but I am hopeful that this wont be something that will be career limiting for him (even on 24/7 turnout hes a hot mess to deal with when hes not in work.).
 

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I wonder if we have the same bug as Nick, @lostastirrup - as my husband and I have had bronchitis for a over three weeks now (it started as a cold) and just when we think it's gone, it comes back again. Maybe we should be on LungEQ too. Let's see which of us recovers first - Brett or me or Nick. ;-) I'm just having yet another raw garlic clove. It does seem to help, and it certainly will reduce the spread of the bug since it keeps people at a distance. :Angel:

Your MIsty must be the most relaxed cat ever to ride loose in the car like that! I had a cat once and it used to travel in a carrier and carry on like a surly banshee from the beginning to the end of the trip - reeeeeowr, meeeeooowrrrrrr, reeeeeowwww - barely stopping to breathe.

That was a wonderful kitten story and it made our day - I read it out to Brett, who loves cats! :love: In celebration of all things feline, I will post a piece of music. :cool:

 

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Discussion Starter · #295 ·
@SueC Yes. It does seem a lot like a human head cold. Hope you and Brett get to feeling better. Are you feeding up on garlicky soup and marshmallow and liquorice tea? I'm glad there's some cat people about. There's something so lovely about a floofy cat. I adore my cat (Misty) and she's such a character (and yes she travels like a dream).
 

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Discussion Starter · #296 ·
Well. Finals are finally over. And this is probably the least confident ive ever been in passing my classes. Fingers crossed. Arcane sacrifices made.. hopefully this semester "floated" I have no idea.

As for Pony, Havent seen him in the light of day in well over a week. By the time i get out there its dark. Pleasantly I can recognize him at half a mile, from my car window, and not wearing my glasses by the shape of his butt- and whistle him up to the gate so neither one of us have to suffer too much the cold. Ive endeavored to take his respiration rate every time i am out, but with cold hands, pony fluff and the fact i cant (and never have) been able to do more than one thing at once- the best I can do is confirm that yes- he appears to be breathing, and is thus alive. As for the cough. He hasnt coughed once in our 10min lunge sessions and I have only seen snot once. I think? the Lung EQ is at least some good respiratory supporting diet. I read about some connection between vitamin E deficiency and overall health, and at least in people- spirulina has a really significant effect on respiratory health in asthmatic cases. whether or not that crosses over to ponies- i havent seen much studies. It certainly cant hurt. and whether or not Nick's improvement is just coincidental to that addition to his diet or not- i might as well keep him on it through the spring as a safeguard. We may go with Heave-Ho for the summer/fall when the allergens (at least that i notice in me) are the worst, and they have the benefit of being able to do a vet consult from their organization- which i would really like- even if its only over the phone. Thats pretty much the content of my pony life. My apartment is a wreck from finals week and i blew up a mug in my microwave again and i desperately need to clean it up but its going to keep til tomorrow since I feel like between working and doing projects and caring for pony and not hardly sleeping i should let the ceramic lie where it has fallen and go to bed.
 

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That's great to hear about Nick, some improvement it seems? Hopefully his immune system is bouncing back.

Ah, sleep... It feels so nice to get so much of it once school is over. I would also have left the ceramic wherever it fell. I got two hours of sleep Saturday night and three hours of sleep Sunday night. Last night, I slept until I had to drop my car off at the dealer at 8 am, went straight back to bed, and didn't wake back up until the dealership called me in the afternoon to say my car was done.

Don't feel bad about grades, everyone hits a rough semester at some point. This is the worst semester I've ever had, which makes sense since I entered it with all the stress of half the family's cars being totaled in the same week and my sister being in and out of the psych hospital, among other things. Definitely a GPA-lowering semester, unfortunately.
 

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Discussion Starter · #298 ·
That's great to hear about Nick, some improvement it seems? Hopefully his immune system is bouncing back.

Ah, sleep... It feels so nice to get so much of it once school is over. I would also have left the ceramic wherever it fell. I got two hours of sleep Saturday night and three hours of sleep Sunday night. Last night, I slept until I had to drop my car off at the dealer at 8 am, went straight back to bed, and didn't wake back up until the dealership called me in the afternoon to say my car was done.

Don't feel bad about grades, everyone hits a rough semester at some point. This is the worst semester I've ever had, which makes sense since I entered it with all the stress of half the family's cars being totaled in the same week and my sister being in and out of the psych hospital, among other things. Definitely a GPA-lowering semester, unfortunately.

That also sounds super stressful. It's a miracle we college kids wander out of university any less than half deranged. I sure could use a lot of sleep. Like piles of it.

I think Nick is on the mend. Between the accident and this he's pretty much gotten the semester off. Which honestly I'm a bit jealous of. I wish I had just dropped everything after the wreck and taken the time to just get better. But I didn't because I'm a stubborn dummy. And I'll still graduate at the exact same time... Possibly with a lower gpa. Oh well. At least it's over for now. I think I'll go buy a new shower curtain to reward myself.
 

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That also sounds super stressful. It's a miracle we college kids wander out of university any less than half deranged. I sure could use a lot of sleep. Like piles of it.

I think Nick is on the mend. Between the accident and this he's pretty much gotten the semester off. Which honestly I'm a bit jealous of. I wish I had just dropped everything after the wreck and taken the time to just get better. But I didn't because I'm a stubborn dummy. And I'll still graduate at the exact same time... Possibly with a lower gpa. Oh well. At least it's over for now. I think I'll go buy a new shower curtain to reward myself.
I told my coworkers I'm going to eat myself into a food coma and sleep for a week. I feel like I really need it.

I think April has plans to turn winter break into a break of her own with this strange lameness! I bet she knew I was planning to at least double the amount of long trail rides we go on and do some hill work over the break because she really needs it. The first time I rode her after not riding her for about two weeks around Thanksgiving, she was begging to take off at a gallop every minute of our trail ride, except for one pause to say hi over the fence to the dalmatian we always pass. She's thriving in the cold and has so much energy to burn off.
 
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