Saturday, June 03, 2006

The New Barn

The new barn is, simply put, wonderful. It's a 12 stall barn with an attached arena, observation room/lounge/kitchen, 5 large grass pastures, 2 all weather turn-outs, and an outdoor arena with all weather footing. All the stalls have dutch doors that look out onto the back lawn, which is bordered by woods. Every time I walk in the barn my horse is looking outside. When he sees me, he whinnies and sticks his head over the door. He seems very happy there.

All is not well with Kaswyn, however. Last Friday when I rode him he felt a little lazy. I figured that he was just having a bad day, so I gave him Sunday off and rode him Monday. On Monday, he was worse. I looked at the calendar and saw that he was due for his Legend shot (an intravenous injection which helps reduce any inflammation in his joints, given monthly), which I had left at home. So on Tuesday I gave him his Legend shot and just walked him around outside. I gave him Wednesday off to give the Legend some time to work. Then we moved to the new barn on Thursday. I decided to ride him Thursday just to see how he felt. He felt better but still a little lazy. I couldn't tell really what was going on, because since we were at a new barn my horse thought that maybe he was at a show, so he was a little more perky. Friday really told the tale. I warmed up at the trot, then asked for the canter. My horse was already breathing kinda hard, and his canter strides were lazy and four-beat. I did one circle and then quit.

Something is going on, but I'm not sure what. I've treated and eliminated many possible causes. Here is what I know -

His hocks x-ray completely clean.
He has small bone chips (very common) in both rear pasterns which probably don't bother him.
I had him stomach scoped and he has no ulcers.
I had his teeth done in March.
I had his back adjusted by the chiropracter in March.
I had several massage sessions done.
His left pastern was injected around the joint with steroids.
His hocks were injected with hyaluronic acid.
His white and red blood cell count is low.
He is not lame when I ride him - he just has low energy.

Mosly, my horse "just doesn't feel right." I know that sounds dumb, and not a very good description of whats going on, but it's the best I can do. He's not acting like my horse usually does. Usually my horse has a great work ethic and will try really hard for me. Sure, he gets lazy, but I usually don't have to push him every stride when I ride, which is what's happening now.

So I need to have the vet look at him. Sounds simple, right? WRONG! Here's the story with that mess -
Dr. B.G. is Kaswyn's vet. He is fabulous. He takes his time, will explain everything to you, and has a great personality with the horses. After he injected Kaswyn's pastern, he said if that didn't solve the problem that he'd want to inject the hocks next, since he thought that it might be time even though the x-rays were clean. I really wanted to have his stomach scoped and eliminate that as a problem before I went into the hocks. Dr. B.G. does not have the right scope for that, but I know that Dr. A. does. So I called him and he scoped Kaswyn. He found nothing, but based on Kaswyn's past problems he also suggested injecting the hocks. So since Dr. A. was there, I had him inject the hocks. He also ran bloods on him and found the low white and red counts.

What I really want to do is call Dr. B.G. and have him come out and look at Kaswyn again. That can't happen because he's moving. TO MONTANA. And he's booked until he leaves. Fortunately, his father, Dr. R.G. is also a vet, and he's one of the best lameness vets in the country. I consulted with B.G., who talked to me on his cell phone for over 30 minutes. He told me to take my horse to R.G. and have a lameness exam and possibly a neurological exam. Dr. R.G. has seen Kaswyn a few times before to do all the x-rays, so this is no big deal.

What scares me is the neuro exam. We need to do this to rule out EPM. Of course I'm in a panic that my horse might have it. Both vets think it's extremely unlikely, but want to do the testing if his lameness exam shows nothing. Obviously I want to get my horse seen as soon as possible, but Dr. R.G. has a clinic and doesn't make barn calls so we're going to need to take Kaswyn to him.

Getting an appointment wasn't easy because he's booked for almost 2 weeks, but I actually got to speak with Dr. R.G to make my appointment. I told him the whole story and about what Dr. B.G. recommended, and I think that since Kaswyn is a patient of his son's he squeezed us in. His exact words about the appointment were, "I'm going to tell you one thing, and it's very important. I am putting you into an already impossible schedule. If you are late it screws me royally. Do not be late."

I promised him we would not be late. And we won't be.


Lil Kate said...

I really and truly hope that everything turns out OK - that Dr. RG can figure out what's wrong, and that it's nothing as serious as EPM.

dressagemom said...

Me too. Thanks for the positive thoughts!

Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr