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Part 2: Where chestnuts try to give me a mental breakdown

When I last posted about my saga with the chestnut boys Stampede was recovering from cellulitis and many random scrapes and swellings while P was having liquid farts of unknown cause. I had hoped things would calm down soon since I was heading into tax season (now knee-deep in taxes and overtime), but that has not been the result.

First up, Stampede is mostly healed up besides some hairless spots on his back legs. However, his front ankles are another story. When he got cellulitis in his right front leg it irritated the scar tissue on the front of his ankle and left quite a hole. I thought I had that better until one evening I took off his ankle sore boots to find that both of his ankles were gross. I do have pictures but I will refrain from sharing them because they are gross. Essentially the scar tissue was gone leaving open holes in both ankles. So I’ve been treating those, first with nolvasan cream and now with wonderdust, and keeping him wrapped up in non-stick gauze and vetwrap under his ankle boots.

I’m hoping I don’t have to wrap for too much longer but I think it will be a couple of weeks yet, especially since I know he falls on his ankles sometimes.

After over a week I finally heard back that Phoenix’s diarrhea panel was all negative. So good that he didn’t have Salmonella or anything but bad because I was no closer to getting my pony better. While the Bio-sponge was indeed helping a lot and making management easier, it is just a band-aid. Evidently there was some confusion and no other tests were run. So I limped along for a bit, but after we had a warmer day and the poop was especially bad I decided it was time for a second opinion.

I was able to get the second opinion vet out a couple of days later thankfully. Of course P was having a better poop day when he arrived, but we carried on with an examination. As with before, his teeth looked good and the vet thought weight and muscle for his age were quite good. So he started with the stethoscope listening around and this is where I have to share something I wrote in my last post about the issue.

The vet asks me if I want to listen and there it was, the sound of the ocean in my horse’s gut. So then he asks if I want to x-ray and see how much sand there is. I never knew that was even something you could do. I need to ask for a copy of the x-ray, but at the deepest it was 61mm. A whole 2.4″ deep of sand in my horse!

The vet and I discussed how sometimes certain sand clearing products just don’t work for whatever reason. I had given P weeks of sand clear early on with this issue, a product that has always worked before to clear up slightly wet poop for Phoenix. So the vet prescribed 3 weeks of Assure Guard Gold at the initial double dose ($$$), continue on the Bio-sponge, and 8 oz of mineral oil twice a day with his meals. We are two weeks into that treatment. No real idea if it’s working since mineral oil causes diarrhea on its own but I’m hoping my boy is on the mend.

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While I do have a bunch of pictures of the evolution of phoenix’s poop since he started having issues in December I’m guessing no one is as interested in that as me. Here’s a photo of his breakfast this morning – @tributeequinenutrition essential k, @arenushealth assure guard gold, @platinumperformance bio-sponge, salt, 8 oz mineral oil, warm water to a jiggly consistency. He has just one week left on this diet then we get to drop the mineral oil and see what happens. The vet will be back a week later to X-ray and see how much sand remains in his gut (the cause of the issue despite regular sand removal products given). Hoping this expensive cocktail does the trick for my best boy. #mrp #furrysoulmate #morstoneacres

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While second vet was out, I had him take blood to do some general wellness testing and a cushings test. The more I had read about cushings it appeared that maybe our horrendous skin issues over the summer could be a symptom. His only other potential symptom was strange long hairs that grow in with his mane in the winter. Thankfully the general testing was all perfect, but the cushings test he scored 100 when normal is 9-35. So Phoenix started on Prascend last week. Happily he is not one of the one in ten horses who lose their appetite when starting Prascend.

The vet will come back a week after P finishes his mineral oil treatment to take another x-ray and I plan to continue on with the Assure Guard Gold until I use up the container and maybe longer if the vet thinks that might be helpful to Phoenix.

I’m hopeful that the chestnut boys will go back to being lower maintenance one of these days as the nightly ritual of butt cleaning, leg treatment/wrapping, and dosing out supplements and mineral oil in additional to my normal chores is getting tiring. With my luck they will probably wait until after April 15th (tax day) to make my life easier again. They are lucky I love them!