You know sometimes when life just seems to be going along nicely and you are taking care of your nice old men horses at home daily and riding your handsome #notachestnut a few times a week and working the minimum amount of hours at work and then BAM all the things just go insane? Yep that’s what happened to me.
The day before Christmas Eve Stampede decided it was time for his annual cellulitis episode. He did mix it up this year by going with the right front. Thankfully my vet lets me have all the medications on hand so he got to start on them immediately which really cuts down on how bad things get. Of course he always goes off his grain when given antibiotics without Ulcergard so that queued some running around and a quick Riding Warehouse order to get us stocked up (so thankful for $5 two day shipping). He also seems to have upped his sleep deprivation falling game lately as well. Stampede finished his antibiotics last night and just has 4 days of Ulcergard to go.
Of course while recovering from the cellulitis Stampede also managed to mangle up both back legs on the inside. Many cuts and scrapes and two swollen back legs meant we had only one good leg left. A few days ago he came in with a cut on that remaining leg and you can guess that it also swelled up. The bonus is by then the cellulitis leg was back to normal so we still have one “good” leg. Vet was out this past Thursday to see Phoenix so she checked him over for me and declared that he could possibly be considered a lemon. Ah the joys of the special needs horse.
Anyways, Phoenix contributed to my stress by having an issue that is called free fecal water recently. His poop itself is mostly normal, maybe a bit squishy, but he has been leaking watery poop at an alarming rate and amount. Obviously he wasn’t enjoying it either. He’s had this kind of issue before but just very mild and usually a few days of sand clear and he would be back to normal. This time nothing was working and if anything things were getting worse. On Christmas I came out and his back end was just a complete mess and I felt so bad for him. It doesn’t help that I don’t have hot water and it’s not exactly bath weather here in MI.
The vet came out and other than P being pretty gassy couldn’t find anything obvious upon examination. When she did a rectal she could pull out nice fully formed balls of poop and said everything felt good that she could reach. She checked his teeth (well what she could reach) and that all felt good. The vet took blood and a poop sample back to run some tests (waiting on results still) and we got started on Bio-sponge. Results are still pending on that. It took me a couple days to get him up to the full dose as that powder is nasty and you have to give 4 oz twice a day. It tries to turn into clay like stuff once wet which is fun since P eats his grain soaked to avoid choke.
We had a pretty much dry day followed by a really bad day and then yesterday was pretty mild. At Phoenix’s age (come on P we want to get to 30 at the end of March!) this kind of thing is extra scary. On the plus side he is eating and has had a good appetite.
So add in the holidays with their time commitments and some extra hours at work because of being off for the holidays and you can imagine how things have been. Oh and someone gave me a cold for Christmas. I’m so thankful.
In spite of all this craziness Maestro has been (knock on wood) doing really well. We are going to get back to jumping this week but I feel like the focus on flat work since the Mark Leone clinic has been great for us. He still needs to learn to be more responsive to my leg (I really do mean go forward!) but he is able to trot on contact much sooner in our rides and maintain it. Stretchy trot is still his favorite though, lol. The canter has good and bad days still but we are trending in the right direction and I’m making myself canter for longer each ride to build up some strength. Oh and we do have walk to canter transitions if I’ve got him awake enough! All the awesome buttons are in there, just not always the most functional yet.
Here’s hoping those chestnut boys are back to normal (or as normal as they get!) before I get too busy with tax season!