Where chestnuts try to give me a mental breakdown

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!

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14 Comments

  1. Stephanie

    Aw, I hope the chestnuts are back to feeling good soon! Moe has the free fecal water issue occasionally, too; my vet had me feed him a course of Sand Clear, which helped.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Yeah sand clear is definitely what I’ve done the past few years when it has cropped up but this time no luck. ๐Ÿ™

      Reply
  2. Tracy

    Ugh, keeping my fingers crossed the chestnuts get their shit together ASAP! lol <3

    Reply
    1. martidoll123

      i laughed out loud to the chestnuts getting their shit together HA HA HA I hope they are all back to normal soon (WELL as normal as those specialneeds guys can be).

      UGH glad Maestro is doing well. Maybe trade those two chesnuts on a gray and a palomino or something : JUST KIDDING!

      Reply
      1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

        I know, me too! At work to boot! Yes normal is relative with those boys!

        I probably need to stop telling Maestro he’s chestnut on the inside, not a good thing lately! I don’t want any horses that you have to keep looking clean, trading for dark colors only. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Reply
    2. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Haha, literally.

      Reply
  3. Stacie Seidman

    These old guys really keep us on our toes! I hope the results come back soon and don’t show anything too serious. I’ve had good results with Rio this year using the U-Guard. I’m not sure it’s even related, and it’s probably just coincidence… But might be something to ask your vet about.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      Thanks, I’m hoping so. I’m pretty sure most of the money I spend on supplements is due to coincidence of improvement, lol.

      Reply
      1. Stacie Seidman

        Thought I should mention, I have both old guys on Equiotics, too, which I think has done well for them. Did your vet mention a probiotic?

        Reply
        1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

          So he was already on Smart Digest Ultra when this started (I stopped it recently since new paks were about to ship and I didn’t want to complicate things – it obviously wasn’t helping the issue) so when she asked about probiotic the answer was yes. Currently he’s getting regular grass hay, chopped low starch hay, essential k (says it has probiotic in it…), bio-sponge, and purina outlast (recommended by quite a few people but not a probiotic). I did do some reading about both equiotic and fasttrack but haven’t pulled the trigger on either item yet. Been trying to make myself wait until we get test results even though I also want to throw all the things at him so he gets better. I seem to be redirecting to saddle pad and browband shopping instead currently…

          Reply
          1. Stacie Seidman

            I had mine on the smartpak supplements awhile back, and my vet told me they don’t do anything, so I stopped with those and switched to the equiotic on his recommendation. Supposedly is the best one, but honestly, who knows?
            I’ve heard great things about the Outlast too, and I think that’s what Eros is eating at the boarding barn. Did they say when you’ll get some results? I feel impatient for you!

  4. Teresa

    I swear to god that chestnuts are just, like, fragile. Irish drives me crazy on a regular basis.

    Reply
    1. stampyandthebrain (Post author)

      My first chestnut was a tank and Phoenix until his late 20’s was pretty easy so I guess I can give him a pass. Stampede though, he has to be in the top ten of most special chestnuts in the country. Sometimes I start listing off all of his issues and I’m surprised he’s still alive…

      Reply
      1. Teresa

        Yup. That is Irish. He has spent most of his life trying to cut off one leg or another

        Reply

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