Tuesday, April 29, 2008

salina's update

Thanks for the good thoughts! Salina is not worse today, but is not improving either.

We think she most likely overdid it in the field Saturday or Sunday, and that her left knee was the focal point. She continues to eat and drink normally, and is not testing positive for hoof pain right now, so abscess and founder have been ruled out.

The vet has recommended that we add Bute to her daily maintenance, and Surpass cream for her knees as well. He also thinks it's probably time to curtail her turn-out to smaller areas of the farm so she's less likely to do the mad dash gallop up the front hill that they all sometimes do.

Rafer Johnson will be gelded Friday, so Salina will get a follow-up check at that point to make sure we're on the right track.

I have known there would be a point she would need some restrictions - it's tough to hear that it's time, but I definitely don't want her to injure herself trying to keep up with the "geldings gone wild."

It makes me appreciate Rafer Johnson all the more - we'll tailor a turn-out plan so he gets some time to run with the boys and also gets to be with Salina. Fortunately the way our property is set up, she can have the barnyards and paddocks without being too far removed from the rest of the herd.

Just fyi, Rafer Johnson supervised the entire exam, with his head right over the vet's shoulder as he did the hoof testing! He also gave the vet some donkey hugs and made one very sneaky attempt to steal his cell phone. Salina was a queen, as usual.


Victoria Cummings said...

Time is a great healer. If you can keep Salina from running and over-doing, that might be all it will take. I'd suggest that you check out my friend, Mary DeBono at debonosense.com. Too bad she's on the West Coast - this sounds like her kind of magic would help. If you want, I can give you her number and you could call her for advice. She's really great.

billie said...

Thanks, Victoria. The website was intriguing - I wish she were here! I will likely have our massage therapist come do some work on Salina (and me- this is just the excuse I need..:)

When I got home tonight, she had reportedly shoved past my husband when he opened the gate that led to the front field, and went running down the hill! Before he could get down there to slow her down, the geldings came running up and she cantered up with them. As much as I wish she hadn't done that TODAY, I am glad her spirit is still strong and she's keeping the spunk.

The thing about Salina is that when she moves like that and when under saddle, she does round her back and engage her hindquarters - she looks like she's about 10 years old. And there is no evidence of the arthritis (in the movement itself).

I am not going to lock up her and keep her from moving, but I do want to keep her contained until this episode resolves. I can shift things so that she only goes out with one gelding at a time instead of all of them - much less likely to have a full gallop that way.

Grey Horse Matters said...

It is good to hear there is nothing major going on, just the usual maladies of old age.Sounds as if you have a good plan in place. Salina probably won't like the fact that she can't canter around with the geldings for a while but it's for her own good.I'm sure Rafer will be happy to keep her company and a gelding or two also. Rafer sounds like a real character, what a funny little guy.

billie said...

Arlene, thanks for using the phrase "nothing major, just the maladies of old age."

I need to be reminded of that!

She is such a spirit here that it has felt quite major - and of course I have so little experience with lameness issues, period. To see ANY horse unable to freely move is very upsetting for me, and I have to keep reminding myself that even very young horses can have spells of lameness and it does not mean life is over.

This morning she was very stiff, probably a result of her evening rampage down the hill and back. But she whinnied with gusto for breakfast, made her way around the barn to wait for her tub, and ate like normal. She stood in the sun for ten minutes while I brushed her and applied her Surpass cream, and she has moved over the past two hours from the bigger barnyard to the barn aisle to the smaller barnyard and back to the barn aisle, nibbling grass, hay, and drinking.

I've scheduled a hot stone massage for she and I on Friday evening. I figured by the time we get through Rafer's gelding we'll both need it!

Our massage therapist has a lifetime of experience with horses, including a number of years caring for race horses, so she'll bring her magic hands and spirit to Salina (and me). I am plugging her back in monthly so that we can keep the good stuff coming.

You would have laughed if you had seen Rafer with the vet. It was the cutest thing to see him with his head peering right over the vet's shoulder and then giving donkey hugs. The vet was saying he's wanted a donkey for a long time but the ones he's seen seem scared of people. He couldn't get over how loving and friendly and confident Rafer is. It was quite funny when he tried to quietly take the cell phone.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I know it was probably impossible but I really wish you could have snapped a photo of Rafer peering over the vets shoulder. As for the cell phone, well maybe he needed to make a call. Enjoy your hot stone massages, that sounds wonderful, I am so jealous I sure could use one this week.

billie said...

Ironically, my camera was in the tack room very near by, but I was so nervous about Salina it didn't enter my mind to grab it!

She has had good spells and stiff spells today. When I can keep her moving slowly she is better. Rafer left the barnyard to explore the garage this afternoon and Salina started trotting back and forth until we got him back up. Needless to say, that gate is being installed Saturday.

This evening I allowed Keil Bay to come in with her and for some bizarre reason he went over and bit her. She kicked up at him in response and thus put all her weight on the front. Sigh. I keep trying to make things better for her and when she responds normally on the one hand I feel her spirit is good, but on the other it is not helping her recovery. Although I do know if I close her in a stall she will pace and spin, and if I try to separate her completely she will worry herself into a lather.

I had forgotten I have an entire bottle of Zeel tablets for arthritis, so I am going to do the Bute as I have been in the a.m. with breakfast, the Surpass mid-morning, and Zeel in the p.m. to see how that works.

And on a good note, the knee is not as swollen as it was.

Oddly, I woke up this morning with a sore thigh on the right and a sore calf on the left - interesting that one is above and the other below the knee! And now my shoulders are sore, which may be mirroring sore areas in her body. I hope I can keep things calm tomorrow and easy her through the day with no big movements.