Tuesday, March 05, 2013

inching toward spring

It's been crazy busy around here, but as we inch toward spring, with purple crocuses and daffodils and the few remaining maple trees on our farm in full bloom, we're also dealing with more cold, wet weather. It feels like winter has dug in to stay for awhile.

It has been alternating between cold wet days and cold windy days, and neither hold much appeal for me when it comes to riding. Cody has been on again, off again with the abscess, but has had three really sound days in a row so daughter hopped on today and put him back into work.

Foxhunting season ended with a fun Hunter Trial this past weekend. Daughter competed in the same class as last year and was in first place right to the very end, when her mare had a little meltdown and they dropped to fifth for the pink ribbon. It was great fun watching the classes and even tromping back and forth to the Port-A-Potty wasn't too bad.

My son got his first college acceptance this week, so we're all thinking of what this means: in the fall, he will be moving into his first dorm room, and it is going to be so strange not having him here. Meanwhile, though, he's rehearsing Hedda Gabler for an April performance and his Ethics Bowl team is going to the Nationals in April after winning a recent invitational.

All this to say it's been a busy year thus far. I'll be glad when things quiet down a bit and the weather eases up and I can get back into the riding groove with Keil Bay.

In other news, Salina is on a trial of Pergolide (she's not quite on a full dose yet, but I *think* I'm seeing some positive response) and the kittens are scheduled for spaying/neutering next week. I can't believe they're already that grown up!

Redford turned 5 years old a few weeks back and that too blows my mind. We have a whole string of birthdays coming up: Cody and Salina in March, and Keil Bay and Apache in April.

Right now it's hard to imagine full-blown spring. In spite of the flowering, when I look out the window I still see the browns and grays and bare branches of the winter season. And the wood stove is in almost continual use these days.

How is everyone else faring as we edge up to spring? It's not my favorite season but I am actually looking forward to it this year.


Matthew C. said...

Yes, it is definitely time for the wet and cold to move on! I'm enjoying seeing the bulbs coming up and blooming. And it's always great to see you and the King in the riding arena together. . .

billie said...

I was hopeful when I saw the sunshine this morning but the wind is too cold for me. Maybe tomorrow - it looks like we'll be warming up through the weekend!

Dougie Donk said...

It's still cold over here in Scotland, so much so that we've only just gotten snowdrops, while 3 miles away in the village, they are onto daffodils. Amazing the difeerence 800 feet of hill makes !

You will see a HUGE differnce in salina over the next month or so. Tammy pony has been on Pergolide for 5 years now & has moments of behaving like a 3 year old. Given that she's rising 30, I think it's pretty amazing!

1st noticable change was the loss of her apple-shaped bum, then there were sort've cellulite-like pockets of fat on her belly that disappeared, then the fatty lumps above her eyes went. Last to go was the cresty neck. She wasn't ever fat, just had fat in all the wrong places.

I wish I'd known sooner that being able to pee forever was a good indicator of Cushings, along with never really getting a summer coat. Pergolide is brillant! I hope it works as well for Salina & look forward to "Then" & "Now" photos.

billie said...

So glad to hear of Tammy's Pergolide experience. Salina actually has very few of the "usual" symptoms of Cushings - she has a normal coat, does not have the puffy eye pockets or really any misplaced fatty pockets.

But she does have a leaky eye, the ability to pee a river, muscle wasting with a slight pot-belly appearance, and off/on lethargy. We are tapering her up right now and not quite at a tx dose yet - but I am seeing subtle changes already, or at least I think so.

She seems to be filling out a bit through the shoulders, which is one place the muscle wasting was apparent. Her eye is not leaking nearly as much. And she seems to have a slightly "brighter" sense about her - which is hard to tell b/c lately she's been pretty up anyway - which may be due to the seasonal rise lessening...

It's hard with her b/c the ACTH blood draw we would use to test the levels is affected by how wired she gets if the vet even drives up in the driveway. Hard to get a true reading. We're doing the trial and will then use the ACTH to see if we can get the dosage nailed for her. Right now I'm trying to get her to 2.25 mg and will then keep her there for a few weeks to see what happens.

She does not seem to have any IR symptoms but when we do the ACTH later on, we'll do the blood draw for IR too just to be sure.

Dougie Donk said...

I went to full day seminar on Cushings at Edinburgh University & all the leading vets there said that the mahoosive pee & slight lethargy were good indicators of Cushings, but all too easily discounted to aging.

Coz it's only recently that we've kept horses healthily into old age; it's really a growing field of knowledge. We didn't do ACTH tests, as my vet had been at the same seminar & agreed it was easier just to trial Pergolide for a month & see if it made a difference. And it does!

I truely hope Salina responds as well, as Tammy now has a quality of life that she seemed to be gradually losing.

billie said...

Thanks for so much good info. I have been lurking on the ECIR list for several years, trying to get up to speed on Cushings since Salina and Keil are both seniors and the rest will be here 'til they too are. I have learned a lot but even so, when you ask the vet standing right in front of you if he/she thinks we should test for Cushings, and he/she says, well, it doesn't look like Cushings to me, it's easy to just go with that. Especially since Salina has the arthritic knees, which tend to get blamed for everything with her.

I wish I had gone ahead a couple of years ago and just tested or trialed. I had to laugh after I posted the earlier comment yesterday - about 4:30 I looked out the window and she was trotting in a 20m circle in her grass paddock, tossing her head, and then double-barrel kicking toward the gate to the front field.

The geldings were out there but it was so windy yesterday I kept Salina and the donkeys in their paddocks b/c I didn't want her getting caught up in any wild gelding run-abouts. She was none too happy with that decision - they started running in the field and she had her own run in her paddock! We're edging up to the "usual" dose of Pergolide and it seems like it might be the right one given her behavior yesterday.

I'm eager to see how things go once she's on this dose for a few weeks. We may not be able to handle her if she gets any more energetic! I see her do this level of activity once in a blue moon, but there was definitely a big spark there yesterday that I haven't seen in a long time. It was like seeing Cody in her body with that extravagant head toss!

Máire said...

Our daffs and crocuses are out to. Very cheering. Outside there is a light drizzle (a 'fine soft day' as I've never actually heard anyone say in real life). But I love the lengthening of the evenings.

Wow - your eldest soon leaving home - what a change that will be. We have a few years more before that happens. Good luck to Salina on the pergolide.

billie said...

Maire, it's sort of unbelievable to me too that he's leaving this fall for college. I'm aware with each season that this is the "last" one - he could be back home again given the job market and such but it's the last year of seasons before he leaves and if he does come back, it will be different. He's ready. I'm happy for him. But there is a bittersweetness to the whole thing, for sure.

Dougie Donk said...

It might take me a while to find it, but I'm fairly sure I still have all the course notes from the Cushings seminar lurking somewhere. If you think it would be of any interest, I can scan & email them to you?

Just PM me with your email address

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Exciting times for your son! Hope the pergolide suits Salina.

Our spring blooms are out and about, bravely standing up to the never ending wind. (worst winter ever) If the forecast is correct - Spring will make her appearance this week.

I'm ready for more horse time not including extreme conditions or lameness treatments. :D

billie said...

Thanks, DD... I did. So appreciated!

billie said...

C, hope spring finds you soon and that Val is on the mend. Salina is doing really well with the Pergolide. I have followed the recs to start at .25 mg and ease her up every 4th day that much more. She hits the usual full dose tomorrow and I'll keep her there for a couple of weeks to see how it goes. She's filling in some muscle already and not so stiff in general. Her mood is brighter too - she's been in full turn-out for the past two days b/c she's feeling so good. Keeping fingers crossed we have found some answers for her. And glad she will turn 30 with that in place!