Tuesday, 29 July 2014
I finally have an update on the old boy's health which I have been waiting for a few weeks now. (Sadly my vet is going through some health problems at the moment, hence the delay).
About ten days before the xrays were due I decided to take him off the daily dose of two sachets of bute. He really wasn't good on the drug - very down, lethargic and really no life in him. He hung round the gate with very little enthusiasm at all. I was putting this down to the fact he was in pain and the bute just wasn't working. Since taking him off the bute he is so much brighter and better!
So the xrays were done 10 days ago and the vet thought he was marginally better but was concerned about the puffiness of his coronet band. I had the results this morning and they were pretty much what I thought. He has arthritis in the coffin joint and pasterns in both front legs. They are not chronic but there is a fair amount there which is not going to get better. After a long pragmatic chat about his situation and upon her advice, I have decided against steroid or cartrophen injections.
So what am I going to do? Well I've decided to get back in the saddle with him this weekend and see how he is riding out at a slow, short hack. He has had about ten weeks rest so I am hoping he will be better and if he can be ridden out gently, then this is what I will do. So if he is sound with gentle exercise and turnout and showing me no real signs of pain, then I have decided to see him through the winter. The only problem I worry about is the mud fever.... He cannot come in for weeks on end, which is what happened the winter just gone. BUT I will do all I can to make him comfortable and keep him going without being in pain, with plenty of turnout. However if he is hopping lame, miserable and in pain, then I think the decision is made for me.
I have put him on Devils Claw and trying out some oils in his feed. Zeb is only 19 which I know is no age for a horse. However, his hefty workload in his younger days as a Grade B show jumper have come back to haunt him as this form of arthritis is very common in show jumpers later in life.
So hooves crossed he get's a bit sounder with some gentle exercise and his daily dose of Devils Claw keep his pains at bay. Positivity for the future - I will keep you posted.....