Sunday, November 20, 2011

End of Chronicle of the Hoof

It's been coming: the end of the Chronicle of the Hoof. I haven't wanted to create this post and even thought about deleting the blog all together, but there's some good information here and I originally started the blog with the intent of sharing my experience and findings. Deleting that would defeat its purpose.

The blog is ending because we've come to a stalmate with Buttercup's condition. She tested negative for insulin resistance and tested negative for cushings. In fact, we're not sure what she has. Not even one of the most premier laminitis experts in the nation knows what's wrong with her. But he said we're not alone.

Even he owns a horse that has strange triggers without a biological reason. He's studied them and can't find a reason behind it.

The good news is that her condition, unlike IR, isn't progressive. He said when we find a trigger, remove it and move on with our lives. He also said I need to stop panicking every time she has a bad day.

He commended us on management and keeping her healthy, and said she would continue to be healthy as long as we carefully manager her.

While it's very frustrating not being able to pinpoint her condition, it's very comforting that we're not alone. There are others out there, frustrated and worried, trying to do right by their horse.

When I started this blog, I felt very alone. I didn't have the team of hoof care professionals or vets standing behind me that I have now. I didn't have friends with laminitic, cushings and other chronic condition horses. Now I have all that support.

When I started this blog, I also felt woefully under-educated and in a position of being unable to help my horse. But now, I feel like while I still have much to learn, I know how to take care of my horse.

A big thank you to my readers who have chimed in and helped over the years and have followed this rather tragic and unhappy tale. We've had a lot of bright spots over the year, and a lot more good days than bad, but those haven't always been shared.

I hope we haven't depressed you too much because I'm still optimistic. Buttercup is happy and healthy, and that's what matters to me.

Happy hooves, everyone.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Space-age Shoes - Aug. 19

We had a mild laminitic episode this week (lasting less than 48 hours). Responded with icing her hooves twice a day and by the second day her pulse returned to normal. No heat in the hooves, just a slightly elevated pulse. This is why taking pulses is so important!

So we are still experiencing some lameness with Buttercup even with her last fancy shoes. To me, it looks mostly like hind-end skeletal lameness. The chiropractor will actually be out tomorrow to fix whatever is out for her.

Today, Russ came by for her regularly scheduled shoeing. We decided to go with a Morrison Roller shoe. While we actually gained more sole in the last four weeks with the regular four-point shoes, the Morrison shoe is supposed to really increase bloodflow and build lots of sole.

We are out of the Equi-Pak, and seeing how we do with out. While we did grow more sole, it was mostly soft sole. Not the hard, weight bearing sole that is desirable.

The Morrison shoe is some space-age stuff. Literally. It is made out of aluminum and magnesium. "The kind of stuff they make jet air planes out of," Russ said.

The provide a three-degree wedge and have the breakover even further back than the four-point, natural balance shoe. If Buttercup was any judge, freeing up her shoulders, I'd say she likes them.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

It's not cushings, but she's still lame

Just got Buttercup's results back from the ATCH Insulin test. Insulin and hormone levels look normal, which mean she does not have Cushings Disease.

While Cushings Disease would have meant access to supportive drugs, this is still a good thing, the vet assures me.

Her normal insulin levels mean we've been managing her diet well and the vet said that Equine Metabolic/IR horses can have normal levels so that's still on the table.

At this time, I have no plans to have her tested for EMS/IR because the tests are prohibitively expensive (I have fancy new shoes I have to buy Bud every four weeks), can often miss the IR and even if she is diagnosed, we wouldn't be doing anything different than what we are already doing. There is no cure or treatment for EMS, other than diet management.

Buttercup hasn't improved much with her new shoes, but she does seem more comfortable from last week.

Here's the latest lameness video, which I've sent to person who is excellent at analyzing lameness to see what he thinks: