Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Starting with the diet

I have a team set up between my hoofcare practitioner and my veterinarian trying to figure out the best route for Buttercup.

By all estimates, this is going to be a very long and hairy process. The good news? I will likely be able to continue this blog forever. Yay! 

As much as I love helping others through my experience, it isn't something I wanted to hear. What's worse is that figuring out how to manage Buttercup will be trial and error. And then once we figure out what works, it could be six months down the road before she is well enough to come back to work.

So last post I mentioned getting her on the beet pulp diet. We've changed that up since posting that. She will continue to get beet pulp to help supplement her forage since she no longer can eat grass, but for her "grain" she will get WellSolve L/S. It is one of the feeds recommended for sugar sensitive ponies. 

We aren't certain if we will stay on the ProAdd Ultimate yet, but like having it so we can figure out what ration of WellSolve and beet pulp works best without feeling like she isn't getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals.

I've been reading everything I can get my hands on. Here is an excellent resource I've run into on the Web: (again, I apologize about the lack of links; please copy and paste the urls)
Click and go to articles

For those of you uncertain as to how Buttercup's laminitis went unnoticed for eight years: she never showed an alarming digital pulse or any other symptoms besides flaring on her hooves. She never showed much more than a propensity for abscesses in our old home of coastal South Carolina and we think the grass up here in North Carolina must be much richer. 

Laminitis is really just inflammation in the laminae. It can be caused by the body not processing sugar, too much grain, concussive forces and more. Sometimes it is severe, like when Buttercup had mechanical issues compounding her laminitis from sweet feed and rich grass, and sometimes it is minor, like just a mysterious offness, with no heat or heavy pulse. 

Prognosis is up in the air for Buttercup. She's had so many episodes but none were so severe that her coffin bone dropped to the point of bulging her sole. Her front left coffin bone dropped but was stabilized as of last fall. I don't think I will get Xrays this time around since the routine will be the same regardless: fix her diet and fix her hooves. I'm really hoping for a full recovery but that is looking doubtful with more research I uncover. 

I have a surprise for you readers on our June 26 trim coming up. So stay posted!

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