Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Commander Update: A Bridge Too Far?

Commander didn’t get a dose of bute at bedcheck last night, so when I saw him at midday today his last one had been about 24 hours ago, and it showed.

Oh, he wasn’t anywhere near the kind of distress I’d seen on Saturday; he was standing foursquare, taking good-sized steps, and not reluctant to move; but he was clearly feeling enough of an increase in discomfort to be stiffer in walking and turning on his forehand than yesterday. I hadn’t planned to put him out today in any case, given how wet it is; but for darn sure he wasn’t going to go out on a gravel drive and concrete run-in apron looking like that.

So off he went to an empty stall across the aisle, which he puttered around in between bouts of hay-munching; back to his stall, where the absentminded human realized it’s a lot easier to add a new bag of shavings to a mucked-out stall before you put the horse back in; over to the empty stall again; finally back home, where he dove into his hay. It seemed to me that he was moving somewhat better, in fact clearly better, by the fourth trip across the barn aisle, so perhaps some of his stiffness comes from being an older horse on stall confinement in damp, chilly weather; and I’ve noticed over the last few days that he also looks stiffer when he first gets up from lying down, so who knows how much of a role mere inactivity plays? – but that’s not the entire cause. The laminitis ain’t done with him yet.

Sigh. I suppose such setbacks are only to be expected. Hopefully when I see him tonight he’ll be back to looking “Just fine, thank you!” with the bute back in him. He’ll get a bedcheck dose; two doses again on Wednesday; then we’ll try again to cut back to one. I’ll also do a bit of handwalking in the barn to get the juices cautiously flowing on gentle footing.

The continued good news is that Commander’s bright-eyed, cheerful, eating and drinking well, sucking up his meds without a problem, in good weight, and shiny-coated. Ben is also handling his companion captivity pretty well; other than screaming for attention when I arrive, looking longingly at the exit when I move him between stalls, and walking manure-churning circles in his bedding, he’s not a problem.


Bedcheck update:

Commander was lying down when I arrived. He got up and looked horribly stiff. I let him move about, loosen up some, as he chose for a couple of minutes, then walked him across the aisle to the spare stall, circled it to turn, walked back, turned again and went back across the aisle, and he was moving waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better when I took the halter off and let him go free over there – just needed to work out of the lying-down stiffness. He didn’t hesitate to follow me when I first asked him to move, either. It’s rainy, chilly, penetrating-damp weather around these parts, been so for the last few days, and I really do think that’s affecting the old man. He might could be a bit tentative still in his front feet, but he’s markedly better than at the midday check. Darn close to what had me feeling good Sunday and Monday.

Tomorrow is another day.

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