Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Ben/Commander Report, 5/10

Yep, add Commander to the medical roundup, because he’s had another flare-up of the laminitis. He and Ben are both doing very well, but both confined to quarters for the next ten days.

 Commander was doing so well, so sound, in fact, that his turnout on the paddock had expanded to all day, 6:00-ish a.m. to 7:00 or 8:00 p.m. We hadn’t had a lick of rain for three months and the grazed-down stubble he picked at did him no harm. Then we did get rain over the last couple of weeks, enough to kick-start the grass to greening up; Commander diligently worked the edges of the fencing, even kneeling to reach under the bottom strand of electric wire for that extra mouthful of the lush stuff just outside the paddock; and apparently that little bit of extra sugar was enough to trigger another flare-up.

It may have been brewing for a few days before, but it became apparent on Sunday afternoon, when I spotted him toe-pointing in front and breathing hard. Check front feet – warm! Way too much warmer than the hind. So in he went to his well-bedded stall. After consulting the on-call vet I started him on bute; by that evening his feet were back to cool and he was back to looking unfazed by foot pain.

Monday: cool feet, moving fine; bute at midday and evening. Tuesday: cool feet, moving normally, busting down the stall door to go out, so out he went for an hour to the run-in (no grassy paddock, grazed down or not) while his stall was cleaned. He looked so good at suppertime I withheld the bute.

Wednesday: cool feet, but no longer busting down the stall door, and when I tried leading him out he was subdued, not eager, so we turned back before we got halfway to the run-in. He went back on twice-daily bute, even though he looked fine at suppertime.

Today: Vet check for both boys, and Kelly said if you didn’t know Commander’s history you wouldn’t think anything was wrong with him. Still, to be safe, we’re keeping him on a schedule of gradually diminishing anti-inflammatories; keeping him on stall rest for ten more days (a week plus a few extra days to recover from getting reshod next Wednesday); then carefully calibrated turnout. All subject to change if he tells us so. But I’ve seen him much worse than this and bounce back.

Meanwhile, Ben stays sane, quiet, and slowly but surely healing his ligaments. Kelly’s assistant trotted him out for us and this time he looked within a whisker of normal. We can reduce his Previcox to half a tablet, up his handwalking some, and start graduated turnout when Commander’s starts. I expect we’ll dose him with Ace (horsey Valium, if you’re wondering) the first few times so he doesn’t boink himself into a setback.

Is that little black cloud over my head, that thickened so on Sunday, beginning to thin a wee bit?


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