Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Herd Health

I took my whole herd somewhere for the first time. Next time, I hope we go somewhere more exciting/less expensive than the vet. I almost always haul in to my vet. Partially because I'm just over an hour away from the clinic and partially because I just find it easier. In cases of emergency I will use a vet who is closer to home but for general maintenance and lameness I will continue to haul to my vet.

I love having well-behaved horses. Everyone loaded great, stood quietly and was really good for the vet. Chase and Dee both needed their teeth done. I had Dee's done last fall when I bought her and had hoped to leave them until spring when I take her in for her Coggins and vaccinations. She's a super sloppy eater and had started to eat treats with her head tilted sideways. Since Chase hadn't had his teeth done in years I figured I'd get them both done. I popped Sullivan in the trailer since he could use the miles and I wanted to get a fecal done on all 3.

I find drunk ponies endlessly amusing.
It turns out that Dee's teeth were fine. After some investigation it was discovered that the reason she is a messy eater is a partially paralyzed facial nerve. It's fairly subtle but one side of her muzzle droops (and she won't stand still enough for me to grab a photo of it) and her front teeth don't close at rest. There is nothing we can do for it and it shouldn't cause her any major issues, just something to keep an eye on in the future.

Despite all 3 horses being on a thorough worming regime (all slightly different since they all came from different places) they all had a high worm count. The vet actually had to look up one variety that Chase had. So all 3 got hit with Eqvalan Gold and then will get done again in 3 weeks with SafeGuard.

Chase also had a brief lameness exam. And by brief I really do mean brief. The vet took one look at him and confirmed my thoughts. He's got ringbone on the front left (his crooked leg). So it's now about making him comfortable. With bute he's sound enough to go for a short, slow trail ride and that works for us.
With that crooked leg it's surprising he stayed sound until he was 17

I also had a long conversation with the vet about maintenance for Dee. Currently she is on a monthly shot of Ichon but at the end of the season I noticed some stiffness that was taking her quite awhile to work out of. As I'm hoping to upgrade to Training, I want to make sure we are doing our very best to support the old lady joints. So now she has a prescription for Legend as well. The plan is to do the loading dose in the spring and then keep her on a monthly shot for the show season and then reassess next fall. It's ok, who needs money anyways?

It was an expensive morning but it was also really nice to have all 3 horses looked at and to have the second vet non-believing how old Dee is. It was also gratifying to have my vet agree that at Dee's current fitness and soundness level there is absolutely no reason not to upgrade her back to Training. He thinks she could have many years of a competitive career left if we are careful and manage her well.
Both her appearance and behaviour are misleadingly young


  1. ha people are always surprised by my mare's age as well. these mares, they certainly know how to age w grace! glad to hear everyone got a mostly clean bill of health with a clear path forward!

  2. What a visit! Glad you got everyone taken care of.

  3. Glad it went well...and do't get me started on dreaming of all the fabulous places I could be trailering with the $ I spend a the vet! Still, the peace of mind, knowing they're all well is a very good feeling :) Sounds like Dee is going to be cruising around for many years yet!

  4. Look at all those cute pony faces! It's great to have well behaved ponies. :)

  5. Always great when these types of vet visits end with plenty positives.
    Bring on 2016

  6. That trailer pic is freakin adorable!!! Dee does look great :)