Thursday, December 31, 2009
The vet came out again today to check on Shorty. He's still not 100% sound (which is to be expected) but he's surprisingly chipper. Dr. Wade put the hoof testers on him and found him to be sore in the very toe, rather than at the apex of the frog, indicating that SOMETHING ELSE is making him sore now.
Make no mistake about it, he did have laminitis but has progressed beyond the acute stage. While the laminae in his front hooves are still healing, the vet beleives that Holly, my farrier, also trimmed him too short. Radiographs confirmed that Shorty's sole is very thin, especially when compared to the radiographs I had done in September to check the progression of his arthritis.
Of course, the only time I've ever had a problem with Holly is the day Shorty has laminitis... go figure. As pointed out by Andrea, it was weird that Holly didn't catch the laminitis or even think of it until I walked in the barn, but then again Shorty is a stoic horse that tolerates pain like a champ. Shorty grows out a lot of beautiful hoof to work with, even during the colder winter months, so it is alarming Holly took off too much. Perhaps she had an off day, but she picked a hell of a day to fall off the wagon. I'm very thankful that I got to the barn when I did to prevent her from putting shoes on. Otherwise, his laminitis might not have been caught in time, and Shorty would have suffered a great deal more than he's already had to handle.
Dr. Wade tentatively cleared Shorty to start up on grain again. I'm avoiding Ultimate Finish altogether. He doesn't need a high energy feed while on stall rest, and, to be honest, I'm wary of using it again. Instead, he got 1/4 of a cup (a small handful) of Grow N Win today. It was the first time he's had grain since last Wednesday, and he inhaled it in one snort!
I will say that through all of this, Shorty's personality continues to impress and amuse me. When I first met him, he was as bland as brown rice. He'd stand at the back of his stall and take no interest in the world around him and didn't care to have his personal bubble invaded by anyone. In high school, I'd gone through severe depression that lasted over three years, so I knew how he felt. At the time, I couldn't afford to purchase him, but I did go out of my way to improve the quality of his life. One of the first things I bought him was a padded halter with a breakaway because his old one chafed his nose and didn't have any sort of safety option. I showed it to him, let him sniff it, put it on him and let him wear it for a while. That was the first time I'd seen Shorty take an interest in something other than food.
Four years later, he's my boy and he's into everything. He must see, touch, smell, taste and hear everything. He simply cannot walk past the garbage can in the barn without at least sniffing it, if not sticking his entire head in there so see if anyone threw out something good. Christmas decorations are constantly in danger of being nibbled on. He's been especially curious about everything because he's been cooped up on stall rest. Today, while Dr. Wade was looking at him, he wanted to nibble on my sleeve, chew on his blanket, pick up the vet's bucket of tools, eat the end of his leadrope, say hi to his neighbors, drag me down the aisle for no apparent reason, and so on. Although I was firm in telling him to refrain from biting, chewing, bragging and engaging in other naughty behaviors, I gave him a break because I know he's bored out of his mind. Honestly, I'd rather have a horse that is into everything than the depressed horse who is in pain. The fact that he's so excited about life makes me feel that he's feeling much better and healing rapidly.