Monday, November 11, 2013

Cash may have ulcers


Saturday morning I got a call from the barn owner, Rosemary, saying that Cash was not feeling well... that he wouldn't touch his grain and was acting lethargic.  Great.  She said she had turned him out into the dry lot with the two Arabians that spend the night out there to see if he'd eat out there instead of in his stall.  Instead he just poked around and "herded" the one mare around.  Then he was laying down, and getting back up, and laying down, and back up... but not rolling.  Weird.

So I asked Rosemary to give him 2g of Bute, saying that I'd get out there as soon as I could.  This was about 8:30am.  By the time I got myself up, the baby fed, me fed, the other kids fed, the cat fed... humanity fed!  Eerr... it was about 10:30 that I got there.

He wasn't rolling, wasn't laying down, but just wasn't right.  He looked a little mopey, but not as lethargic as he'd been before when he 1) had that cellulitis and 2) when he was colicy.  I got him out, checked his vitals, checked his gut sounds, checked him all over for injuries... all good.  He wasn't dehyrated, he had completely downed his hay from the night before and drank his bucket.  Poop in the stall looked normal, fresh poop in the dry lot was nice n' wet and normal.  But he would, not, eat.  At all!  I even walked him over to a patch of green grass and he nosed around like he was interested but wouldn't even attempt to nibble.  So weird.

So, in texting back and forth with my vet I brought up the topic of "what if it's ulcers?" and she just responds "yep."

Gee, thanks!

Anyway, I hung around, rode Candy (which I rode her in my jumping saddle to see if she'd canter better, and she did, good girl!  She is starting to get the idea that what I say is the law, silly mare), and watched him wander over and take several drinks and otherwise look OK.  The bute was surely kicking in by this point.  So I took a handful of grain out to him and he took a nibble but as soon as he got it into his mouth he stopped munching and turned away.  I poked around in his mouth best I could without him biting my fingers off just to make sure he didn't have a stick or something stuck up in there.

After that I called my vet and we chatted for a bit, long story short: she is working with another vet clinic out by Greeley, CO where the vet is wanting to start a study that will be looking to see exactly how many horses actually do have ulcers.  They are also working on developing a new ulcer medicine that is a combination of the active ingredient in UlcerGuard and rantidine.  Cool!

So I told her to sign me up.  We both agreed that based on his little colicy fits over the past year that ulcers are a strong probability.  Especially considering his past as a racehorse.  So pretty much as soon as they get the go-ahead for the study to start Cash will be in on it.  He'll get scoped for ulcers and get a fancy new medicine and it'll cost me waaaaaayy less than what it would normally.  My vet will keep me in the loop and in the mean time I'll cross my fingers that Cash won't have any more silly little episodes like this to freak me out.

Oh, and, happy ending to this story:  I went back to the barn around 5:30pm that evening and the snot greedily snarfed down several handfuls of grain that I gave him then walked off in a huff when I didn't have more.  Yep, thank you Cash.



Super! I absolutely love the idea of the study and the way it's working out for you is just perfect. :-)

Poor Cash. I'm excited about the study for you though. That's such a great opportunity. :) If they make a new miracle drug Cash will be famous! Hehe. I'm glad he started feeling better by evening.

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