Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cash does NOT have ulcers... what's next?


Well, certainly not the result I was expecting from the vet check this morning!

My vet and I got to the farm bright and early to grab Cash.  He was less than thrilled at getting on the trailer instead of eating breakfast, but we got him on within 10 minutes without a ton of drama.  Once there he was actually pretty chill, he unloaded, looked around and walked right into the building and into the stocks without fuss.

THREE shots of sedative later (yeah, I know)... we had a scope down him and the vet, Dr. Jergens, spent several minutes thoroughly looking around.  The result?  NO ulcers.  At all.  Just lots and lots of saliva!  Which is why he's ulcer free.  The vet actually really liked how his stomach looked.  Well, ok then.  That rules that out.

Mmmm... drugs!
So we started talking about how he's been acting.  My vet described to Dr. Jergens the various colic episodes he's had, and we talked about his behavior and his recent disgruntled response to leg pressure under saddle.  Dr. Jergens poked and prodded around and picked up on a few things.

He's got a weird little swelling on his belly, a very small amount of puffiness on the inside of his left stifle, and a thickened medial suspensory branch on his front right (he's had residual swelling there since I got him from what I've presumed was an old injury, and that was confirmed today).  Also, he is slightly asymmetrical in his SI joint.  It's oh so slightly higher on the left side (which is the side he reacts more to in response to leg pressure).  When palpated a normal horse should dip their lower back down.  He however, would not do that, instead he was very tense and resisting.

The verdict?

We are going to give him a PowerPac dewormer to rule out any possibility of encrusted strongyles causing intestinal discomfort (which is what could be causing that belly swelling).  Then I'll plan a time with my vet to do a full lameness/soundness workup on him and likely we'll just treat the SI by injecting the joint instead of doing a block.  Also, chiropractic body work might be in the works as well.

The long and short of it is that I'm REALLY glad I took him in, it was well worth the money and we got some good routes to pursue and was able to rule out the ulcers without wasting money trying to treat them.

So, back to work he goes, just lots of good stretchy exercises to keep his whole body limber and we'll go on from here!



I'm glad he doesn't have ulcers! I do want to mention that a lot of people I've talked to who have had their horses scoped (with negative results) went ahead with the diet change/ulcer treatment and saw major improvements in the horse's behavior... that's why I mentioned in my last comment that scoping can be inconclusive. Maybe it's not ulcers, but maybe the ulcer treatment soothes some other problem... I don't know, but I've heard it said often enough to think that feeding him alfalfa and aloe might not hurt. Anyway I'm not saying your vet is wrong or anything, just thought it was worth mentioning. I'll be quiet now hehe. I hope he feels better with his back treatments and power pack.

Achieve, I definitely do appreciate your input! Cash has actually been on a strictly alfalfa diet for nearly two years. I may look into adding aloe, but for now I'm going to leave it to avoid mixing variables. From what I saw of the SI joint, I'm pretty confident that it's a factor here. :)

That's great that he's on an alfalfa diet! In fact that's probably why he doesn't have ulcers. :D I hope you can figure out the SI joint problem and get him comfortable again. He's lucky to have you looking out for him!

Post a Comment