Wednesday, August 18, 2010

There's A Pill For Everything These Days

This year sure has gone by fast and I don't feel that I have accomplished near what I wanted to with the horses.

I have run into some unusual problems with both the black horse, Spooks and my buckskin, Frosty in both their feet and with muscle soreness. Something is not quite right with either of those horses. I have went through the usual battery of options-teeth, feet and chiro and I am still not satisfied that they are right.

Spooks is a horse made to travel like his 3/4 brother, Rip. But he should travel better. He is not. He does not push from behind and within about 15 minutes of riding, starts letting his left hind leg get strung out behind. He also seems unusually sore in his hocks. At first I thought it was in his hips, then his stifle, then I thought an old cut on the inside of his gaskin might be the problem, then I thought in his foot. Gahhhhhhh! Sometimes I feel like I make myself crazy trying to figure out all of these little issues. The vet/chiro ruled all of that out.

Well, studying the black horse got me to noticing some things on Frosty. Frosty has been bucking this year. And not pissy little 'I don't want to' bucking either. I mean blow up and get violent...right now...bucking. Personally, I think it is rather weird that a horse I started and have ridden off and on for the past few years and who has never bucked before suddenly starts bucking so violently. I run the gambit with him as well-teeth, feet, chiro. I started noticing that he seemed very sore, all over, especially his hocks...just like the black horse.

So that got me to thinking...what do or did these horses have in common? What was I missing?

Well, thanks to my little mission to revive The Mouse, I think I may have run across a possible reason and hopefully a cure.

Both of these horses have been obese the past few years. Not just fat...Obese! Spooks always got a very thick neck, not a cresty neck, just thick and ugly and he always gets a big bulge of fat over his tailbone. Frosty got gargantuan last winter and still has not lost all of the weight. He also has fatty lumps just behind his withers.

Now, after all of the care, careful feed regulation and time I have invested in getting these horses into reasonable shape, by rights they should look better than they do and neither of them should have fat deposits on their bodies. None of the other horses do and none of the other horses are sore in the body and hocks like these two are. Unusually sore. Which of course explains their lack of desire to travel out, inability to gather up and Frosty's bucking fits. That horse comes from a family that could not ever handle any pain, whatsoever.

I think they are Insulin Resistant.

After doing some research of supplements that might help Mighty Mouse stop having laminetic incidences that cause him to get sore, yet not actually foundering, I think these two big horses are having similar system issues.

According to what I have read, both horses are suffering classic symptoms of insulin resistance-soreness in feet, soreness in bodies and unusual fatty deposits. The only thing they are missing is the cresty necks.

Apparently, it is more common than realized in horses on grass or grass hay diets than previously realized. Particularly horses that are or have been obese.

Thankfully, there is a plethora of products on the market to assist in getting a horse's system back on track...and I have ordered a product called Command Metabol-Ease for these two. It provides 5000mg of Magnesium with Chromium and Sodium Cloride to restore deficiencise that can lead to nervousness, irritability, lack of concentration and muscle stiffness.

Interestingly enough, the more I read, the more I think Moon has a deficiency as well. Moon has always been rather radical about his feed. He gets extremely agitated at different times and has big mood swings. Although, he shows no outward signs of Insulin Resistance, his behavior seems to indicate a classic case of a horse who has a difficult time metabolizing his food properly. I have, not so jokingly, likened him to a diabetic...I need food and I need it RIGHT now, kind of thing. That would most likely explain some of his inability to stay consistent at barrel racings as well.

After all of that...Poor little Mouse ends up getting a supplement called Remission ordered for him. It is another Magnesium and Chromium based supplement that also has Omega-3 and 6, Amino Acids and live probiotics. That one was so easy to find, it was almost anti-climatic.

We will see how all of this works when I get back from SD. I'm really hoping to get these horses lined out soon. It's getting to be nice riding weather again and I am ready to get back to it. There are still some barrel racings to attend and I am hoping that if all goes well this fall, I will be able to make it some this winter.

I have some other cool news, but I'll tell you guys about that when I get home. Have a great weekend.


Mrs. Mom said...

Oh thats not fair leaving us hanging like that, woman!!!!

Sounds like you've hit the nail on the head with the boys. Looking forward to hearing how they do once suitably supplemented.

Unknown said...

Insulin eh? That's a new one on me, but it happens in other animals so why not? Can you get their blood sugar tested?

How interesting let me know how things go...

Mikey said...

You leave us hanging, dang it!
Interesting theory on the insulin, I'm curious to know if you're right. But it seems logical!

Anonymous said...

Yup, that's IR for sure. The crabbiness/footsoreness/bodysoreness can be due to other things, but the footsoreness along with the others is pretty telling - this can happen even in horses that aren't overweight. We have several of our horses on a magnesium/chromium/vitamin E (plus selenium as our part of the country has soils low in this) supplement that makes a world of difference. That, and making sure the horses stay at an appropriate weight.

Sounds like you're on the right track - it's always amazing to me how few people know about this and blame the horse when the horse is just saying that it hurts.

Kristen said...

hmm.... can't believe you're gonna leave us hanging! My mare has been swelling up the last couple of weeks, from her ankles up to just below her hocks. No heat and it goes down after I work her. She's stalled up all day. I can't imagine she's stocking up since the stall isn't new for her.... she's got me wondering as well..

Sherry Sikstrom said...

Sure sounds like you have the problem figured out. Good news for you and the horses. Can't wait dfor the big news!

Chelsi said...

Can I just say "hats off to you!" You are always working to improve the quality care you provide your horses and to do what it takes to make them right.... not many people, myself included, would have continued searching for the answer, it is too easy to throw up your hands and deal with the symptoms rather than keep up the search for the root of the problem. You are a great role model!

Melanie said...

Sigh....if they do have insulin resistance, it can be a real pain in the a@# to deal with. That is what Waska has, but he has the added complication of Cushings and the recent bout of laminitis.

Crazy that horses are getting this stuff, right??? What has happened to their feed??? To me, a horse without grass is like a fish without!!!

PS-Megan looks so grwon-up in her pics below. I love them!!! : )

Leah Fry said...

Changing my own diet and supplements to combat insulin resistance has resulted in a weight loss of close to 30 lbs., and I feel a lot better. Makes perfect sense to me.

Leah Fry said...

PS - Sodium chloride is plain ole salt.

Laura said...

Hope the new supps work for those boys! Keep us posted on how they are after being on the supplement...

Trailboss said...

That is really interesting. Who would have thought? Reminds me of my mare. I might have to do the same thing as you!

AKPonyGirl said...

My girlfriend is working through those same issues with a pony. The pony is on low sugar hay (super expensive here in AK) as well as Vitek, cinnamon, Vitamin E and selenium. It's been a really long road but at least the pony is comfortable and useable.

Vaquerogirl said...

Kudo's to you for sticking with it and finding out what the problem is. I know you'll post the results for us all to read, and I can't wait. It is something that maybe I should watch for in my own gelding, even though he is not now obese, he has been in the past and sometimes he gets 'cranky'.

Sounds like you've had on heck of a summer and isn't that just the best- you live your life fully all the time. We all should!

kestrel said...

A friend of mine has a mare that shows all the signs of insulin resistance or a pre-Cushings Syndrome status. She put her on a supplement called chaste tree berry that has turned the mare into a happy camper, plus she hasn't foundered at all like she used to do.

On the stocking up horse, are you using a feed that has rice bran in it? I'm finding a lot of horses are allergic to it.