Monday, August 22, 2011

It Was So Simple

Come to find out...Moon was an easy fix!

Any guesses as to what these nasty little buggers are?...

Okay, sense making 2 posts about it....

I had a couple of friends watch Moon move while I was warming him up and after watching him for about 10 minutes, both of them came to the same conclusion.

Moon probably had either a troublesome 'bean' or a bladder or kidney infection.

It just took a fresh set (actually 2 sets) of eyes and people with no preconceived notion about what the problem might be.

All three of the big beans were hard, but two of them felt like rocks they were so hard. I couldn't even squish the center of them with my fingers.

The girls recommended I have a vet clean Moon out, but I've never had any problems cleaning him myself, so I just grabbed some mineral oil and a bucket of warm water and had him cleaned up in less than 10 minutes.

I'm quite amazed that Moon had accumulated so much and that two of those balls got so rock hard. I just cleaned everyone in March and I regularly clean everyone's sheaths with plain water when I am bathing them. I don't dig around for a bean every time I go groping around in there, but a couple of times a year, I make sure to clean the head. None of my geldings need to be aced for me to do it.

On Sunday, I went through the entire herd. Within an hour, 5 geldings had been cleaned. Turk had a single, soft bean...interestingly enough it was completely white. Spooks had a huge bean, about the size of the end of my pinky, but it was soft. Bugs, who is the most prone to getting a swelled up looking sheath, barely had anything. Frosty had 2 kidney bean sized, but soft beans and Jet, had nada.

To be on the safe side, I am going to try to catch a urine sample from Moon and have it tested for infections, but I am leaning toward the problem being those rock hard beans. I had not noticed Moon having difficulty urinating, nor did I notice anything strange about his stream, but they say a bean that presses against the right spot can make a horse sore in the loin and hips, imitating a kidney infection.

Kidney and bladder infections are fairly rare in horses...but when the girls mentioned a possible kidney infection, I got to thinking...

About the time that Moon popped his back out, I had started him on an additional feed called PowerGlo. The heat was zapping his energy and I hated to up his oats intake even more. PowerGlo is a high-fat, concentrated feed with vitamins, minerals,and probiotics designed specifically for barrel horses and high performance horses. It's entirely possible that it was too much of a load for his kidneys.

Did Moon hurt his back?

Yes, I do believe he did. The run he had right before he turned up lame was right before I had shoes put on him, I knew he was stabbing his hind toes and as bad luck would have it, that night the arena we ran in had shallow, hard ground. I'm confident that is when he popped his back out.

But even the chiro was stumped as to why he was still so reactive in his back the last time he saw him. He said he was not out and couldn't feel any damage to the muscle. So we figured he just needed some time off.

I couldn't keep feeding Moon that high-powered feed if he wasn't running or being ridden because in just a couple of days he started climbing the walls. So I kept his oats level where it was at and stopped feeding the PowerGlo. For the next week, Moon would be fine one day and reactive the next. This last week, he had no reaction in his loin muscle...

But he still did not seem himself....

When I knew I was going to start running him again, I started adding a bit of the PowerGlo to his feed again and worked him back up to 2lbs a day again. And Boom...As soon as I hauled him, he was sore over the loins again.

I've pulled the PowerGlo from his feed again, however won't know if it was the feed or the beans that caused the loin soreness. I'm going to give Moon this week, with no PowerGlo and see how he does. Cleaning those rock-hard beans out should help and might have been the only reason he was sore.

When I get a couple of weeks when I don't have to run him, I'll try the PowerGlo and see if he gets tender in the kidney area again. If he doesn't then it was the beans. If he does then it was the feed and I'll dump it from my program. The urine tests will tell me if there is an actual infection.

As of this morning, Moon is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. No soreness and all hesitation in his movement is gone.

Ooohhh...And lest I forget to mention....As soon as I cleaned Moon out at the barrel race, I gave him 2 grams of Bute. Yup...There I am again...Buting my horse so I can compete on him. LOL...

Nawwww...the old, retired veterinarian (husband of one of the barrel racers) that was there told me I probably should give him a couple of grams to help calm any residual inflammation before running him. By then the horse had been massaged to within an inch of his life and wasn't reactive over the loin anymore...

It was mostly just a better safe than sorry precaution. LMAO...It ended up being unnecessary because we didn't get much of a run in after all. ;-)


fernvalley01 said...

Well hell! who woulda thunk it! Funny how we got straight to injury when we see soreness, mu niece has a gelding who was a poor mover for a time, chiro, vet , osteopath, all worked on him, Osteopath said something about his sheath and sure enough he was a mess huge beans etc , but she cleaned him fairly regularyl too.I guess some just develop more gunk than others

Cut-N-Jump said...

Kat is a clean sheathed pony now too. Kat knows to drop as if on cue, so no drugs necessary here either. All our boys know that it's gonna happen when they get rinsed- need it or not. Left undisturbed though- Kat grows this funky, waxy, nasty goop that clings horribly.

Never would have thought it caused the problems similar to the UTI infections... Sounds logical though- if it hurts, they are going to compensate and could screw up something else in the process.

Barbara said...

Sounds interesting why do you think I only will own mares!!!!


BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

fern-I think so too. They say you shouldn't over-clean a gelding, but I'm going back to checking for beans once a month, especially Moon. It's a lot easier to dig out a soft little dab than it is to dig out those huge gobs and/or rock hard masses.

CNJ-The 'smegma' is natural and they say important for the health of the sheath. If it's too dry up in there, the lining can get irritated. I've never cleaned a bean out of a stallion, but they say a stallion doesn't get them as bad as geldings do. I'm guessing it's because they are more apt to fully extend and push the head out of the foreskin. Self-cleaning if you will.

I'm wondering if by hosing the gelding's sheaths and cleaning the chunks out regularly if I am not encouraging the beans? I think I will back off of hosing so much and just go to cleaning the sheath lining once a week with some K-Y or Mineral oil. Neither of those are supposed to irritate the lining of the sheath the way sheath cleaners can if you don't rinse all of it out. The added bonus is that the K-Y/Mineral Oil helps keep the inner sheath lubed up.

Barbara-I've always preferred mares, but they do come with their own set of problems. :-/

Funder said...

I don't miss having a gelding! Champ got the nastiest sheath I've ever seen - he just got itchy and tried to scratch his tail out if I didn't clean it out once a month. Great detective work by everybody!

Any idea what you'll use if the PowerGlo turns out to be the problem?

Shirley said...

I've never found any beans in Beamer, so there might be something to that self-cleaning deal. But then again, I haven't checked him this year. I do hose out his sheath a couple of times in the summer. Perhaps I should check him though- no problem finding him dropped!

GunDiva said...

Yet another reason why I love my mare!

And I'd be running funny if I had rocks in my hoo-ha too.

Cut-N-Jump said...

BEC's- Our boys have self cleaning down to an art form. They are funny that way.

I still hose them out or rinse them off. No need for any gel, soaps or anything else. They also drop so much that it's not a problem to see or even treat any irritations if they develop from dryness.

Ranch Girl Diaries said...

Very interesting! I had MB's sheath cleaned last year, first time in 3 years and she said it wasn't bad. He had to be sedated, stinker. I will probably have it done next year, knock on wood I have no problems until then! I wonder what in the Power Glo could be causing Moon the issues? Keep us posted!