The vet came back prepared to doctor horses...
Both Beretta and Gunner each received a shot of long-acting antibiotic. They were vastly improved this morning, but the heat is just kicking their butts. It's been almost 90*F here the last couple of days and it sure wipes the kiddos out. They spend most of their day under the barn, nibbling on hay.
The vet did not think the other three horses needed the antibiotic. Their coughs and runny noses are subsiding. They will stay on the immune booster though.
Moon, Frosty and Spooks received their Flu and Rhino shots and will also stay on the immune booster. Actually, those three were already on the immune booster, which is probably why they did not get sick in the first place.
Shirley asked what immune booster I use and I actually have 2 different kinds. The one that I have used for years is a Frank Lampley product called Vitamix. It is a concentrate of vitamins and minerals and comes in a powdery/granular form. Moon has been on a maintenance dose of that for over a month now as it is what helped bring him out of his respiratory distress that was caused by the alfalfa. Lampley's said I could just keep feeding him one scoop a day and that would help boost his immune and respiratory system.
Frank Lampley Products
I have used Lampley's products for years and have talked about them before on the blog. I feed Basic Mineral to every horse throughout the worm season. I use the Horse Sense on Frosty and Spooks for their IR tendencies and feed it to any horse that acts overly excitable/nervous. I keep the Vitamix on hand for illnesses and am now feeding it to Moon daily. And I am NEVER without my White Lightening. That stuff is absolutely fan-freaking tastic for colic, tying up and poison.
The other immune booster I have came with the bronchial dilator product that I had ordered for Moon. Both products are purely herbal and made by Equine Science. The bronchial dilator is called Mo Lung and is quite the mix of chinese herbs...being the research goob that I am...I looked them all up and confirmed their use, toxicity, etc., etc. The immune booster is simply called Immune Booster and is a combination of Echinacea, Dandelion, Ginseng, Garlic, Rosehip, Kelp and Cinnamon. Since Moon was already on the Vitamix and that was working, I didn't switch him to this product. I did however start feeding it to Frosty and Spooks and low and behold...they aren't sick either. So, I'm leaning toward the 'it works' thought.
Another product I use religiously is MSM. I am kind of an MSM freak. I swear by the stuff. But...I seldom bother with following the label. I only use the granular kind and I double the dose. Moon has gotten double doses in his feed for years. It helps his respiratory system and helps to keep the inflammation out of his body and joints.
These sickies have been getting double doses at each feeding...which means they are actually getting 4x's the 'recommended' amount. Vet said that has probably helped keep their lungs clear.
Now that the babies have been given shots of antibiotic, I cannot continue to feed them the Vitamix. Anytime you use an immune booster...read the label carefully or call the manufacturer. Some cannot be used with antibiotics as they will cancel each other out. I can however continue to feed them the Mo Lung and the MSM.
Now...for the other news...
I have not felt like Moon has been traveling really 'right' yet this year. He feels a bit awkward at the long trot and has been swishing his tail in an irritable manner when we lope. He's not the most graceful moving horse, but he usually gets better at he gets into shape and he's not really progressing. I had the feeling I should probably get him flex tested again and see where he was in his hocks and stifles. I have been researching joint products and kind of keep coming up with the same problem...most of the good ones contain hyaluronic acid, which is not a good combination with Moon's sensitive colon. HA is prone to encouraging gastric ulceration. Encouraging meaning, it shouldn't specifically cause ulceration...but if a horse is prone to ulceration anyway...it's one to avoid.
Moon's flex tests came up positive. He is a plus 1 (out of 3) in both hocks and although he is fine on his right stifle, he is a plus 2 (out of 3) on his left stifle. I didn't even need the vet to tell me he was off when he flexed his left stifle. The second the vet released his leg and I asked him to trot off...I saw his tail wring. That explains pretty much everything...the awkward movement and his gate resistance. The vet asked if I was having problems at 2nd or 3rd barrel and the only thing that came to mind was his open mouth and cocked jaw. The vet concurred that was most likely linked. (Although I still think I contributed to that because of the too short of a hold on the inside rein.)
We talked about several options and of course, most beneficial supplements are out due to Moon's colon issues. I'm simply not ready to start injecting hocks and of course, that does nothing for his stifle reaction. Bute and similar NSAID's are also out as therapeutic measures, again due to Moon's highly sensitive colon. I told the vet how badly Moon reacted to just a couple doses of bute last summer and he heartily agreed that bute is a big no-no if he is that sensitive to it.
So, my options are fairly limited. We are going to go with an Adequan regiment and the vet also suggested that before competing to administer a dose of Equioxx...a slightly different version of the typical NSAID. Equioxx is not supposed to disturb or cause problems with the intestinal mucosa like the older generation of NSAID's do. The use of it should be a temporary thing until the Adequan kicks in.
In the meantime I am going to be researching natural pain inhibitors/anti-inflammatory agents. I know some of the herbs that are beneficial...Devil's Claw, Yucca and White Willow Bark are a few that are well known...just not sure what kind of products are out there.
Anybody have any good products like that that they use?