Tuesday, April 24, 2012

And The Verdict Is...

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.

Equine Science

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?


cdncowgirl said...

I was using a glucosamine that I injected (here's a link to a post I did on it:

I stopped because I had 2 different vets contradicting each other on whether or not its effective.

I'm really interested in hearing about what you discover. Both my boys are getting into those mid years and between chasing cows and running barrels I think they may benefit from a joint supplement.

I've gotta dig through your posts and find your IR info. Girl you need to start using labels on your posts! lol

cdncowgirl said...

Oh and to BEC's Canadian readers, does anyone know if you can get Lampley products here?

And BEC, can you check this out and tell me how it compares to the mineral you feed? A friend swears by this stuff and my horses sure seem to love it!


Jennifer said...

My Romeo doesn't compete, but he gets a daily dose of Yucca powder to keep his arthritis and creaky joints quiet .

Shirley said...

Thanks for all the info and links. Peppermint essential oil is a powerful anti- inflammatory and pain killer (it's also antitumoral, antiparasitic, antifungal,and a gall bladder/digestive stimulant).It can be applied directly to the skin in the target area to relieve inflammation and pain- try it on yourself!

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

I know Cdn...I have been meaning to go back and work on labeling everything because I find it a pain in the butt to hunt previous stuff down.

But hey...no need to search...I've been meaning to write some current thoughts on the IR. It's a little strange because I figured out some connections to the colon. A few feed changes and Frosty has changed a bunch.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Oh and thank you Shirley. I will pick up some PEO and try massaging that on Moon's stifles and hocks.

I wished there was an equine version of the all-natural pain reliever I use. It's by Crystal Star and called Anti-Flam. Holy heck does it ever work good.

Paint Girl said...

Tons of good info. Need to check out the Horse Sense. Brandy gets extremely nervous and excitable about almost anything. I have thought about trying some type of calming product with her, but never know what to buy or what actually works. It's good to hear someone else's opinion on products!!

Cut-N-Jump said...

WOrking for the vet and doing joint injections- you can have the stifle injected too. Along with the SI's the whole back endof barrel horses was a lot of what he did on them. Some of them- the shoulders, but mostly the bursa and fetlocks on the front too. There were also the horses who got the 'around the world' treatment of just about everything being injected. Some horses need it more often than others but it lasts and they feel much better afterwards.

None of ours have needed it but it is not the end of the world to have it done either. Just something to consider as it is joint specific- not affecting the whole system as the feed through stuff can do, as you have already found out.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

Oh, I realize how common place it is CnJ and that pretty much any joint can be injected. If I was going to have anything injected, it would be Moon's stifle, because that is the real issue. But it's a pretty drastic step to go from nothing except a bit of nutritional things to full on injections. It's a big step for me to even go with the Adequan regiment and the vet agreed that it's probably better to try a few things before seriously having to consider the injection option.

Since Moon is equally sore in both hocks, the vet thinks that he is in the beginning stages of hock fusion...which is about right for Moon's age. Actually pretty good considering his working life. Once those fuse, they should not be a concern. It's just going to take a little bit of time and some pain mitigation while it's happening.

My guess is that Moon actually injured his stifle last summer when he jammed his back. Don't know how we missed THAT, but we all did. Too much focus on his spine after that little incident. :(

PG-I have had good luck with the Horse Sense. Equine Science also has a 'be calm' product but if I was going for one of their products to calm an excitable horse, I'd pick the Equine Sugar Balance. In my humble opinion, most horses that have a tendency to be excitable and/or lack focus are low in magnesium and iodine. Quite simply, their thyroids are not working properly and their sugar levels are all over the place. A horse does not have to be insulin resistant to have similar problems. Balance out the thyroid and a lot of behavioral problems go away.

in2paints said...

Interesting that you took Moon's ulcers into account... I hadn't even thought about researching any of that! We're both starting Adequan at roughly the same time (Lilly tomorrow) so I look forward to hearing about how it works for Moon. We can compare notes... :)

I'm also thinking about putting Lilly back on MSM, but I don't want to start anything else now until we're done with the seven Adequan shots.

SunnySD said...

We used a yucca supplement with a very elderly, arthritic mare with some success (didn't fix her, but she moved easier). My mom swears by glucosamine (oral) and doses both my dad and the dog with it (the dog on the vet's advice), but I haven't looked into it with horses, although like Cdncowgirl said, I've heard both ways on the injections. Good luck!