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My little girl has laminitis :(

Discussion in 'Metabolic' started by Star the Fell, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    Vets do tend to be negative about prognosis simply because if they say a horse should make a reasonable recovery there's a real risk of them being sued if it doesn't.

    With that diagnosis you will be looking at a period of box rest. Did you get told a degree of rotation? I've had first hand experience of all that you've listed, though instead of heartbars we went with a wide web lightweight shoe fitted with a pad with frog support & putty. Box rest & careful diet management, then when he was brought back into work it was done very slowly - walking out 5 or 6 days a week starting with 10 minutes & building up over nearly 3 months before introducing any trot. Touchwood he's been sound for over a year now in regular work & living out 24/7.

    There are no promises, sometimes you do everything right & it doesn't work while other times they defy all expectations. But if you aren't going to go into it wholeheartedly & be prepared to do a proper rehab once sound then don't go into it at all. It's a long road.
     
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  2. Lemme

    Lemme Well-Known Member

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    Sorry to hear the diagnosis but like others have said its not necessarily the end of the world, it feels like it I know but if you have a sound management plan in place and work with your vets/farrier there is nothing to say this time next year you will be enjpoying again- there are no promises and you have to be realistic with expectations , ask questions at any time so you understand why things have to happen to hopefully reach a positive outcome, you cannot rush it there is no quick fix and what works for one may not for anotherbut one thing for sure carthorse is right if you cannot fully comitt to this both, emotionally or finacially (it won't be cheap) you will be compromising a positive outcome.
     
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  3. Star the Fell

    Star the Fell Well-Known Member

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    It's not a case of what I'm prepared to do, I would give everything I have if I could help her, but practically it seems impossible. I work full time and can have no time off until mid September. I am extremely busy until then as it is peak holiday season at work.
    I leave home at 7 in the morning and get home at 5. Currently as she is on box rest, I am going to the stable at 5.30 to muck out, fresh water and soak hay for evening. I then go up at 6 at night. These are the only time I can get there as I work 15 miles away and get 30 minutes for lunch. I am relying on a friend to put in a morning net ( this is no problem as she goes to her own horse anyway) and my husband has been putting in a dinner net. But he is back at work next week so can't do it. I am then having to try to find someone to do this for me.
    What concerns me her quality of life from now on. She has always weighed 400 - 415 kegs. Vet want her to be 380 so she is on a diet and is constantly hungry, she eats her nets within an hour and is then stood for 3 hours with nothing, ulcers will become a possibility. Hay makes her cough. vet thinks there is a high chance of her having Cushing, or EMS so she will constantly be on a diet limited turnout and I will constantly be worrying about every 'footy' moment being the start of lami. My husband and I ( sound like the queen there) are both of the opinion that quality of life is better than quantity. Both dogs were pts rather than have treatment to have a few extra months when diagnosed with cancer.
    Farrier has just rung, he has seen worse, and thinks he can get her sound, but it may take awhile. Vets comment about thin soles was not correct, he thinks her feet are solid and has no concerns there.
    He is due out to trim anyway in a fortnight so will talk again then when I know what I want to do.
    If she was in my back garden, and I didn't work I would definitely give her a chance, but this seems like an impossible task when we are talking 6/8 months or more.
     
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  5. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    If she's a bit on the heavy side I'd be thinking EMS rather than PPID, with the latter keeping weight on is often the bigger problem. Neither mean you can't keep out when stabilized, though it does depend on the individual - mine is out but on very poor grazing. Weight is funny, I - and most other people - used to think LU looked fine at 420kg until he lost more weight & now if he goes above 380kg I start thinking he needs to exercise more & eat less! Interestingly having got the weight off & changing his management means he no longer seems constantly hungry, he'll be a pig for what he wants but will ignore a net of hay.

    If you can keep to a similar routine to the one you have with someone else putting the dinner net in or you putting it in at 6 then it should be adequate for her while she's on box rest. Can you double, or even triple, net her ration in small hole nets to slow her down? I find this more effective than a tiny hole net.

    I must say that I have more faith in the opinion of a good farrier than a vet in cases like this - I know who's been proved right in the cases I've dealt with.

    At the end of the day it's entirely your decision, you know what you can & can't deal with.
     
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  6. Mary Poppins

    Mary Poppins Well-Known Member

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    I really do feel for you. I too think that you need to be prepared for the long haul and that it is going to take months to come right. But that doesn't mean it won't. My friend has a pony who has had several lami attacks. He now lives out 24/7 on a dirt paddock with soaked hay and absolutely no grass at all. He is completely sound now and back to full work but it has taken a few years to work through.

    In your situation I wouldn't worry too much about your horse not being given extra hay during the daytime. If she is getting a morning net (say about 9am?) and then an evening net at 6pm then this would suffice. Could you give her a small net at about 10pm/11pm as well? I know that it isn't ideal, but it is sufficient given the circumstances.
     
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  7. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    How many degrees rotation does she have?

    Given your long work hours could you look for a convalescent/rehab livery locally to help you through the most demanding initial months? I know for me it would be too expensive but maybe see if your insurance will cover this?

    Confirmation of a metabolic issue, I think, almost makes this easier to deal with, it means you can medicate and control the trigger so coupled with some management tweeks it can give a much more positive prognosis.
     
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  8. Star the Fell

    Star the Fell Well-Known Member

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    It's not the cost
    It's not the practicalities
    Both those can be sorted somehow

    I don't even know how to put this into words.
    I waited all my life for a horse. Waited until I had the money to afford her, waited until I could afford to move to the most horse friendly area I have ever known.
    I spent £150,000 buying my own place so I could go up as early in the morning or as late at night as I wanted, so I could turn out where and when I wanted, whatever the weather, and so I could feed what I wanted to.
    Horses are designed to roam, to graze 18 hours of each day. I have had to compromise on that - only 5 acres anyway, and I have to share with others to have company, so have to bring in at night because that's what they want to do.
    But it's worked for the last 5 years.
    Now I'm being told to keep her in 24/7 for at least 12 weeks, she eats for maybe 6 hours in that time. She can't actually see or touch the horse in the next stable even when it is in. if it is metabolic then her diet will be restricted for life. Her turnout will be restricted, on bare paddock and not grass with no other horse to groom as they will be on the field. That's not the life I want for her.
    If I'd known 10 years ago that this is what I'd have to do, I would have walked away.
    On the other hand I can't imagine her not in my life. There are two other horses that I could ride, but I don't want to I want to ride my own. This may be possible in 12 months time. But it may not.
    Don't get me wrong. If I had to retire her now, but that retirement meant she could go out in the field every day and live a happy life, with just not being ridden, then she would be with me forever. Cost doesn't come into it.
    I'm rambling, sorry. Lack of sleep.
     
  9. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    A restricted diet doesn't mean starving, horses are designed to eat for most of the day but look at the places our natives come from, they aren't designed to spend all that time on lush grazing (which is mostly what we horse owners want to see them on, a lovely green grassy field) they are meant to be on rough sparse grazing.

    You mentioned getting a second horse, you could get another good doer who would benefit from similar management which would mean she could have company after the initial box rest (or even during if lady luck is with you).

    I would be thinking exactly the same as you Re box rest, but there are other options as I suggested before, standing in a 12x12 pen is no different in terms of benefits to a 12x12 stable but at least they can have fresh air and company that way.

    It was the hay soaking that sapped the life out of me, I'd definitely look at tested hay/haylage if it came to that again for mine.
     
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  10. Star the Fell

    Star the Fell Well-Known Member

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    I could easily create a 12 x 12 turnout for her and put stable mats down. However there would be no shelter, so would have to walk her twice a day from stable to turnout around 100 metres away. Not good for her feet.
    She would also be able to stick her head through or under the fence to get at grass.

    One minute I am thinking I can't put her through all this, the next I am thinking I can't not at least give it a go.

    Second horse option is really difficult time wise. As I said OH is non horsey, and can get slightly annoyed at the time I spend at the yard as it is, an extra hour a day there may not go down too well.

    Thank you all for the support, really appreciate having someone to 'talk' to about all this.
    I can type and cry at the same time and none of you will know, different talking face to face!
     
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  11. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    Shall I let you into a secret? There are people out there in real life that you can cry on, that will understand - let them be there for you because it really does help xxx
     
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  12. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

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    Like you I waited a lifetime for my own horse and ended up with two unrideable. So I knowhow it feels and I still don't have my own horse to ride, OH does and shares him with me which is nice. I do appreciate you have all these thoughts going through your head and I was the same when J fatally injured. We nursed him through six months of box / tiny pen rest and it still did not work out - but I had to try and I am still glad we did. When Storm injured and it became a long term condition I was adamant her routine was going to stay free range and that she just would not cope with restrictions - I was wrong there! She has adapted really well and (touch wood) everything is now heading the right way. It isn't easy, there were days when I sat crying in the byre when the sun was out wondering why she wasn't out grazing but we got through it. Things are still not perfect but with the right management it can get better and better. But, I think if you don't have a good support in real life it can be very hard. My other half and I live and breathe horses and have done for the last thirteeen plus years - which does make it easier to share the worries. So I do understand it's not ideal when you have to make choices re management alone. Long waffly reply but overall I would say have a good long think before making any decisions. Talk loads to your vet too - and make them understand you need a realistic plan. They sometimes quote the text book scenario which does not always apply to most horse owners in real terms!
     
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  13. Trewsers

    Trewsers Well-Known Member

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    Also, cross bridges when you get to them - like her sticking her head under the fence, it's amazing how good we owners become at problem solving!!!
     
  14. joellie

    joellie Well-Known Member

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    I didn't want to mention this but I had a mare, she was only 9 years old and took Laminitis, she had it bad, I did everything the vets told me but in the end we lost the battle and she had to be pts. Looking back and knowing what I know now I would have done it all differently and maybe she would still be here today. The vets told me to keep her in on box rest, she had deep bedding , the whole stable was about a foot deep in bedding, and her shoes were removed and heart bar shoes put on,they told me not to change her diet as she was on Hifibre horsehage haylage (suitable for good doers etc) and a handful of happyhoof for her supplements and they said that's what they would recommend for a laminitic horse:rolleyes:. Now if it was to happen again to any of my horses I would immediately, if they were shod get the shoes removed, the foot is sore and damaged so allow it to naturally expand and heal, I would also allow turnout on a track or small sparse paddock, as I believe movement is important and not restrict their diet to the point they are standing for hours without any fibre in front of them as this causes stress and can just make things worse. I would give plenty of well soaked hay, soak it long enough so it is not very nutritional therefore they can get more of it. I now have a barefoot trimmer who is also a master farrier and he has treated very bad cases of lammi and never lost a case yet, he has just came back from Kuwait where he was paid to go out and treat one of there arab stallions that had lammi, it is now doing fine and he is a great believer in that nailing a shoe to an already damage hoof is making things worse.. I would do anything to still have my mare here with me, she was kindest, sweetest mare, one in a million. So if you have a chance to save yours I would go for it and then you will have no regrets knowing even if the worst happens that you did all you could for her as it comes across in your posts that you love her a lot..

    I know a lot of people wont agree with what I have said but that is just my personal experience .
     
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  15. Jessey

    Jessey Well-Known Member

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    Lots of folks have had good results using hoof boots with lami horses, I think its the clouds that are specifically rehab boots, that might help with the moving from pen to stable issue. There is of course the argument that movement is critical to recovery as it increases the blood flow to the foot helping it heal, personally I believe that rest is critical in the early acute stages but that controlled movement quickly becomes imperative, so actually a week or two of box rest and then starting a slow walk to and from a pen daily might be the best thing for her :) I've used a gazebo as a temp shelter for mine several times, might work for you as a sun shade/rain shelter in the pen?
     
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  16. Jane&Ziggy

    Jane&Ziggy Learning together!

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    When Ziggy was recovering from a bad attack of laminitis (after his colic operation) I got the vet's permission to turn him out onto a small bare paddock after only 2 weeks of box rest. He was in a big field shelter with his BFF just outside but it was getting to him - he'd had 6 weeks in there after the colic. So he lived in the starvy paddock for another 4 or 5 weeks.

    Since then he has always been on a track in spring and summer and we haven't had a recurrence.

    I absolutely agree with you that it's better for horses to be outside as nature intended. I really hope that you manage to find a way to keep Star comfortable and limit her food intake.
     
  17. KP nut

    KP nut I'd rather be riding.

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    I don't know what to add - just wanted to say I am so sorry and really do feel for you.
     
  18. newforest

    newforest Opinion, a view not always based on knowledge.

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    I have the elimanet and I found the 2kg of hay lasted her six/ seven hours. That worked well for the daytime. I always had a barely touched net of straw up so from a psychological point she didn't see no food.

    Mine also needed to lose weight and I fed 8kg over the 24 hours and when she dropped I adjusted her down to 7.5kg. I double netted at night but had one very small large hole net. She could choose to swap and after a few big mouthfuls she settled to the other nets.

    Can you ask about herbs? I was allowed to feed these because they didn't contain anything fattening. Dried nettles might be allowed.
     
  19. Star the Fell

    Star the Fell Well-Known Member

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    I use the greedy pony nets, swinging from a beam. Also has straw in a 'hay play'
    I think the problem is that she so hungry she is eating faster than normal
    For the night time she is having exactly the same amount as she did when out on grass. Then I used to come up in the morning and there was usually at least half a net of straw left if not a full one ( wasn't using hay play then) now every last bit has gone including the bits dropped on the floor.
    She has lost about 15 kg and is now round about her usual Winter weight. I will keep her at that weight, can just see her ribs but not clearly. So will up day time nets slightly to see if that helps.
    The more I research on the internet, the more I am against what the vets are telling me to do! Internet isn't always a good thing.
     
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