In which Farley….is not doing so good…..
|August 18, 2010||Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized|
About a week ago I begin doing a very naughty thing.
I started telling people that this was the year of the “Broke Melinda and the Sound Horse”.
I begin patting myself on the back for my 1000 mile stone, only 2 rides away.
In fact, I begin to contemplate the possibility of having to end this blog and say good bye to all you nice folks because I was OUT of things to write about…..My “Endurance Horse For Sale” was a last ditch effort to actually WRITE something that wasn’t a simple update me and Farley.
Last night Farley tyed up. Lovely eh? Let me set the stage for you’all:
Farley has been off for 4 days due to me not feeling well/on antibiotics etc etc. Last night I decide to do an easy 20 minute ssession in the arena walk/trot/canter.
I warm her up for ~5 minutes on a loose rein at a walk and ask for a little trot. Something doesn’t feel right so I jump off. No rocks, no filling, no heat. I get back on. Something still doesn’t feel right. Put her in the round pen and ask for trot and canter both directions. She gives it willingly and looks fine so I decide that she’s being a bit balky (not usual with 3-4 days off) and mount back on.
For the next 15 minutes she’s very very obstinate. I am not happy. In fact, as I dismount, I exclaim “that is the worse ride in 3 YEARS I’ve had on this horse!”. Of course, once I’m on the ground and go to lead her forward, I can IMMEDIATELY that she’s tied up. Very painful. She’s also a LOT more sweaty and foamy than I would expect from a little 15-20 minute work out.
I lead her to the tie rack (~20 feet) and call the vet.
She’s alert, more than willing to graze, good vitals, great attitude etc.
The vet comes and confirms that yes, it she has tyed up. We pull blood, give pain meds and a muscle relaxer and wait for the blood results. At midnight, after getting results we discuss the options. The blood sample confirms the tye up and also tells us that her kidneys etc. are functioning fine. Her electrolyte levels are fine. But, she’s slightly dehydrated. We decide to leave her at the stable and see if she drinks overnight.
This morning she was moving well, attitude continues to be good…..BUT had only drank ~2 gallons overnight.
So, with the blessing of the vet I brought her into the clinic today and they started IV fluids and will be repeating the blood test at noon today.
Farley isn’t the typical candidate for a tye up, but even so I’ve always kept it in the back of my mind as a possibility and have tried to manage her as if she was at signficant risk. I can’t control that she’s a mare, an arab, and fit. Other risks, I can control…..
- Selinium levels – by a stroke of luck I actually had her selinium checked last week, 5 days before the tye up. She’s 0.2, which is the high end of normal. I don’t think this is an issue, but I’ll be doing more research on selinium levels in endurance horses.
- Activity level – I’m very careful to not let her sit for a long period of time without some sort of hand walking/lunging/jogging etc. After 10 days of rest, I start to worry. For the last 3 weeks since Tevis, she’s been lightly worked, but never more than 3-4 days of just being in her pen. This time period has never been an issue (less than a week), but possibly need to shorten that interval to 2-3.
- Past history – no past history of any metabolic issues what so ever
- Body type – is not heavily muscled, not the typical “shape” associated with tye ups.
- Diet (excluding Hay) – I’ve been very very careful about keeping the simple sugars/carbs out of her diet. No carrots, or apples (very occasionally during a ride or run…). No feeds containing mollassas. Soaking and rinsing beetpulp to be very very sure. High fat diet with oil. I will be checking with Elk Grove Milling to see if they have a detailed analysis of the Stable Mix feed, but a label check (which I did prior to feeding it) showed it to be similar to other feeds recommended for a low sugar diet……I also don’t feed anything (except hay) if she’s off. For the 4 days prior to the tye up that she was off, she didn’t get anything but hay.
- Hay – This is what my vet feels in the most likely culprit. I’ve ignored the hay because, being at a bording stable, I have very limited control over the hay. The alfalfa is bought in very large loads, but the grass is bought by the pickup load. She gets a 50/50 mix of the 2 hays. I’m going to have them tested, hopefully to rule the hay out……but if it does come back high than I’m going to have to figure something out…….
So in conclusion, my vet feels that at this point it is diet related, and the likely culprit is the hay, considering the timing of the tye up. It’s unfortunate that this is the one thing that I have the least amount of control over….
Any horse can tye up, even one that does not fit the “typical” profile, or that is being managed to minimize the risk. Every horse owner should know what tying up looks like and know how to respond. The only reason I knew what was going on was because I educated myself on it and had seen it happen at endurance rides to other people’s horses. I was amazed that no one at the boarding stable knew what it was, and the barn owner had only seen it once in all her years. Hopefully by showing people what it looked like and explaining that you do NOT want to walk the horse in this situation and that it IS serious, I have helped someone/some horse some day.
As a bonus, when the vet was checking her over he heard “a lot” of sand in her colon so I’ll be starting a regimene to deal with that – BEFORE she colics. Thank goodness.
Where to now?
I will keep you guys updated. For now, she’s at the vets for the day getting fluids and being observed. I should be able to take her home this afternoon. She’ll slowly be put back to work over the next 2 weeks or so. I’ll be busy testing hay. I’ve obviously withdrawn from the cavalry competition in Reno on August 26-29. At this point I’m assuming she will make a full recovery and be able to do the rides I have planned later in the season, but as always – Farley’s welfare is paramount and I’m waiting to make any final decisions as soon as I see how she responds to the rehab.
The Bottom Line
“They” say that the steepest learning curve is in the first 1000 competition miles. Amen. I think I’ve seen a bit of everything now between my two horses. Except bullet wounds. Or horrible, gashed open fence pole injuries. Or broken bones. Or horrible, incurable diseases.
I need to stop now or I will start to give Farley ideas! LOL. Seriously though – I wish it hadn’t happened, but now that it has, I will learn as much as I can and apply it for the rest of my life. I’ve just been so careful (diet, exercise etc.) so I never thought it would happen to Farley…*sigh*