The continuing saga of ML
|May 19, 2016
|Posted by Melinda under Uncategorized
Sometimes the continuing commitment to honesty, transparency, and telling the “whole” story – at least as much as any one person can get past their biases and be honest about their mistakes – on this blog really sucks.
Let’s talk about MerryLegs.
Frankly ML looks like shit. Skinny. Way too skinny. Way too skinny for too long.
I’ve had all sorts of excuses over the last 18 months. She was recovering from pigeon fever. She was getting pushed around by Farley. She was putting on a lot of height all at once. She was young and just taking a while to fill out.
I think I was fooled this winter by her winter coat – I actually thought that even though she didn’t look great, she was looking better and we were finally turning a corner.
Yesterday I took a look at her, all shedded out in her slick summer coat and couldn’t hide from it any longer.
She eats as much as she wants and her nutrition is appropriate, Farley doesn’t push her around any more. She hasn’t had a growth spurt in a while and instead of filling out over the last year, she looks skinnier than post-pigeon fever. It’s not worms, it’s not dental problems. It’s not ulcers. She’s also gotten a little bit more lethargic over the last month.
There is *something* wrong.
I ran bloodwork yesterday and got the results this morning.
Based on the changes my top differentials are
- Less likely: intestinal parasites, ulcers
- protein losing gastroenteropathy/IBD/malabsorption syndromes
My sinking gut feeling right now is that it’s the third one. The only treatment is a combination of antibiotics and steroids to manage it. It’s a long term condition and if not requiring continuing medication then at least repeated medication courses are likely. Steroids are bad news in horses with endocrine disorders and laminitis complications common. There’s practically a zero chance that she would be an endurance horse, let alone a 100 mile horse with this condition.
And there’s the crux of the matter.
She’s my next endurance horse. If she can’t be that, where does that leave us?
I do endurance. I’m not interested in doing something not endurance as my main activity even if she could (which is not entirely certain at this point).
As much as I adore the sweet little pony, she isn’t Farley. She hasn’t earned her right to laze around and do nothing or do some other side sport ’till the end of her days if that’s what is required.
But what do we do? She’s FOUR.
The first thing I’m going to do is make darn sure that it isn’t something easy and fixable. Worms and nutrition shouldn’t be an issue, but just in case something weird is happening she’s going into her own pen ASAP with a fruit bin that will have a bale of hay in it 24/7 and getting wormed.
In 30 days I’ll repeat bloodwork and if she still looks skinny and isn’t putting on weight I’ll do an intestinal biopsy and anything else that seems warranted to see if I can once and for all get to the bottom of this and be able to make an informed decision.