Thursday, May 28, 2009

So Far So Good

If you read yesterday's post, you heard that Maisie has developed (we hope a mild case of) laminitis.  The (very) good new this morning is that, even before I gave her the morning meds, she was almost back to normal in her stall - her demeanor was normal, she was interested in eating and was moving around the stall normally.  The digital pulses were also reduced.  Of course that also means that, as I was turning horses out, she was practically racing around the stall, agitated that she didn't get to go out.  There was even some annoyed head-shaking, body-slamming and kicking.  Once all the horses were out, she settled down pretty well with some hay.  When I moved her to another stall so her stall could be cleaned, she again moved pretty well and was able to turn around in the concrete aisle in a normal way, without sitting back on her hindquarters.  She's still a bit short-strided on the hard aisle surface. 

Our grass may have had something to do with it.  We've had unusual weather this spring -record-breaking amounts of rain, causing rapid growth of the grass, followed by some hotter, drier weather that may have stressed the grass.  We've got some seedheads already, and we usually don't start to see those, and do our regular mowings, until later in June.  I expect the fructan levels may be higher than normal.  Since Maisie's a little overweight anyway, which isn't good for her feet and joints and may predispose her to laminitis, I may just keep her on dry lot through June, and then take her back out to pasture in July with a grazing muzzle.  Since Lily is getting fat as well, I may bring her in to the dry lot in the PM during June to be with Maisie.

Update at around lunchtime:  I just got off the phone with the vet, and we have very good news.  Her feet, except for a little arthritis, look very good - no rotation of the coffin bones at all.  The only other notable thing is that she has unusually thin soles, and will need to get her shoes back on once she's more comfortable.  Starting tomorrow, she can go out in the dry lot with Lily (mud lot would be a better description!), as long as she doesn't run.  I think she'll stay calm as long as Lily is there.  She'll stay on her meds, tailing down the Banamine starting Saturday and staying on a low dose of Bute until she gets her shoes back on.  The vet will come back on Tuesday for a check up.

It seems as though we may have caught the laminitis just as it was getting started and before any serious damage was done.  Assuming she continues to improve and stays comfortable, and is able to get her shoes back on next week, we may be able to start work again pretty soon.  I'm feeling mightily relieved - this is my first (and I hope last) brush with laminitis.


  1. So glad Maisie is doing better! I was thinking good thoughts for her. I suspected the grass. We are in the same boat here in Pennsylvania with extra rain and hot temperatures. Do grazing muzzles allow some grass to get through?

  2. Good news with Maisie, I think you caught it at the beginning and I'm thinking it might have been grass too. I think a grazing muzzle is a good idea, all of our horses have them because they are turned out all day everyday and we have lots of grass. They resent wearing them but we found some really nice ones that don't cover their whole face like the old bucket ones. So they are not as heavy or hot to wear. I believe my daughter ordered them from England.

  3. Glad Maisie is better! I've had the same weather, but my pasture is far from lush as it's too small to really support three horses except for "keep them busy" nibbling.

    I've heard of a number of people who are noting laminitis warning signs this year so you were wise to catch it so quickly. Happy to hear the x-rays are Ok.

    Now all you have to do is try to explain to Ms. Maisie why she can't be out on the delicious grass stuffing her face all day. (Think she'll listen to reason??? *g*)

  4. Grey Horse - I would like to find out the brand of muzzle your daughter found. I might want to try one instead of the Best Friends.

    Juliette - I've used the Best Friends muzzle - its pretty well-designed and does allow a small amount of grass through a hole in the bottom. It does take the horse a while to learn how to use it. I tried it with our pony, but he could get it off no matter how I secured it! He's a bit of an escape artist, and other horses seem to keep it on.

  5. OH THANK GOODNESS!!!!!!! Give Maisie a huge cuddle and kiss from me! Are you ok? I know the stress you feel when you aren't sure what is wrong! I hope you take some time for yourself as well as Maisie. Sounds like she is very lucky to have such a switched on mum! Keep us posted!


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