Monday, February 15, 2010

Blackjack Has Problems and Miranda Does Something New

The results of Blackjack's blood work were not encouraging. He had had a full set of blood tests done about 6 months ago, and everything looked really good. This time things are not so good - he has a number of metabolic abnormalities, particularly in liver function, although his kidney function is still OK, and his white count is not particularly elevated. The vet suspects a tumor of either the GI tract or adrenal glands, which couldn't be confirmed except by invasive procedures that wouldn't be appropriate for a horse of his advanced age. He felt well enough at feeding time (without medication) to drink his beet pulp water and try to eat a little bit, and he wanted to go out to his paddock. We're going to continue supportive care, and Banamine when he shows discomfort.

Miranda showed some new odd behaviors today. After I turned her out, she was eating her hay when all of a sudden she ran a bit, stopped, rubbed her face vigorously on both front legs, and then reared, and then repeated the same routine. After that she was fine and went back to eating. It was almost as though her head or face were hurting her for a moment, and then whatever was bothering her abruptly stopped - I don't know what to make of that and my daughter has never seen her rear before.


  1. That is strange behavior indeed. Can horses have headaches? Makes one wonder if her new exhibits of behavior is caused from a physical source.

    Poor Blackjack... its hard when our fur babies are geriatric. I'm having to face the reality that my first love, Sadie (Siberian Husky) will not see another winter. I may not be able to get her to see another spring.

  2. Kate, Miranda was rearing yesterday when Deb and myself were around. She had her ears up and it was quite controled as she went up. Like a levade.

    Poor Blackjack. I'm sad to hear the news. He was so happy to go out yesterday morning, not uncomfortable thank goodness. We'll all have to keep watch over him.

  3. Odd behavior indeed. And poor Blackjack.
    So many worrisome equine situations in your life right now.

    I'm so sorry you've having to deal with all of this.
    Hang in there.


  4. I feel sorry for Blackjack, he seems such a sweetheart. It's hard when they get on in years.

    Miranda sounds like something may be bothering her head. I've always wondered if they do get headaches. One of my guys used to have bouts of head shaking but only in the spring, he actually had allergies and got hives too. Then it all disappeared after a week or two. Good luck with her and Blackjack.

  5. Sorry to hear about Blackjack. I hope you're able to keep him comfortable and happy.

    As for Miranda, it just keep getting curiouser and curiouser, as they say. Too weird.

  6. All of these strange behaviors on Miranda's part make me wonder if she has a brain tumor. I'm a medical student, and we've certainly heard enough stories about people having major personality changes and/or aggressive inappropriate behavior due to brain tumors.
    Poor B-jack. I'm glad you all are doing your best to keep him comfortable.

  7. Poor Blackjack! As for Miranda,that does sound unusual, stay safe with her ,and as I said ,you and your daughter are ultimately the only ones who can make the call to let her got or keep trying.I wish you both the best in your efforts.
    Glad to see you are back blogging

  8. I'm sorry to hear how far Miranda has fallen, and I wonder if there's a physical issue as well.

    Head injuries do change personalities in people - particularly making them quite aggressive. Given her propensity for rolling around in a stall I wonder if she's given herself an injury.

    I can't imagine trying to handle a horse with this kind of issue. Please stay safe.

    I hope Blackjack turns a corner. A good corner...

    I'm glad you're back to blogging and appreciate your apprehension about talking about the negative decisions we face. I was reluctant to talk about getting rid of Canyon because I didn't want to be lambasted.

    But I decided I didn't want my blog to be some sort of Christmas letter (you know, where everyone is successful even when everyone is actually a wreck).

    Thanks for continuing to share your thoughts on all this...

  9. I'm very sorry to hear about Blackjack - he sounds like an awesome old fellow with a human who loves him deeply, and I hope he recovers from this. I am completely at a loss re: Miranda; I just don't have any experience that would help. My thoughts are with you, though, and I'm glad you're being careful.

    How are your horses? I suppose the bright side to this is that you won't think Dawn's so difficult after dealing with Miranda! ;)

  10. Poor Blackjack. Hope something can be done to help him out.

    Miranda? She is a constant puzzle. It does sound as if something is hurting in her head.

  11. I wonder if she has a headache? The chiropractor worked on Big Guy and there is a place on either side of the top of the head, between the ears (not the poll - not that far back) that can hold tension and pain.

  12. Oh my I had not read this post first before my comment on Miranda's charging post. I do think it must be a tumor or something after reading some of the comments. Poor girl, she's just miserable. Have you had any testing done on her head? I missed the post if you've already stated that....sorry. You do have a lot of horse issues going on around you. It would be hard to stay positive. I'll say a prayer for you and all in your barn.


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