Thursday, October 13, 2011

Watching and Waiting . . .

We'll have the results of Pie's blood work in a day or so, to see if there are any changes, not that that'll necessarily tell us anything.  Sometimes he seems to feel just fine - he's lively in the mornings when I bring him in to feed him and then turn him out to pasture, and he's fine late at night when I come to check on him and bring him his bedtime flake of hay.  But in between, he seems to have his ups and downs.  He's often lackluster in the afternoons, although he perked up quite a bit when I rode him yesterday, and is also a bit discouraged looking in the early evenings, although he's happy to eat his dinner and dinnertime flake of hay - his appetite is very good, and his manure is normal in amount and consistency too.  He seems uncomfortable when he's digesting and to feel pretty good when he's emptier.  He's only had one serious "episode" where the pain was worse in the two weeks since he went to the vet hospital, but whatever the underlying problem is it apparently hasn't gone away.  We're spreading his food out as much as possible and that does seem to help at least a little bit.

All I can do is watch and wait to see how he'll do every day . . .

20 comments:

  1. This is so frustrating. Poor Pie. Hope the blood tests can give a better clue as to what may be going on.

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  2. Such worry... I'm sorry. I truly hope the blood work helps solve the mystery.

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  3. So sorry. I hate it when a horse is just "not quite right." Hope the blood tests show something you can treat.

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  4. I too hope that the blood work sheds some light Kate. So sorry that Pie isn't feeling 100% - but if anyone can get him there, it's you. :)

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  5. I feel frustrated and worried just reading about Pie's trials--and I know it is a thousand times harder for you. You are obviously doing all that anyone could do, but sometimes that's not much comfort when one doesn't know how to fix it, or even what "it" is. I keep hoping his symptoms will just fade away, leaving him 100%, but second best, I hope you can eventually figure the problem out and that it is quite treatable. Keeping my fingers crossed for Pie.

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  6. I'm sorry Pie continues to feel under the weather... I hope the bloodwork shows something that can be helpful for him.

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  7. It's awful that you know he's not quite right, yet there is nothing that can be done. I hope the blood test results perhaps provide a clue.

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  8. Sorry to hear of the uncertainty, poor Pie. Hope you get some type of insight.

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  9. I'm so sorry, but I haven't been reading every post because I've been so busy, so I'm not sure if you've tried this or not, but thought I would suggest it. Have you stopped feeding him everything but hay for a while in case it's something bizarre like a soy allergy (soy is in most horse feeds)? Just a thought since you say he seems worse after he eats. Does he have free choice hay or does the hay seem to cause problems too? Could it be that particular hay? Again I'll have to go back and read. Some of these questions may have been answered already. Just hoping it might help you think of other possibilities. Hope he feels better soon.

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  10. Whew! Okay I went back to when all of this started to get the full story on Pie.

    At the vet hospital did he ever get anything besides hay? Could it be his feed (soy), grass, weeds, etc? Could it be something in his stall? Bedding? Does he chew/lick the walls? Something in his food or water buckets? Does he eat with his head up (hay net/raised bucket) or down (fed on the floor)? Did you try a nibble net to slow down his hay consumption? How long is he kept in his stall after eating dinner? Does he lay down (trapping the gas) after eating? Maybe he needs to be fed outside where he can move around after eating (or taken for a slow walk after eating).

    Okay that's about all I have. I hope you figure out what it is. It must be so distressing to see him so uncomfortable. I'll be thinking of you both.

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  11. I an sorry you still don't have your answer about Pie.

    The little sweet Arab from the vet school is still doing well here. Wasn't sure if you had an update from your Madison friends here (I am the friend that came in with the Arab).

    And I still think Norman is cute no matter how naughty he may actually be.

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  12. Oh Kate, that is so worrysome. I hope he's 100% soon.

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  13. I hope the blood test brings some helpful but good information that can help Pie recover fully.

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  14. Nyssa - thanks for letting me know about the little mare. Yes, Norman is darn cute but his manners are much better since he's been retired (!).

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  15. I could have sworn I posted a comment here. I was asking if it would be possible to get Pie on a free choice program. The reason being is after you get through the initial build up to food in front of him at all times ,I find (some) eat actually a little less and at thier leisure unless he is the type to gorge . then he never gets that Totally empty or totally stuffed full sense . I have on in my world who has a sensitive tumm and that , plus probiotics has really helped him. Just a thought

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  17. You know, Pie's troubles are not too different than some of the digestive problems humans can have. Something like Irritable Bowel is so very hard to diagnose and deal with in the human gut; I wonder if Pie has something similar. But then again, it really seemed to pop up all at once, from what I can tell. I agree with the suggestion to try all hay and only hay all the time and see what happens. Maybe nothing, but it will be one more clue in your arsenal of clues. I just hate to see a horse not feel good, especially with a bellyfull of food since horses really seem to enjoy eating. If only it were linked to something you could eliminate completely and not something integral to life--like FOOD! I will be reading and looking for updates. Poor little Pie, I do hope whatever has started to bug him goes away soon.

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  18. JUST read this on "Earth Song Ranch" and it made me think of Pie-may be a good debate/thought process:
    Horses do not have gallbladders. The liver produces ample bile and releases it into the intestine as needed for fat digestion. Since horses only ingest plant fats, very little bile is needed compared to what a carnivore ingesting animal fats requires. The only real function of a gallbladder is to serve as a reservoir for bile so plenty is available when large amounts of fat. The liver produces ample bile and releases it into the intestine as needed for fat digestion. Since horses only ingest plant fats, very little bile is needed compared to what a carnivore ingesting animal fats requires. The only real function of a gallbladder is to serve as a reservoir for bile so plenty is available when large amounts of fat enter the intestine. So, a horse does just fine without one. However, what happens when a horse is fed a large quantities of oil, on a daily basis? Does oil really offer any benefit to a horse's diet, or does it only hinder internal organ functioning?

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  19. Kristen - we thought of that too and tried removing the small amount of cocosoya oil Pie was receiving from his feed - that made no difference. The only thing that's made a difference is the volume of food - the theory is that the internal lumps are pressing/pulling on the colon - much like adhesions from surgery would - limiting his capacity - when he eats too much he's uncomfortable, if his feed is spread out he's fine.

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