September 25, 2011

Updates on the girls

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First, Isis. She has had two doses of the Oroquin-10. From what I read about the drug, some horses improve as early as 3-5 days after treatment starts. We went for a walk up and down the lane near the barn. A reasonable walk in hand with some grazing, for about 15-20 minutes.

The first thing I noticed is that she isn’t dragging her toes in the dirt like she was before. She was picking up her toes and maybe skimming the top of the grass, but not leaving trails like she did before. Is this the Oroquin having an effect or Isis just being more alert since she was out of her paddock? Could be either or a combination. When I put her back in the paddock and asked her to walk a little, she did drag her toes a little. Not like she had been before.

When I asked her to pivot around me, she still had trouble placing her back feet. I was asking her to move around me on the lane, so there may have been some uneven ground between the center aisle of the road and the lane itself. She stepped underneath herself a few times but other times she paused like she had to think about where her feet were being placed.

It’s early to be looking for signs of improvement. I feel like I have a better baseline so when she does improve, I’ll be able to spot it immediately.

At least with Isis, we are sure about what we are dealing with and have a treatment plan. Kasane is another (far less severe) story. She’s covered in hives again: small raised lumps every where. Running your hands over her feels like you could read an entire braille book. She has been in flaming heat for the past four days. (No, Kasane, the lovely Hanoverian mare can not help you. Keep moving, girl.) Kasane has been flinching from the slightest touch over her loin, about where her ovaries are. Poor kid. I’ve never seen her be this sensitive. I’m hoping it’s just from the combination of allergic reaction and her heat cycle.

The barn manager may have found a culprit for the hives on Kasane and four of the other horses in the pasture. The wet weather we’ve had apparently has created ideal conditions for black flies. Think of these flies as a cross between mosquitoes and small horse flies. They look like little black flies and suck some blood for their meals. Like mosquitoes, they use an anticoagulant, which can cause an allergic reaction in some horses. Our best guess is that all of the horses with hives are having allergic reactions to the fly bites.

Kasane was given a dose of antihistamines tonight (first time giving diphenhydramine to a horse). We’re also using a fly wipe that has some mineral oil in it now. (NCSU has a good article on black flies.)

The vet is coming out for spring shots tomorrow afternoon. Great timing. If the girls are going to have issues, might as well have them when the vet is scheduled to come out.

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