Re: Laminitis Triggers
I have seen it written here many times....the devil is in the details. In my narrative I left a few details out because they were either in my case file, or I did not think they were necessary. I apologize. Here are some more details, but I will still try to be concise.
Up until the end of June last year, Migo was ridden regularly. We had already gone on three, week long camping/ trail riding trips and two weekend horsemanship clinics. All was normal. Then at the end of June, he started having behavior problems that I attributed to his dominant nature. They hadn't been a problem in years, but originally, they felt the same...refusing to canter, cross-firing when he did, asking to not go up or down big hills (he did this in the first week of June no problem) and having a ton of thresholds. They progressed. Physically he started tripping, he couldn't step down from a trailer, but the most concerning part was he was conceding leadership to his herd mates. He also was getting ridiculously spooky.
I had my local vet come and do chiropractic and acupuncture treatment (he has an old SI injury and it felt the same). During his treatment he said that Migo reacted severely to both his EPM and Lyme pressure points.
I am not here to argue alternative care, however, I believe it is complementary. I was not willing to treat for either disease without more conformation. We did a Lyme test (which came back negative, negative, negative) and because I was not willing to do a spinal test, I took him to a larger vet hospital about an hour south to a lameness/neurological expert. A full lameness/neurological exam was preformed. This vet also knows this horse and worked with my local vet. It was decided that Migo had neurological deficiencies consistent with EPM. The three of us discussed next steps and decided 30 days of Marquis. It was on back order so had to get compounded from Rood and Riddle. After 30 days, there were mild improvements so an addition 30 days was recommended. I did a total of 90 days.
At that time I took him back to the larger vet hospital for a re-eval. He had some improvement, but still was neurological. Again, upon discussion we tried another treatment that targets the fairea protozoa. It is off label use, but felt I had few options. This treatment was more difficult physically for Migo. I do believe after 7 days he had a laminitis attack. Treated him as such and he seemed to bounce back fairly quickly. Fast forward 90 days. We are now in the beginning of March. He seems fine and I slowly start working him to build his hind end (all online or at liberty). By the end of March, he is laying down more and more. When he did get up, he would be stiff and walk like an uncoordinated kitten. I stop working him immediately.
Local vet has been doing regular acupuncture treatments to help manage pain. I somehow let him convince me to treat for Lyme. That is when we started doxycycline. Fifteen days into treatment and Migo is worse but this is also when I had to change hay. I was worried but happy when I thought my hay was too high in sugar because that would have explained the cycle of lame, almost dead sound, lame and I mixed new and old hay together to get them used to it. But a message posted here, showed me my mistake...but that left me with no trigger.
I feel that last June, EPM was the culprit. I have no proof. In hindsight, the cycle of laminitis that started in March feels very endocrine driven...and he is as fat as a toad because he hasn't been working since last June, so it makes sense.
I apologize for the novel, but I just don't want to miss something. He is still very unpredictable in his lameness level and I was not certain what could have triggered this since he was fine on this protocol for so long, but I guess they are all fine until they aren't...it takes the smallest event to tip the scale.
I started soaking his hay this afternoon and feeding him his mineral bucket as always but I upped his jiagulon. Is there anything else I should be doing? He is in a deeply bedded stall or in Clouds so he can socialize with his herd in a dry lot. He moves great in his boots. I can't leave him out with them all the time since their hay is not soaked.
He has not been tested for West Nile, but he has been vaccinated. I don't know if that makes a difference or not.
Thank you all for your responses.
Tracy and Migo
Migo's Photo Album