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Discussion on Inflammatory bowel disease

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Sue Mc
New Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Saturday, Apr 30, 2011 - 2:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I need help and advice. I have practically read every page of the internet for information on IBD in horses and found it all very contradictory and with poor prognosis. After several years of occasional unexplained diarreah episodes, Copper was diagnosed with IBD. He had ultrasound - did not show any major degree of thickening in intestines but he is a heavyweight cob so it was had to get through the muscle and fat. Had 2 full blood tests four months apart - no reduced albumin/serum proteins and all normal. Had camera into his tummy and start of duodenum - nothing there. Rectal biopsy came back as mild inflammatory changes - mild plasmacytic colitis. This was 7 months ago. We started on prednisolone and got it down to 625mg every other day, but each time I try to lower it further - even by just 50mg - after 6 days the diarreah is back. Just tried again and he is colicky so had to give him an extra 250mg today which is no good. I want to know if there is anything else I can do. He has not lost any weight and looks really well. It is criminal. My main concern is how long can he stay on this dose and still be healthy? Has he got years? Has anyone any experience of having a horse on this sort of does for years? He obviously is going to need it for the rest of his life and I am gutted. Vet has suggested swith to dexamethasone to see if we can calm it down but I am worried as this is so much stronger.
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 21
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Saturday, Apr 30, 2011 - 11:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue,
I have a rescue horse at my ranch that came to us with chronic diarrhea. We and our Vet tried everything with little or no success for a whole year. One day when I thought he was dying from colic pains, I decided to give him Benamine and keep him on it for a few days just to get him stabilized again with the pain. On the third day I walked in his stall in the morning and couldn't believe what I saw. Normal looking horse manure. I told my vet and he said Benamine aka Flunixin is not normally used to help with this problem. I decided to keep the horse on the Benamine once daily but reduced the dose to about 1/4 of what would normally be given for his weight. His diarrhea never returned. After a few months I completely stopped the Benamine and he is fine to this day. I have since then met two people who own horses with chronic diarrhea and although their vets did not believe it would help they were open to trying and both horses recovered. I think it is worth a try.

Diana
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Sue Mc
New Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 3
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Saturday, Apr 30, 2011 - 11:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Diana. Thank you so much for your response. It is 4am in England and I have just been up to his field to check him and he is worse. Slurry like diarrhea everywhere. Luckily so far the colic has stopped, but that might be because the steroids increase his appetite so he is trying his best to get in as much short grass as he can! I dare not try any more prednisolone tonight. I would call the vet out now but when I called earlier, the one on emergency duty is a young girl and she knows very little of inflammatory bowel disease - it is like me leading her and she seems to have no idea of dosages etc, so I will wait a few hours till it is light and then call her. I guess now we are running out of options anything is worth a try even if it is not a recognised treatment. When I call the vet I will discuss benamine and whether it is okay to give it along with prednisolone. Wonder if it has any effect on slowing the gut down and if that's why it worked? I will get on the net to read up. Once again really kind of you to respond. I have had Copper 7 years now and despite being a huge vet bill, he is a lovely horse and I really can't bear the thought of losing him. All the best to you and yours
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 22
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 8:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, my horse at times had stools that where just pure greenish water coming out violently like water from a hose along with lots of gas. My vet has no explanation why the Benamine helped other than maybe the Flunixin in it was finally able to calm down the inflammation in his gut which other medications should have done but did not. All the best to Copper and let us know how he is doing.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25701
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 11:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome Sue,
The information is not so much contradictory when you realize IBD is almost certainly a constellation of different diseases put under one umbrella. You case is suggestive of a autoimmune disorder but microorganism, food allergy, or toxin could benefit from specific therapy, if the underlying cause could be identified. It is these different presentations and varying severity's that account for a lot of the seemingly contradictory information.

As to continued pred use, if your case is determined to continue to need pred, the best treatment consider taking your dose to every 3 days to see if it still continues control. If so consider every 4 days. This type dosing will almost insure no complications from long term steroid use.

I remember Diana's case (or another on these boards that was similar) and a rather odd presentation that is hard to explain other than some acute type inflammation controllable by NSAIDs. However after a short wash out of steroids you could consider a trial with the approval of your veterinarian.
DrO
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Sue Mc
New Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 4
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 3:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you for your response Dr O. And to you again Diana. I have tried to extend the time between doses (by just 6 hours) without increasing the dose but it always happens- his poo goes gradually downhill and by day 6 I have to put it back to normal. If I didn't colic! I suspect the only way I could go longer (and I doubt it) would be to increase the dose as well.

I feel as though the preds have stopped working. I gave him extra yesterday and a dose this am, so that is consecutive days for first time in four months-but still his poo has been like green custard with mild colic. I feel as if the relapse is my fault. He was doing great and I tried to reduce the dose again to 585mg day 1 and then 625 day 3 and 585 day 5 and back to 625 and so on - it didn't work. Now it seems as if the preds have stopped working altogether! Does this happen?

I have another question for you please Dr O. When I first had him scoped the vet that came out to the clinic to do it suggested trying codeine to try to lower the preds. I got some in but till today was scared to try it. In desperation I gave him 7 x 60mg tablets at dinner time which is very low for a horse but Im scared to death that it is the wrong thing to do. What are your thoughts on that one?

I just don't get it. He looks fit and healthy, shiny coat, no weight loss, blood tests okay and yet a mess inside. Feel as if vets are missing something but I've had everything I can think of done. Even had him checked twice for salmonella and clostridium I think it was - negative. I still think it could be micro-organisims though what I do not know

Diana - I have asked my vet about Banamine. Think it's called Flunixin in uk. Looks too expensive long term and wouldn't be able to keep him on it, but I think Im going to ask the vet to get the granules in and if the preds dont start working again - Im going to try and get him off them and try the banamine for a week. After reading up I wonder if it may be the anti-endotoxin properties as well as anti inflammatory ones that could have helped your horse.

Hope to hear back from you Dr O and Diana and with many thanks. It's good to be able to talk over things. Sometimes vets here just haven't got the time (or knowledge on these difficult cases as Copper has been described as)
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Sue Mc
New Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 5
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 4:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sorry Dr O and Diana - A correction - the bacterium test I had done was campilobacter not clostridium.. doh!!I should have checked first sorry. Thank you both for taking the time to message me about my lovely boy. Best wishes and to your horses.
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 23
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 5:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, the Benamine/Flunixin in my case was given for one day according to his full weight, then for three days according to half his weight and then for a couple of months according to only a fraction of his body weight (about 300 pounds). That low amount made it not all that expensive for a few months.

You are very welcome. I am glad we can collaborate via this site and forum.

Please keep us updated on Copper's condition.
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dieliz
Member
Username: dsibley

Post Number: 252
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Sunday, May 1, 2011 - 9:40 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have a 4-y/o Paint/QH who has bouts with runny manure as well. I had not tried the Banamine, but recently Power-Packed him with Panacur, and his poo went from wet cow-pie to normal over the course of the treatment. It could be a coincidence, as his bouts are sporadic, but there is a possibility that encysted small strongyles were the culprit. I bred this colt, and he has been on a rigid worming program, but I guess it happens. Time will tell whether this cured him...but might be another thing to try with yours?
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 6
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, May 2, 2011 - 7:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Diana and for your feedback Dieliz. Sorry for length of this but I am going to try to breakdown full report on Copper's history in hope it might point out cause. Neither me or the vet think his condition is to do with worms. He is wormed on a regular program. Egg count is zero. Strangely though when this all started 7 months ago, he did have a high antibody reading to tape (1.06) so we wormed him extra for them and last test it had come down to 0.3. Though still not perfect. Vet doesnt think diarrhea is this though.

When I got Copper 7 years ago I realised very early that he had a sensitive gut. Change of hay would give him diarrhea and we had several colics. I learned to control them with careful hay selection. Then we moved to new location in countryside- fine for a year. Mid 2009 he went lame and diagnosed ringbone. Had some sort of injections for it under insurance and bute. Wish I'd never given the bute (and he is settled without it now) In December 2009 he had a bad colic whilst on bute- We had we had rush him to operating theatre 70 miles away. After shaving him they didn't operate- apparently because a dose of morphine took away his pain when nothing else would. Brought him home 3 days later and his poo was normal. 3days after back at my place - cow pats though not too bad. Then suddenly they went normal all on their own from February to September 10. No reason and no changes to diet - out at grass. Then Sept 15th 2010 wham... went up field and his poos were like custard and he was colicking. No changes - Other than weather getting wetter and lots of soily worm casts in field (like those you see on a beach but made by earth worms - I have always wondered whether eating these soily deposits along with the grass could have triggered it)

Vet came out and said because of his history it was likely IBD and we started preds. They worked straight away. Had loads of tests afterwards as I wasn't happy with the diagnosis based on just his history. Rectal biopsy came back as mild plasmacytic colitis. It's this 'mild' that makes me wonder if we still havent truly found the problem. In any event no success in getting him right without the preds. Gosh I hate them but he wouldnt be here without them. I would love to find a safer alternative.

What's happening now - After massive does of preds and 7 codeine tabs his poo okay last night but poor this am so gave him 625mg preds. Hoping after this dose I can get him back to every other day again. I am still considering the Banamine Diana and vet getting some for me- Im just scared about the colics that getting him off the preds will trigger to try it- dont think he can have Banamine and preds together - anyone know any different?

Once again thank you everyone for being so kind with your feedback and sharing experiences with your horses.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 7
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 8:08 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Diana, Dieliz and Dr O. Haven't given the preds this morning. Though his poo had deteriorated - decided to try to wait it out till tomorrow am to try to get him on every other day again. We will have to see. Gave him 7 codeine again to ease any discomfort and reduce gut motility. Took him for 1/2 hour hack in the sunshine - seemed to enjoy it but had lots of gas. Vet ringing me later to discuss banamine/flunixin trial

Dr O - I know you said he ought to be off preds to try this but in circumstances what are your thoughts on a low dose (as well as preds) of 1/4 usual dose (which is what Diana gave) - or is any amount bad if given with preds?
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 24
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 10:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, do you think Copper would colic badly if no preds were given for a few days before starting the Flunixin?
It just sounds like the Preds really aren't helping him all that much.
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dieliz
Member
Username: dsibley

Post Number: 253
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 10:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I spoke too soon...Midas' stools are back to being very, very wet. I'm going to try the Banamine. Will let you know the results.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 8
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 12:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Diana,

Yes, I am afraid that whenever we have even tried to reduce the preds (and we have tried 6 times over 7 months)the diarrhea and colic return. The drug has been keeping the inflammation in his bowels down. Now they just don't seem to be working at the same dose. I guess his condition may have deteriorated meaning he needs more, or his body may becoming so used to them that he needs more? The codeine this am has made them more solid but he is really gassy. I am waiting for my vet to come back to me about banamine/flunixin. After I explained the other name is flunixin he says he has it and is pricing it up for me. I am strongly considering trying low dose on the alternate day (but keeping on the preds)and if there is an improvement I will again try to lower them. By the way did your rescue horse keep his weight on whilst he was bad with diarrhea/colics? Copper's weight is fine and I just wondered.

Hi Dieliz - Sorry to hear that Midas's stools are wet again. Please let me know how the banamine works out as it is probably my next move too. We are going away for 4 days to Spain on 24 May and won't be going unless we can get him settled again bless him. Don't want the young lady who looks after them for me to have this on her plate and I wouldn't enjoy it anyway. I just want to make him better!
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 25
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 3:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue,
our horse's weight was somewhat poor when we got him and he already had the diarrhea problem. However, after the diarrhea was finally under control he gained weight. He is over 20 and before we got the diarrhea under control he looked very old. Now, he is beautiful, looks 10 years younger, is playful, and runs across the pastures with the other horses like he is flying.
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dieliz
Member
Username: dsibley

Post Number: 254
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 - 9:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am going to wait until mid-May to start him. Again, his is not that bad, but as he is a palomino, of course he has 'skid marks' on his butt and tail quite often. Not pleasant to clean up all the time! I have two shows in May, but will start him on the regimen after those are done..then no more shows until mid-July. I am also going to try to sell him, so I really want to get this cleared up.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 9
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 5:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dieliz - It sounds like your horse doesn't have an actual health problem with his loose stools - more unsightly and hard work! I'd be careful with using drugs if not actually needed. If you do try the banamine though - please let me know how he gets on.

Hi Diana- Copper so far hasn't lost weight but then we have largely had it under control with the preds so he may have done without them. I wish I had tried the Banamine before going on the preds as you can't withdraw preds suddenly-you have to wean them off over weeks and like I said even with a small reduction he colics so we'd have a month or so of risk/pain before we could get him off them.

I so wish I could mend him the same as yours. He is only eleven and he is my baby-I love him to bits. And thank you as the Banamine is our next option and I am going to have it ready. I will keep you posted. Kindest wishes to you and your horses.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25703
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 8:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Sue,
I cannot really give you a what is OK and what is not OK, problems may arise no matter what you do. In general I would say low dosages of flunixin in combination with low doses of prednisolone would represent a low risk of gi ulceration but this should be done under the supervision of your veterinarian.
DrO
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 10
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 6:11 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you DrO

In my quest for answers, I have read many of your discussions and highly value your expertise. A generalised answer is most welcome. My vet seems to have given in a bit now the preds aren't working as they were. Said to give him bute if he's in pain. When I rejected this, he offered to post some Buscopan to inject in emergencies. He is looking into supplying Flunixin though my expected phone call about it today did not happen so I will have to chase up as usual.

May I ask a few more questions from your expertise on medications please. Is 625mg E.O.D which represents approx 1.1mg per kg of Copper's bodyweight considered anti-inflammatory or immunosuppressive? If the former, at what sort of level does it become immunosuppressive?

Buscopan - When Copper first started with the real bad pipestream diarrhea and colic in Sept last year, the emergency vet gave a shot of Buscopan. Overnight stools went normal. Thought he was fine, but later next morning the diarrhea returned. This was before we started any preds. Buscopan is antispasmodic rather than anti-inflammatory. Why did it work for IBD? It seems that humans use Buscopan for irritable bowel. Is there anything in this that could be used for Copper's condition management?

Codeine Phosphate - Some of what I read says shouldn't use if have colitis/inflammation of colon. Other reads suggest it to control symptoms of IBD? Contradictory? Yesterday morning (on his off pred day) as his poos were turning mushy, I gave him 7 x 60mg in one dose. Afterwards,he seemed to pass a lot of wind, it was dry wind, and stools became normal looking right till this morning when they started turning slushy. Gave his preds and no codeine - stools slushy all day and still lots of dry wind. I suspect this will worsen as tomorrow is supposed to be no pred day. I want to use the codeine again then to help him but should I be dropping this med?

Thank you
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25711
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, May 6, 2011 - 9:32 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

That would be considered anti inflammatory though there will be some suppression of immune function.

Slowing the transit of bowel contents usually results in firmer stools no matter what the cause so there is a rationale for Buscopan to firm up stools but the effect is quite transitory so this may have been incidental and not causal. For more see HorseAdvice.com » Treatments and Medications for Horses » Miscellaneous Drugs » Buscopan for Colic.

There are better opiates than codeine for control of diarrhea. For a discussion of products, mechanism of action, and dosages along with other recommendations see HorseAdvice.com » Diseases of Horses » Colic, Diarrhea, GI Tract » Diarrhea in Horses » Diarrhea an Overview.
DrO

DrO
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 11
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2011 - 8:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you so much for this Dr O

I have read your pages on anything to do with diarrhea, preds etc before but admit I missed the paregoric. However, the codeine seems to be working very well - apart from he is very gassy and when the preds were working well this wasn't the case. I think the codeine is helping better than the preds but I do not know for sure and if I take him off the preds I am guessing he would have normal stools but that the colic would return (as the codeine wont be doing anything for the inflammation) Is that right?

I am giving 5x 60mg codeine am and 5 x 60mg pm. Would you say in general that this is an okay dose? He weighs approx 560kg. It is likely to be very long term as I can't see him ever getting better. Would I be better trying to do this every other day rather than daily? I have started doing it daily as his stools are great till it starts wearing off.

Vet who came to do the scan and scope has said we should try dexamethesone instead of preds if they are losing effect. Also to continue with codeine. The dex will be oral. They are sending me the liquid form (I think the same as for injection but its going in his feed) If it works then it seems that we can get a tablet form instead. Have read your pages on dex and other sites too but still not sure what to dose esp as going straight on dex from preds and also there's bits and pieces on the web about more bio-availability if you fast them first. Unless I make him stay in his stable at night, this is impossible as he likes to be out (on minimal low grazing) Could you please give me what your idea in general would be for a good regime to start and then to attempt to wean down to bearing in mind what was needed as a pred dose?

I would be so grateful as I so respect your judgement. I will of course discuss my/your idea with my own vet first! May have to wait till the stuff comes so I can explain exactly what I have got.

Thanks again. Brilliant site and forum. Would be lost without this

Message to Diana - Hi Diana, I am guessing you may still be following this. I haven't lost sight of trying Banamine but at moment I am trying to keep him settled on current regime at least till we get back off our hols. We go (hopefully) for just 4 days 24/5/11 to 28/5/11. Then in June I am going to look at trying it.
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 26
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Saturday, May 7, 2011 - 9:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi again Sue,
yes I am following this thread to see how Copper does. I hope you can enjoy your holiday an Copper can be helped.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25714
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, May 8, 2011 - 9:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue if you choose to go the opiate route you may find loperamide (below the info on paregoric) easier to obtain, cheaper, and less sedating.
DrO
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 12
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 10, 2011 - 7:06 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not a good day today. Just gave Copper his preds this morning and no codeine to see how he went without codeine. Bad idea. Got home from work and splats everywhere and another colic episode. Gave him 4 x 60mg codeine tonight and next stools were okayish. Will give him 4 in morning

I am truly wondering whether the preds are now a waste of time or whether they may still be helping the inflammation even if not the diarrhea. Dr O - Would you take him off the preds or do you think they are still helping?

I am still waiting for Dexamethasone. Vet doesnt seem to know whether to give him liquid or tablets from human medicine and says it's going to cost a fortune to dose him with this. Help Dr O - advice please on the Dex. I've read your pages on it but not sure what's best (and neither is the vet!)
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25719
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 6:14 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, since I cannot examine your horse I cannot give you specific recommendations for your horse. The best advice I can give you is to express your concerns clearly to your veterinarian and ask questions until you understand clearly what is being said. Rereading the above it seems things worsened as you lowered the pred and skipped some dosages you should reconsider the thought that it has quit working. As to the cost of the dex, over here in the US it is an inexpensive drug.
DrO
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 13
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Wednesday, May 11, 2011 - 2:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you again DrO

Vet has given me a solution called Colvasone which contains 2mg Dex Sodium Phosphate per ml. The bottles only contain 50 ml usually used for injecting but I am giving orally. Therefore, to give him the recommended 0.1mg per kg I will have to use half a bottle a day. I got 5 days worth and it cost £45! (about $80) Vet is going to try to get human 2mg tabs instead which cost about 24p each. He will need 25 a day or hopefully e.o.d which makes it more reasonable cost wise. I havent started the Dex yet as nervous about it and codeine working.

Can I ask tho - he seems to be passing a lot of gas. It is dry gas if you get my meaning! He didnt seem to do this when the preds were working. Is this likely the result of the codeine or the result of the inflammation getting worse. I know... if only we had a magic wand... but if you could tell me what your views are please

Thanks once again
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25727
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, May 15, 2011 - 11:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am uncertain what the significance of the gas is Sue. It may represent slowed down transit time of ingesta giving the bacteria more time to work on it and produce more gas.
DrO
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 14
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 8:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Dr O (and Diana)
AFter deterioration in Copper's faeces on the preds plus codeine, under vet recommendation went onto Dexamethasone (the human form 50mg in feed daily which is about 0.09mg per KG for Copper's weight) Gave this for 7 days plus low dose codeine and all was fine so went on hol for four nights. During this time we tried to reduce to every other day. By day three on this regime, sloppy faeces back and had to get earlier flight home than planned. It's looking like if I dont give this dex dose every day then he will colic shortly. I kind of wish I hadn't gone to Dex now as to try to get him off it to try flunixin is an even longer haul than if I'd tried to wean him off preds. I'm at my wits end and in tears at this computer.

Dr O - Can a horse take this sort of steroid dose daily for long? My vet has nothing left to advise other than the obvious putting him to sleep but he still looks so well (no weight loss at all and shining coat)so I really do not wish to do this.

What is the best way to wean him off the dex but stop his colic in meantime so that I can give this flunixin a go or should I just give him flunixin and the dex? Help!
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 27
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 9:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue,
so sorry to hear about Copper's condition and the sorrow for you. Hang in there. Surely somehow we can come up with something that will help.
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Lilo
Member
Username: lilo

Post Number: 1758
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 10:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue,
Hoping that you come up with a solution to your horse's problem. So frustrating for you, I am sure.
Got no advice, just good wishes!
Lilo
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 6383
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I just read through this and don't see anything mentioned as to what the horse is being fed. Did I just miss it? I have a mare that can not eat alfalfa or any rich hay; if she does she has very runny, watery stools and gas. If I keep her on plain grass hay, preferably older hay, supplemented with Purena L/S mixed in soaked beet pulp and a little rice bran, she does great. I'm wondering if there is a connection between feed and your horse's problems? Maybe you've already checked this out?
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 15
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 12:02 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Lilo and as always you Diana for your good wishes...Diana I so wish I'd tried Flunixin before going down this rotten steroid route. I've been reading a few bits and pieces about why it might help some digestive problems on other sites since your post and Im still clinging to the belief that if we can get him off the dex then we can try it.

Dear Sara, thank you too for asking about Copper's diet. We have already tried. When I first bought him 7 years ago I realised he had a sensitive gut..and at that time like your horse I was able to control it using older good quality hay and just a little chaff and carrots to feed him his vitamins.

When we moved to countryside 3 years ago, I slowly acclimatised him to being out at grass. All fine for 12 months. Then we had a major colic in Dec 2009. He recovered only to start with this chronic diarrhea and colic in Sept 2010. Took him off grass and into a small bare paddock with a stable in the hope it would cure it (from October 2009 to March 2010) and put him onto hay but it made no difference. Now he's back grazing as at least he enjoys his life being out in the field. Only the drugs (steroids and codeine) are keeping him pain free but think that this control is nearing its end! I couldnt bear giving him the dexamethasone dose today and am trying to give him them every other day. I really want to try to get him off them to try the flunixin as I dont think they're working that well any more anyway. He was okay when being dosed every day, but now his poops are like cow pats..they will worsen to slurry and the colic will follow. I've already bedded his stable down for him to lie in when it starts. It's driving me mad waiting for it as the vet said there's no point him coming out as there's nothing he can do so I'll be stuck with a colicking horse and nothing to make him better. It's rotten!!
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6384
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 12:51 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I thought you'd probably tried diet, but then thought I'd mention it. Sometimes when trying to figure things out we forget the simple things. I hope he soon does better. I'm sure it is frustrating!
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 16
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 2:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you again Sara. I so appreciate suggestions and advice from others experiences. You never know someone out there may have the solution. Sometimes things are overlooked. When it first started I was so sure that I'd mend him by his diet, but it was so much worse than it had ever been and I couldn't. No idea what triggered it - just started within two days out of the blue!!

Only one thing came up on all bloods he had done -relatively high tapeworm antibodies at 1.06. No idea why and we've wormed him several times for tapes since and now down to 0.3. Vet has discounted this as cause but I still wonder about it

Gosh I wish I could cure my lovely boy!
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rtrotter
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Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 985
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 3:47 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue,

I am an impartial observer in this since I am not a vet and I can only go by what's posted here. It sounds like you've done all you can do to try and get your horse over this. The other thing I see is that you say your horse is bright eyed and bushy tailed and other than the colic episodes he gets when you take him off the meds, he appears fine.

I started putting myself in your shoes and since I've had horses that had chronic diarrhea, I think I know how you feel. I also had a similar situation with treating a horse with steroids and came to the same conclusion, it was not worth it because while it took away the inflammation and some of the pain, I was never able to get him lower than a certain dose(my horse did not have inflammatory bowel disease)

I think there are several things you can do to weather out the colic storms, which are most likely being caused by the gas buildup. Also, if you are feeding pro or pre biotics, I'd stop, I don't think they do much good and can also be contributing to the problem.

I read somewhere, that sometimes with this type of problem you need to give the horse's bowel a rest, so I would pull him off the grass, the moisture content in the grass may be too high and be contributing to his problem. I would also remove anything you are giving him other than grass hay for at least 24-36 hours( including any feed vitamins, supplements etc. I'd run to the drugstore and buy several bottles of Maalox( Must be the gas relief formula and I would start orally dosing him with 60 CC's at least 2 or 3 times a day. I would also have a bottle of injectable banamine (flunixin) on hand, and if you can't get injectable than try and get the paste as a second resort.

If you can stall him and hand walk him several times a day this will help keep his gut moving to expel the gas. I would monitor him and see what his poops were like after 24-36 hours. They might just go in the other direction, in which case you can back off the Maalox.

The idea here is to try and not wait for the symptoms to appear but treat for the ones you know are going to happen(if you treat the gas, the colic may not happen)(If you take him off grass he may firm up on his own because of the lower moisture content). Since this starts at a certain level of reductions on the steroids, I would treat him and then reduce his dex meds.

Other then the Banamine(flunixin) for pain, everything here is something you can do without relying on the vet, especially if he refuses to come out.

And you might just luck out if the Maalox works, he might not need the banamine(flunixin) or the codeine if that's what you're using for pain relief.

This is just my two cents, I am not a vet. I am just using the old adage, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and if your horse's poops do clear up then you know you are going in the right direction, you will be off the meds and that you have to keep doing this until his bowel has a chance to heal. Horses are miraculous animals and they have the ability to heal themselves without a lot of intervention, just sometimes we need to give them a bit of help.

I wish you and your horse only the best and lets hope your next post will find him on the way to recovery.

Rachelle
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Diana Shaffner
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Username: tdiana

Post Number: 29
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 4:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have also seen negative reactions to probiotics. They made one of my horses much much worse although my vet had recommended useing them on the horse in question.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 986
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Monday, May 30, 2011 - 4:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Diana,

Made my horse worse as well. What I have found is that the more simpler you deal with your horses the better off you will be. I've gotten away from all supplements, except for garlic and I feed Thrive exclusively. I have noticed tremendous differences in the health and well-being of my horses from their feet, to their coats, to their attitudes. This feed healed their insides and that is very obvious from their outsides. But that's off topic and for another thread.

I just hope Sue's horse gets better.

Rachelle
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 17
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 8:40 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Rachelle, Diana, Sara and Lilo - thanks again so much for your support.

Rachelle - wish I'd read your thread before I went out on a nutty episode just a few minutes ago and bought some new expensive supplements and something called Yea-sacc!! Think I'll leave them out of his feed but Im just so desperate! Will be needing to remortgage house soon as no money left!

We've already tried the route of only good quality hay and nothing else (apart from a tiny bit of chaff/and/or sugar beet pulp to mix his tablets in. Did it through the winter months- it didnt work

I have just sent for some Maalox though. Dont think it would hurt to try it. It comes in 500ml bottles. Sent for two bottles. Is 60cc/mls enough for a horse dose? Thing is though when he colics I dont think it is the wind that makes him painful. It seems it is the diarrhea itself and the spasms he suffers to get rid of it - similar to when we have a bad dose of the runs from a bug I guess!

Im also going through to the vets tomorrow to pick up flunixin granules... a five day supply. They did have the paste but it was nearly £20 just for a one day syringe and I really am broke. As he shouldnt have NSAIDS and steroids together due to the ulcer risk, I am planning on only giving him 1/4 dose a day..and I may not start it till I've reduced the dexamethasone down a bit. At least I will have it in to try.

Next is the magic wand order!!

Off up to field now.. dreading what I may find..makes me feel sick. My poor other horse gets so little attention now but Im going to force myself to get her out for a ride. Thanks everyone will let you know. X
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Angie KJ
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Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1319
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 9:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oops, I just put some links here and offered some advice only to find I wasn't logged in. So I lost it all.

Since you have tried so many avenues, I think if I were in your place I'd look into the healing clays. Google healing clays, bentonite, benefits for animals, etc. History says animals who were ill would go
to certain places and eat the dirt/clay and recover. I personally have used some of the Yerba Prima products but haven't used them for horses. I would find one which is a straight clay product I think vs like a colon detox, and start slowly. I would give it a month at least since healing takes time.

http://www.yerba.com/index.asp is one site.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works.
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Diana Shaffner
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Username: tdiana

Post Number: 30
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 10:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have tried high quality clay on my horse with similar problems and found it unfortunately did nothing for him. It could be that horses try to eat clay type materials because it has a soothing and cooling effect when swallowed. However, it may not do much beyond that. Although the detoxing properties of clay are often talked about.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 18
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 6:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

News is not good. Just got back from field. It is 10.30 pm in England and Copper's poos really bad all day. The codeine seems to have lost its effect on the diarrhea too. Im just hoping that it is still helping with his pain. He was grazing when I left him - but I'd better not talk too soon. For first time tonight I could see the illness in his eyes. Although he still has his weight on, his face looks poorly and he isn't himself. I think the dexamethasone is as much to blame as whatever inflammatory condition he has.

My partner came up the field with me and said he didn't look like our Copper. He's finding it tough to deal with as well and we both had a good cry.

If Cop makes it over next few days/weeks I am going to start reducing the dex probably by 2 tablets a dose for one week, then the same next week and so on, but I better pray that something else works.

Diana - Flunixin tomorrow.. don't think I have a choice but to try a low dose of it now even though he is still on high dose of steroids. I will give him the flunixin on the steroid off day and not on the steroid day.. not sure if it makes a difference.

Almost did take him off the grass tonight Rachelle, and started to get haynet ready but he looked so miserable when I stuck him in his stable, like he thought he'd done something wrong - which he never has in all his life with me. Knowing that I tried the hay for several months in winter to no avail and worrying that a change to hay might block him up because I'd given him codeine made me let him back out again. If we have to let him go then I want to think that his last days were good ones. Gees I like to upset myself!! tears everywhere again. Got to go!
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Lilo
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Username: lilo

Post Number: 1759
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 - 7:38 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue - I am feeling for you. You are trying so hard to find something that helps, and you know you can't make sudden changes - even healthy horses can't take sudden changes.
You are in my thoughts,
Lilo
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LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 1188
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011 - 12:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue I am so sorry for all you're going through with Copper. I can only imagine how devastating it must be for you, and I hope so much that the flunixin works for you.
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Angie KJ
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Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1320
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011 - 7:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue, thinking of you and Copper.

Diana,

Thanks for the feedback on the clays. You are the first person I've ever heard of that tried some with horses.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 19
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011 - 12:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you everyone again for your well wishes.

Well, I went for the flunixin and now have it in but having read the label saying not to be given in conjunction with corticosteroids couldnt bring myself to dose him with it.

My previous vet (where I used to live) who I have a lot more faith in than my new vet rang me today. He doesnt cover my area but has said for what it is worth he will come and look at Copper for me. He wont be doing anything special, ultrasound or anything like that so I doubt he will come up with any solutions but I do and always have very much valued his advice. He did say that he wouldnt use the flunixin as well as the steroids as it is a really potent drug which affects all sorts of body systems (as do steroids)some of which cross over - hence the gastric risk. He cant make it till week after next so will see what he says then if we get there. At least I now have flunixin in

He also said to try to stick to a regime with the drugs (hard when they're not working!!) so I have upped the codeine this am to 6 x 60mg - (afterwhich he had two normal poos, one mediocre and one bad one as it wore off) Have given him 4 codeine tonight. Tomorrow I will reduce the dex to 20 tablets instead of 25 which makes me feel happier as if Im eventually going to try flunixin then we are heading the right way. Will also give the same codeine as today - then Im going to try to stick with that for a while if he doesnt colic in meantime.
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Julie
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Username: juliem

Post Number: 900
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 1, 2011 - 9:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, I'm sorry you're having to deal with this--and sorry Copper is to! I have a friend whose 6 week old foal had diarrhea most of her first 6 weeks and she used bio-sponge. I don't know if it was the time or the bio-sponge, but friend reports the diarrhea cleared and the foal seems much more comfortable and is gaining weight. I don't know if that's a product you have to order online or if retailers carry it---anyone know?
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1520
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jun 2, 2011 - 1:00 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I forget...was the stool cultured? I was just wondering if you've discussed trying something like Metronidazole with your vet? I can't remember if that was something you'd tried already.
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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 200
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, Jun 2, 2011 - 10:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue,

I know at times like this a ton of different ideas isn't always helpful but...I had a horse that showed signs of obvious stomach discomfort often accompanied by mild diarrhea. The metronidazole gave him some relief for a few months at a time. I am sure you could find my posts on it with a little searching. I ended up having his stomach scoped and some allergy testing done - nothing conclusive. I too was going to try a low dose of flunixin but...things went south when the horse suddenly showed up very lame and was eventually diagnosed with navicular which we are being unsuccessful tackling. Good luck; have my fingers crossed for you.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 20
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Sunday, Jun 5, 2011 - 4:21 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lee and Lynn.

Lee, I had the stool checked for salmonella and campilobacter as that is what vet suggested. Is there anything else you would suggest culturing it for?

I haven't yet tried metronidazole although it is something I've had at the back of my mind. I guess because the vets do not think the problem is a bacterial one, I haven't gone down that route.. but I am wondering about it. Blood tests so far have shown no signs of fighting any infections - all normal.

Dr O - Copper is on codeine (Daily 6 x 60mg am and 5 x 60mg pm) and also dexamethasone (44mg every 48 hours) Would it be safe to try metronidazole at same time? He's so full of drugs these days bless him.

Rachelle, Im still waiting for the Maalox to arrive!

As for Copper's condition at mo.. vet came out and checked him over. Lungs etc sound okay, and temperature and heart fine. Noisy gut noises but that is because of his problem. He took his bloods to do a full blood count (3rd one) and also a tapeworm serum analysis. I reduced the dex to 44mg every other day. I know it is only the codeine that is stopping the diarrhea now though. As soon as it starts wearing off, he looks miserable and his poo turns to custard. Trouble is they get tolerant to it so you have to keep increasing the dose. I wonder if there's away i can stop him getting tolerant. Vet suggested missing a day or two as then when they go back on it, it starts working again but then what about the colic during those days? AaagggHH!!

Once again - thanks you to everyone for trying to help my boy X
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25775
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jun 5, 2011 - 9:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

A couple of thoughts on your last post: As to salmonella single cultures do not rule out their presence. While severe infectious colitis will certainly effect the CBC, chronic infections may not so should not be used to rule this out.

Though I don't know of any mechanism where the addition of metronidazole to the existing medications might be harmful I do not know any work that has shown this mixture to be safe.
DrO
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1522
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Monday, Jun 6, 2011 - 12:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

OK, this is an anecdote, and can be meaningless. I'm caring for my horses and the horses next door ( for the past 4 years ). The boarder next door has gone from intermittent watery stool to half formed stool for 3 years. Always wormed according to HorseAdvice parameters. Last year, he went to constant watery stool. I finally insisted that their boarder get a complete physical.......31yr. old QH. gelding.

Vet put the gelding on Metronidazole and watery stool was gone in three days. I know, because I pick up every AM., and my husband picks up every PM. The couple who own the farm next door (in their seventies and eighties), had ALL their knees replaced last year and this year, and my husband and I are going m'ucking f'uts!!!!!!!! They are vastly improved now and are beginning to come out to help with AM and PM pickup. But the important fact is that the watery stool is gone. Metronidozole has not only antibiotic properties, but also anti protozoal.

Might work, and might not.
Can't hurt to try. It's antibiotic and antiprotazoan. After all, you're already using prednizone and codiene. Maybe your vet would try backing off them and trying Metronidazole. If it doesn't work you could always go back.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 21
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011 - 12:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Dr O. Vet did not suspect salmonella-I don't really know why. It was me that insisted on the culture and he had it done twice (both negative) when he first started with this last year. My other horse is fine. However, I know that even two tests do not prove anything

I am afraid anyway that things are not looking good and I am heartbroken. I think we are going to have to say goodbye to my dear friend. He's started with laminitis. I couldn't believe it after all we've been through, and bizarrely I thought we'd turned a corner on the IBD. Sunday night poo fine and all yesterday - I mean really fine. This morning fine too even though usually when the codeine wears off the slush usually starts, but even the last one was fine. Then for the sickener, I noticed that he didn't want to walk to me for his feed and meds. Now he's half crippled in his stable not knowing how to bear his own weight. I don't know what we have done wrong but God really has it in for us. Vet has said to stop the dex immediately even though you are not supposed to, so if it was that which had finally started to work - too late! The diet he's become used to is out grazing short dryish grass, well that can't happen now as he's in bedded down on thick shavings. So now Im having to change his diet to hay and with his IBD, well there really is no hope left.

The one thing I can add though is that I've had to give him a half dose of flunixin even though he had dex yesterday - Had to cos he's in that much pain. Tonight I will give him his codeine to try to fend off the diarrhea and if lami no better over next few days I guess that's it. I cannot bear losing him but I cannot bear seeing the wonderful strong horse that used to pull a wedding carriage for us, reduced to this!!

God please bless him.
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6387
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011 - 12:53 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, I am so sorry. Just know that you are doing all that you can. Sadly, there is a limit as to what we are able to do. He is lucky to have you there for him . I will be thinking of you and of your well loved Copper.
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 31
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, what terrible news about Copper. My thoughts, wishes and prayers are with you and your beloved horse.
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LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 1191
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011 - 3:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What a blow for laminitis to have set in just when he was starting to show improvement. That is so sad. Thinking of you and Copper and hoping for a miracle.
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Lilo
Member
Username: lilo

Post Number: 1763
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 7, 2011 - 5:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue - so discouraging to hear about this latest setback. No one could have tried harder to find a solution for Copper's problems.
Wishing you strength!
Lilo
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Jan Toberer
Member
Username: jjet

Post Number: 28
Registered: 4-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 - 2:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've been following this thread with the hope that you would be able to help Copper reach some sort of comfortable stable state for at least a while yet. You've not only spent a fortune in treatment expenses but much time has been dedicated to thoughtful research and care. If you do have to let him go soon, know that you will not be alone in your mourning this lovely, noble creature. Also know that by sharing the experience you have better prepared the rest of us who own retired horses with insights into possible remedies needed to care for our own as they reach similar states.
Best to Copper, yourself and your husband.
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Fran C
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Username: canter

Post Number: 2622
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 - 7:03 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, I am sorry to hear of Copper's latest troubles. My thoughts are with you.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25785
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Jun 8, 2011 - 1:34 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Sue,
What bad news. I know at this time things look hopeless but until we hear the laminitis is very bad I would not give up hope. The vast majority of founders recover. Work the problems one at a time. We have information on treating laminitis at HorseAdvice.com » Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Diseases of the Hoof » Founder & Laminitis.
DrO
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 22
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Saturday, Jun 11, 2011 - 6:23 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am so sorry for my absence, I have been so distraught with Copper's crippling laminitis that I haven't felt like doing much other than sitting crying in his stable thinking that I caused it with the rotten steroids and that hasn't helped him one bit! Thank you all..Jan, Lilo, LL, Fran, Diana, Sara and anyone else following for your kindness and please keep praying.. Copper still fighting.

Thank you too Dr O re the laminitis and here is where we are at with that. A blacksmith of my friend recommended a vet he works with to look at Copper. Said he was a real great guy. At first though when I called him, he was reluctant as it is another vet's case, but a quick call to my current vet and a sobbing call back to the new one, and he came out yesterday..an Italian and he was brilliant. I know bill will be huge but will worry about that later!! He really seemed to care and treat Copper as an individual. After shaving off some of his beautiful feathers to get to his pulse (I said I didnt mind feathers grow back, feet don't!)he said he didn't think the pain was quite so bad as it appeared and certainly not to put him to sleep, but said he would xray the forefeet. While I prayed, he looked at the images and called me in to the shed. Couldnt see any rotation. Said didn't mean out of the woods, but promising. Anyway, he put rubber like supports on his front frogs and taped them to his shoes. He gave him a shot of bute and flunixin and told me to walk him out of stable. It was amazing. He could walk without collapsing!! Then he carefully worked out a pain/treatment plan. Two sachets of flunixin given this morning and two tonight and danalon, also ACP and some tablets to help with blood sugar levels till we get insulin resistance test results back. I couldnt understand everything but believe that because of the steroid being stopped so suddenly Copper's glucose levels may be affected???

Today he was reasonably moving his legs around the stable in his soft shavings bed and he was comfortable and neighing with his head out the stable door.. more for his 12 hours soaked hay than me but what a wonderful noise!

I am off sick from work for 2 weeks now with stress and horse sickness!! so I can give him five or six tiny haynets a day..lots of neighing!

And the IBD and diarrhea? The new vet said we had to get him over the lami as first priority and he warned me that the bute etc might make matters worse. This morning it did - yukky watery gas coming out of his bottom and down his legs and cow pats. No colic but then the flunixin would probably have stopped that. Gave him four codeine (new vet said okay to keep doing the codeine) and the poo improved to just better than cow pat so considering he's now off the steroids, I was pleased with that. Gave him just two codeine tonight as his tummy didn't sound too noisy at all. Wondering if the flunixin is helping it??? Anyway - we are off that dexamethasone and I feel happy about that, and despite the lami, Copper is looking brighter in his face. Both me and my partner Ian noticed that today!

Bless you all out there, many miles away, for caring. Hope tomorrow brings a good day. My best to you all and your lovely horses.
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 33
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Saturday, Jun 11, 2011 - 9:50 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi again Sue,
this latest update sounds really hopeful. I thought of you and Copper over the last few days and so have probably many members of this webblog. Maybe we can channel some good energy to Copper
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Cyndy
Member
Username: hpyhaulr

Post Number: 673
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Saturday, Jun 11, 2011 - 11:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have no knowledge, experience or sage wisdom for you, just a hug and a hope for a happier horse soon.
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1525
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Saturday, Jun 11, 2011 - 11:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Well, shoot, here you arrived at the flunixin anyway and achieved a slight change in the manure....of course, you're now dealing with laminitis - the main problem to work on now. Sounds like things are moving the right way....please, let us know.
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6390
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 - 2:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue. Your latest report sounds quite optimistic! I'm so glad. Thank God for good carriers and good vets!! You two may beat all this yet. I do so hope so! Hang in there, and don't forget to take care of yourself also.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: dro

Post Number: 25795
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 - 8:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue you have to quit blaming yourself. Your horse had a inflammatory condition that was well documented and responded well to steroids and may have gotten progressively worse quicker without there use. Remember for 7 months it was the only way to stop the diarrhea. Then consider that it is not clear steroids cause laminitis. While their is a mechanism that may lower the threshold for founder you cannot induce founder by giving steroids, it has been tried experimentally several times.

I agree with Sara, your last post is suggestive of a treatable founder so we will continue to keep you in our positive thoughts.
DrO
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Lilo
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Post Number: 1768
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Posted on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 - 10:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue - so happy to hear you found a vet that gave you hope, and really seems to know how to attack Copper's problems, one at a time. That he could not see rotation is a hopeful sign.
Best wishes and healing thoughts, both for you and for Copper,
Lilo
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Fran C
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Username: canter

Post Number: 2623
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Posted on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 - 10:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good news, indeed! Sounds like there is now a lot to be hopeful for. Continued best wishes.
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LL
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Username: frances

Post Number: 1192
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 - 10:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Wow, so glad you've now got a competent and concerned vet on your and Copper's side. It does sound as if this could be the turnaround point, especially since the laminitis doesn't seem to have gone too far yet.

Fingers and hooves crossed - wishing you all the best.
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Vicki Z
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Username: vickiann

Post Number: 2484
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Sunday, Jun 12, 2011 - 5:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What an ordeal, Sue.

Hang in there!

Hoping that you will have good results. It sounds as though there is much to be hopeful about.
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 23
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, Jun 13, 2011 - 12:24 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello everyone - thank you again for all your prayers and good wishes for Copper.

Ups and downs still. Copper not walking any better today. It's his off fore that's really bad. He seems a lot better om the others as he picks all his legs up for me apart from the near fore. He doesnt like putting any weight at all on off fore and refuses to turn round on it. Vet coming back out tomorrow. Think he's going to take Copper's shoes off and put lily pad supports on frogs without shoes. Now says that he is getting worried that toxins from his bowel condition or still lurking from the steroids may be continuing the acute condition.

Poo okayish last night and doesnt smell bad (vet asked me that) but then still liquid coming out as well and down his legs. Gut sounds quite settled though so bute maybe to blame (danilon) He's still on flunixin for the toxins on vets advice to and I gave him 2.5 codeine tabs but I really would like to stop them completely in case they are contributing to toxins. Dr O - what are your thoughts on codeine causing toxins/impacting laminitis?

Have ordered some wood chip today (coming tomorrow) in the hope of padding out the small concrete yard in front of his stable so he can move about a little if he wants to. 12 x 12 stable only allows him to turn around and on the bad foot I guess that's putting more pressure on it. Hope it's a good idea?
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 24
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, Jun 13, 2011 - 3:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi everyone

Re my last post - does anyone know if oak wood chip is safe for horse paddocks? We wont be giving him his hay on it but wondered about its toxicity

Thank you Sue
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 25
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2011 - 7:10 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The woodchip came whilst vet was here so couldnt stop the guy tipping it.. nightmare!! It was full of leaves of all sorts of unidentifiable trees. Me and Ian then spent all day shovelling it for disposal as couldnt risk my other horse eating any

Copper no better really and I am starting to question new vet's wisdom. Has had me walking him out of stable to see how he looks but thought that was a no no with lami/foundering horses. Also had me putting him in field with muzzle on. I have now refused to do. Occasional diarrhea and watery stuff still dripping when he passes wind. Doesnt smell bad and as Im only giving him 3 codeine a day, and in view of all the NSAIDs (danalon and flunixin twice a day) hes on I suppose I should be happy. (Happiness... that seems a long time ago now)

Blood work from prev vet- done just before the lami started - came back as normal except CPK had risen to 823 (reference range 20 - 251) I have researched and dexamethasone can cause this to rise. However, I am a little worried about whether Copper's adrenal glands are functioning again and whether them not doing so could be causing his feet not to improve - reading up about hypothyroidism as this can cause lami in horses. Dr O - Please could you share your thoughts on this please so I can discuss better with my vet

New vet has now replaced lilypads on front frogs with styrofoam pads that cover his whole feet and lift him two inches off the ground. Thought you had to keep all pressure off sole?? It goes on and on with no remission and still Copper fighting for his life - eating well despite everything. Where is his miracle?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: dro

Post Number: 25800
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2011 - 8:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

On the walking out, it all depends on how severe the laminitis is. If it requires seeing the horse to walk to assess the founder then this might be OK. Is the horse obviously lame in the stall? While dex can cause certain liver enzymes to rise I don't think CPK is one of those but if Copper is laying down a lot that would cause a rise. I will research the CPK/dex issue to be sure. As to my thoughts on hypothyroidism in adult horses see HorseAdvice.com » Diseases of Horses » Endocrine System » Hypothyroidism in Adult Equines.

It is not a miracle you are looking for just the normal recovery of your horse from a bout of moderately bad founder: it takes time however.
DrO
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6394
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Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2011 - 10:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, the first thing I do if I suspect a horse has laminitis is put on thick styrofoam pads, bed deeply and give bute. IMO the pads should have been put on initially instead of the lily pads. Have you read the HA article on laminitis? It has some good basic advice. Take one problem at a time with Copper. It's very easy to lump everything together. Most horses recover from laminitis with treatment. It does, however, take quite a lot of time as Dr.O said.
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 26
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2011 - 1:12 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thank you Sara and Dr O. Yes - he is lame in the stall but so far only laying down at night. He doesn't like to turn on the bad foot and as the stall is only 12 x 12 he can't move about without being forced to turn so he doesnt move much only to get to his hay and the door.

He now has styropads on and he did walk surprisingly better on them than without. The vet's other practioner came out and put them on, but when I went back, one had slipped so the rear of his foot was almost off the back of it. I rang them and was told to replace. I did so but as his foot had already started making an impression in them I wasn't too happy about it. I guess they may redo completely tomorrow when xray him again. I do wish they'd have done the styropads earlier as the lily pads weren't much help.

Diarrhea, watery gas back with vengeance now. Guess the bute and/or flunixin is worsening colitis. Such a shame as we were just getting there with the IBD (or not IBD!) Have just spoken to a lady who imports and supplies bio-sponge in the uk. Lovely lady. She has none in but is trying to get a little for me from a vet she supplies till stocks arrive. May or may not help. She also mentioned something called lawsonia. Going to look it up.

Dr O, when you have studied the dex/cpk can you let me know your thoughts.

Once again thanks you everyone. Lovely people make up for the few horrible ones out there and restore your faith in mankind.
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 27
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2011 - 1:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just a thought.... I still have the maalox recommended by Rachelle but never used. Not sure if okay to give with the bute and flunixin. It contains aluminium hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide. Advice welcome as to any incompatibility as may give this a go.

Thanks sue
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6395
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2011 - 1:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I save all the heavy styrofoam I can get. You can easily trace the hoof or a horse shoe and cut the foam with a knife to make a pad. You can also buy the really thick blue pads from farrier supplier, tack stores and some vets. I've found the easiest way to put on is to make a base of duct tape pieces stuck to my jeans with ends long enough to go up over foot - I use 4 -5 pieces of tape. Then I apply the base of tape to the pad and stick the pad on the foot pulling the extra tape tabs up over the hoof. Then I wrap around the hoof with more duct tape to secure it. It would be easy to show, but is hard to explain.

There are also available to keep on hand some very easy to apply emergency wraps which have soft gel pads available as inserts. They cost about $15 are are very easy to use. Seems like they are called Easy Wraps, but am not positive.

Imo he should be kept in his stall in deep bedding without a lot of movement until he is comfortable. So, I wouldn't worry about his not moving much. If Dr.O doesn't agree, I'm sure he'll comment.
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Diana Shaffner
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Username: tdiana

Post Number: 34
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Thursday, Jun 16, 2011 - 2:18 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Some of the boot suppliers such as easyboot (Easy Care Inc.) do sell extra thick and soft comfortpads made to fit particular boot models. When no nailed on shoes are present these can be a great tool during a lengthly recovery phase as some turn out starts to become an option again. Especially in moist conditions where anything sticky like tape may have a tendency to get loose and come off.
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Lee
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Username: paul303

Post Number: 1527
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 - 12:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, Dr.O would have to answer you about the Maalox, but I would think that if it can be used with the other meds, it would be beneficial considering the bute and flunixin he's on.

My only experience with something like this, is a mare I have that was hospitalized with a severe case of ulcers. Since then, whenever I have to medicate her for pain ( a couple of lameness incidents )with bute or banamine, the vet has me also give a partial dose of Ulcerguard to hopefully protect her stomach. We don't give the medications at the same time, though. I believe we waited to give the Ulcerguard awhile AFTER the bute or banamine. It might be because the stomach meds can inhibit the uptake of other meds.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: dro

Post Number: 25804
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have no information on how mixing these drugs will effect efficacy. However like Lee suggests, if fed at different times it is much less likely to have an adverse effect.
DrO
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rtrotter
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Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 987
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Friday, Jun 17, 2011 - 11:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue,

As with the Ulcergard, my vet recommended that it be given on an empty stomach, since its purpose is to protect as it goes through the horses digestive system.I used to give before I fed breakfast.

I have also used it with medication mixed in it, as sometimes this was the only way, I could get medication into a horse, no adverse effects, but I don't know if the efficacy was affected. I do know it seemed to work any way I used it and it did get rid of the gas and firm up the poop.

Rachelle
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 28
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, Jun 20, 2011 - 8:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello everyone

Thank you all again for your advice. Vet came out again today to redo the styrofoam. I hope it's a good idea this stuff. They cut frog shape from what he had imprinted and then attached another styrofoam pad to bottom of his front feet on top of the frog imprint. Now standing very tall indeed!!?

Im a bit worried that yesterday he seemed to have a good day, moving about his stall yet today he didn't seem as easy about it. It's two weeks now since this started and I guess it's a long road.

They showed me latest xrays which they seem okay about but when I looked Im unhappy about the fact that bottom of pedal bone seems more away from the hoof wall than top part of it. Anyway I guess I have to trust the vet on this one.

I am controlling diarrhea reasonably well now on 3 codeine am and 2 pm so have decided not to change anything with that just yet. New vet has taken blood and poo samples for more tests including giardia and lawsonia. Hope they find something that other vets didn't or else we're back to start with that (not quite at least off steroids)

Just wishing now for a good improvement on the laminitis/founder. How priorities change!!
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6397
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, Jun 20, 2011 - 9:29 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, recovery from laminitis is a long road and there will be good and bad days. I'm not quite understanding what they did with the frog imprint and second layer of foam. Did they put another foam layer on but with a cut-out for the frog area? If so, something new to me.

Continued good luck. Don't give up. It's a long haul I know.
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Lilo
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Username: lilo

Post Number: 1769
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Monday, Jun 20, 2011 - 10:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Just want to send good wishes your way, Sue. I don't have any advice.
Thinking of you and Copper and hoping for the best outcome possible,
Lilo
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 29
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Monday, Jun 20, 2011 - 6:54 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for the good wishes Lilo - and to you Sara. I guess I was hoping he'd recover more quickly than this and we've had a disastrous day.

My new vet seems to have now passed me onto the other vet in his practice. She came out today and she cut out the frog shapes from the old foam, put the half inch thick shapes back on his frogs and then taped new styrofoam on top. However, she didn't have any bigger sized styrofoam so she used ones that were slightly small for his feet. I went back up later to find his toe had slipped over edge on his worse foot - ever so slightly but it meant that the foam squashed right down at the toe leaving his heel about 45 degrees angle to the front of his toe. He looked shocking so I rang her and disgruntedly she came back after normal hours. Have been told that as they are only small practice I can't keep having them out.. but what am I supposed to do? Leave him like that? She did agree that it had slipped but I couldn't bear thought of it being put back on and doing the same again so I said to take the things off and just tape on the frog supports from the previous styrofoam imprints.

And now - I do not know what to do but he hasn't had as comfortable day today as he did yesterday. I am wondering about just leaving the frog supports on and doing nothing else for a week?

Dr O - One thing I can't understand and they can't explain is that Copper isn't trying to avoid weight on his toes. On the worst foot, he raises his heel from the shavings and I guess that only puts more weight on his toe? I am wondering bearing this in mind how best to support his foot? Would you recommend continuing with the styrofoam when they get the bigger ones in? I have sent for a different sort from the laminitis clinic here in the uk. Sort of pear drop shaped black things that are supposed to be same texture as the frog itself. Vet looked at them and then continued with styrofoam! Also, at what point do we know when acute stage is over and we are dealing with chronic?

Diarrhea still reasonably under control. If only I hadn't done the dexamethasone and had just coped with codeine - he probably wouldn't be like this now. And I know I only tried to do my best with his 'IBD' condition at the time but hindsight is a good/bad thing!

And so we go on - wonder if I should redirect this thread now to diseases of the hoof?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: dro

Post Number: 25816
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011 - 8:05 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would leave it here so the whole history is available. Sue I cannot diagnose and treat your horse, this has to be done by someone who can examine the horse. How I manage founders is clearly put forward in the article on laminitis and will provide you with guidelines that along with your veterinarian will help lead you to best treatment practices, see
HorseAdvice.com » Diseases of Horses » Lameness » Diseases of the Hoof » Founder & Laminitis » Founder & Laminitis an Overview.
DrO
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 30
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Friday, Jun 24, 2011 - 2:31 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello everyone following
Not good news - Copper getting worse with his feet, can barely stumble round stable and even vet doesn't seem to know why worsening as xrays done 10 June and 17 June dont show much/any rotation (so vet tells me) Blood tests are now starting to show fibrinogen levels raised so I guess now we've stopped steroids the inflammation in bowel is worsening. Strange though diarrhea has improved since we stopped the flunixin. He's now on danilon only and just 5 codeine. Started biosponge a week ago - maybe that's helping?

Only other thing on bloods is CPK high at 850.

Dr O - Could this high CPK be indicative of anything to do with his lameness/steroids use? Note it was raised on the blood tests he had just prior to the laminitis starting so it isn't connected to his stable confinement- vet says his feet aren't particularly warm and he cannot find a throbbing pulse (but bear in mind copper does have a lot of feather)... he is at a loss why Copper is so bad with his feet (he's even worse now Ive put on more styropads on his front feet under vets orders)

He doesnt react to hoof testers at all but there is a lot of old sole on his feet so maybe that stops the pain. Im starting to wonder if lameness is other things as well as lami?

Insulin and glucose normal

Help anyone!! Im getting close to thinking will have to have him pts soon and I can't bear it!!
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Diana Shaffner
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Username: tdiana

Post Number: 35
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Friday, Jun 24, 2011 - 3:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Not sure if this applies to Copper but sometimes an animal (people too) who has been struggling with anything causing stress (illness, psychological stress etc.) for prolonged periods of time may experience something like fatigue. Consequently, the threshold for enduring pain and stress is lowered and the patient shows behavior as if he were in a lot more pain although physically not much has changed. I wonder if this could be why Copper is more lame without showing worsening detectable to the vet?
Sue: Does Copper lie down a lot? If not and if he stands mostly in the same position all day, I wonder how much his other joints/muscles get fatigued from the standing and may contribute to him looking very lame when he does try to move? I am not trying to downplay Copper's pain but maybe other issues are now coming into play that make everything seems worse than it is?
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Francesca Dudon
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Username: firsthor

Post Number: 1
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Friday, Jun 24, 2011 - 8:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue
Sending best wishes too. Where in the UK are you? I'm in Hertfordshire.
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 31
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Saturday, Jun 25, 2011 - 3:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Welcome to my nightmare Francesca!! and thank you for your kind wishes I live in a village called Ealand, North Lincolnshire. It is a really good site this isn't it. Great people helping me cope

Thank you Diana, I'd like to hope that is what is happening. He is lieing down more than he was. Im going to have one more set of xrays done next week and if they dont show changes and he gets no worse then maybe we will persevere. Im not too happy with the styrofoam that vet insisted on - he still seems to tip himself onto his toes with it but I dont want to change things too quickly so Ive left it for now.

I am now double soaking the hay (12 hours plus 5 hours in new water) and I have halfed his ration.

Didn't give any codeine last night as poo seemed okay and was okay this am so none this am either - just hope not talking too soon.

He keeps on fighting for his life - still eating. I know he wants to pull through this but it's just getting all too much
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Diana Shaffner
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Username: tdiana

Post Number: 37
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Saturday, Jun 25, 2011 - 7:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, your stress level must be tremendous. Yet Copper has not given himself up yet. I know easier said then done, but take it one day at a time. Wishing you and Copper strength to pull through.
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Lilo
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Username: lilo

Post Number: 1770
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Saturday, Jun 25, 2011 - 9:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue - so sorry to hear about your struggles. All I can do is wish you the best and hope for a turn for the better.
Sending healing thoughts,
Lilo
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LL
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Username: frances

Post Number: 1194
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Saturday, Jun 25, 2011 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hold on Sue - taking one day at a time is good advice - at least the diarrhoea is better so hold on to that good news. Maybe more will follow.

Thinking of you and Copper.
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Vicki Z
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Username: vickiann

Post Number: 2486
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Saturday, Jun 25, 2011 - 10:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue,

When one of mine had a long battle with laminitis last year the flunixim (Banamine) wrecked havoc with his system.

I had to keep giving Bute to keep the inflammation out of his feet but it gave him ulcers so had to put him on some serious treatment for that.

He also ended up with thrush from being in boots and stalled up,

At the time both Vet and farrier didn't think he had thrush but he surely did and Vet eventually cut away a lot of diseased frog.

He also eventually popped an abscess.

He was very sore in his muscles and all over from the compensating that he had been doing.

Hang in there.

Hope that you will be seeing improvement soon.

The course of dealing with this problem can be long with some ups and downs but we had a great outcome over time.
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6398
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 - 12:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue. I have battled severe laminitis twice; once with a mare that had a severe injury that needed treatment also. It isn't an easy road; it's a long one and it will have it's ups and downs.

Have you read the article on proper treatment of laminitis on HA and are you following the proticol suggested? It is imparative that your horse have deep soft bedding/footing. If shavings aren't available, soft deep sand is great. Also, you don't sound like you have faith in the pads, but they really do help and you don't need a vet to apply them. IF your horse has plenty of soft footing he may be o.k. without pads if he has plenty of cushy support so he can stand without his feet hurting. If not deep bedding/footing, then the padding on his feet is a must. If you can't pad like the vet did, just make pads out of thick styrofoam, old carpet, anything you can find that might work and tape it over his entire foot.

btw, when a horse has laminitis, if given the chance it will stand with his heels up, kind of making a slope in the sand or bedding so he can get this kind of support. This is common and seems to help relieve the pain. The one good thing about the deep footing is he can wiggle his feet around and find the most supportive, comfortable place for his feet.

When Libby was on bute (as well as antibiotics) for so long I did give her ulcerguard as a preventative. She never had any stomach problems, but don't know if it was due to the ulcerguard, or if she wouldn't have had problems anyway. My vet says he has had horses on low doses of bute for long periods of time with no problems. I've also heard of feeding large amounts of Tums to help.

If Copper is lying down, it's a good time to work on getting pads on his feet if he doesn't object. It's much easier for both of you than when he is standing up. It's not necessarily a bad thing that he is lying down, as long has he gets up to eat and drink and doesn't seem to be in distress. A horse can't lie in one position for long perids of time, but being off his feet more will be less painful for him and help them heal faster imo.

I hope things improve and that tomorrow is a better day for you. If you have time, read what some of the rest of us have posted about our horses struggles with laminitis and founder. Perhaps you will find some encouragement.

I assume you are soaking his hay due to concern about carb/sugar content. Can you get plain grass hay where you live? It would make your life a little easier. You could do with one less thing to worry about! And, if he had a rather bland hay like grass, he could munch on it all day for something to do.
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Angie KJ
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Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1329
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Sunday, Jun 26, 2011 - 9:52 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue,
Been following this and wonder if you ever checked into the bio-sponge? Some one suggested it earlier and I know we had discussions on here regarding it's use.

As for his feet, I've had some trouble with hoof pain, though not founder. (too short of trim) What I found was too much padding (foam) seemed worse than a lesser amount. But if there is pain, it needs to be treated with padding on feet and in the stall as others have pointed out. DrO's article on this spells out the treatment.

Sara gives good guidelines for taping the foam on. I do that with a roll of Vetwrap wound around the hoof up to the coronet band on top of the taped foam. Just that stays on for 2 days if the horse is stalled or in a small dry area. Even if it's not coming off or wore through after 2 days, I change it to check the condition of the hoof so thrush doesn't develop.

If this were my horse at this point I would simplify as much as possible. Hard to do I know since you just want him better now. I'd try the bio-sponge, and treat the laminitis with stall rest, pads, and Bute or something for the pain & inflammation. I personaly feel the laminitis is a reaction to all the meds he's been on, along with grazing. Meaning just the grazing may have not ever caused laminitis but with everything else going on it was too much for his system.

Just my opinion. You and your vets are there seeing the horse, have the history, to base your decisions on.

Wishing you and Copper the best. I hope he improves soon. Take care of you too.
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Sue Mc
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Username: suemc

Post Number: 32
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 5:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Angie, sara, Vicki, Lilo, LL, Diana and anyone else still following.

I have read through all of your advice and thank you for sharing your experiences. I think the styrofoam doesnt work well with deep shavings as it goes all lopsided. I am back with lilypads now though I dont think they're great. I am sure they are too small as the heels wont stay where they should but vet said they are ok. I may just make some of my own like you suggest Sara.

Anyway - not great news on latest xrays there was a dark shadow near his hoof wall on both front feet. It was only a thin line and vet says not huge rotation but of course now I am left wondering if this is getting worse. Good news though I dont want to talk too soon is that he seems a little less sore. I am praying so hard for him it hurts.

Vets and blacksmiths are a nightmare. I am so tired of sensitivities. Vet upset that I am asking others for advice and quizing him, and vet uses different farrier to the one I usually use. I am caught between a rock and a hard place. Vet has finally said that yes his toes are too long (I have been telling him this for two weeks) but his blacksmith cant get to me till Saturday and says if I use my blacksmith then he will not be able to see to my horse afterwards. My blacksmith hasn't responded to my calls anyway. I dont care who comes out as long as my horse gets the best care as early as he can get it. Aarrgh!

On diarrhea front.. vet suggested that if Copper was his horse he would starve him literally for a week!! to rest his bowels. I decided to try for 36 hours but I just couldnt do it! he is already on a minimal diet of less than 1% of his bodyweight (hifi lite, Safe and Sound and 16 hours soaked hay) If I thought there was a chance that starving long term would work Id do it, but I simply do not. I am thinking of trying a low sugar/starch pelletted diet though and no hay as Ive read that this can 'rest' the bowel. Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this?

Once again thank you all for being so supportive

Sue
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
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Username: dro

Post Number: 25831
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 6:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

A good forage diet is the basis of horse nutrition and needed for the bowels to work their best. I am not sure what it means to "rest" the bowel.
DrO
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LynnL
Member
Username: lynnland

Post Number: 211
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 7:19 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue,

When my horse was having diarrhea and apparent stomach pain, I did come across the concept of feeding IBD horses less frequently to, supposedly, allow the bowel to be completely empty for a while (although I think 3 days to a week is way too long). I believe the theory was that the actual physical movement of food was an irritant.

Given that you are both fighting with the founder at this time, I would strongly suggest that if the horse is eating well and does not have diarrhea to the point where dehydration is a real concern, I would feed him as normal. Don't add any more stress to him (or you) that might make this all harder.

Keeping fingers and toes crossed for you guys.

Lynn
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Sara Wolff
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Username: mrose

Post Number: 6401
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 10:39 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have had good success supplementing forage with Purena Wellness L/S. However, I would never take away forage, perferable good grass hay, unless the horse just couldn't chew the hay. Hay (forage) is a mental/emotional thing for a horse as well as physical imo, esp. when they are confined to a stall. If you want to try pelleted feed, I'd get the L/S (pricey though) and then put hay in double or triple haynets for him to pick at so he feels he's "grazing."
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 38
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 10:51 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I cannot believe the vet would suggest to not feed the horse at all for such a long time. Are you supposed to add the stress of starving to your sick horse?

I think as long as you have feed/hay that is somewhat soft as opposed to for example hay with very corse stems that would aggravate the bowel Copper will be fine. Whenever I have heard a vet say "let the bowel rest" that's what it meant. In essence help the bowel by selecting or preparing feed in such a way that it is easier or less abrasive for the digestive system.

Sounds like the vet is getting his pride hurt by you educating yourself in order to help Copper better. You are doing the right thing though. It's his problem if that irritates him. Sad, he should be glad instead.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 990
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 10:54 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue and Dr. O,

I happen to agree with Sues vet about resting this horses bowels, over the last several weeks this horse has had many changes. in my first post above I suggested the same thing. Take him off of everything except hay and leave him be, this is not starvation, but this horse is now stuck in a stall( my suggestion above as well) and he does not need any type of concentrate to maintain him, I would also not water down his hay at all, or maybe just a bit right before you give it to him. I'd give him his hay in a small mesh hay bag, so it would last a bit longer and I'd leave him alone. I am not even sure I'd given him any medications if these need to be fed in a concentrate. You do want his bowels to move but at a lesser rate then what they are doing now. This gives the bowels a chance to rest and maybe to heal without putting anything else into him that may have caused the original problem.

Is it easy, no its not, but when you are faced with a life or death decision sometimes you just have to do things that may be hard for you to do.

Lots of horses live on just hay alone, so that should not be a problem, and if it works then perhaps you will have solved several problems at once.

My 2 cents
Rachelle
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Ann W.
Member
Username: annimule

Post Number: 42
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 11:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I have to add my .02 as well. I agree with Rachelle about with- holding at least some of the food. As a small animal vet tech of 35 years I know this is what we always did with dogs with G/I upsets. Maybe the gut just needs a rest. This horse has been through sooo many changes. I imagine it would be hard to know what treatment option is doing what...I know how strong the temptation to keep trying new things is, but I think one needs to give one treatment a time to work before starting off on a new one.

I mean no disrespect to anyone, just my thoughts. You have been through soo much with Copper I sure hope you are able to see this through to a happy resolution!
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Francesca Dudon
New Member
Username: firsthor

Post Number: 2
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Tuesday, Jun 28, 2011 - 11:15 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sue
I can help with regard to boosting your horses' immune system so he can cope better with all he is going through. You'll see results after the first session although the sessions for your boy would start gently. Essentially it will give a big support to his ability to self repair.
Best wishes to you.
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Lee
Member
Username: paul303

Post Number: 1537
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Jun 30, 2011 - 1:13 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The no feeding idea would appear to be a really severe stress inducer....stress does not seem wise for an IBD horse.

To keep hay in front of him, and to also slow his eating to a leisurely pace, try googling "Nibble Nets". A former member of this site called my attention to them and I liked what I saw. I ordered them a year ago last January and they have been wonderful for my horses. It takes them 3 hours to eat what they used to suck down in 30 minutes. They are much calmer at feedings and seem to enjoy slowly working the hay out of the thick netting. They even lose interest and walk away before they are done. There also is no waste at all. I got them, to slow my horses down and to keep hay in front of them as long as possible without overfeeding. They work so well that I ordered back-ups just in case, but the originals are holding up just fine. When my vet saw them she ordered them for her racing thoroughbreds immediately and told me that she pushes all her clients to get them. My horses are now consuming less hay, yet they are happily busy munching for a much longer period of time.
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Sue Mc
Member
Username: suemc

Post Number: 33
Registered: 4-2011
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 9:56 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear all

It is with a very heavy heart and many tears that I am able to go on here to tell all of you who have tried so hard to help that we lost my darling horse Copper.

His laminitis worsened to the degree that we made a decision to take him to Liverpool University hospital. They xrayed him there and his feet were in a very poor state. For seven days they tried to save him but were hampered in pain control because of his bowel condition. We stayed in hotels most of the time so we could be with him. Then on 7 July the consultant told us that repeat xrays had shown that his bone would be out through his right foot in a few days and they hadn't been able to arrest the sinking. The medications were causing all sorts of problems too... we were told that there really was no chance of a recovery.

I had gone back to work the day of the call and we rushed back over to Liverpool over 100 miles to be with him. He was so very brave and was standing when we got there with his drip attached and he gave us a massive neigh but was unable to walk to the door to greet us. I gave him a big bucket of all the foods he had never been allowed to have... something from every feed bin they had at the hospital!! and he loved it.

And then he went to sleep and it was at exactly 7pm on the 7th of the 7th. We had him seven years too! It was as if that was and always had been his time. We were delayed over two hours getting to be with him because the motorway had been closed due to an accident. As he left us, a loud crack of thunder sounded above the stable as if he was saying that he was okay up there. No rain just a very dark cloud that hung overhead.

I do not know how I am going to get over him. He was a brave brave horse. The consultant said he was one of the toughest she had ever come across and she had so wished she could have saved him.

We still have to cope with getting his ashes back which will be traumatic but we want his spirit back here with us and we will scatter them in his favourite field.

One day we will get another horse and we will give him or her a lovely life but never will they come close to that boy. His love of us, of life and his character brought a joy to our lives that we will never have again. Rest in peace Cop. We miss you baby.

Thank you to all of you who offered advice and support and those who just followed our sad fight. All the best to all of you and to your equines.
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rtrotter
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Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 992
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 10:20 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue,

I am so sorry to hear about Copper, sometimes its the toughest ones that are the hardest to let go.

My prayers are with you and your family and Godspeed to Copper. he is no longer in pain and he can frolic as he once did knowing that you loved him and did everything you could to help him.

My condolences to all.
Rachelle
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Andrea Duncan
Member
Username: babychop

Post Number: 162
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 10:25 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oh, I am so sorry to hear this! Know that you did everything in your power to save him but it just wasn't meant to be. He's pain free now. Your story of his last day made me cry - I'm glad you got to spend a little time with him and give him a special treat. He will always live on in your heart.
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Angie KJ
Member
Username: ajudson1

Post Number: 1333
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 10:30 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

(((Sue)))

I am so sorry he is gone. He is over the rainbow bridge, running with the herd, and I do believe without a doubt he is in God's hands...I believe 7 is very spiritual number.

I finished reading your post and the temp on my moniter shows 77, it's 7/17/ on the date, and I am typing this at 10:27!!!

RIP Copper.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 6413
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 10:32 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am so, so sorry. You at least have the comfort of knowing you did everything humanly possible for him; the test was beyound your control. Sometimes I wonder if our animals come to us to teach us something and once the lesson has been taught they leave. I have been so blessed to have had certain horses and other animals in my life; have learned so much from them, and gained so much Joy and at times comfort. It is always so difficult to see them go, especially when they suffer. We are left bereft with only our memories and perhaps the lessons they taught us.

Copper is finally relieved of pain and illness. He was lucky to have had such a caring owner.
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Diana Shaffner
Member
Username: tdiana

Post Number: 42
Registered: 2-2010
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 11:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Sue,

my deepest condolences for your loss. It is interesting that a few days ago as I was going about my work at the barn, I all of the sudden knew Copper had left this world.
He must have been special.

Diana
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Shirley Johnson
Member
Username: shirl

Post Number: 801
Registered: 2-2002
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 3:17 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dear Sue,

Love, prayers and sympathy go your way. I also had Sierra cremated, it brings closure in it's own way. She is on Canelo Pass, which over-looks the Beautiful San Rafael Valley, south of Sonoita, AZ.

Blessings,

Shirley
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Guy Ramsey
Member
Username: gramsey1

Post Number: 199
Registered: 8-2008
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 4:49 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue,
Thank you for taking the time to share this experience with us. I think the hardest part of owing a horse is the bond we share. There is the work we do to develop it. The incredible satisfaction of the experience, and always, the pain of losing it.
But, It is part of the art of horsemanship.
Peace.

Guy
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LL
Member
Username: frances

Post Number: 1207
Registered: 3-2004
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 4:52 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

What a sad ending to the story - my heartfelt condolences, Sue. It must have been so hard to say goodbye to your friend, but you knew there was no choice, and that you had done absolutely everything in your power to help him.

I hope the pain grows a little less every day.

Hugs.
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Cyndy
Member
Username: hpyhaulr

Post Number: 675
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 9:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, I re read this entire thread and felt your growing anxiety for Copper. We are all proud of you for doing the right and best thing for him to the very end. Your bravery and big heart are so obvious to us as I am sure they were to Copper. Hugs to you as you immerse yourself in many wonderful memories.
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Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 2494
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Sunday, Jul 17, 2011 - 10:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I am very saddened to hear of your loss.

You tried so hard to make Copper well.

He was lucky to have you to care for him.

You were there for him doing the best that you could and in the end you gave him a peaceful conclusion to what had turned into a situation that did not have a good potential outcome.

I know how difficult this had to be for you.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 25860
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Jul 18, 2011 - 8:09 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My condolences Sue, you will recover from this it just takes time.
DrO
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 2632
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Monday, Jul 18, 2011 - 3:45 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue, I am terribly sorry for your loss. You did everything you could to help Copper. I hope that brings you at least some comfort.

Fran
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Lilo
Member
Username: lilo

Post Number: 1785
Registered: 4-2000
Posted on Monday, Jul 18, 2011 - 10:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Sue,
My condolences on your loss. Copper was such a special horse, how sad that everything seemed to conspire against him. In time, hopefully, the happier memories will prevail and maybe another special horse will enter your life.
So very sorry,
Lilo
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