We have been asked to share our personal experiences in the veterinary care and treatment of various illnesses and conditions that have affected our horses from the use of stem cell therapy to various treatments for laminitis.
This is a layman's view - we are not veterinarians and we certainly do not have all the answers. Each case is different. Consult your veterinarian regarding medical questions, issues and care of your horses.
The following information does not constitute medical advise and/or product endorsement. It is anecdotal only.
That being said, perhaps our experiences can shed some insight into your own situation.
In 2008 we have had more than our share of medical issues and loss - much greater than we have experienced over the past 10 years in the same location with the same number of horses.
All the horses listed below are under veterinary care. When we could assist with the care and administration of medications we did so in order to help reduce costs.
|Laminitis - both front hooves||
2008 - When we purchased Fancy, she was already a victim of laminitis. Over
the years the rotation of the coffin bone worsened and her pain increased
despite continuous care, ligament surgery and various metal shoeing
Fancy's pain increased in August 2008 and she having difficultly walking due to a soft spot on the bottom of her left front hoof that we had previously treated. Nothing seemed to be working and we were very worried.
On 8/25/08, Dr Lane Easter of Performance Equine Associates applied wooden shoes with screws to both of Fancy's front hooves. Immediately, there was pain relief and her movement was much better. The next day, she was walking almost normally and was totally free of pain. Four weeks later, she is still pain free and walks and trots normally on her wooden "platform" shoes.
The wooden shoes must be reset every 4 - 5 weeks. At the end of September 2008, we will have her shoes reset for the first time.
|Torn Suspensor Ligament - right front leg||
2008 - Stem cell therapy
Stem cells were harvested from the fat of the horse located in the hind quarters. On 08/28/2008 the stem cells were injected into the damaged area on the right front leg to promote healing.
Stall rest for 60 - 90 days with daily walking.
|Uveitis (Ulcer) - right eye||
Result - ulcer in right eye healed normally. No loss of vision.
Treatment consisted of applying the appropriate medications every 4 hours for a period of 14 days. Area around eye was very swollen during most of the treatment period.
During the healing process, Rocky wore a "Guardian" horse mask with 95% UV sunshades.
|Recurrent Uveitis (Moon Blindness) - right eye||
Result - multiple reoccurrences of uveitis lead to blindness in the right
To prevent additional reoccurrences of uveitis which can be very painful and may require removal of the eye, Jackie wears a "Guardian" horse mask with 95% UV sunshades during the day and receives 1 gram of banamine in the morning.
In order to reduce the potential for accidental injury related to loss of sight, Jackie is maintained in a two acre pen with one other quiet mare.
So far this treatment plan has eliminated the reoccurrences of the uveitis and Jackie is doing fine.
|Cancer - Lower Right Eye Lid||
Surgery is required to remove the cancerous growth on the lower right eye lid.
Tuff is now wearing a "Guardian" horse mask with 95% UV sunshades.
|Traumatic Brain Injury||
Sugar 2008 Foal -
This injury was sustained due to an accident. However, there were no
witnesses to the accident so I can not relate exactly how it happened. It is
assumed that the foal ran face first into a loafing shed or post. As a
result of the accident, the foal suffered from blindness in the right eye, a
nasal fracture, bleeding from the nose and brain injury. There was very
minor damage to the skin on the face. The foal stopped sucking after the
accident occurred and after about a week of treatment developed seizures.
Foal suffered from progressively worsening seizures and loss of weight.
Result - death of foal after 3 weeks intensive care
Dummy foal with a very weak sucking reflex. Foal received multiple bags of plasma, but never developed a sucking reflex and became septic.
Result - death of foal after 5 days intensive care
|Unidentified bacterial infection||
Blondy & in utero 2008 foal
In January of 2008, three mares became extremely ill within a relatively short span of each other. Two mares were in foal and the third mare was open. Both mares that were in foaled died. The open mare fully recovered after 2 weeks of intensive care.
This illness was extremely painful for the horse and difficult to treat.
Result - death of mare after one week of intensive care
|Foal delivered at 311 days via c-section||
Blondy 2008 foal
This foal was delivered via c-section upon the death of her mother Blondy. Blondy was being treated for an unidentified bacterial infection. We took a chance that the foal could possibly survive and for more than a week she did. She was fully developed but lacked the appropriate motor skills to stand. However, she was making progress with physical therapy every few hours until she developed seizures.
Result - death of foal after one week of intensive care
|Unidentified bacterial infection||
Rosie - open mare
This infection was extremely painful and difficult for the horse to cope with. Rosie would not eat or drink and was hooked to an IV for over a week.
Result - full recovery after 2 weeks of intensive care