So after my last blog post, I decided to give Gav a little break. I had scheduled an adjustment and massage for him, which I'm still waiting on *damn you busy schedules of horse professionals!!* and had ordered some Ulcergard.
Why the Ulcergard? Well let me tell you! About 6 months ago, Gavin kept acting like he was in pain. I don't know how to describe it except very very midly-colicky. He'd purse his little pony mouth, and the look in his eyes was "mom - I don't feel good", or I could be misreading and the look was actually "bitch - don't touch me! My stomach hurts!". Once I went out and he was acting colicky. Not majorly colicky, but enough for me to call out the emergency vet. She checked him out and after about an hour and a little tranquilizer she declared him okay. The ongoing symptoms seemed weird to me though. They included: pursed lips, uncomfortable look on face, extreme salivation while eating (I'm talking huge gobs of saliva coming out of his mouth), and lameness behind (there was no way in hell he was going to track up and he would roach up his back). I mentioned all of this to my actual vet - who I'll refer to here as McDreamyVet (seriously tho...). McDreamyV suggested a whole slew of possibilities, but mentioned that mild colic symptoms could also be ulcers. An easy way to check was to treat with Ulcergard for 8 days.
Never one to turn down advice from McDreamyV I immediately began dosing him up. And low and behold - no more colic symptoms.
Well - guess what returned as soon as I gave Gavin a break? That's right - the weird inability to track up in the trot and the roached up back. It really was just luck that I had already ordered the Ulcergard. I do think that maybe there had been a bit of foreshadowing that I was just blind to.
Clues Erika totally missed:
- The weird back-tracking at the canter
- Another boarder mentioned to me that she saw him only on-off eating his hay. Have you seen how fat my horse is? He didn't get that way by leaving his food and going back to it throughout the day.
- He's been holding his breath when saddling him - very unusual for him and I've had him long enough to know.
So, his spa day has turned into a two week spa retreat. Tomorrow will be day 7 of Ulcergard. He's back to walk-trot-cantering like a pro on the lunge (has seemed better since day 4 of Ulcergard), but I'm going to wait until after his adjustment to get back up on him.
While I haven't been riding him, I have been grooming him like crazy, refining my roaching skills with my brand spanking new favorite toy (Lister Star clippers, I'm in love!!!), getting rid of all whiskers and over-grown bridle paths, and finally instilling some discipline on the lunge (when I say go, that actually means go). Not gonna lie - the lay off has been kinda fun in a my-horse-actually-nickers-to-me-now-when-I-show-up way. This weekend though - it's back to work! :)
Expect a roaching discussion in the near future.