The harder I try, the worse I make things. Done in by horse's various problems.
I've posted about my 8-year-old TB/percheron cross, Oberon, a few times. I've been bringing him back from a torn DDFT in left front/torn impar ligament in right front. We're on month 18 and until recently, things had been going along -- if not perfectly smoothly, well at least more or less -- in a forward direction. We were up to 12 minutes of trotting.
He had been having funny manure (cow pies), so four weeks ago did a Power Pac on him. Despite colicking twice during the PP, it seemed to have worked as his manure has looked "normal" for the last few days.
He was recently diagnosed as being IR so have switched him to that diet. He's eating soaked orchard grass hay, 2 cups of TC Lite and 1 cup soaked, rinsed beet pulp w/out molasses. He's getting thyro-L and glycocemic-EQ. He hated the soaked hay at first but is now grudgingly eating it. I occasionally supplement that with a handful of TC Safe Starch forage as a treat.
Two weeks ago, very hard bumps appeared underneath where the saddle and girth go. Coincidentally, at the same time he was off. At first I thought the lameness was in reaction to my being on top of him, pressing into the bumps. Stopped riding him and put him on the lunge line, where he was still lame. Bumps got worse. Vet came out and diagnosed them as being a reaction to my saddle (although it's the same saddle I've always used on him). Also diagnosed him with new soft tissue injury, this time suspensory. Had a saddle fitter come out and he's making some adjustements on saddle. He, too, felt the bumps were caused by the gel pad I used (which wouldn't explain the bumps in girth area). Vet said normally injecting bumps would be way to go but for an IR horse, not an option. He gave me a topical medicine to use 2X/week. No saddle until bumps are gone. He said it could take months. Since new lameness issue also going on, that's not as bad as it could be, although I want to know the definite cause.
Apart from the bumps (which oberon was definitely reactive to), he's incredibly itchy. Everywhere. To the point where I'm thinking he's having some kind of allergic reaction to something and maybe the bumps are part of that. But I can't figure out what he could be reacting to.
The bumps started two days after I started him on Thyro-L. Could that be the problem? I also started him on beet pulp that same time but it doesnt' seem possible that beet pulp could be contributing to it. He's been on TC Lite for months so it can't be that. Glycocemic EQ? I started that the day before the bumps appeared. He's been eating orchard grass for two+ years, although now he's getting just orchard instead of half orchard, half alfalfa.
He's going INSANE with itching. So of course, I'm insane now, as well. Between the torn soft tissues, the manure/colic/power pac, the IR diagnosis (which originally was EPSM), the lameness, the bumps ... I'm worn out.
I have been in the same spot as you, so my condolences!
I found that until I stopped trying, it was a chain reaction.
I'd first stop all supplements for a full week. If symptoms go away, reintroduce one at a time until they come back. If they don't go away, then the allergy isn't to a supplement. It could be the hay. I know he's been eating orchard hay for 2 years, BUT there couls be something mixed in your most recent load that he is allergic to. Rather than removing his hay, I would try an antihistamine and see what happens. You can dose him with benadryl, or you can pick up some trihist and give that a try.
As for his lamenesses, when I had one that was lame constantly (bowed tendon, then that was coming along, then torn suspensory, etc...) I just decide that I wasn't going to ride him for a year, it was pointless, so why bother. Miraculously, when I stopped lunging, riding, etc everyday to see his progress, he became sound. I think it was more an issue of me noticing every little mis-step for months, driving myself nuts. I was lucky enough to be able to toss him in a field for a year to work it all out on his own, but not everyone has that luxury.
Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.
I've stopped all supplements for now. The orchard grass is the same hay he's been eating, not a new load, so I don't think that's the cause. I started him on benadryl four days ago (10 pills 2X/day).
I wash his stuff in a gentle detergent because I'm allergic to detergent! And I put all horse stuff through an entire extra wash cycle (w/out soap) to make sure things are rinsed.
And, re his lameness. After the initial soft-tissue injuries diagnosis back in October 2007, I gave him four months stall rest/handwalking, then brought him home and threw him in the field here. Basically didn't touch him for months and months. Started him back under saddle this past winter. I have absolutely no problem with him being a pasture ornament (well, apart from the obvious) and I'm lucky he can hang out here at home with the other horses.
I think he's a tiny, tiny bit better this morning or maybe I'm simply being overly optimistic because I can't take so many bad days in a row here!
Hmmm.... have you read the creepie Onchochera thread?!!!
I tried. Really I did. But my eyes started to go before I got even half-way through. Is there anyone who could attempt a brief summary? Double-dosing w/ivermectin? Or equimax? Or ????
I did the panacur power pac on this gelding four weeks ago and just gave everyone their standard ivermectin doses yesterday. I swear that somewhere in my initial reading of materials from the equine cushings website there was something about certain wormers being bad for IR horses & I'm thinking it was equimax????
I am so sorry for your troubles I hear you - going through the same thing with this pony I have, though the issues are different. I too, have decided that this "last" issue is the LAST one I'm dealing with. If it's as bad as I'm thinking, he will spend the next 6 months in a stall healing and I won't let him out!!! (haha) And when he's out, he will be wrapped in bubble wrap and equipped with a breathing mask.
Back to you. One thing I have learned with IR / allergic horses is that soaking their hay is a good thing. I know your allergic horse is more of the skin allergy kind, whereas MY guy is respiratory allergic. However, it *may* be helpful for you to soak his hay, just in case he is ingesting something in the hay that has a pollen or something on it that is causing him to itch.
The one thing that my vet told me about allergy testing and shots is that it is FAR more effective with skin type allergies. Doesn't help ME with my pony's respiratory allergies, but you may want to investigate the allergy testing and then desensitization shots.
Other than that, if you can, you may just want to rinse him with clear water a few times a day - or once a day. Maybe that'll help.
I would tend to think this is something more systemic as opposed to something caused by a detergent. Although I have no idea what it might be. Hopefully your vet can shed some light!
I highlighted a few ingredients I might wonder about. Take a look at the list. Incidentally, your horse may have eaten some of these items in moderation before in one of his feeds but if he is getting a bit more it could be enough to elicit a reaction. One of my horses was eating a wee bit of flax contained in his grain without problems. When I started giving flax to the entire herd his feet got hot (but sound). I was freaking out and treating him like he was IR and potentially on his way to foundering. It took awhile to figure out it was the flax. I asked Dr. Kellon on the EquineCushings Yahoo group about it and she hadn't heard of horses having that reaction before but recommended the flax seed oil instead as that is hypoallergenic. I've not given the oil but I did pull him off the ground flax seed. His feet cooled down quite a bit. Then I realized that the TC Low Starch had flax in it too and I pulled him off that and now his feet are cool/normal to the touch. Now if I give him even 1 lb of TC Low Starch or a supplement with flax seed in it his feet get warm again.
I'm not familiar with what is in the Glycocemic EQ.
I would think that horses can develop allergies over time just like people so even an ingredient that was fine in the past might be causing the problem now. And not everyone has the same reaction to an allergen. I am allergic to bananas but instead of getting hives or sick to my stomach my sinuses immediately get really congested. If I eat blueberries I get a cluster headache. Go figure.