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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
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    south eastern US
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    Smile UPDATE #19 - It's official....she's NOT retired (yet)

    I took both of my seniors to get their dentals done yesterday. The vet did a brief physical exam first and told me that my mare has Grade 3/5 sysolic and diastolic heart murmurs.

    She's 29 years old and nearly toothless but has been 100% sound all her life and up until earlier this year I was still riding her. However the last couple of times she was ridden (several weeks ago) we noticed a severe decrease in energy levels which, now that I know about her heart, makes sense. I am very very worried about the heart murmurs.

    Last summer she developed sweet itch and then last winter she grew a very long winter coat and then had trouble shedding it again. This made me suspicious of hormone or metabolic changes. Since for the last several years she could no longer eat hay or grass I've kept weight on her by feeding her soaked plain beet pulp pellets, alfalfa/timothy cubes, senior feed and alfalfa pellets. Early this year I took her off the senior feed and started her on an extruded high fiber, high fat, low starch pellet that contains no corn or molassess and have seen quite a bit of improvement in her overall condition.

    I'd like to get other's ideas or suggestions for an immune boosting supplement I can add to her diet.

    I know in my head that she can't live forever and I'd love to have another 20 years with her but I got a severe reality check when the Vet said that the heart murmurs were likely responsible for her decreased energy.
    Last edited by PRS; Dec. 17, 2012 at 02:34 PM.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
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    1,791

    Default

    Well I am sorry to have no suggestions but I applaud your TLC of her.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2010
    Location
    Green Cove Springs, FL
    Posts
    219

    Default

    Jingles for your girl!

    My friends swear by spirolina for increased immune support. You can get it on herbalcom.com. One pound is $13 and some change. Specifically, my BO feeds her 5 year old Oldenburg 1 scoop in the AM and one in the PM (believe it is 1oz). She has seen a serious increase in his immunity (has had hoof issues, sarcoids, skin problems and allergies).

    Glad to see she has such a caring and loving mom
    Heather
    Green Cove Springs, FL



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,280

    Default

    My 20 year old TB has a heart murmur. The vet found it just over a year ago but we honestly don't know when it developed. I got him 2 years ago and never did a PPE as he was a freebie...

    He's retired for a multitude of reasons (mainly his heart) and is going strong. He has plenty of energy and you would never know he isn't "healthy" by looking at his dark bay, dappled coat.

    Major jingles for your mare! "Heart murmur" sounds worse than it is usually.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    Why are you worried about her immune system? Sounds like cushings to me, did you test for that? Jingles



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
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    south eastern US
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Laurierace View Post
    Why are you worried about her immune system? Sounds like cushings to me, did you test for that? Jingles
    Cushings is what I meant when I said metabolic changes. The sweet itch is new, she's never been troubled by it until last summer. The vet said that sweet itch can be indicative that her immune system is starting to break down too.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    Default

    Cushings is a tumor. I guess sweet itch could be immune related but doesn't have to be. I would start with the cushings and go from there.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2010
    Posts
    2,605

    Default

    What a blessing that you found this out now so that she can slow down a bit. Much better than accidentally pushing her harder than her heart is capable of at this point because you didn't know. Hopefully this finding will help you make any small changes possible to ensure that you will get several more years with her.

    What a lucky lady that she had such a caring owner who goes to such lengths to ensure her health and comfort.

    Pictures?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 23, 2007
    Posts
    750

    Default

    Good you found out before pushing her too hard b/c you didn't know. You are a caring horse Mom, I appalaud you!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
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    south eastern US
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    Default

    This is the last time I took her out on an all day trail ride in May 2010....she was slowing down even then:
    https://www.facebook.com/#!/photo.ph...type=3&theater
    This is the last time she was ridden at all (May 2012) She seemed very tired and we cut our ride short and went home:
    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater
    Last edited by PRS; Aug. 2, 2012 at 03:45 PM.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2011
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    3,558

    Default

    She's pretty.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2012
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    Talk to your vet about putting her on a maintenance dose of Evitex. It's a liquid chasteberry juice which can really work wonders for the borderline Cushings cases. It actually brought one of ours out of laminitis in 48 hours when none of the vet-meds were working. It might help with the heavy coat etc.

    Pretty girl is right! Further proof that "when they're put together right, they wear right." That's why she's still here at 29 with those nice straight legs.
    29 is an admirable age for retirement--she's had an extra 10 years over most!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2003
    Location
    north and west of boston
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    1,335

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    gosh she looks remarkably like my lease pony, also 29. Arabian?
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

    Cleo is still giving a weekly lesson wtc and toting me around for short half hour farm rides twice a week. I'm hoping she enjoys her retirement.

    Barbara
    Arabian Clique



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
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    south eastern US
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by barbarachloejosie View Post
    gosh she looks remarkably like my lease pony, also 29. Arabian?
    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fb...type=3&theater

    Cleo is still giving a weekly lesson wtc and toting me around for short half hour farm rides twice a week. I'm hoping she enjoys her retirement.

    Barbara
    I can't see your picture (settings probably needs to be public so I can see it). Yes, she is an Arab/QH cross. I think she got the best from both.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Location
    Twin Cities
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    2,362

    Default

    What a pretty girl! She looks great. Kudos to you.

    Hopefully she will enjoy being retired for a long, long time.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2011
    Posts
    535

    Default

    I would be careful with the herbal supplements. They often aren't thoroughly studied for effects other than the intended purposes and you wouldn't want to make her heart work any harder than it has to.

    I have an older TB who has the same skin issues and was told the same thing about his immune system declining with old age. I would look into Omega Horseshine, Platinum Performance, or smartpak has Daily Omegas Plus. The flax is what you're looking for. Helps a lot with itchyness, skin infections, promotes earlier shedding, and helps keep blood sugar levels steady.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
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    south eastern US
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Win1 View Post
    I would be careful with the herbal supplements. They often aren't thoroughly studied for effects other than the intended purposes and you wouldn't want to make her heart work any harder than it has to.

    I have an older TB who has the same skin issues and was told the same thing about his immune system declining with old age. I would look into Omega Horseshine, Platinum Performance, or smartpak has Daily Omegas Plus. The flax is what you're looking for. Helps a lot with itchyness, skin infections, promotes earlier shedding, and helps keep blood sugar levels steady.
    Thank you! Someone else suggested I try the SmartPak Omega...I've ordered it and will give it a try. SmartPak guarantees that I will see a difference or they will refund my money. Seems like you can't go wrong there.

    I'm simply not a big fan of feeding supplements for the sake of feeding supplements and think that most supplements that are given to horses are not necessary. Now that my old girl is starting to have her age releated issues (much like me) I'm on the hunt for something to make her better....though nothing can stop the clock
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2002
    Location
    Calera, AL
    Posts
    1,901

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by PRS View Post
    Now that my old girl is starting to have her age releated issues (much like me) I'm on the hunt for something to make her better....though nothing can stop the clock
    I know the feeling about that clock. I retired my 22 yo gelding five (six?) years ago because of arthritis in his ankles. He's been getting injections for years since retirement; however, my vet mentioned the other day when he was out for a different matter that after a time, the injections stop being as effective. He's asked me every time since we started injections if they seemed to help. I guess that's why. So far, so good - so we'll continue until they stop helping.

    I hope you find something to help your girl. She's quite beautiful.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul. 17, 2009
    Location
    south eastern US
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    Default UPDATE....

    In early August I was convinced that my 29 year old mare was nearing her last legs. She was having cushings like symptoms and sweet itch or something similar. I added Smart Omega 3 supplement and, more importantly, I added another meal to her routine. I now feed her three times a day. She gets beet pulp, alfalfa cubes, pelleted feed and alfalfa pellets soaked three times a day. She has had a complete turnaround. Her cushing like symptoms disappeared, her skin has cleared up and she feels MUCH better.

    She still has the heart murmur but she actually has her energy back. She has gained weight and almost as soon as I started her new feed regimen she shed out the winter hair she was holding on to (remember this was AUGUST!). Yes it's expensive and labor intensive to feed this way but she's worth it. I have to go home everyday on my lunch hour to feed her her bucket 'O mush. As soon as I feed one bucket I start the next one soaking.

    I turned her around completely WITHOUT drugs, unless you count the SmartOmega supplement.

    Last winter was the first time she had grown that extra long winter hair and then wouldn't shed it out. This winter she just has her normal winter fuzzies. The vet is astounded and agrees with me that when I was feeding her only twice a day it was probably allowing her blood sugar to spike and dip too much which caused her symptoms. Now that I'm feeding her three times a day she no longer suffers those spikes and dips and is feeling better.
    "My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."


    1 members found this post helpful.

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