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Laminitis Nightmare ~ RIP Whiskey!!

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  • Laminitis Nightmare ~ RIP Whiskey!!

    My 6 year old Paint gelding was diagnosed with acute laminitis on December 18, 2009. I am now living the nightmares that comes along with it. We have good days and bad days and I can never know from one day to the next how it is going to go. I have a good professional support team with my vet and farrier but could use some emotional support from those who have been there.

    Any positive stories or words of wisdom from those who have dealt with it and hopefully survived it ?
    Last edited by Diamondindykin; Mar. 29, 2010, 05:55 PM. Reason: update
    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
    RIP San Lena Peppy
    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

  • #2
    Check your Inbox, I just private messaged you our success story!

    Comment


    • #3
      Laminitis is not the death sentence that it used to be.

      The most important thing is to remove the cause.

      Did you horse rotate? How much? Does your farrier have a plan to restore the coffin bone to its correct orientation?

      Do you know what triggered the attack?

      There are many sites with documentated cases, including radiographs, of horses that have completely regained health and are still performing.

      Comment


      • #4
        Back in September 2001, my TB hunter (who was 13 at the time) came down with laminitis. We deduced that the cause of it was the very large amount of sweet feed given to him in an attempt to keep him at an "acceptable" hunter weight. He's always been a picky eater and the only way -- at that time -- to keep weight on him was through Purina Senior and a couple of other molasses-based (or so they seemed) feeds.

        Anyway, his prognosis was guarded. Xrays showed no rotation of either coffin bone. He was not IR, either, which helped. But he was one very, very, very sore horse. He responded extremely well in the acute phase to banamine and ace, as well as to therapeutic shoes that helped balance his feet. Major change in diet, of course. Things were looking good until he had another attack three weeks later. I was devastated.

        But he recovered, very slowly. Months of walking. Oh, I was able to keep turning him out each day, which really helped keep him sane.

        And in May, eight months later, we returned to the show ring and won our first class back! I did retired him from the A/O division so as not to put added stress on his feet. I've been very careful w/his diet ever since. And -- knock on wood - he's never had another bout with laminitis.

        So don't give up. There are many, many success stories. And there are so many more options available to you than there were just nine years ago to me. Better feeds, better hoof care treatments, just more knowledge of the whole disease.

        Best of luck. PM if you have any questions.
        R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

        Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have more experience with laminitis than I would like. The most important thing to figure outis the cause. I lost my very first horse to laminitis, which we think he got from a virus. However, I also think there was soimething else going on that kept him from recovering. He had some skin cancer issues and I think he may have had something internal going on. I now have a mustang that got laminitis from excess weight and insulin resistance. I have it under control, but I am always checking for pulses and heat, watching her like a hawk. I work hard to keep her weight down. I have also seen horses get laminitis as a "side effect" of Cushings. When they went on pergolyde, the laminitis cleared up quickly. However, the test for Cushings is somewhat dangerous for a horse with laminitis. In the cases I know, the vet gave pergolyde without the test (other symptoms pointed to it) and the laminitis cleared up. If the lmainitis is weight related, I found using Quiessence (magnesium supplement) helps a lot with keeping weight off. No grain, and only grass hay. I know you are probably on an emotional roller-coaster right now, and I remember being on that same bad ride, I have a good friend on it right now. I am sorry you and your horse are having to go through this. It is so difficult to see them suffer. Good luck to you!

          Comment


          • #6
            My 18 year old mare had a laminitic attack last August and rotated and sunk a bit. The cause was IR and Cushings. If you have not already found the Yahoo Cushings group join it! Not only will you hear lots of success stories, but also a wealth of info regarding how to treat it and prevent another attack. Good luck to you and your horse.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks everyone!! Hearing other stories of success is very theraputic for me.

              My boy Whiskey is overweight and IR although he did not test positive for it. His weight this last year skyrocketed to over 1400 lbs. Four weeks before he developed laminitis we had started him on Thyro L and he had lost 80 lbs. but it was too late. He has now lost over 200 lbs. and is at a normal weight for his size however we want him to lose 75 -100 lbs more to help his feet.


              He has 6 degrees rotation in the left foot and 12 degrees in the right. Initially he was only lame on the right foot but now the left is showing signs of being sore. The right has actually come a long way. We have done all the normal things.....styrofoam, pads, boots and so on. So far the best thing has been wedges. Today the vet and farrier came out and applied a Redden Ultimate Wedge!! He really seemed to like it and responded well by walking much better. A small glimmer of hope!!!
              RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
              May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
              RIP San Lena Peppy
              May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

              Comment


              • #8
                My STB gelding foundered at age 2 from a septic reaction to gelding. The vet said it was the worst case he had ever seen and recommended euthanasia. His owners at the time did not want to do that, and after a long haul he pulled through. He was donated to SRF and I adopted him - only because I knew if it didn't work out, they would take him back. His X-rays were read by Dr. Rick Redden who said the horse would be pasture sound at best. Today, we ride regularly, although keeping his shoes on is a problem. If the shoe comes off, on goes the boot, otherwise I'd spend my life waiting for the farrier. It's been difficult, and I probably wouldn't do it again, but learned a lot from it. Have tried barefoot but riding him in boots all the time, he seems slightly off, which he doesn't with shoes. In short, it's been nine years since the founder and he still has problems, but with careful management he's serviceable. And I love him.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lolalola View Post
                  In short, it's been nine years since the founder and he still has problems, but with careful management he's serviceable. And I love him.
                  And he's quite the studdly critter, too

                  Search for Champion Lodge here-there are pictures and probably x rays up there- he had both severe rotation and sinking (and subsequent abscesses) in both front feet. It was bad. Many thought that we could get him pasture sound with a huge level of management.

                  Eventually, less than a year after the onset, I galloped him on the sides of mountain and even went on to jump him. It was amazing. We just lost him to a completely unrelated cause. His feet, what should have killed him, were great almost 4 years afterwards.

                  A Venogram was the best diagnostic we did. The abscesses were the worse cause of pain. Clean Trax and SMZ were our life saver there. Our TB came with very bad feet- and lost some blood flow- so glue on shoes (Sigafoo's) were what he lived in. When we couldn't do that (i.e. treating a bad abscess) Soft Ride Boots were awesome.

                  Hang in there

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Been there!!! My darling problem child project horse was diagnosed with laminitis in spring 2009. Although it was mild and caught early, we treated it very aggressively, which is fairly nightmarish when you board 30 minutes from where you live :-). It took him a LONG time to come back--he was ouchy at the walk for months. However, his hooves have now completely grown out, and freakishly, he is actually better than he was before laminitis. I really can't explain it, and it's probably as much mental as physical, but when we eventually put him back to work, he is honestly sounder, quieter, and moves better than he did pre-laminitis. The triggering event for his laminitis was coffin joint injections, and I think that the improvement in his movement is from the effect of the injections--but I mention it to demonstrate that not only is laminitis no longer a death sentence, but that they can actually come back even better. It takes a long time, though, so just keep being patient.

                    I also have a 32 year old pony who had laminitis 15+ years ago, with rotation. He is still sound and competing, and hasn't had an issue in years. So, hang in there, they can bounce back from this.

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by FatPalomino View Post
                      Search for Champion Lodge here-there are pictures and probably x rays up there- he had both severe rotation and sinking (and subsequent abscesses) in both front feet. It was bad. Many thought that we could get him pasture sound with a huge level of management.
                      I remember Champion Lodge well (I was a founding member of SAFE) and I remember when you found him and subsequently saved him I didn't follow his story when he was going through Laminitis but I remember recently seeing the pictures of you riding him after he passed recently! His is an amazing story for sure!

                      You guys have no idea how uplifting your stories are!!! I am a very optimistic person usually but having to watch my baby and best friend suffer so is hard to take!! Knowing that there can be a positive end is reassuring.........thanks!!
                      RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                      May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                      RIP San Lena Peppy
                      May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I've had two horses survive laminitis/founder. First one had 2-3 episodes. Second one had one major episode that she completely recovered from and then years later got an infection that caused a system wide vasculitis and subsequent laminitis and she sunk completely. Had I known about equicasts then she might not have rotated but she did. Over time she's "unsunk" and has decreased the rotation in half. However she remains very ouchy due to paper thin soles (which she has always had actually) but came back sound with shoes and pads.

                        Now her arthritis has caught up with her. Sigh...

                        Anyway it can be done but be prepared to spend a LOT of time and money on nursing and supplies. I also learned that even if not IR you must redo his diet to that of an IR horse at least for now. I would recommend j oing the Equine Cushings list on yahoogroups and their sister group ECHoof. It is a wealth of info. for laminitis and founder and lots of helpful people who have already made mistakes for you to learn from! 8-D

                        Good luck with your boy.
                        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I hope your boy feels better soon. Hugs to you, I know it is a tough time.
                          Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I hope your boy feels better soon!
                            I have a great success story, my pony rotated 13 degrees in all 4 feet about 3yrs ago and was given a very grim prognosis from our vets. It was a very touch and go time and we went through quite a few days where we weren't sure if he would make it
                            But, thanks to the great work of our vets and farriers he is now a very sound 23yr old pony and is still in the same level of work as he was before he foundered.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              We've been down the laminitis road twice. The first time was with our thin, older, horse who is insulin resistant. He had issues for a few months but has been fine since he has been on pergolide and thyrol L.

                              Our second laminitis was a nightmare. My previously healthy 12 year old developed a fever that lasted 8 days. He developed swelling of his sheath and his abdomen. He had nosebleeds. We treated with doxycycline and with IV tetracycline without improvement. We had him seen by multiple vets, including a surgeon and a medicine specialist. He developed laminitis in his hind feet, then his front. After 2 months of him being sick, he could no longer walk three steps across the heavily bedded stall to reach his water bucket. At that point, we put him down. In retrospect, I think our alfalfa cubes were contaminated with the weed hoary alyssum. Our other horses developed rings on their hooves, except the one on the diet who was not getting alfalfa cubes.

                              Laminitis is a horrible disease. It is unpredictable and often devastating. If you can figure out why the horse has laminitis, you have a chance of controlling it. If not, it is really difficult to overcome.

                              Comment

                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Originally posted by AKB View Post
                                Laminitis is a horrible disease. It is unpredictable and often devastating. If you can figure out why the horse has laminitis, you have a chance of controlling it. If not, it is really difficult to overcome.
                                My vet is most certain that this was because of his weight and IR. We have his weight under control at this point (he has lost 240 lbs.). He is at my trainers during his rehab and will come home when he is no longer on stall rest. In the meantime I will have my hay tested and come up with a plan for his homecoming.
                                RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                                May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                                RIP San Lena Peppy
                                May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by AKB View Post
                                  At that point, we put him down.
                                  I am very sorry!! This is my biggest fear
                                  RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                                  May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                                  RIP San Lena Peppy
                                  May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My older Appendix gelding, Buddy, rotated 17 degrees on both fronts in 2004 from a bout of laminitis triggered by lyme disease. We had him at New Bolton in October of 2004 for a liver biopsy (which came out clean) and they xrayed his front hooves again while we were there. At that time they told me that Buddy had 6 months, on the outside.

                                    We worked with our local vet, together with our farrier. They took the bar shoes off and used the radiographs to gradually bring everything back into proper alignment, trimming every two weeks for a while, as I recall.

                                    Buddy ended up having had Cushings, and he was put on Pergolide. He has been thriving since then; we don't ride him much anymore as he is 30 now! But I did ride him a little 2 weeks ago. His main job is now as a baby sitter to our three younger ones. He teaches them and keeps them in line and takes no nonsense from any of them. Including my 1250 lb paint gelding DannyBoy who could destroy him if he got the notion...but doesn't

                                    When the vet or the farrier drive in Buddy runs around the paddock and half-rears up in excitement now. They just shake there heads in amazement.
                                    HorsePower! www.tcgequine.blogspot.com

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by tcgelec View Post
                                      When the vet or the farrier drive in Buddy runs around the paddock and half-rears up in excitement now. They just shake there heads in amazement.
                                      That's great!! I would be thrilled if my boy lived to be 30 years old
                                      RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                                      May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                                      RIP San Lena Peppy
                                      May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Be aware also that alfalfa contains a mineral (forget what) that can make many horses' feet sore, esp. foundered ones.
                                        Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                                        Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                                        Comment

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