Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Another Clue to Pie's Grumpy Behavior

Yesterday I think we got another clue to Pie's recent somewhat grumpy behavior.  The vet came to do our fall shots - the horses got their flu/rhino shots and Pie also got his rabies shot (the rest of the horses get that in the spring but Pie's on a different schedule due to when he got his rabies shot in the fall last year before I got him).  So I've no personal experience with how Pie reacts to inoculations.

All my horses were perfect for the vet - I feel good about that.  The vet recommended not riding that day in case they were a bit stiff or sore or under the weather due to the shots.  Everybody looked good, until at about 7 p.m. our p.m. barn lady called me to say that, although Pie had eaten his dinner and had been eating hay, and had pooped and peed, he was now lying flat in his stall groaning.  She thought at first that he was snoring, as he was acting pretty unresponsive - she couldn't get him to even raise his head.  So I went over - the benefits of living very close by - and he was sitting up in a sternal position by that time but looking like he felt pretty awful.  Here's a video our p.m. barn lady took just before I got there - she thought at first that he was just sleeping and snoring.  He did get up after a few minutes, but still seemed pretty out of it - half-closed eyes and drooping head.  He didn't have a temperature but we may not have gotten an accurate reading as their was "poop in the pipeline", which will lower the reading you get.

I called our vet - fortunate that our vet doesn't charge for phone calls - and our regular vet was on duty.  She said that since there was no swelling at either injection site, that it was likely that it was just his immune system kicking into overdrive as a result of the shots, and that he felt a bit fluish - body aches and maybe a bit of a fever, like we may feel after a flu shot - that's certainly how he looked.  She had me give him 2 grams of bute to see if that would make him feel better, and within a very short time, he had perked right back up and was vigorously eating his hay.  I kept him in his stall last night to better monitor his manure and urine output, and he looked fine this morning.  His temperature was slightly elevated above his morning normal - it was 100.5 and his normal is usually sub-100 in the a.m. - so I gave him another gram of bute and sent him on his way to turnout - he trotted off happily.

Now here's the interesting part.  Those of you who have been following along will know that Pie's recently taken to being more crabby and even attempting to push people around - he actually bit another boarder a week or so ago.  Both last evening after the bute took effect and this morning, Pie was like a horse with a personality transplant - he was back to his original friendly, cheerful demeanor.  I suspect that he's got some underlying body soreness issues going on not related to the inoculations, and the bute took that away - he's looked tight in the back to me for a while, although he's not the slightest bit off.   So our chiropractor/vet will be coming out early next week to work on him.

And, while we were chatting, our chiro/vet mentioned to me that there's a new research testing protocol for EPM that is more accurate, and that there's also a lower-cost treatment that seems to be effective even in horses that have had relapses . . . more on that later.

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