Thursday, April 5, 2012

Banamine Makes Everything Better

Our vet/chiro made a special visit to Dawn this afternoon to check her out and do a blood draw for the EPM test, since she seemed to be getting worse - we should get results by early next week.  When I got to the barn, Dawn seemed a little mopey - not eating her hay, occasionally shaking her head - a sign of a possible headache - and when I walked her in the barn aisle she seemed a bit uneven.  I gave her her UlcerGard, and she did start picking at her hay, but she was being very deliberate about how she chewed.

When our vet/chiro got there, she did the basic neurological tests - tail pulls to the side, turning test, foot placement test and also poking her with a pen at points along her sides and then running the pen along her sides to test her spinal reflexes.  There were some abnormalities - her left hind is not working properly in both the foot placement tests and turning tests, and her walking isn't normal - she's usually a horse who puts her feet down quite sharply and her gait now looks like someone who's had a beer or two - much more tenative and not as regular.  She also tends to adopt a stance with her front feet a bit farther apart than normal and hind legs wherever they stopped moving, even in an awkward stance - Dawn is a horse who normally stands extremely squarely, so this was abnormal.

Dawn got a 500-lb. dose of Banamine as well as some levamisole by mouth, and started perking up and eating her hay very quickly - the Banamine clearly made her feel better.  When I checked on her at 9 p.m., she was bright-eyed and eating steadily and her chewing seemed improved.

We think it's quite likely she's got an active case of EPM, as 5 out of 7 horses at our old barn (including Pie and Drifter) have already developed abnormalities and been tested and treated.  The blood test will give us more information, and she'll be starting on the decoquinate/levamisole paste treatment followed by the decoquinate feed top dressing.  If she responds as well as Pie and Drifter did, we should be OK . . .

And, in other news, tomorrow I'll be going up to visit and work with Pie and Drifter - and then I get to bring Pie home - very exciting!

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