Yesterday he did laps. He's been home a week tomorrow, so he'll have more blood work done. That will be the real test.
I'm ready talk about what happened to Ben and why. I'll tell you straight off we don't know.
Lori Skoog asked "what were the signs?"
In Ben's case, he just stopped eating. He never displayed typical signs of hepatitis such as dullness, lethargy, jaundice and muscle tremors. Ben did not look like a sick horse (other than not eating, which is never good) but Dr. Gary took blood just 'cause he's a good vet. It was a big surprise to all of us that Ben was seriously ill.
My big question is why did this happen? We'll never know is the very unsatisfactory answer. Could it be something in the pasture? This isn't Kentucky, but for Colorado, our pastures are good. There are always weeds, but in general toxic weeds taste terrible, and they are the last thing a well-fed horse will eat. Paj had ulcers, so we feed timothy hay 4 times a day. The boys are very well fed.
Could it be the paint he chewed off the pipe railing on his run? This is about the only firm answer we have. Dr. Gary said no way. Paints don't have lead anymore, he'd have to have eaten "gallons and gallons", and since half the horses in the USA chew paint off, they would have hepatitis too.
Could he have had this before he came? He's been here since May 1. Dr. Gary says there's no way of knowing.
Flartus asked "is this something he'll be over completely, or is it a managed condition from here on out"? It's a managed condition in some ways. We need to limit his protein (no alfalfa), and at least for now he needs lots of carbs. He's a little pumped up from corn, oats and brown sugar, so we'll be asking Dr. Gary if we can cut that down a little.
It's time to stop torturing ourselves with why,
accept what is,
and hope for great blood work tomorrow.