Sunday, August 28, 2011

How's Ben?

Ben looks pretty darn good.  He cantered in for lunch today.

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.


IsobelleGoLightly said...

Hooray! He looks very good! And happy!

Once Upon an Equine said...

Oh my, I just got caught up. I'm sorry Ben has been ill, but very happy he received good care in the hospital and is home and looking so well. Will the meds he's receiving help his liver to rebound? I hope he continues to improve and stays healthy. He looks like he's full of vim and vigor in the video.

Sharon said...

I hope the blood work is great, Ben sure does look good and healthy! Love the little movie! Thanks!

Jim said...

Well he certainly looks great in the 'clip', Terry. Hope all goes well tomorrow.

Janet said...

He sure looks good to me ! hope the test results back that up ! xx

Daisy said...

I agree! Time to stop asking yourself why. Sometimes, we just can't figure these things out. Though maybe someday you'll figure it out - but no need to daily torture oneself.
Hoping for good results tomorrow! Let this move into the "only a memory," category!

Louise said...

He looks great! And, you're right, no good looking back. Now's the time to look forward, to a good long life. Please let us know about the bloodwork.

Texan said...

Your right, the main thing is he doing so much better and getting well. Sometimes we just don't know how things happen. You guys are super animal care givers that I am sure of.

Mare said...

Ben looks great! Here's hoping for AWESOME bloodwork too!

Dreaming said...

Ben does look great. That canter is fully of spunk!
I'm betting the blood work is fine.
Hooray for the big guys who can take a licking!!

Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Wow...he looks fantastic taking into account just how poorly he has been....hope the tests are good and its great to see him looking so happy....fingers crossed for some good !.......Jayne

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Modern Knight said...

he looks ok. but I notice he wear crochet ear net which looks nice,just like the one I got from
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