Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Dusty Update

" The new and improved Dusty "
On the Dusty behavioral situation:  She seems to have turned a corner and is acting more like her normal self this past week.  When the rest of the herd comes in she follows and sometimes crowds the gate to come in first.  This could be due to the abnormally cold weather conditions we’ve been experiences along with more snowstorms.  But I don’t think that’s the sole reason for her willingness to come in to the barn at night. 

Her blood tests came back normal, so there is nothing medically wrong with her.  As I said before, I doubt that she’s in pain from her saddle; she’s been checked by a professional saddle fitter and given a passing grade. There is nothing to point to medical pain; she has been checked by the vet from stem to stern and she’s healthy as a horse.  This would include teeth, ulcers and arthritis etc.  The one thing I’m surprised about that the vet didn’t check was her thyroid hormones again in this series of blood tests.  I’m going to call him back for that test.

The general consensus that we’ve come up with here at the farm concerning Dusty is that the thyroid medication was making her a little out of sorts (crazy).  When we put our heads together and systematically went through any new changes with her that might have resulted in her new behavior patterns, the thyroid medication was the only new ingredient in the Dusty program.  Since her original T4-T3 tests were on the low normal side, the vet prescribed thyroid medication because she was a little overweight.  As of now, she’s lost the proper amount of weight and we’ll try and keep it off. 

We’ve taken her off her medication because we think it was winding her up and being cooped up in a stall, most likely pacing all night, wasn’t the best thing for her.  Dusty has enough energy normally for two horses and this medication was like a shot of adrenaline that she didn’t need.  Two nights ago she actually lay down and slept for the first time in a long while.  We are still giving her a supportive supplement from SmartPak called SmartEnergy, which will help support her thyroid function and hopefully allow her to make her own thyroid hormone as needed to maintain her levels naturally rather than guessing at what she needs with medication.  If more aggressive support is needed we’ll look into using TSF-100, which Blue has been getting at a half dose since his last low thyroid test and has normalized his levels without having to up his medication.   She's also on a digestive supplement, but we may try her on something more soothing like GUT or SmartGut as an ulcer aid/preventative.

So far she seems to be happier and friendlier since we took her off the medication.  I haven’t ridden her because the weather is anywhere from below zero temps to 25.  Call me a wuss, but I’m not freezing my butt off and it’s a good time to give them all a little quality time relaxing as a herd.  There will be plenty of time to get back in the saddle when it’s not uncomfortably cold and miserable for all concerned.

Until next time
Quote for Today
A horse doesn't care how much you know until she knows how much you care.

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