Therapy Horse Quanah Is Sick! We've been reported for
Quanah has been the most delightful of horses for HorseSisters. He has carefully taught children in our therapeutic and 4-H worlds some fantastic life lessons. He's kind, hard working, and loves to be in the arena. He's really quite fancy and he seems to know he is beautiful. He's had seniors regain their riding skills and blossomed from traumas and operations. But something is dreadfully wrong.
Certain horses we have taken in have always been what we in the horse world call "hard keepers" in that somehow they are a constant battle to keep weight on their frames. Usually they're certain breeds as well: Thoroughbreds, Arabians, Warmbloods...and sometimes they are hard keepers because of being unfed as foals or their organs damaged by repeated malnourishment. Since we got Quanah when he was going into his twenty's, we have no idea about his life before us.
He joined our HERD in 2009 and always seem to eat for three horses. We've of course pour the Safechoice Senior feed to him; since he began losing weight, we often fed him 5 times a day. Free choice coastal and alfalfa hay, and now a tub of soaked alfalfa cubes in a soft slurry for him. This past May, we have changed his diet completely - he is on Strategy, Rice Bran, Cracked Corn, Brewer's Yeast, and soaked beet pulp. We are seeing an improvement, but not as we wished.
In no time of course, the wonderful community around us in Mims has called Animal Control on us, accusing us of starving our horses. We've been visited three times over this weekly complaints, even after a plan of action was set. We of course made an appointment with the Vet for him. Our Vet said the first thing that came to mind was cancer. He thought perhaps Equine Infectious Anemia. Worms, though he had just been dewormed in March. His teeth could be the reason he could not eat. But he had no symptoms, and was eating fine. No colic. No diarrhea, and no sand in his manure.
He had 3 vials of blood drawn. His last Coggins was 2014, so that test was taken, which was Negative. We had a complete blood chemistry drawn, of which I have the results. It only shows he is anemic. He had a fecal exam by microscope, which was clear. He had a complete dental exam with one rostral hook on an upper left tooth. Nothing in his dental exam could ever bring his weight down as it went.
We can't just treat the symptom...we must find the cause. Is in Cushing's Disease? Does he have an ulcer? There is no blood test for cancer. So we put him on Red Cell ASAP and before we look into an ulcer we are sending the third vial of blood to an endocrinologist to examine the the way all of his glands are functioning. Are we starving him? Or any of our horses? Really? Come visit us on Thursday from 4-7 pm and see for yourself...