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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

It looks like Foxsun is on the mend.

This morning, instead of standing in the corner of his little house, Foxsun came out to see me as soon as he heard my jeep drive up. It was so nice to see him with his head hanging over the fence waiting for me.

We have come to the conclusion that the pasture made him ill. Brad was the first one to come up with that idea, I was hung up on first the Pigeon fever he had last year and then thinking that it was his little tiny top nippers preventing him from grazing.

Brad reminded me he's been sore and stiff before in the Spring after he's been in the horse pasture a short while. In the past I have given him a dose of anti-inflammatory paste but this is the first time he's dropped such a huge amount of weight. Also in the past it was very mild and only needed one dose of medication.

The pasture is not by any means 'lush'. In fact the pickings are rather slim. He has never shown the leaning back on his hind feet to take the weight off his forelegs laminitis stance that is the stuff horse lovers nightmares are made of, but he will look like he hurts all over, especially his feet. Butepaste (phenylbutazone) really helps him feel better.

The last few days have been very stressful for me. I haven't been able to focus on anything but Foxsun. I have been doing lots of research into things like; the side effects of wormers, sand ingestion, grass fever, founder, toxic plants and insects. I have collected beetles to bring home and study. None of them were the dreaded Blister beetle. Something in that pasture makes him very ill. I think that because the horse pasture hasn't been grazed much for a long time that the offending plants were able to re-seed and spread. The reason he ate the old dirty hay in the manager was because he was in too much pain to go out and graze and that was why he lost so much weight.

From the house I can only see part of the pasture. When he was going hungry in his house I assumed he was out of sight by the trees grazing. It is weird how the weight came off so quick because he's always been an over weight easy keeper.

He's locked in the horse corrals now and will remain there till he's put on some weight.

Here he is enjoying an 'all you can eat' smorgasbord. He has grass hay, alfalfa hay, freshly picked dandelions for potassium, magnesium, calcium, electrolytes, a bowl of senior horse and some sweet feed. He's a slow eater and will often fall asleep during a meal so I don't worry he will gobble it all up once.

This green grass suddenly turns red.

Greener grass is there but he has to look for it.

Here's some larkspur it's toxic but I don't think he eats it, besides the other pastures have it all over and he's OK when he's there.

Here one of his pasture pals dens; The yellow bellied marmot or as they are called in these parts, rock chucks.

You always know which was the wind is blowing because of where Foxsun is standing up against this feeder.

I'm so much looking forward to riding him again.

1 comment:

Linda said...

My older guy is thinner than usual as well. I'm sequestering him off to give him as much as he can eat, at his own pace, plus senior feed. I need to get his teeth floated again soon, too. I also read that they need to be wormed more often than younger horses. This is the first year he hasn't been able to be like any other horse--but he is 29. We'll have to compare notes on our journeys with these old guys! Gotta keep em going --they're too good to lose!!