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Wizard Session 327 and Veterinary Report: Test Pattern

January 11, 2012

Monday, 1/9/12

On Monday night, I longed Wizard, just to give him a little exercise. We basically repeated our Sunday session, but it was a little shorter. I saw a little shortness in his right front when he warmed up, but it went away by the time he was done. Videos above of him longeing. It’s not easy to longe and film! I could not really rate him, so he rushed to the right and plodded to the left, ha ha. I’ve gotta practice. I usually use my phone but I shot an actual video this time.

On Tuesday morning, my vet called me with his Lyme Disease test results. Here are his values (Cornell Multiplex Test):

Acute = 7,000
Chronic = 9,500
Vaccination = nil

My vet explained that his acute levels are on the high end of the spectrum, and the chronic values are in the middle range of the spectrum. She prescribed three months of doxycyclene administered twice daily.

Wizard’s history and symptoms:

– Sensitivity to grooming and touch. People said it was a “Thoroughbred thing”, but he would sometimes jolt like he was zapped by an electric fence if I touched him, even very lightly with my fingers.
– Grouchiness about blanketing and saddling.
– Seasonal crankiness under saddle. In the spring and summer, he would practically improve with every ride. In the winter and sometimes fall, he did a lot of ear-pinning under saddle. Tail-swishing, a little kicking at the girth. He was worst at the canter, but also sometimes really irritated at the trot. On a really loose rein at the walk, I could get him to relax, but as soon as I took contact and his topline changed, he would get worked up. He also seemed to have difficulty with upward transitions. He was never bad, but he was “not right”- something was bothering him. I’ve been suspecting SI joint/back, and that was going to be our next line of examination.
– Occasional body soreness. My friend does massage work with him, and sometimes he was really tense.
– Chiropractically all over the map. He never had one particular thing that was always “out”. It was usually a few things here and there.
– Occasional minor lameness in different legs. No swelling or heat, and it always resolved itself with a few days of rest.
– Occasional stumbling.
– Some difficulty maintaining weight. He did not lose an extreme amount of weight, but he seems to not hold his weight as well as he did in the past.
– Occasional odd/quirky behavior. He did not get lethargic- he was the opposite- keyed up for no good reason, overreacting to things, etc.

These are the things I tried:

– 30 days of omeprazole (the blue pop rocks)
– 3 weeks of Mag-Restore
– Nightly Back on Track blanketing
– Massage
– Chiropractic
– Bought a new (used) saddle
– Decreased activity
– Increased activity
– Bute as an experiment. He warmed up a little faster and moved a little nicer than before, but it did not resolve the under-saddle issues.
– The vet did a basic lameness evaluation and did not locate any issues that should have caused his problems. She located minor issues, but nothing that should prevent him from doing the low-level work that we do. When she did the exam, she said to try the Lyme test as the next diagnostic step if he did not improve, and we did.
– The vet did a basic neurological exam and did not see any issues.
– Shoeing changes

So now we have a diagnosis and a treatment plan. If only I could get him to eat the medicine in his grain now…

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 11, 2012 12:38 am

    Poor guy! Well, at least you have an answer now… Hopefully once he’s treated that will be the end of all his symptoms.

    My old guy is not a picky eater but the last few weeks of doxy were SUCH a pain. All the usual tricks (alfalfa cubes, molasses, cinnamon, bran mash) stopped working, AND he went on a hunger strike. I eventually had to mix a paste (with applesauce & molasses) and syringe it into his mouth. I could have torn my hair out!

    I don’t know if your vet covered this, but I suggest also starting him on a round of Probios and possibly something soothing like U-7 (cheaper than the pop rocks!) to help his tummy cope with the meds… Doxy works very well but can be pretty harsh on the gut!

    Good luck!

    • January 11, 2012 12:53 am

      Thank you! Yes, I’ve got a probiotic planned for him, and he’ll get it with a third feeding so it’s not taken at the same time as the Doxy. I was reading that some ulcer meds prevent the absorption of the antibiotic. I’m not sure how true that is, though. Do you remember reading anything about that?

      I’m worried that I’ll have to do the same thing for him- he’s prone to sulking if he thinks he is being “poisoned” with meds.

      How long was it before you saw results on the Doxy?

      • January 12, 2012 10:16 pm

        I’ve heard that as well, specifically I think it was the calcium in a lot of ulcer supplements? I’ve also heard that the probiotics cancel out antibiotics… But on the ProBios & U-7 regimen Willie’s gut stayed happy and healthy, and the re-test came back with much lower numbers, so it seems like everything worked out well in our case.

        It’s hard to say when the doxy really started to kick in because Will actually did not display many symptoms of Lyme at all; he had a severe reaction to a tick bite and I opted to get him tested about 6-8 weeks later. Everything came back with strong positives, but nothing about him screamed “Lyme.” We treated based on the test numbers alone, and there was a bit of fatigue and general malaise for the first week or so but otherwise he was pretty normal. When we re-tested, he was a much weaker positive, but still showed no symptoms.

        Lyme seems to affect every individual somewhat differently, but I wonder if our experience was just because I was lucky enough to catch it early, or if he was asymptomatic for a long time and I only tested because he happened to be particularly sensitive to one tick bite?

  2. January 11, 2012 9:06 pm

    Is this the definitive answer? Or just a possible answer? I do hope he gets better soon!

    Flirt (aka Sizzling Iron) is settling in ok. She’s been here a week, but shows signs like you describe Wizard having. I’m hoping it’s just nerves, as we didn’t get to meet until she arrived. And while unloading, the idiot we bought her from punched her in the face. Not an auspicious way to start off at a new home!

    Flirt is thin, a bit spooky and doesn’t trust much. But, as she’s my first TB, perhaps that’s just how they are? I somehow doubt that. I’ve worked where other TBs were boarded and they did not act like this.

    If she has not settled in and calmed some more in the next week or so, I’ll probably start her on the pop rocks. It seems like the easiest thing to try first.

    Oh, and I’ve taken her off of corn based feed. Maybe that will help too.

    • January 12, 2012 1:13 am

      Well, he’s definitely positive for Lyme. There is always a possibility that there are other issues, but this one is diagnosed and now we’re on a treatment plan. The thing about those symptoms is that they are pretty generic. People have joked with me that those are the symptoms of being a Thoroughbred! But I really think he’s a calm and athletic guy under all his issues. Fingers crossed that we see some results soon.

      Poor Flirt! Pop rocks are a great idea, especially while she’s adjusting. Just think of how much fun you’ll have watching her bloom. Be sure to take lots of “before” photos!

  3. January 13, 2012 12:24 pm

    Well, at least you know, and have a plan. That has to make you feel a bit better, but still, that’s a tough diagnosis. All my best to you and Wizard!

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