Friday, January 8, 2010

Mellimaus Really Regrets...

Painting by Katie^

Cookies for Daisy^

No, she is not angry in this picture...she's begging, but so distracted by the new treats, she forgot the "look cute" aspect...^

In the snow, January 6th, 2010^ and below

...Not doing a decent update-post for about two months...or three...
So now I get to update you. I may repeat stuff from my lammmeeeooooooo update video below...
This is kinda a journal update for as usual, if you read the entire thing, it's not because I'm making ya or expect you to :P

November I went to a tack sale and got some stuff...including a new bridle. I priced it online and it would have been a minimum of $80. I got it for?! $40. It's brand new, VERY well made, with padded browband, noseband, and that part behind her ears...(Whatever that's called ;)) and I absolutely LOVE it. It's a little annoying right now because the leather isn't broken in, plus it's sooo cold outside, so strapping it up is kinda annoying...but very worth it.

Christmas came...just beforehand, a dear friend from my parent's restaurant, a waitress, gave me a painting of Daisy she's been working on...the picture does not do it justice. It lacks the depth that the picture really has when you see's beautiful; when I was little, my friend had a horse and someone painted it for her, and I remember thinking that was so cool at the I have one! :)

Daisy got a cute Mrs. Pasture's Cookies for Horses gift container for Christmas...(technically gifted to me :P) and she loooovved those cookies! All gone now :(. But I saved the container. :)
She also got a Likit treat in her stocking and was very offended...pinned her ears worse then usual and refused to go near her food bin...I mean, come on...Excuse ME for assuming you liked horse treats! She got over it after awhile...but it took a few hours for her to realize the Likit was edible! :P

The vet came in...I think early December, on a Saturday. It was the first time I called the vet for something other then vaccinations, and I actually got a new vet because my old one apparently doesn't serve my area anymore... :/

I called because Daisy had been pretty regularly getting colic-y and one night she got to a point where she had "gut sounds" (which is what you want to be able to hear) but was really uncomfortable and pawing and I walked her up and down and up and down the 1/4 mile driveway over and over and it didn't get I got the vet to come out two days later...still not completely sure what good it did. We ruled out ulcers through checking her feces for blood...and we discussed perhaps discomfort from eating dead leaves (possible), or through something called a granulosa-theca cell tumor, which is pretty much an ovarian tumor that's benign. She said she didn't have an ultrasound machine and could ultrasound for it in a few weeks. I didn't know really what she was talking about (researched it a bit since, especially in Equus magazine issue number 367, April 2008, article called "How to Mellow Your Moody Mare") and wasn't really interested in spending extra money to check it without thinking it was really possible...she also said that it could have something to do with a heat some point, she said a treatment for some sort of thing could be inserting a glass marble into Daisy's uterus to make Daisy think she was pregnant and make her stop cycling...weird...but since I've read it more it does make sense...

Three days later she called and left a message on my phone discussing Selenium deficiency. She said we could test Daisy's blood and the ground to see the levels of selenium in her blood. When I first got Daisy, a few people told me there was a selenium deficiency in the soil around our area...but after looking it up online now that doesn't seem the case...question being, trust people's answer's or Internet? In any case, I read up on symptoms of selenium deficiency...a few people describe it as a problem that is often mistaken as signs of both colic and tying up syndrome...both of which I thought Daisy had signs of. I found this article, and it seems to be just what it's talking about:
What caught my eye was this:
The interesting thing about selenium deficiency is that it is found in horses who tie up. Unlike colic, tieing up is not about the gut but about the muscles. Muscles will get too much lactic acid buildup. You will often see a horse's muscles quiver or become rigid and hard. Sometimes they sweat profusely even though the have done little work. After much more reading about this condition I found an article that talked about how horses will stretch out as if to urinate, but it's only to relieve the pain and tenseness in their back muscles. Bingo!.......I have not had any problems. I've started a new regimen of grass hay only, low-carb grain products with no added sugars(mollasses)and I also feed Mezotrace minerals with added selenium. So far my gelding has not exhibited any more signs of discomfort.

I've had some questions about why Daisy would stretch out the way she did/does(?), and Mrs. Mom pointed me to tying-up syndrome.
I've added a selenium block to Daisy's stall besides her regular trace mineral block and she licks it almost every night...She hasn't "coliced" since...this does not necessarily mean that that's what it was, because it snowed soon after the vet appointment so she stopped eating dry leaves as well...However, I remember Daisy used to lick the ground a lot (literally lick the dirt) and, until she ate all the bark off the trees, she used to eat tree bark (this during the first/part of the second year I had her) and she never really got colic-y during that I wonder if she was getting selenium from there during that time...

I really don't know...but I have a lot of fun researching random stuff...Like I've read more about the granulosa-cell tumors, and symptoms include aggressive attitude (almost stallion-like), general irritability, and unwillingness to pick up certain leads (due to where the tumor is located)...for which you can have the tumor removed, as well as have a mare spayed (which is done very rarely in horses) that's just something for me to think about a little...I've only ever emailed with Daisy's original owner once, and she described Daisy as "disgruntled" when she was young as well, so I guess her attitude does not at all necessarily mean she has a tumor,'s still interesting.

Well...I think I pretty much covered anything...we have at least a foot of snow on the ground everywhere (I think more...idk...) and counting. I took Daisy out today and ground-worked her (haven't done that in forever) and worked on stopping with me, backing, side passing on the ground, and some work turning on the forehand, our goal for the winter :) (Along with hindquarters, which I tried from the ground, but she didn't understand what I was asking of her...). I lunged her in the snow, and towards the beginning, she was feelin' good (what's new? :P) and bucked and fell; slid on her knees and half her face ended up buried in snow...I was half worried, and half laughing really hard. She stood up, I checked her over and had her walk for me, she was fine, and then I just laughed ;). She had snow alllll over her face; looked really silly. I think she was embarrassed. We continued lunging, and she was extra careful after that...she did really well on the lunge. It was good to do something different, other then do nothing or go trail riding (which is nice, but not all the time). We both had some fun; I should do that more often.

And so, here I leave us, updated on the main points of the last two months...or at least, of what I can remember :P.


allhorsestuff said...

Good Update there Mell!!
I Love my padded crown bridle...on then one that do not have it i put the nose band band on the outside of the headstall l, to decrease the bumpiness at the poll. You did WAYYY better than I did though...I paid the full price..but I love my bridle and have used it for 3 years now.

We to have the Selenium deficient ground. May I recommend you use Organic Selenium. It is readily available. "Horse Guard" offers it and also "Equeries"(sp?) had a new vita/mineral with organic S called- "Just the basics".
Wa started to lick the ground and bite the mole dirt dirt..after I moved to my new location...I think it may be the local hay...She went from eating Eastern Oregon Orchard grass(very lush and green)to local grass. So I got her "Source" supplement...seemed to help quite a bit.

You are so awesome researching it all out..I too love the investigation...but not the hardship/heartache of knowing something is amiss and I gotta fix it soon. Sounds like you and the vet worked it out together, very well!

Loved hearing from you!!

Mrs Mom said...

Wow Mel- you go girl! Nice job on sorting that out. Glad to hear that Daisy is back on track. Now maybe you'll stop getting pushed to shoe her huh? ;)

I can picture her face all covered in snow too...LOL.. Silly girl..

Stay warm up there!

Sydney said...

You mean the crownpiece, the piece of the bridle that goes behind a horses ears.

If you really want to get to the bottom of a possible "selenium" deficiency you should get a hay analysis. Most feed stores can do this or know of someone who can. It's about 30-45$. I get one done every year or else it's a big waste to buy supplements and grain because you truely are guessing what to feed your horse and they may be nutritionally incomplete.
The problem with salt blocks are horses salivary glands are activated by chewing, not licking. They cannot get enough off a solid salt block by licking and this is why you will often find bite marks. When I did my equine science diploma they emphasized the importance of hay analysis and feeding loose salt rather than a block to horses. It makes more sense. This summer/winter I needed very little grain because of our hays analysis this year. The year before I needed a little more and a different mix of loose minerals/salt.

Glad you got Daisy sorted out.

Michaela said...

It does sound like she had some sort of deficiency, because horses will lick dirt, eat bark and sometimes poop if their body is lacking something. At my old barn there was a horse who sweat all the time even after he was becoming more fit and he also sometimes ate all the manure in his paddock. We were all concerned and told Justine(the owner of the barn and horse, also an idiot) and she said he was bored. I mean, seriously? She tried to sell him and the people who took him on trial quickly gave him back, complaining about his sweating problems. Some light bulb must have finally clicked on in Justine's head, so she finally called the vet. It turns out he had a vitamin E deficiency, often caused by a lack of grass (totally figures, Justine keeps over 20 horses on less than 5 acres and all they do is stand in mud all day it's disgusting). Anyway, I guess she expected it to get better on its own, either that or she was too lazy to do anything, but after about two weeks, she put him down. I will never, I mean NEVER forgive her for that. It makes me SO mad. Smartpak sells dozens of vitamin E supplements, and she didn't do crap about it! She ended his life for NO reason. Anyway, I applaud you on researching and buying the necessary things to help Daisy (not that I expected anything less from a fellow horse-lover like you). Smartpak also sells selenium supplements, if you want to look into that, too. Good luck!

Michaela said...

Oh, and BTW, the part on the bridle behind the ears is called the crown.

Mellimaus said...

Kacy: Organic, huh? I'll look into that...I'm kinda undecided between supplementing or going free-choice...but I feel like, Daisy can "tell" when she needs it, and if it's free choice, she can take what she feels she needs...

Mrs. Mom: Oh don't you worry; I will STILL be pushed to shoe. *sigh*

Syndey: I've never done a hay analysis...I think it'd be a lot of work, because I have hay from one field that I feed at home, and hay from various fields that are fed at the place that i board I may still look into it.
How can you buy loose salt? How do you feed it?

Michaela: Oh she does eat her own poop, too...not as often anymore, these days she does it a little bit, and I think now it really is out of boredom...she doesn't do it much...that's freakin' INSANE! She put him down because she didn't do anything, something that could have just been fixed with supplements?! That's horrible! wow...that stinks.
I actually did used to feed selenium/vitamin supplement, the last two winters...right now I'm not because she has her two salt blocks...but I may when I start boarding again because I can't have the big 50 pound-ers in the stall at jean's...we'lllllll seee.


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