My poor little Lex, y'all. I just want to snuggle with her all the time.
Before I get to that, thanks for the kind words on yesterday's post. I actually don't think the kid wanted to switch, I think his mom wanted him to. I haven't talked to my boss about it again but I will. I wish people were required to get an education on the myth of the gender binary and also on feminism in the 21st century, but what can you do.
Anyway, yesterday when I got on Lex, we didn't even get to trotting because she seemed so upset at the walk. I'm not a fearful rider, but I was concerned that she'd explode at the trot and if her back hurts, that's the last thing she needs. Today I just lunged her, which I know isn't what Chris said I'm supposed to be doing, but lunging doesn't seem to bother her and I just couldn't bring myself to make her unhappy when I'm not totally convinced it's accomplishing anything good. I've only had this horse for three months (as of yesterday, three months exactly) but I really don't think the problem is that she just doesn't like to work. Lex is such a wonderful horse in every way and I just want her to feel better.
I'm trying to put the pieces together here:
1. On May 17, she balked at the ring and clearly did not want to ride in there. This was the first ride after our first lesson with Chris, in which she worked but not exceptionally hard and didn't have to do anything unreasonable. But I'm glad I keep this blog, because I forgot that I had a little bit of concern the day before the lesson, too.
2. By May 22, I was quite convinced that something was wrong. We had a horrible ride on May 23 and found a slight swelling on the right side of her back (it's still there). I started her on Bute. On May 26, my farrier put the hoof testers on her and said she thought Lex's back hurt and we talked about saddle pad options.
3. The next day, she turned up with a bruise or an abscess. I decided to move her to a different barn, hoping getting to rest in a stall during the day and be turned out with just two other horses would calm everything down. She stayed on Bute and we added hoof soaking and back icing to the treatment regimen. I became awesome at hoof wrapping.
4. She got a terrible eye injury. Treatment included several topical medications and also banamine. She threatened to colic but didn't. Life was hell.
5. Her eye is all better and she was cleared to work, but her back still hurts.
That about brings us up to today. I'm quite convinced that she developed ulcers in there somewhere, and it's possible she's had them for awhile. But the swelling on her back isn't from ulcers and it's still there, although she doesn't mind it being touched or rubbed. She's also got hives all over the damn place - from the fire ants, I'm assuming, though who the hell knows at this point - so today I put topical steroid cream on some of the spots to see if they'd look better tomorrow and threw her fly sheet on just before she went out. We'll see if she has any new spots tomorrow.
Here are my thoughts now:
1. I'm keeping her on UlcerGard for now. The Bute alone probably caused ulcers, plus she's got lots of ulcer symptoms. Seems like a no-brainer.
2. I want to talk to a vet about giving her a steroid shot, since she just seems so inflammatory in general right now. I'm not sure if she can have one while she's on UlcerGard, but I'll find out.
3. I also want to try Robaxin, which is a muscle relaxant, in case her back is just tense and not injured, or in case it helps an injury resolve.
4. I do not want to do an ultrasound right now, but it might come to that. There's a vet in town who is excellent with stuff like that, but he's way out of my price range, especially as a first option. He apparently did a 45 minute PPE on a horse without x-rays and it was $700.
5. I added a handful of black oil sunflower seeds to her breakfast awhile back. I think I'll take that out. I like how it makes her coat soft and shiny, but I seem to remember that BOSS isn't helpful when they're dealing with inflammatory stuff.
Do any of y'all have thoughts or ideas?