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cost of founder

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Hello Guys, Last year one of my horses developed laminitis. The cost of this devastating condition isn't just dollars and cents. It is also physical, emotional and time consuming. Some great people worked on this little horse with some pretty innovative ideas. I kept a journal during this time and have thought about posting it as it may be helpful to someone else going through the same thing. I would be interested to read other's comments especially about the big question as to when to give up. I'll start with a brief history of him. Then make daily or weekly posts of his progress. The time line will be sped up considerably, but founder is a painfully slow process, so these posts will take some time. I can get rather wordy, so you guys will have to let me know when to back off. By the way his name is Harry Hotspur. aka: Harry, Hairball, Harry Bear, Harry Kari, Prince Harry?. He was born May 5, 2001. Any interest? Annie

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Posted on Dec 01, 2008 at 01:05 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Hi Annie, great info about the cost emotionaly and financealy of laminitis, thank goodness that in my area it is not a problem{our grass is not nutrioutios enough to founder a horse}. But nowing wat it costs both ways would you do it again if it would be just as bad? Probably can't answer that, i couldn't answer either, but at least he is doing well it would be a lot worse if after all you went through he died. Best of luck with Harry.

Posted on Mar 13, 2009 at 08:26 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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March 1 ¿C 5 (Day 151-155)

Harry was back to his usual routine.   We walked everywhere for longer periods of time and sometimes, when the weather was nice, three times a day.  Annie was coming along beautifully.  She was lovely to work on the flat, and loved to jump.  Tex jumped her most of the time.  Occasionally I schooled her over fences, but since I hadn't ridden much all winter I felt that she would make much better progress with Tex.  The horse trials were coming up the first of May, and she was right on target.  Her only missing piece was schooling on the cross country course. I felt that this should be a piece of cake as she was already jumping obstacles and crossing ditches on the trail.  Tex was scheduled to school her on the course next week.  She was working well, was getting fit and looked fabulous.  She was reasonably priced, and shouldn¿¿t be a tough sell.

Allison and John came today, and both seemed happy that the abscess had finally resolved.    She kept calling Harry the miracle pony.  She looked like a little girl at Christmas when she watched him walk and trot.  Harry was coming back!

 Medical History Report

Has been on small paddock turnout, and is not currently on any medications or herbs.

Patient Analysis

Sound, standing well for farrier.  1/5 sensitive to hooftesters RF medial and lateral quarters, toe.

Radiographs of the RF digit indicate a sole depth of ~8mm, and an improvement in the hoof pastern axis while maintaining a normal palmar angle.  Radiographs of the LF digit indicate a sold depth of ~9mm with no significant difference in palmar angle.

Assessment

Continuing to do fantastic!

 Plan of Treatment

1. It is OK to gradually increase his paddock size.

2. Continue shoeing per John's instructions.

3. Continue walking for another 4 - 6 weeks, then give me a ring with an update.

 This was great news!  She was letting us go for a couple of months.  He had gained another mm on his right foot, but had lost a mm on the left.  It didn¿¿t bother them, but it did worry me a bit.  He was sound ¿C what more could I ask for. I decided to count my blessings and forget about it.

This was going to be a nice weekend.  Bob was taking a business trip, and Molly was going skiing for spring break.  I would have the house to myself.  For the first time in almost a year I decided to take the weekend off as well.  I had someone keep the barn for me Saturday morning through Sunday morning.  I did a few neglected chores around the house, went out to lunch and dinner with some friends (had a tad too much wine with dinner which was fun) and slept till noon both days.  What a relief!!!


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Posted on Jan 25, 2009 at 09:09 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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February Totals

Vet       ​        ​    1157

Discount             193

Farrier                150

Sou. States         398

CC       ​        ​      200

Misc.                  230

 

Total 02/08      2,328

Running Tot     12,126

 

John did come and work on Harry's foot, but he couldn¿¿t find the abscess, either.  Several days later, it finally blew out of his coronary band which brought instant relief.  Well, Thank God the longest month of the year is finally over. 

 

 

 


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Posted on Jan 25, 2009 at 08:58 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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February 24 (Day145)

Harry got a little better for a day or 2, but then got progressively worse.¿ John was out of town.¿ I really wanted him to take a look at Harry's foot and see if he could eliminate any of the pressure on his toe.¿ He was shifting a lot of weight to his front feet, and I really worried about how well they could continue to hold the extra weight.¿ He only came out of his stall to be treated.¿ He was not going to put any pressure on that foot.¿ Even with the thick bedding in his stall he was still reluctant to put that foot down.¿ As far as controlling his pain, the Banamine was not doing the trick.¿¿ He had been off the pentoxifylline, and for the first time he was starting to stock up.¿ He was still glad to see me when I walked into the barn, and he also continued to scarf down any shred of food handed to him.¿ He did not want to leave the stall to have his foot soaked, and it was terrible to watch him hobble out on three legs.¿ I also starting to worry that maybe this wasn¿t an abscess.¿ Laminitis was constantly on my mind, and the longer he went without improving the more I worried about that possibility.

I had been in constant contact with the vets, and they were very aware of what was going on.¿ Dave came.¿ ¿When he first saw me¿- I suppose it was quite obvious that I was upset about this current episode¿- first thing he said¿was "Don¿t worry¿- it¿s just an abscess."¿ I was not reassured.¿ When he started his exam in the stall he wasn't his usual jovial self.¿ He wasn¿t making his usual wise cracks.¿ Harry was polite, but was quite reluctant to leave his stall.¿ He hobbled out, and we treated him just outside his stall door.¿ He hurt.¿ Once again Dave said "It's not as bad as it looks.¿ It's just an abscess." He was not minimizing Harry¿s pain, but instead was trying to keep me positive.¿ He stayed longer than usual, and was constantly trying to reassure me that this was going to be ok.¿ His front feet were ok, and that the abscess would eventually work its way out.

¿

MEDICAL HISTORY REPORT

Was treated for abscess on the January 18.¿ Was slightly better, but over the past 2 days has become worse.

Patient Analysis

Bright, alert and responsive.¿ In the stall he will not bear weight on the left hind heel. Walks 4/5 lame on the left hind.¿ Increase in digital pulse noted.¿ Positive hoof testers over sole and toe.¿ Biggest response over the same region as before, the lateral toe.¿ The region was debrided again and some blood was obtained and the debridement stopped.¿ Coronary band palpates normal.¿ RH normal to hoof testers.

Plan of Treatment

1.¿ Soak foot in warm Epsom salts 1 ¿ 2 times a day.

2.¿ Place bandage on foot as before with Epsom salts, cotton and water.¿ Add water to the wrap through the heel bulbs 2 times a day.

3.¿ Banamine:¿ 5 CC 2 times a day until comfortable.

4.¿ If no change by Tuesday or Wednesday Radiographs will be needed.

¿

Once sound he can go back to his normal routine and place a betadine soaked cotton plug in the hole.

¿

I wished I had seen some positive results when he went back into his stall, but he wasn¿t going to bear weight on that toe.¿Very disheartening

¿

¿


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Posted on Jan 19, 2009 at 09:22 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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February  18 (Day 139)

 

Although Harry's not with his friends he¿¿s happy to get out. We took a long walk this morning, and were almost home when Susan drove by.  She couldn't believe how good he looked!  He had lost weight, he was walking, and he was bright and perky.  She asked when I planned to ride him again, and I told her whenever Allison gave us the go ahead.  We didn't talk long, but she was extremely happy with his progress. 

Harry stayed out for a couple of hours then he and Lily went back in the barn, and I went back to town. I was really happy with the way things were going and fairly confident that he would probably start back to riding soon.  He just looked ready.  I hoped to be down to one horse by the summer.  Yea! There was light at the end of the tunnel.

I got back to the barn late that afternoon.  Lily was happy to see me, but Harry was slow coming to his door.  He poked his head over, but he looked miserable.  He didn't move when I went in his stall.  He had thick bedding, but he was not standing on his left hind foot.  "Oh God, Harry.  What¿¿s happened now?" Not three hours before he was sound.  What happened? Originally he had foundered in all 4 feet, but we only concentrated on the front.  We never really worried about the hind.  His foot was hot, and he definitely didn't want me touching it.  "Oh Harry, not again." He wouldn't put his foot down, so I left him and called the vet.  It was after hours, Susan was on call, and said she could be there in an hour.   She was quite distressed by this sudden change of events, but she told me not to worry.

I picked out stalls, got Annie in, gave everybody hay (which Harry was happy to have) and went back outside to sit on my favorite seat - the ancient Rubbermaid foot stool. I can't describe the dreadful, sick defeated feeling. I couldn't afford another round of treatments. The divorce attorney was already disengaged to stretch funds a little further. I could go back to work, but then the horses wouldn't be ready to sell in the spring.  I had to laugh. Robin Williams once made a statement (I have no idea where he said it) "He was lower than a snake's belly in a wagon rut."  That pretty much described my feeling.  I thought about Barbaro and the fact that the Jacksons didn't give up as long as he was willing to fight.  Easy for them I thought.  They were billionaires, Barbaro was probably heavily insured, and a whole army of people took care of him. I sat on this stool when the financial planner came.  The first time I got on Harry outside his stall, he moved off and caught his foot in it.  I was prepared for an explosion, but he took a couple of steps and shook it off.  One time as I stood on it tightening his girth he reached around grabbed the fringe on my chaps and had me on the ground in an instant.  Then the quietness of the afternoon hit me.  We are on the flight path for planes landing at the Richmond Airport about 40 miles east of here.  You never really heard the planes unless, oddly, they weren't there.  I remembered sitting exactly here on a beautiful day, and the whole world seemed eerily quiet.  It wasn't until I got home later that afternoon that I heard about the terrorist hits.  All the planes had been grounded.  I started to sob. I pulled myself together before Susan got there, and started thinking about liquidating my non liquid assets. Hm!  I wondered what would come first, cash from the sale or declined credit card.  I was in the fray until someone else shut us down. What a ride.

Susan looked stunned when she walked into the barn.  Harry came out of his stall on 3 feet.  She felt all his digital pulses.  His left hind was pounding, but the other 3 were also slightly elevated.  She was certain it was a hoof abscess, but the front pulses worried me.  All I could think was that his already compromised front feet were now carrying an extra load.  But for now Harry has a reprieve.

 

Medical History Report

 

Presenting Complaint 2/18/08:  Foot Abscess LH

Horse hand walked by owner midday, found very lame in stall in PM.

 

Objective Patient Analysis

Exam-Grade 4.5/5 lame LH will bear small amount of weight on toe.  Significantly increased digital pulse LH slightly increased digital pulses RF, LF, RH.  LH marked sensitivity to hoof testers lateral toe, sensitive to digit pressure over region.  Debride sole, Abscess tract identified. Followed 1/3 distance up white line with no significant drainage established.  Stretching of white line noted.  No sensitivity at coronary band.

RF and LF mild - hoof testers over toes

Bute-2grams iv

Epsom poultice wrap LH

 

Plan of Treatment

1. Starting tomorrow, remove wrap, soak foot 15 minutes in warm water and Epsom salt, dry foot, replace bandage.  Add water to bandage 12 hours later to maintain moisture.  Continue soaking and Epsom salt bandage for 48 hours beyond resolution of lameness then discontinue soaking and begin dry wrapping foot with iodine soaked cotton ball over defect, continue dry wrapping for minimum of 3 days. 

2. Banamine - 5cc by mouth 2x per day for 3 days, 5 cc by mouth 1x per day for 1-3 days depending on lameness.

3. Stall rest until moderate improvement in soundness then ok to t/o in paddock provided footing is not so muddy that bandage will come off.

4. Since abscess is very deep, expect an additional 2-3 days of lameness before improvement noted.  If no change by Thursday, please call.  Monitor for worsening of lameness, call if seen.

 

Here we go again.

 


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Posted on Jan 10, 2009 at 10:37 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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February 2¿-¿February 13¿(Day 123¿- 134)

Lily's stifle was starting to lock up when she¿laid down, or when she had been standing still for some time.¿ I tried to get her out more, but she didn't seem to get any better.¿ I had Dave come and adjust her on the forth. ¿Both Lily and Harry were adjusted.¿ I don't know what possessed me to do this, but I thought it would make both of them feel better, and it helped Lily a lot.¿ Harry, well he always appreciated having a "hands on" experience, so it made him feel better for sure only he didn't outwardly show any signs of any improvements.

Harry's improvement was remarkable.¿ There were days that I would jog a little with him when we went out for our strolls.¿ He seemed to enjoy this, though I think he was amused that I actually thought that I could keep up with him.¿ Even unsound he could still run circles around me.¿ It's been fun watching his improvement.¿

It was also nice that since I had stopped working a real job my barn was starting to get back into a good working order.¿ Whiskers, ears, and fetlocks were trimmed.¿¿ Manes were pulled and tails were trimmed. ¿Harry was getting hot towel treatments every day to eliminate the stains that had accumulated over the past couple of months.¿ Once again his tail was white. Tack was being cleaned every time I finished using it for the day.¿ Cobwebs were knocked down.¿ Saddle pads and blankets were washed.¿ Annie was being ridden every day, and Tex was schooling her over fences about once a week.¿ I was confident that she would do well in the spring horse trials.¿ Lily was starting to get out more making her feel a lot better, too.¿ Life was still being lived a little too close to the edge for comfort, but I felt that I could finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Allison came on the 13th to give spring shots and float teeth.¿ Their teeth were supposed to be done in the fall, but I held off.¿ They all needed the work.¿ All of them had sharp points, and Lily had developed some small ulcers on both sides of her mouth, so it was definitely money well spent.¿ Didn't make paying the bill any less painful, but I was happy to get the work done.¿ Allison was still thrilled with Harry's progress.¿ He was starting to be treated like a real horse once again.¿ This felt wonderful!¿ Things were finally getting back to normal.


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Posted on Jan 07, 2009 at 07:54 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Quoting author:

Anything to get "hammered" right Annie?


I guess so, Woody, but those hangovers are hell!


Posted on Jan 03, 2009 at 04:24 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Getting Harry proper turnout proved interesting. I hot wired a small section behind the barn.¿ First day I tranquilized him.¿ He stayed out for about 30 minutes and came in without any problems.¿ The next day with less tranquilizer he was still good. ¿Third day he stayed out without being tranquilized. He happily ate his hay.¿ He gradually worked up to an hour every day.¿ One day I decided to leave him out and get lunch.¿¿ When I came back half an hour later his dry lot was slop. In his exuberance he knocked over his water bucket and also plastered the side of the barn with mud. The current spot was no longer a viable option, so I ¿fenced off a corner of the barn yard.¿ He would be good for a day or two and then completely tear up the footing.¿ Every couple of days his paddock was moved.¿ He was good on his walks, and for the most part, he was good on his turnout, but he did have his moments.¿ His space and the amount of time he was out gradually increased.¿ He hated not being with his friends.

One Sunday afternoon he had twisted a shoe.¿ John shod horses for me for 15 years.¿ Every now and then we discussed the fact that I needed a nail pulling tool.¿ I never got one.¿ So today was no different ¿ I was stuck trying to use a hammer and a pair of pliers.¿ I worried about him doing more damage to his foot, so I was determined to pull this shoe. There was enough shoe covering his foot that I thought I could get some good leverage.¿ POP! SHIT, SHIT, SHIT, SHIT!!!! *#*@**@*#*#*@*¿ I broke my nose.¿ I couldn¿t tell you which end of the hammer hit me, but the nail head gave way, and my nose was there to stop the wayward hammer.¿ Poor Harry ¿ he was all bunched up looking like he was going to get eaten alive.¿ I¿ve never been hit in the nose before.¿ It hurts. How can prize fighters take a direct hit and keep fighting? How can anyone take a direct hit on the nose and continue functioning?¿ You walk around, you dance around.¿ You try putting your head down, you try tilting it back.¿ Forget trying to stem the blood.¿ There is NOTHING you can do to make the pain go away.¿ Cry?¿ Oh hell yes I cried big time.¿ Though I quickly learned that crying only made it hurt worse.¿ Cussing helped a lot.¿ I put Harry back in his stall and called a farrier. ¿Harry took care of the shoe, and tore off a fair amount of hoof with it.¿ Damn.¿ John was out of town, so Kurt tacked the shoe back on Monday.¿ True to farrier form, he chastised me for not pushing John to get me the nail puller.¿ Yes, I know we always trash the person who¿s not there to defend himself.¿ I suppose I could have called a farrier supply company myself, but it never really occurred to me.¿¿

As for my nose ¿ my doctor told me that there wasn¿t much he could do.¿ He said it was just a tiny fracture, and once the swelling went down you wouldn¿t be able to tell it had broken.¿ Yeah ¿ easy for him to say.¿ One thing I discovered is that if a woman has a swollen nose and 2 black eyes ¿ people avoid eye contact.¿ So do I want them to think I¿m a victim of domestic violence, or do I want them to think I¿m a complete idiot for having hit myself in the nose with a hammer?¿ ¿After I relayed the story they would look at me and laugh. ¿Trust me ¿ it wasn¿t pretty.


Posted on Jan 02, 2009 at 06:45 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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January 19 ¿ February 1¿ (Day 110 ¿ Day 122)

Harry continues to improve.¿ Still happy and easy to treat.¿ He¿s finally off the Banamine, and was down to the Pentoxifylline and the herbs.¿ The weather has been perfect, so he¿s getting walked twice a day almost every day.¿ Now that he¿s on a regular schedule he stopped all his foolishness and was quite pleasant to walk.¿ I still kept the chain over his nose, but this proved to be unnecessary.¿¿ I was cautiously optimistic.¿ Every time I entered the barn ¿ I didn¿t relax until his grey face peered over his door.¿ He was also starting to very lightly thump his walls again when it was time to eat.¿ I was thankful for both the noise and for the fact that he was taking care of his feet.¿ He¿s starting to pace a little in his stall which makes cleaning it a challenge, but I¿m happy for it.¿¿¿ With only 2 weeks left to work, I was looking forward to February and getting everything in the barn back to working order again.¿

February 1, Allison met John once again for another vet/farrier session.¿ The seriousness of his situation had eased, and we all were in good spirits as was Harry.¿ He had grown quite fond of these 2 people, and was especially glad to see them.¿¿¿ In fact I think John and Allison talked to Harry more than they talked to me.¿

Medical History Report

Has been walking 2x/day, doing well.¿ Banamine has been discontinued.¿ Still on Pentoxifylline ¿ 7 tabs and Hot Hoof 1.

Patient Analysis

Sound at the walk in hand.¿ Turns well both directions, stands for farrier well on both front feet.¿ Callus at RF toe firm.¿ RF 1/5 sensitive to hooftesters at toe.¿ Callus at LF toe loose and removed,¿ LF 1/5 sensitive to hooftesters at toe.¿ Grew a lot of heel both front feet.¿ Radiographs indicated almost 7 mm sole RF, and almost 10 mm sole LF.¿ Shoes and pads replaced as last time.

Plan of Treatment

1.¿¿¿¿¿ ¿Continue Pentoxifylline and Hot Hoof 1 until gone, then discontinue.

2.¿¿¿¿¿ ¿¿OK to start small paddock turnout (less than 30 x 30 ft) in a flat, soft footed area.

3.¿¿¿¿¿ Repeat radiographs at next farrier appointment.

¿

Harry had laid down another 1 mm of sole on the right foot and 2 mm on the left.¿ Would still like to see a lot more, but I¿m thankful for every teeny bit of sole he lays down.¿ It was scary to see the LF callus removed.¿ It was rather large, but they assured me that everything was ok.¿ Xrays were taken after callus was removed.

We had about 2 weeks of the Pent left, and then he gets to stop this disgusting concoction!¿ There was more of the herbs, but the thought of getting him totally off the meds was both thrilling


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Posted on Dec 31, 2008 at 01:34 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Sorry for the break guys, but now Christmas is over, so I can get back to work.

Totals for January 2008       ​        ​        ​   

Vet       ​        ​   418       ​        ​        ​        ​        ​ 

Farrier           150       ​        ​        ​        ​        ​ 

Sou. St.          435       ​        ​        ​        ​        ​ 

CC       ​        ​    200       ​        ​        ​        ​        ​ 

Misc               189       ​        ​        ​        ​        ​ 

Gas       ​        ​  90       ​        ​        ​        ​        ​  

       ​        ​         1482

 

 

Running Total

Vet       ​        ​   4292

Farrier            600

Sou. St.          3282

CC       ​        ​    800

Misc.              534

Gas       ​        ​  290

       ​        ​         9798 

 

This is on top of the $1600 in normal expenses.  Also I was only getting ride time on weekends, so I was paying Tex to ride Annie a couple times a week.  I was hoping that she could start doing horse trials in the spring.

Remember, too there was CC who was being boarded at another barn.  She was an older Cushings mare, and I told Debbie that I was not going to spend any money on her.  If something major happened she would have to be put down.  I would control her pain, or walk her if she coliced, but nothing over basic upkeep.  Once again I was doing something that I had always been critical of other people doing.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have put a horse down just because I couldn't afford to treat her. The middle of November Debbie told me CC had a hoof abscess, but not to worry, it was no big deal and she'd take care of it.  I didn¿¿t hear anymore about it until mid January.  I heard through the grape vine that John had been going up there and putting a pad on that hoof.  They never told me about this.   2 months is an awful long time for a horse to fight an abscess.   I really couldn't deal with it.  I thanked John and asked him not to spend time on her.  He said that he wasn't doing anything outside normal farrier care, and continued charging me only for trimming her feet.   I couldn¿¿t believe everything my friends were doing for me.  These things at times made me cry more than Harry's predicament.  They told she was fine, so I just let it go. 

 


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Posted on Dec 30, 2008 at 12:14 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Merry Christmas to you as well. This blog means a great deal to me. It is as if I am going through this process with you and Harry... May all the good that you have brought to others, and other animals, be returned to you now.

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Posted on Dec 23, 2008 at 01:09 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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By the way guys - Thanks for checking out this blog, and for your emails.¿¿It's a¿surprise that you guys continue reading this.¿¿ Anyway

¿

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Annie¿ :-)


Posted on Dec 23, 2008 at 09:56 AM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Read thepost below this ome?first.? For some reason - I guess I got too wordy, and it wouldn't post the whole thing.

¿

There was a really sweet older woman who started working before Christmas.?? She definitely saw me at my worst.? Before I left she came up to me and asked ?Are you Ok??? ?Yes I?m fine, thank you.? I really did not want to get into a conversation about my personal life.? She said ?Well I noticed you aren?t wearing your rings, and that you?re trying to sell your horses.? Wow ?? you?ve ridden all your life, haven?t you??? ?Yes, Betty, I have.? ?You have to sell all of them???? ?Looks that way.?? I was really hoping she would stop.? ?But you love them, don?t you??? ?Yes I do.?? I was rather short with her, as I really did not want to cry at work.? She was the type of person who if she saw you crying, she would probably genuinely cry with you.?? ?That?s terrible, I?m really sorry.? Is there anything I can do??? I was getting really impatient with her.? ?Yes, you can bake me cookies.? (which, ?by the way she did the next day).? ?And you?re going to lose your home?? I thought I would explode ?No, Betty ? I?m going to SELL my HOUSE.?? I just walked away and went back to the stock room and started tearing through boxes.? If you ever get destroyed merchandise shipped to you ? you may want to think twice before complaining because the person that shipped your package could very well be insane.?

¿

Mom never really cared much for animals, and my relationships with them were a total mystery to her.? However she always asked about Harry, but what ever she was thinking she kept to herself.? Dad understood.? But even he was starting to allude to the fact that this may have gone on long enough.? He never outright told me to put him down, but I know that?s what he was thinking.

¿

Molly loved Harry.? She would come out to the barn with me on cold nights, fill water buckets and just keep me company.?? She was the one who kept me focused on Harry and his well being.? ??

¿

Bob was still leaving notes about my spending on my credit card bills ? I didn?t even respond anymore.? Almost 4 months, and he still hadn?t asked about Harry.? That year I think I wrote a whole new chapter in the book about dysfunctional relationships.

¿

I was lucky ? I still had friends that cared about both Harry and me.? Had it not been for them, I think I may have gone insane.? Every now and then they would manage to squeeze a laugh out of me. ??There?s a lot of truth to the expression ?laughter is the best medicine.?

¿

Harry ? he was always happy and easy going.? Hoping the stock market would turn around so I could pay off some more of this debt, became a pipe dream.? Well there was always my house.? There?s a line in a Garth Brooks song that was constantly on my mind? ?and he?ll sell off everything he owns just to pay to play the game??? A song once alien to me was hitting rather close to home.?

¿

?


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Posted on Dec 23, 2008 at 09:40 AM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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¿

¿

I¿have hesitated to go into details about myself as this is a story about Harry, however I was Harry¿s¿ lifeline. (I haven¿t really dated anyone off of this site, so if I certainly can¿t scare off anyone). ¿If anything happened to me unless he was sent to a local clinic there would be nobody to care for him.¿ The local clinic wouldn¿t have kept him too long as I would have run out of cash.¿ One of the things that made all this so difficult was that my barn is 20 to 30 minutes away from home, so I was spending 2 hours plus every day just riding back and forth.¿ ¿Having him at home would have made all this a whole lot easier.¿ Major burnout had set in.¿ I have always been on a medication for ADD, and had an old neck injury that had flaired up, so I was taking stuff for that.¿ I won¿t go into details, but I was on enough medication that when Heath Ledger died ¿ I really believed it was an accident.¿

¿

¿

¿

¿

¿

At work I went from the top producer to the worst.¿ After the Christmas rush ¿ I not only had one of the lowest sales per hour compared to everyone else, but it was my lowest sales per hour since I had been there.¿ I did spend a lot of time shipping stuff, but I was beginning to hate the place.¿ Something that I had always loved doing became a terribly unpleasant chore.

¿

¿

¿

In early January I had dinner one night with a couple of guys from the store.¿¿ Before the other man, Tyler, got there Jeff asked me about Harry.¿ Jeff, an older man who I respected, had raised and trained horses when he was younger.¿ He understood our relationships with our horses.¿ He knew how much time I was spending on Harry, but he asked me how much money I had spent on him.¿ I really didn¿t have any idea.¿ He knew that all of this was going on my credit card.¿¿ ¿I don¿t know - $10,000 maybe.¿ I tried to be flip about it.

¿

¿

¿

He looked totally horrified, and said ¿Shit! That¿s financial suicide.¿¿ I agreed.¿ ¿You really need to stop this and put him down.¿¿ I could only say that Harry hadn¿t told me yet that he was giving up, and as long as he was going to stay positive and continue to improve, then I was committed.¿ He told me I was insane.¿ If he only knew ¿ insanity was beginning to look pretty good.¿ Yeah ¿ It would have been nice to ¿check out¿ for a while.¿ When Tyler got there Jeff told him about my expenses.¿ Tyler had grown up on a cattle farm, and to him horses were almost like livestock.¿ He raised his arms like he was holding a gun and pulled the trigger. Dinner was ruined. Intellectually I knew they were both right, but I couldn¿t give up unless Harry did.¿ ¿Towards the end of January ¿ I put in my 2 weeks notice.¿ Yeah ¿ I know ¿ I¿m broke and I quit my job.¿ Yes, I was a bit concerned about my sanity.¿

¿


Posted on Dec 23, 2008 at 09:36 AM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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I have hesitated to go into details about myself as this is a story about Harry, however I was Harry¿s¿ lifeline. (I haven¿t really dated anyone off of this site, so if I certainly can¿t scare off anyone). ¿If anything happened to me unless he was sent to a local clinic there would be nobody to care for him.¿ The local clinic wouldn¿t have kept him too long as I would have run out of cash.¿ One of the things that made all this so difficult was that my barn is 20 to 30 minutes away from home, so I was spending 2 hours plus every day just riding back and forth.¿ ¿Having him at home would have made all this a whole lot easier.¿ Major burnout had set in.¿ I have always been on a medication for ADD, and had an old neck injury that had flaired up, so I was taking stuff for that.¿ I won¿t go into details, but I was on enough medication that when Heath Ledger died ¿ I really believed it was an accident.¿

At work I went from the top producer to the worst.¿ After the Christmas rush ¿ I not only had one of the lowest sales per hour compared to everyone else, but it was my lowest sales per hour since I had been there.¿ I did spend a lot of time shipping stuff, but I was beginning to hate the place.¿ Something that I had always loved doing became a terribly unpleasant chore.

In early January I had dinner one night with a couple of guys from the store.¿¿ Before the other man, Tyler, got there Jeff asked me about Harry.¿ Jeff, an older man who I respected, had raised and trained horses when he was younger.¿ He understood our relationships with our horses.¿ He knew how much time I was spending on Harry, but he asked me how much money I had spent on him.¿ I really didn¿t have any idea.¿ He knew that all of this was going on my credit card.¿¿ ¿I don¿t know - $10,000 maybe.¿ I tried to be flip about it.

He looked totally horrified, and said ¿Shit! That¿s financial suicide.¿¿ I agreed.¿ ¿You really need to stop this and put him down.¿¿ I could only say that Harry hadn¿t told me yet that he was giving up, and as long as he was going to stay positive and continue to improve, then I was committed.¿ He told me I was insane.¿ If he only knew ¿ insanity was beginning to look pretty good.¿ Yeah ¿ It would have been nice to ¿check out¿ for a while.¿ When Tyler got there Jeff told him about my expenses.¿ Tyler had grown up on a cattle farm, and to him horses were almost like livestock.¿ He raised his arms like he was holding a gun and pulled the trigger. Dinner was ruined. Intellectually I knew they were both right, but I couldn¿t give up unless Harry did.¿ ¿Towards the end of January ¿ I put in my 2 weeks notice.¿ Yeah ¿ I know ¿ I¿m broke and I quit my job.¿ Yes, I was a bit concerned about my sanity.¿

There was a really sweet older woman who started working before Christmas.¿¿ She definitely saw me at my worst.¿ Before I left she came up to me and asked ¿Are you Ok?¿¿ ¿Yes I¿m fine, thank you.¿ I really did not want to get into a conversation about my personal life.¿ She said ¿Well I noticed you aren¿t wearing your rings, and that you¿re trying to sell your horses.¿ Wow ¿¿ you¿ve ridden all your life, haven¿t you?¿¿ ¿Yes, Betty, I have.¿ ¿You have to sell all of them?¿¿¿ ¿Looks that way.¿¿ I was really hoping she would stop.¿ ¿But you love them, don¿t you?¿¿ ¿Yes I do.¿¿ I was rather short with her, as I really did not want to cry at work.¿ She was the type of person who if she saw you crying, she would probably genuinely cry with you.¿¿ ¿That¿s terrible, I¿m really sorry.¿ Is there anything I can do?¿¿ I was getting really impatient with her.¿ ¿Yes, you can bake me cookies.¿ (which, ¿by the way she did the next day).


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Posted on Dec 22, 2008 at 11:15 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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January 18, 2008 (Day 109) Harry was up for another acupuncture treatment. He had been doing well, and Allison was pleased with what she saw. We walked him around the barn, and he was fine. We took him up to the hard surface driveway, and he was sound. Everything about him was fine. His coloring, his pulses, his reaction to the hoof testers. She decided not to do any treatments today. We are very slowly weaning him off the meds which is good because he was starting to get ulcers in his mouth, and we were worried about what was going on in his stomach. If he was having problems, he never complained. We were not going to abruptly stop the meds like the last time and have him crash again. Medical History Report Patient Analysis Walking sound in hand up and down a hill, on grass and on a hard surface, and in small turn both directions. Digital pulses normal both front feet. Negative to pressure on both toes. Jugular pulses normal all 6 positions, tongue normal. AP scan normal. Plan of Treatment 1. Decrease Banamine to 1 cc once daily for 7 days, then call with update. 2.Continue Pentoxifylline and herbs as previously directed. 3.Increase walking to 10 ? 15 minutes 2x/day 4. I will come and meet farrier on January 28th to retake radiographs. This is great news! Harry will be getting out 2 times a day! He was really starting to perk up.

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Posted on Dec 20, 2008 at 08:22 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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January 6 - January 17 (Day 97 - Day 108) Harry continues to improve. Every day he's walking a little more, and staying sound. He definitely had his moments, and when he did I always worried he'd cause another episode. The walking really brightened him up, and he was always reluctant to go back into his stall. On the 15th we did have an incident that really scared me. I had started walking in the big field. He was bright and perky, but when we got to the end of the fence line and turned towards the middle of the field he slowed down. This is exactly what he did when he first foundered, so I immediately turned him around and headed for home. He took about 10 steps and stopped. Oh no. I pulled his head around, and he would move a step or two then stop. I tried to let him eat grass, but he just nibbled at it but took no real interest in it. He wasn't moving. If he was going to have to walk back to the barn, I wanted to get some drugs in him and make it as painless as possible. I did not want to get ugly with him and force him. Called Allison, no answer, but left a message. Same for Dave and Susan. Called the clinic, and Cathy paged all 3 of them. Dave called first, so I described what was going on. He got me to do the same thing ? turn Harry's head to either side. He didn't budge. Dave was on the way, but he wanted me to continue trying to get him back to the barn. Out of the blue he asked "What happens if you turn his head completely around and walk in the other direction?" As soon as he was headed in the opposite direction, his ears went up, and he miraculously started walking again. Hallelujah, praise the lord! It's a miracle! Harry was healed over the phone by the great Dave! How embarrassing. How sad - Harry didn't want to go home. What once was a happy place had now become his prison. I couldn't blame him. He reluctantly walked back. Allison and Susan both called, and heard the news about Dave's miraculous healing powers. The rest of the county heard about it as well. For a while everyone teased that if there was a problem with your horse, just call Dave, hold, the phone and touch the horse, and he's instantly healed. Around the 10th I finally had to put Boo, the barn cat, to sleep. If you think you can't stand an animal, put it down. All of a sudden you love it - it's heartbreaking. I told them I wanted her to be cremated so that I could spread her ashes around the barn. I went back the next day, and no Boo. They called me 2 days later, and said she was ready. They not only cremated her, but put her in a sealed pine box as well. The bill for all this was $275. $275! To put a stupid barn cat down. I paid the bill, took the box home and unceremoniously put it on her favorite spot, and that's were she still sits. It gets knocked off from time to time, but I don't think it hurts.

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Posted on Dec 17, 2008 at 12:21 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Saturday January 5 (Day 96) I am so excited this morning! Harry's been in the stall for the past 3 months, and now he gets to take a walk. He had been so quiet and easy going that I debated on putting the chain over his nose. I have always done this with horses that have been kept up for any amount of time, but Harry was different - he had been so quiet. Then I remembered a friend who didn't listen to her barn manager and took her "quiet" Warmblood for a walk without a chain over his nose. She wound up with a crushed arm, and he had to spend the next 3 months back in the stall - not a good result. So I reluctantly put the chain over his nose. We walked out of the barn and went past the place where he usually stood while I was cleaning his stall. It was almost like he had just stepped out of the "invisible fence." He went totally insane. Bucking, kicking, rearing - everything you would expect from a young Thoroughbred colt, but not from Harry. He hit the chain a couple of times, and settled down. I was furious with him. I'm sure all he heard was yak, yak, yak, yak! What I was telling him was ?You screw up your feet again, you *#*@*@##!!! and you're a dead man because I can afford to fix you again!" He didn't seem to care. He just wanted to get the hell out of that stall. He threw in a few more ecstatic episodes, and I cut his walk short. He spent probably a total of about 5 minutes out of his stall, and was not happy to go back in. Glad I put the chain over his nose. He started pacing, kicking, knocking his water buckets around - totally tense and totally pissed off. He's done this a couple of times before his bout with founder, and usually I ignored him or left the barn for a while, and he seemed to eventually settle himself down. But this time he was banging his feet. I pulled him out and put him in the cross ties where he continued to stomp his feet, but he was at least quieter than he was before. I brushed his tail which is something he's always loved, and this seemed to make him happy and quiet. I groomed him for a while, gave him a little ace and a little hay and put him back in his stall. He was fine. I just hoped that tomorrow would be better. There has been one little unsung heroine in all this. Lily had stayed in with him for the entire time. She had a little turnout every day, and was ridden occasionally, but her job was to keep Harry happy. She didn't seem to mind, and did a great job. I only have a baby picture of her scanned, but it shows her personality perfectly. She was the barn clown, and had the same kind attitude and good sense that her half brother had. Neat little horse.

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Posted on Dec 15, 2008 at 06:42 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report
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Quoting author: Hey Starhorse, I must not have been clear on this point, but this all happened last year (the blog is now up to Jan.2,2008) Harry gets better and he gets worse. Allison and John were both Harry's and my biggest cheerleaders. Any negative person was not invited in. I think all of us (including Harry) had a mutual trust and respect for each other's abilities and commitment to his well being. By this time just about everybody that set foot in that barn from the vets to the feed delivery guys loved Harry and cared about his healing. When I was out and about people, some whom I barely knew, asked me about Harry. One thing's for certain - people really cared about this little horse, and he was getting all kinds of positive thoughts and prayers. You can't ask for much more than that. Also it was becoming quite clear that there was no other choice for me but to remain committed to his healing - too many others were committed as well. I know John under charged me, and I'm fairly certian that the discounts that I show the vets giving me were way lower than the actual costs they absorbed. Great team. As far as the ponies are concerned - there was evidence that my daughter's first pony had foundered at some point in her life. She foxhunted and did lower level eventing (enough to get Molly her C-1 rating in ponyclub). We always said if you could stick with her you would be fine because Cookies always took care of herself. :-D - Great but rotten pony

A toast to all the wonderful (ok, sometimes rotten) ponies and horses in our lives. They may have been ornery, but they taught us how to make choices and decision. They showed us how to take control and choose the ways to work better with others.. Ahh, yes indeed. It is the horses in our lives who have been our greatest teachers...when I think of where my life might be without horses...I am grateful that they were there to guide me. I give thanks each day for the gift of horses in my life. They have been, and are, my greatest teachers. I am who I am, because of them.

Posted on Dec 14, 2008 at 06:47 PM Like Reply / Add Comments Quote Report