Saturday, March 21, 2015

Zora's Health Challenge: The Diagnosis

So we went to the vet for a chiropractic adjustment. She asks the questions, takes a look at Zora in the exam room, and then asks John to walk her so she can watch. She had a veterinary student there - the student was doing her internship. She took the student aside and was talking very intently to her and gesturing at Zora -- pointing and such. When John and Zora got back to us the vet says,

"I have no doubt in my mind this horse has EPM."

My head started spinning, my knees got weak and I thought I was going to faint. I thought EPM was a death sentence. I said to the vet, "Oh my God, she is going to die?" The vet told me no, that she could be treated. I felt 1,000 times better.

So she explained the disease to us, the course of treatment and possible outcomes. She said some horses never fully recover, and some do but have recurrences of it from time to time. It takes a long time to recover from EPM -- months in fact. But the fact that it was treatable made all the difference.

So we started on getting her through this. A round of intense medicine for one month -- the strongest they have - Marquis paste. Thankfully Zora is a sweetheart for any type of medication or vaccines you give her be it paste or injections. She just stands perfectly still for it. Unlike when John is trying to get in the saddle, then she wants to walk in circles! But she is great for medicine.

So we started on the treatment and rehab.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Zora's Health Challenge: Initial Vet Opinion

We were pretty freaked out by what happened that day -- Zora lost her back end while out on a ride and drug herself for a few steps. So of course we called the vet. She was checked out which included a neurological assessment, and nothing seemed alarming. She did seem to react to pressure on her hip area. Possible stifle joint problem? Let her rest, keep an eye on her, and only short rides for a while until we get to the bottom of it.

We were advised to get a chiropractor, and one was recommended to us. He has a very good reputation and is both a human and equine chiropractor. However, he is also very busy so it is best to reach him by text.

John texted him, his reply suggested a weeknight appointment at his house which is a couple hours drive from where we live. John asked if we could work something else out as we are both employed full time. To this day we have not received a reply.

We were going to the Dunes to meet some friends for a ride on a Saturday a couple of weeks after the incident. As it happened, our friend was having trouble getting her horse to go out on the trail so we had only gone a short distance and decided to turn back. John said Zora didn't feel quite right. We took her back to the trail head/parking lot area. John walked her and all of us watched and sure enough, she was dragging her back feet a bit.

Now we are really concerned. Something is going on with this horse. Since we could not get the chiropractor we had an idea -- there is a vet in our area who used to be the vet for the nearby harness racing tracks. She is very good with musculoskeletal problems so we made an appointment with her hoping she could do a chiropractic adjustment.

So we got an appointment.......

(John and Zora before all this started)