Oh Nash!


Poor guy, he has been through so much with his hernia surgery last year and now he is not feeling well again.

9/1 We first noticed something was wrong when the Farrier was out to trim the horses hooves.  Nash seemed to be in pain in the back end.  He didn’t want to pick up his back legs, especially the left.  His left leg muscles was also quivering. He was also kicking out when we tried to pick up his back feet.  (The night before he was noticed to be stomping he back left foot)

9/4 He was pain free and able to pick up all 4 feet with no problems

9/21 He was able to be ridden in a lesson.

9/27 He was showing signs of pain again.  He was wobbly on his feet.  I tried to ride him but decided he was too unstable.  During this past month he was loosing weight.  He was eating his grain but maybe not “fighting ” for his share of the hay with the herd (8 horse 2 donkey).

9/28 A chiropractor came out and gave him an adjustment.  He said his hips and left back knee were out of alignment.  The left hip was higher than the right.  He seemed to walk away with some improvement.

10/1 He was back to being stiff and sore in the back end.  He was put on a muscle relaxer and “bute” a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID).  We thought it was a pinched nerve in the spine cause issues down his leg.

10/5 Medication did not seem to be working.  He stopped eating all of his grain and was only picking at his hay.  He still seemed to want grass but also started to chew on the wood.  Vet said this was because of the bute so now he is getting Pepto for horses and a probiotic, to settle his stomach.   He received a mild sedative and cortisone shots in his lower spinal area.  If it is a nerve issue this should improve the situation in 2-3 days.

10/6 He received a therapeutic massage. He tolerated it very well but was doing the stomp/kick with both back legs most of the time. No muscle issues found.  We have ruled out the issue being nerve related and and are pursuing neurological origins of the issue.  It could be:

  • Lyme Disease: A bacterial disease spread by tick bites. Read more about it here.
    • Clinical signs: Stiffness, lameness, muscle tenderness, Hyper sensitivity, swollen or sore joints, Behavioral changes – lethargic or “grump
    • Treatment: 30 days of Antibiotic
    • Testing: Blood test takes 7 – 10 days to come back
  • Equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, or EPM, is a disease caused by a protozoal infection that affects the central nervous system of horses.
    • Clinical signs:  stiffness, asymmetrical gaits and cranial nerve deficits, ataxia (incoordination), spasticity (stiffness, abnormal gaits or lameness, muscle atrophy, paralysis, difficulty swallowing, head tilt, seizures and collapse, abnormal sweating, loss of sensation and poor balance).
    • Treatment: Long term and expensive anitbiotics with, antiinflammatory therapy
    • Testing: We would have to take him to a local hospital for a spinal tap.  They would have to sedate and restrain him for this procedure.  At this point I am unsure he is safe to travel.

10/7 I gave him 2 grams of bute last night.  It seemed to help as this morning, while still wobbly, stiff and uncoordinated he seemed in better spirits.  Last night and this morning he ate a yummy warm mash of beet pulp, senior grain and treats.  This morning he even decide to escape under the chain guard (across the stall door) so he could help himself to some grass while I was making his breakfast.  As soon as he saw me putting it in his bowl he came back to his stall and ate all of it.

We decided the following course of treatment.

  1. Start him on doxycycyline for Lyme disease.  He should should signs of improvement in 2-3 days if this is what he has
  2. Send off sample for Lyme disease test.  This takes 7 -10 days for results.
  3. If no improvement then we will consider testing or treatment for EPM.

This is a video from today so you can see how he is walking.


My boy Nash


Word is spreading and the grass roots campaign raise funds for Nash’s Hernia surgery just passed it’s first week.  I realized I failed to show you how bad the hernia is and what the surgery will fix.  This week we decided to shave the spot so we could get a clear view of how bad it is.

2013-04-25_18-22-19_797 2013-04-25_18-22-49_860 2013-04-25_18-23-16_191 2013-04-25_18-23-29_871


Then after taking these photos Nash and I had some quality time while he munched on some grass in between the spring blossoms.