I didn't think I'd be posting this....

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by BostonBanker, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    Some of you who have been around forever have gotten bits and pieces over the years about the health issues I've had with Tristan, my horse. He very suddenly went off his feed sometime in late 2006, and quickly dropped over 200 lbs. I've spent the last six years fighting a constant battle with him, testing him for anything people thought of, trying treatments that made little to no sense, and generally keeping him in a perpetual state of flux with his weight.

    We'd have a few months, maybe a half a year, where he'd be almost normal. "Normal" for him meaning having to switch his food every couple of weeks, and giving him the entire night to pick at it. If he was eating, we tried to keep everyone else in the barn from moving around, because he'd pull away from his food and not go back to it. Sometimes he'd be just 'lean' compared to the other horses; much of the time he wasn't allowed outside without some sort of sheet on, so that people driving by didn't try to report the farm.

    For some reason, last winter struck him really hard, and he could not fight his way back in the spring. We were building him temporary fields in the middle of the alfalfa hay meadow, had various buckets of food available to him at all times, and took him completely off work so he wasn't wasting any calories. I had the vet out in early August and said "This is it - last ditch efforts. I'm not putting him into the winter like this." We tried one more round of Equipoise (anabolic steroid) which pulled him out of a bad patch a couple of years ago. He turned back into the raging 'roid stallion, but didn't pick up much weight. The biggest downside is that he had to go back in permanent fencing, which didn't offer nearly as much grass. He didn't really pick up any weight either.

    My vet went back through all the work we'd done on him, and said, "You know, the one thing we've never tried was systematic steroids."

    So, we put him on some Predisolone. It was like a miracle. 24 hours after his first dose, he was cleaning up his grain. As in, putting his head in the bucket, and not coming up until it was gone. I took video of it and was crying. He stayed on the meds for 20 days, and has been off it since mid-September. And he has not stopped eating. He'll eat treats again. He finishes his four grain meals a day quickly and completely. And he'll eat whatever we give him. I used to offer him handfuls of four or five grains to see what he'd be willing to try - now he eats anything!

    In a dog, the vet would open him up and do exploratory surgery, doing a biopsy on whatever he found. Obviously it is not such a good option in a horse, so we are just writing it up to some sort of colitis. We don't know if it will come back eventually, but at least now we know what to fight it with.

    This was on the Equipoise. It scares me to admit I took this picture because I thought he was looking better. I didn't take any pictures of him at his worst. This was the end of August.
    [​IMG]

    And this was him yesterday. He still has pretty severe muscle loss. He's just getting back to walking under saddle at this point, but I'm so thrilled with how he's looking.
    [​IMG]

    When you are a perfect boy, you get to break all the rules and roll on the lunge line:D
    [​IMG]

    If you made it through that - have a cookie (just not one of Tristan's). I've let out frustrations over him enough here over the years, that I figured an update was appropriate.
     
  2. stardogs

    stardogs Behavior Nerd

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    OMG this is *such* an awesome update! When I read the first line, I was worried you'd lost him, but then I got to those photos at the end with the amazing turnaround! Soooo happy for you guys!!
     
  3. Moth

    Moth Mild and Slightly Nutty

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    :)

    I am so happy for you and Tristan!
     
  4. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    SO very glad that you seem to have figured out his issues and that he looks so much better!
     
  5. Danefied

    Danefied New Member

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    Wow! Looking fabulous!! So glad you’ve figured something out. I had a TB who kept me on my toes with weight, its such a frustrating struggle... So glad yours had a happy ending!
     
  6. JessLough

    JessLough Love My Mutt

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    That was my first thought too
     
  7. Emily

    Emily Rollin' with my bitches

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    OH MY GOD!!! I came into this thinking the worst! Sorry, now I'm sitting here laughing my ass off because I really thought this was bad (the worst) kind of news. I was so scared and sad.


    He looks awesome in the recent shots, just awesome! I never knew he was such a blond. ;) My old TB gelding was a hard keeper too, he also got rotated through the back field when he was at his skinniest. I know how agonizing it can be. People used to be like, "Hey... did you notice he's really skinny?" No, no, I had no idea, I'm actually legally blind. -__-
     
  8. LauraLeigh

    LauraLeigh New Member

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    He looks amazing!

    So happy for you both, and that lunge line picture is priceless....
     
  9. Toller_08

    Toller_08 Active Member

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    I am so, so happy for you and Tristan!! That's fantastic news. :D

    Btw, thanks for scaring me. Here I thought I was going to open this thread to some very bad Tristan news. But I am so thrilled that I was wrong!
     
  10. Paige

    Paige Let it be

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    This is such great news. :D
     
  11. ~Tucker&Me~

    ~Tucker&Me~ and Spy.

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    I was also fearing the worst when I saw the title of this thread :yikes:

    So glad to hear things have really turned around. I can tell how thrilled you are, and it is so obvious how much Tristan means to you... This update just warmed my heart :)
     
  12. BostonBanker

    BostonBanker Active Member

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    My farrier, who is also a dear friend, told me the other day that he'd been talking to another friend of mine about who was going to tell me that I had to just let him go. I asked him if he seriously thought I didn't realize. I mean, I know people can get blind to what is in front of them, but...that first picture is a good picture compared to where he was at in the middle of the summer.

    And thanks guys. There's been way too much sadness and upset here lately - some happy news seemed timely.
     
  13. Laurelin

    Laurelin I'm All Ears

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    Oh gosh you scared me! I am so glad he is looking SO much better!
     
  14. SaraB

    SaraB New Member

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    So, so, so happy for you!! I got tears in my eyes after reading that and seeing the pictures. There is no love like horse love.
     
  15. MafiaPrincess

    MafiaPrincess Obvious trollsare Obvious

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    Aww BB, that is so great to hear! I was starting to get a little teary.. I was afraid it was the end, not the beginning of hopefully a new improved start. So awesome to hear!
     
  16. mrose_s

    mrose_s BusterLove

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    Oh good, I'm so happy for you.
    I know how much you've struggled with him and I really admire you for the amount of work and emotion you've pourred into him.
    So glad he's looking/feeling better! I hope it stays this way.
     
  17. Taqroy

    Taqroy Active Member

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    This is a great post. I love your photos of Tristan and I'm so glad you found something that works.
     
  18. Gempress

    Gempress Walks into Mordor

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    GREAT update! I'm so happy for you both!! I know how long you've been struggling with Tristan's health. This must be like a miracle for you.
     
  19. CharlieDog

    CharlieDog Rude and Not Ginger

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    That is awesome!! I'm so glad he's finally EATING!
     
  20. sassafras

    sassafras mushinois

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    Well that's good to hear.
     

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