Shay was showing some increased signs of lameness last week, so she was seen by Dr Owens of Owens Equine.
As we already know, Shay has clearly had laminitis in the past and has a 30-degree rotation in both front feet. Despite being carefully managed (which Dr. Owens said Eileen/SAFE was doing a good job), she may be showing signs of IR/metabolic syndrome. The vet report makes it clear that if Shay has an acute case of laminitis in the future, it could quickly devolve into a life or death situation, so we do need to manage her carefully.
Eileen had kept her stalled at night over the weekend and she appeared comfortable but when she re-attempted night turnout, Shay once again appeared uncomfortable in the morning. So Shay was kept inside in a heavily bedded stall for a few days while Eileen and SAFE volunteers fenced in a dry lot area for her.
Eileen’s pasture, except for one very small area at the end, is already practically a dry lot. Marta and Shay have been wearing their grazing muzzles religiously. They are clearly being managed with IR/EMS in mind. But Shay has a small dry lot where she has access to stand in thick, cushy bedding if she wants it. Eileen covered the hole in her grazing muzzle and will turn her out as seems appropriate.
We’re pretty sure we could not arrange for better management of Shay than Eileen is already doing. While Shay’s neck is cresty, Eileen has kept both mares in good weight and Shay is about as slim as she can be and still look good. We now think there is a legitimate question as to whether Shay was having a metabolic episode or whether this is the first time we’ve seen her on hard, rocky, August ground. We did see her take an occasional bad step, but the rest of the time she is quite happy to be moving…not the sign of a horse experiencing an acute laminitic episode.
Bottom line, we are so thankful to Eileen for the care she’s provided these two old dames over the past year. The mares are both clearly very happy and enjoying life…except maybe those pesky grazing muzzles!!!