I recently spent the morning with Rocky during a routine vet visit from Dr McCracken. His foster parents, Kellie and Peter, have done wonders in gaining his trust with their kind and patient handing. Rocky has come a long way from the timid boy he was when we first met him. His eyes are bright and he even has more spunk, which is nice to see!
Dr. McCracken drew blood to check his Cushings and to see how his medication is working. His ATCH levels looked good so he is going to stay on his current dose of Prascend for now.
We want to make sure his quality of life is always being considered. Kellie feels that the colder weather causes Rocky some discomfort. After a long conversation about his pain levels and how to best keep him comfortable, Dr. McCracken offered a few suggestions.
First, we are introducing a drug called Tramadol. This should help with the pain and hopefully allow us to lower the dose of Bute he gets, or even eliminate it completely. Rocky has had a lot of trouble with his right hind leg, especially when the farrier is working on him.
Second, we brainstormed with Kellie’s farrier, Jim Bergevin, for some ideas on how to help with the cold weather and cold ground. Rocky’s feet are a little tender but not too bad with hoof testers. Jim and Dr. McCracken both agreed that though hind shoe heel lifts might give some comfort in the short-term, they’ve seen more cases where it actually increases the dropping of the fetlock. So instead, Jim put leather pads on the front hooves.
Jim Bergevin has been a godsend for Rocky, not only for lending his expertise and experience to solving Rocky’s discomfort, but also because he has generously donated all of his work, including shoes and pads! SAFE is so grateful to Jim for everything that he’s done to help make Rocky happy.
Dr. McCracken added that she thought Rocky should get a bit more turnout. She and Jim agreed that DLSD horses to do better when they get to move around a bit more. Though Kellie had been cautious about too much turnout causing pain, she is now going to gradually increase his turnout to last summer’s level.
With these suggestions in place, Kellie will keep a close eye on Rocky for any signs of discomfort and let us know immediately if she sees any indication that these measures aren’t helping. We have no desire to see Rocky in pain, so if he starts to tell us that he’s had enough, we are prepared to gently and kindly help him on his journey to the next life.
Good thoughts for Rocky!!!