Jed has been feeling better the last two days, since that huge abscess broke and continues to drain on the front of his right hoof. He is walking taller and eating better again. We’re borrowing a large bridle with blinders, and awaiting the sling delivery, and hoping this weekend to introduce Jed to the operation. What did we do before the internet? Between finding all this stuff, and figuring out how to use it, we are getting guidance from so many…Vet and hoof care chicks are both here on Monday!
So, good news! Jed’s latest bout of feeling-crappiness was due to an abscess! He is draining and feeling so much better.
Whew. Bought us a little time.
We have located a used equi-sling to purchase for Jed; it’s being shipped today. I hope that Jed and I can figure this out together, and lift him safely up enough that we can gain access to his feet. This is our best chance of putting repeated casts or shoes on him to give him relief.
Hoping and praying that this works for him.
Jed is off his feed today, and is not looking very chipper.
Jed had two good friends come for a visit today, Renee and Rene. Both have been loyal supporters of Jed and his recovery and wanted to pay a visit or our sore guy. The day was sunny and Jed his handsome self, always happy for a photo and a scratch….
So what is now clear to me is that we need to spend the money and run an updated, detailed diagnostic on Jed. A venogram and new, decent x-rays. The x-rays will show us current rotation; the venogram will show us bloodflow.
Apparently, after a time, damaged blood vessels can die, and damaged hooves can as well. Once dead, there is no rehab left. We will not put Jed through further treatment if healing is no longer possible. We will not keep Jed trapped in a crippled body for his lifetime.
Personally, my ‘what ifs’ have already begun.
Next week we will run further testing and decide what to do.
Two weeks ago we had a sudden photo shoot; a terrific horse person who also happens to be a supermodel, (and the face of Saving America’s Mustangs) Erin Wasson, paid us a visit. She was with a Vogue photog, to snap her with our mustang Whisper, as a part of a feature story about her work championing mustangs. After an initial panic, Whisper quite took to her, and their photo will be included in December Vogue. Erin then visited much of the rest of the gang here, including Jed. They really hit it off. I was saving this shot to release when the Vogue issue hits the stands in November, but maybe today’s a good day to share it.
Thanks for your visit Erin; and thank you to Robynne and Renee and Rene and Susan and Joanne and Deb and Karen and Karla and all of Jed’s visitors so far, in the past six months. I hope that Jed is here to greet you when you return.
These discussions of founder and possible solutions are making my head spin. Likely yours as well. Since this is one of the most prevalent reasons that domestic horses are put down, it’s worth learning tho’. The easiest answers lay in prevention, in reducing the high sugar, processed foods that so many horses are fed. But for Jed, that doesn’t help now.
Jed overate corn, according to his seller at auction. Knowing the horse now, it’s hard to imagine him testing a fence or being difficult in any way, but it’s clear he overdosed on something. His feet were evidence not only of trimming neglect, but multiple bouts of laminitis, but the last severe round was what got him sent to auction.
But now we are six months away from that time. Trimming, and a strict diet has helped give him comfort and movement and improvement. But we can see that his hoof isn’t re-growing properly, and crushed blood vessels are likely the problem. Jed’s team is in agreement that applying an Equi-cast is the best chance to give his foot some additional support, and relief, which then may allow Jed increased movement, stimulating those blood vessels to re-grow. This is not the first time casting has been brought up, but as we explained yesterday, getting access to Jed’s feet has been nearly impossible.
TRAIN YOUR HORSES. As an owner it is YOUR MORAL DUTY.
Jed’s lack of handling and training before coming here has not helped us handle and manage his extreme situation. Ironic for a work horse, but not unusual. Jed has been learning here, first the concept and then in practice, to ‘pick up his dang foot’. First he had to learn not to be afraid, and not to jump at normal barn movement. He had to learn that we would not hurt him. Finally, he actually enjoyed the lessons, seemed to find it fun!
But Jed is in pain and simply cannot hold up either front hoof for very long. So the cast has been delayed. I feel a little stressed, like perhaps I should have pushed more to learn this faster or better, but I can see that he hurts. I hoped he would improve physically enough to meet with his new training, but now he is getting worse.
The option on the table is anethesetizing Jed fully, and working on all his feet and applying the equi-cast then. This is scary. Apparently drafts do not take the drugs as well as other breeds, and there is a risk of muscle problems, complications, or not being able to get up again. Can you guess that I am scared to death right about now?
I”m going to try and tape some basic padding on Jed tomorrow, to see how he handles the concept at all, and see if it might help. Jed freaks out at things and I don’t always know what it will be. I need to feel confident that if we risk this procedure, that it will be successful. The problem is, if it’s not, we are running out of options.
Jed has his run in shed scraped and re-layered with bedding tonight, and is tucked in, out of the rain, with his evening bale of hay. He got a nice long scratch and rub, and heard his name over and over. Tonight Jed is alive and with us. Is it too much to ask that next week, or next month, or next year we can say the same?
Geri was here today, and we had a long talk about Jed. Just yesterday there was another long talk, with a new member of the RF team, Dr. Liz Fish. All of us are greatly concerned by the condition of Jed’s right front foot.
Jed is in pain again, hardly able to walk. Despite consuming at least two bales of hay a day, plus his oats rations with Power Horse, he is still flagging. The hoof that is growing in is not healthy hoof material, but white, dry and scaly. The most logical explanation would be that Jed’s rotation of his coffin bone is cutting off the blood supply to that area of his foot. This is very bad. Many options are being discussed to try and tackle this. One easy solution was to expand his pea gravel area, which was done late today. Another is increased exercise, but he is in too much pain for that. Casts, boots, and reverse shoes are all on the table as possible aids to get Jed more comfortable and moving; BUT all of these solutions require us to have longer access to Jed’s foot, in the air. This has been the single biggest challenge for Geri all along, is getting to Jeds’ feet.
Jed has learned now to pick up his feet, for very limited times, but it is clearly with great pain. Tranquilizing him for work is dangerous. Perhaps we need to re-visit the idea of a stockade with a belly band? I don’t know.
Much more detailed emails are being shared amongst the team and I will let you all know what is decided as the next step. It may be simply deciding that we need more information; doing detailed x-rays might help us know whether there is sideways rotation, or whether his coffin bone is threatening to push out through his frog.
Pain in any creature that is trying to heal is a necessary evil. Pain as a way of life, well, Jed isn’t living right now in a way that I would want to sustain for him indefinitely. I hope our team finds a next step that keeps Jed moving forward…
Jed does have a way with the ladies. Today he made a new friend, supermodel Erin Wasson, who was really here to meet Whisper, our BLM mustang. Erin supports many causes, especially Saving Americas Mustangs, and Vogue is doing a story on her work. We were honored to meet such a caring soul, and had a great time introducing her to the herd. Jed, of course, was the last and best, being his ever charming self! You go, Jed! Maybe Vogue will put you on the cover next!
Jed speaks out for the cause. Please share, we need every Jed fan to vote every day in September if we are going to have a chance to win.
Seriously it’s a huge help!
Patterns emerge. Sixty odd horses in, thirty odd horses out, some things become more clear. When a horse arrives, nervous, scared, tense, they are usually very focused on the moment and on the new surroundings. Survival things, like where is the door out, where is the water, where is food, will the other horses kill me. Then they start to relax a bit. Along about the third or fourth or fifth day, they start to realize this is where they live now. This is not always pleasing, if they left behind any semblance at all of a herd, even a single friend. They realize they are here and they suddenly feel very alone. The whinnies that I hear on this day are the saddest, and are never repeated in tone or plea. They are calls to friends long gone. Many of our new horses have sent out this call, most memorably Holly and Pearl, both older mares, voices thick with soul and history.
Our new mare is sending out her calls today, and there is no one to answer. She’s not speaking to the horses or people who are nearby so her whinnies hang in the air. She is speaking to lost friends. No amount of beautiful fields or other horses can fill in this loss for her today. All we can offer is comfort, and the promise of a future. We hope that she is strong enough, with enough life, to turn to us when she is ready.