Well, yesterday was Dexter’s most difficult day so far. Unfortunately, it was also the first day his owner Marci came to see him since he was left in my care and I wasn't here. He was depressed and in pain. I didn’t put any horses in with him and I should have. He’s in a fairly emotional state and he does not like being alone. But then who does when they’re not feeling well? All the other horses wonder out to the back of the pasture and there he is, alone and feeling like crap, unable to walk at all without the ruthless hoof pain.
He had been off bute for 48 hours. I truly believe the bute is part of the problem. It’s certainly not a cure, it does make him feel a tiny bit better temporarily, but to his body, it masks what’s really going on and therefore compromises his ability to go to war against the root of the painful problem. In other words, the bute numbs the pain, but also numbs his body to what is happening. Kind of like shoes numb the hooves to the same kind of pain creating the allusion that healing has already taken place, so why should his body put forth more effort to help himself?
You have to understand, I grew up with movies like The Incredible Voyage.
So I did give him a double dose of bute this afternoon at 3pm. But today was better for him even without having had any pain meds for such a long time. He’s moving around a bit. He got down and rolled and he’s eaten LOTS of grass hay. He drinks water, he pees and poops and does all the things healthy horses do. I had Jake and Boomer in with him this morning until just a bit ago. I let them out and he wanted so badly to follow them out of the gate, but his body wasn’t cooperating.
Marci came again today and we agreed to give him a few more days. If he remains like this, we’ve agreed that he doesn’t deserve to be put through this agony any longer than that.
I personally believe he’s hit bottom, and all the things I’m doing for him are going to kick in now and very gradually he’s going to improve until he comfortable again. But then, that might just be part of the founder roller coaster ride we all climb on when we are dealing with a horse suffering from chronic laminitis.