Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Take Home Message

These are the last two pictures ever taken of of Sweet Danny.  With a heavy heart I made the decision to put him down yesterday (11/15/2013) for reasons which I will explain more in a minute.

First I want to say that Danny was one of the best horses I have ever known. Easy to get along with and just happy all of the time. 

We brought Danny with us when we moved to Arizona in July of this year.  The move was hard on him, more so than any of the other horses.  We continued with his exercise routine, although probably not near enough as he needed.  I did not ride him at all though.  

Danny started losing weight badly in spite of being fed quality alfalfa cubes and senior feed every day, along with access to pasture.  His forward mobility continued to decline and I noticed that he was starting to weave from side to side when trying to walk.  He did better at a run, but then that has always been the case.  

It was not unusual to find him standing with his hind feet in odd directions in his pen, and he was always stepping on himself.  His legs and coronet bands were full of scars.   

This week I noticed that he was uncomfortable on his front feet as well and that was the clincher for me.  With no good feet left to stand on, he was miserable.  He did not want to leave his stall at all.   It was time. 

I was going to delete this blog but have decided to leave it up instead.  There is an important message here that I want to share with anyone searching for information on stringhalt horses. 

First off, determine which type of stringhalt your horse has.  If it is from dandelions, then remove the plants and your horse will most likely get better.  If it is the permanent type then there is more involved.  

Have blood tests done, to rule out any sort of neurological diseases, increase the vitamin e intake and then work out a a good solid exercise routine.  

Constant exercise is vital for horses with Stringhalt. That is the mistake I made with Danny. I retired him before I should have and by time I realized it,  he was too far gone to bring him back.  The fact that he had double stringhalt did not make it any better.  There is no reason why a stringhalt horse can not live a long and happy life.  There are many cases of horses with this disease continuing on to show and jump. But they all stayed in good physical health.  

Lots of backing up to keep those back muscles strong. Lots of stretching to keep muscles supple.  Up and down hills is important also.  

I guess my take home message is that if you have a horse with stringhalt, don't give up on him or her. Work with him, treat him and most of all love him.  

Thursday, June 20, 2013

For your viewing pleasure

I finally found a video of Danny doing his back leg strengthening exercises...AND got it to upload to You Tube.

It is very exciting  Okay not really but it is something to post.

You can really see that he exhibits symptoms in both legs.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Vet Visit

My vet was out yesterday for our spring check up and shots n stuff.   He checked Danny's toofies and said they look great.  He had them done 2 years ago and apparently they are maintaining their shape.

He says that Danny looks fantastic, except for the shedding, of course, but his weight is perfect and he seems to be in as good of health as a horse much younger than him.  Of course his sway back is getting worse, but we all know that is due to lack of being ridden.

A week or so ago I noticed a lump on Danny's neck, well throat actually. I remembered to show it to Bruce, and he (once again) was surprised.   I guess what is, is a fracture of one of the tracheal rings.  He asked how long it has been there, and I told him I just noticed it a week or so ago when I was loving on him.  It isn't really visible, I just felt it as my hands went around his neck.

Bruce says it appears to be an old injury, perhaps from a kick. He said if he ever seems to have trouble breathing, then it will need attention. He does cough sometimes, and it could be caused from that, or it could just be hay cube dust.

Once again, Bruce informed me that he sees the strangest things at my house!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Oh Danny

Hey Lady, wanna see what I can do?

I just lean down and put my nose here...

And open the if you would just get that
pesky chain off of there, I could help my self to
some yummy grains. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Danny's former life

Shannon's  post about Spider watching "Man From Snowy River" one too many times, reminded me of something.

Sure does look like him. 

This is what Danny did as a youngster.
Okay so not really (as far as we know anyways)  But hey, it could happen!?!? LOL

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Danny's Debut

Yesterday I got an email from the Western Horse Review (here is a link) out of Canada, asking if they could use some pictures of Danny for an article on Stringhalt.  Wow!  So Danny is gonna hit the big time.

I sent them some of the pics I have on here, plus I took these last night.
Some serious high stepping

He is a rare case who has it on both rear legs, although his RR is not as bad as his left

Look how high up his rear end goes at a trot

These two show how he has to push off to move faster than a walk

I just like this picture, he looks handsome. 

Left Rear is the worst

Right Rear almost as bad.
Now, I want to clarify that Danny does not always exhibit his condition in both legs, but it was about 20 degrees out when we took these and cold affects his condition quite a bit.  It is highly unusual for a horse to have it in both legs, but then Danny has always been special.

When I sent the pictures I gave them his history and what I have learned about his condition. Most importantly that exercise is vital for horses with Stringhalt.  I don't know if they can use any of my findings since I'm just an old gal figuring things out as I go, but I gave them the info anyway, and I sure hope I can be of some help.  When it comes out I will post a new link.

An update on his condition, the exercise he has been getting daily along with the Equine Senior seems to be helping alot, and he is doing fine after getting beat up by Killian.  You can read that story here.  Since the clinic and show have been canceled this weekend, I think it is time to go back to riding him at the arena.  Perhaps I can get some good video of that.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Photo update- Chilly morning

Since I know that Danny did not hurt himself now, I feel much better about life.
Of course he is full of energy when it is chilly out.
This pic really shows how high is leg goes up

he has to "Jump start" to get running

It sure doesn't stop him from rolling though

He really runs funny

The rear view of his full condition

I wish I had had my camera with me Saturday.  I let all the horses out at once, they all raced around the pasture as fast as they could go. Danny included. A few times Killian went after Danny, but just chased him, never really tried to hurt him.  It was so nice to see them all out together for a change.

Since I know for sure that he is not swollen and did not hurt himself I will go back to his exercising and start him back with some light riding.