Monday, August 4, 2008

Update on Marye

After a hectic week (dentist last Monday, Farrier on Thursday, Massage Therapist on Friday, and "routine" chores in between,) we'll just copy 'n' paste a Marye update posted elsewhere on Saturday:

Oh boy. Marye arrived Monday. She was breathing pretty normally Monday and Tuesday. (She has severe heaves/COPD) While she was still at the other farm, the vet started her on dex to knock down inflammation and ventipulmin as a brochodilator/mild expectorant. Then she came off the dex, continuing on just ventipulmin.

Unfortunately, as her body cleared itself of the dex, she started having trouble again. On top of that the weather took a turn, becoming much hotter and more humid than it was early in the week. Dex injections yesterday made no difference at all. Today the vet came back and gave her a different steroid that I've never heard of before now. Triamcinilone (sp? having a little trouble reading her writing) That reduced the symptoms some, but we're still not back where we were last week.

Wednesday is supposed to be extremely hot and humid, so Doc is standing by for an inhaler treatment that day if needed. Our hope was that if we could get Marye through this (hopefully short) heat wave, we'd have more time to customize a long-term management scheme for her.

But....after Doc had me listen to her lungs today, I'm not terribly optimistic. There is so much scarring that at least one area of one lung is not moving any air at all. Another area literally sounded like a rusty door hinge, which Doc said was the tissues of the bronchi trying to pull apart and take in air. It was the strangest sound I've ever heard through a stethoscope.

The good news is that Marye is very bright and alert, eating well and grazing so we'll keep tweaking her care and see if we can get this under control. On the other hand, she's not buying the reasoning that we need to get her breathing under control before allowing her to go out with a herd.

We're doing our best to keep dust down, 24/7 turnout except during meals, but we are having a mildew problem this year, with more rainfall than normal.

Meanwhile, we're open to any and all alternative or complementary treatment ideas. We don't care how off the wall they may sound!

Edited to add: Since that update on a horse-related discussion forum, we received a response recommended Spirulina as a possible way to manage COPD symptoms. We'll keep Marye on her current medications as we begin this trial, then see if we can wean her off the steroids and ventipulmin.

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