Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chiro work!

Digby and his old owner doing some gymnastics, winter 2010. How cute :)

On Monday, Digby had a massage/chiro appointment. His masseuse is a wonderful woman who just ADORES Digby. That makes me happy. He wasn't sore anywhere really but he hadn't been done since June, actually on the day we discovered his congenital bipartite navicular. I figured he was due. He had had his shoes pulled and had to adjust to not working and being turned out a lot more. She was pretty happy. He was a little out by his poll and a little sore in his back, all on the left side but nothing too major.  His hind right was also fairly "locked" but it's fixed now. He's had two massages by her now and he's definitely figuring out what it's about. She doesn't crack them or force the horses into anything which I like. She simply asks them to bend or respond to pressure so that they release themselves. Digby almost has this figured out by the second time. He also drank a lot of water during and after, which is a sign that he's smart. (As if we didn't know this already!) It helps flush all the lactic acid and build up out of his system.

We discussed a lot, everything from ulcers to Digby's diet to his blanket. I'm going to have the vet out after I start foaling shift (no later than Jan 18th!) just for a general check up, to pull a coggins, give him a rabies shot and discuss some of the things we talked about while she was working on him. The wonderful massage lady and I talked about the likeliness of Digby having ulcers. I've never treated him for ulcers and as far as I know he's never been treated ever. He's a little bit of worrier and has been a lot of places in his life. He's had several owners, has had limited turnout for several years, has been on bute/NSAIDs, gets dewormed, and used to be shipped a lot. All of these can be stressful. If you've met Digby, I'm sure you've seen him get stressed at some point. He looks totally fine. He's at a good weight, eats anything and is happy. However, he said due to his colicy nature in winter and just general "worrier" attitude, it might be worth discussing with the vet. If he got ulcers ever in his life, they are certainly still there. Consider it on my "to discuss" list!

She wonders if there isn't something about Digby's nutrition or vitamin/mineral balances that might not make his soreness and lameness worse. It sounds like a complicated chat but it really wasn't. He tends to get sore easier than you would except, has issues with being colicy in the winter, does fine when on electrolytes, and is sound every season but summer... when he's typically getting little to no grain thus not meeting his nutrient requirements. I do try to give him a vit/min supplement from SmartPak but that's just a standard supplement and might not be meeting his personal requirements. I assumed he went lame in the summer because the ground was hard, but to be honest, the ground is pretty darn hard in winter as well and he's sound, sound, sound at the moment. It's just something else I will have to bring up to the vet.

As for the blanket, it's a very heavy blanket weight wise. It's only a medium weight (I believe 180 or 200 fill?) but it's heavy pound wise and she thinks it might be causing some of the soreness in his back. Sigh! Nothing I hadn't thought of myself but frustrating none the less. I guess I'm blanket shopping...

Shamless plug - if anyone is interested in a massage/chiro work up for their horse, let me know. I'll give you her name and number. She's a very nice, helpful lady! Digby lovesss her.


  1. Hey...about the ulcers. Just my take on them ... they are so expensive to treat (and very possible he has them. I just learned in school that if you randomly scope horses 50% will have them). However, in the long run, if your horse doesn't have them scoping them although initially more expensive is overall cheaper (about $175-250) I thought for sure my mare had ulcers after being stressed and then being picky about her food...had her scoped and she didn't have them! She was still weird about her food for the past month so a few weeks ago I started her on smartpak G.U.T. which has seemed to have helped (I think she either has high acid levels due to stress and its just irritating or duodenal ulcers, but I would never be able to prove that) But anyways, if you do end up treating for ulcers, know that gastroguard is SUPER expensive, so to me well worth getting a scope done to know if he does have ulcers or not. :) Hope you figure it all out! I seriously love reading your blog. It's nice to get another horse owners take on things and what is going on in the real world outside of my vet school bubble haha

  2. Thanks Julia. Digby's actually insured so scoping and any medication (like gastro guard) needed is covered. :) Thank god because it is expensive! He's not picky about his food but like I said there's a lot else going on there that points to the fact that he might have them. And like you mentioned, a LOT of horses do. :) Thanks for enjoying my blog so much! Sometimes it's hard to realize that people actually DO read it since I don't get much feed back...

  3. haha well thats good! Yea, my insurance covered it too, so that is why I got the scoping done....and then she didn't have them haha

    I do enjoy your blog! It is a nice refresher! :)