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Old 10-02-2012, 05:37 PM
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BostonBanker BostonBanker is offline
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Default I didn't think I'd be posting this....

Some of you who have been around forever have gotten bits and pieces over the years about the health issues I've had with Tristan, my horse. He very suddenly went off his feed sometime in late 2006, and quickly dropped over 200 lbs. I've spent the last six years fighting a constant battle with him, testing him for anything people thought of, trying treatments that made little to no sense, and generally keeping him in a perpetual state of flux with his weight.

We'd have a few months, maybe a half a year, where he'd be almost normal. "Normal" for him meaning having to switch his food every couple of weeks, and giving him the entire night to pick at it. If he was eating, we tried to keep everyone else in the barn from moving around, because he'd pull away from his food and not go back to it. Sometimes he'd be just 'lean' compared to the other horses; much of the time he wasn't allowed outside without some sort of sheet on, so that people driving by didn't try to report the farm.

For some reason, last winter struck him really hard, and he could not fight his way back in the spring. We were building him temporary fields in the middle of the alfalfa hay meadow, had various buckets of food available to him at all times, and took him completely off work so he wasn't wasting any calories. I had the vet out in early August and said "This is it - last ditch efforts. I'm not putting him into the winter like this." We tried one more round of Equipoise (anabolic steroid) which pulled him out of a bad patch a couple of years ago. He turned back into the raging 'roid stallion, but didn't pick up much weight. The biggest downside is that he had to go back in permanent fencing, which didn't offer nearly as much grass. He didn't really pick up any weight either.

My vet went back through all the work we'd done on him, and said, "You know, the one thing we've never tried was systematic steroids."

So, we put him on some Predisolone. It was like a miracle. 24 hours after his first dose, he was cleaning up his grain. As in, putting his head in the bucket, and not coming up until it was gone. I took video of it and was crying. He stayed on the meds for 20 days, and has been off it since mid-September. And he has not stopped eating. He'll eat treats again. He finishes his four grain meals a day quickly and completely. And he'll eat whatever we give him. I used to offer him handfuls of four or five grains to see what he'd be willing to try - now he eats anything!

In a dog, the vet would open him up and do exploratory surgery, doing a biopsy on whatever he found. Obviously it is not such a good option in a horse, so we are just writing it up to some sort of colitis. We don't know if it will come back eventually, but at least now we know what to fight it with.

This was on the Equipoise. It scares me to admit I took this picture because I thought he was looking better. I didn't take any pictures of him at his worst. This was the end of August.


And this was him yesterday. He still has pretty severe muscle loss. He's just getting back to walking under saddle at this point, but I'm so thrilled with how he's looking.


When you are a perfect boy, you get to break all the rules and roll on the lunge line


If you made it through that - have a cookie (just not one of Tristan's). I've let out frustrations over him enough here over the years, that I figured an update was appropriate.
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:41 PM
stardogs stardogs is offline
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OMG this is *such* an awesome update! When I read the first line, I was worried you'd lost him, but then I got to those photos at the end with the amazing turnaround! Soooo happy for you guys!!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:42 PM
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I am so happy for you and Tristan!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:43 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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SO very glad that you seem to have figured out his issues and that he looks so much better!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:43 PM
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Wow! Looking fabulous!! So glad you’ve figured something out. I had a TB who kept me on my toes with weight, its such a frustrating struggle... So glad yours had a happy ending!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:43 PM
JessLough JessLough is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stardogs View Post
OMG this is *such* an awesome update! When I read the first line, I was worried you'd lost him
That was my first thought too
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:45 PM
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OH MY GOD!!! I came into this thinking the worst! Sorry, now I'm sitting here laughing my ass off because I really thought this was bad (the worst) kind of news. I was so scared and sad.


He looks awesome in the recent shots, just awesome! I never knew he was such a blond. My old TB gelding was a hard keeper too, he also got rotated through the back field when he was at his skinniest. I know how agonizing it can be. People used to be like, "Hey... did you notice he's really skinny?" No, no, I had no idea, I'm actually legally blind. -__-
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:46 PM
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He looks amazing!

So happy for you both, and that lunge line picture is priceless....
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:48 PM
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I am so, so happy for you and Tristan!! That's fantastic news.

Btw, thanks for scaring me. Here I thought I was going to open this thread to some very bad Tristan news. But I am so thrilled that I was wrong!
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Old 10-02-2012, 05:49 PM
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This is such great news.
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