Good lord. Poor Tre. This little mare can't seem to catch a break.
I did something EXTREMELY STUPID a few days ago, and I am seriously regretting it now. When I first brought Tre home 3 weeks ago, she smelled gross and was slow to eat her food. Part of it was her being picky, but I assumed that she probably had some underlying gastric issues as well. (When horses stand in stalls all the time and are only fed two grain and hay meals a day, they get ulcers. They just do.)
I got her transitioned and to the point where she was snarfing up all her food and supplements, and was gaining weight and doing great. (Our feeding program is centered completely around gastric health, so the more healing supplements she gets into her, the better.) S handed me two dewormers for the girls about three weeks ago, and I hesitated to give Tre one given the fact that she was teetering on the edge of having gastric issues. She finally was eating really well and gaining weigh, so I decided to go ahead and give it a few days ago. What I should have done was to get a fecal and then have a baseline to go off of before just blindly deworming. WHY didn't I do that? How stupid am I? I felt pressured into deworming her right now with the product I was given, and so therefore I did it.
It sent her spiraling into an ulcery tailspin. The next morning, she only ate about half of her food. That evening, she barely ate anything. Yesterday was the same story, except she ate even less in the morning. I dosed her with Ulcergard, and by the evening she ate about 3/4 of her dinner, but picked around the supplements and fat pellets and mostly just stuck to the hay pellets. This morning, she wouldn't eat hardly anything at all, not even hay, and I dosed her with Ulcergard again as well as a few syringes full of aloe. I left her in the small pen with hay and the rest of her breakfast, and it took her about four hours but she did manage to eat everything in her bucket. I'm thinking she may have sneakily spit out some of the Ulcergard though, because this evening she wouldn't eat anything at all... not even plain hay pellets. I got her to pick at some alfalfa, and I gave her another dose of Ulcergard, but I could barely even get her to eat hay. She just stood there looking miserably off into the distance.
Why. WHY did I deworm her. WHY did I do that. WHAT was I thinking.
Hopefully with Ulcergard and a total system reset (no work, no grain, just hay and Ulcergard), I will be able to chill her system out. As a person who has random ulcer flare-ups for no reason, I know all too well just how bad they hurt and how much they suck. Mine are well-controlled with targeted ranitidine, and have been gone for several months now, thankfully... hopefully I can get hers under control soon too. I have a giant tub of ranitidine in my car, so I might be sharing with her for a little while!
Living outside 24/7 with a friend and with free-choice hay is one of the very best things you can do for a horse's gastric system... it really does help just letting them live and eat the way they were designed to.
Either way, it just sucks, for the both for of us.
Tomorrow, miss O and I trailer out to our first little endurance ride!! I'm feeling completely unprepared, mostly because I've never done this before and don't really know what to expect. It's a whole new sport for me.... the first time is always a bit scary! I REALLY need to stop writing RIGHT NOW and get to bed, or else I will be super exhausted tomorrow.... I can't wait to write about it!