Friday, January 6, 2012

Damn, Damn, Damn

I don't know where to start, so I'll just plunge in. Rogo's sarcoid didn't really heal completely after the surgery. One little spot stayed kind of scabby, and then started growing, fast. I called the vet who said it would be very unusual for it to come back that fast, but I had him come and look at it. He immediately did surgery again (this past Tues.), removing the growth, and Rogo's off work for a couple of weeks again. The growth he removed is being biopsied. The vet said it may be proud flesh, so my fingers are crossed. A knowledgeable person at the barn told me it looked and acted like a sarcoid, not proud flesh (it was 'pebbly', had sensation in it and couldn't be easily detached from him), but both she and the vet told me it's hard to tell. It all happened so fast that I didn't have time to talk to the vet about options if it isn't proud flesh and the sarcoid has returned. Guess I'll cross that bridge if I come to it...
I think I did a really good job (for me) of thinking positive and not obsessing about it up until this happened, but this sucks. It's giving me night mares. It keeps me from sleeping. Oddly, I found myself really angry the night after the surgery. I didn't even know where it came from. I was cleaning stalls for the horses at home and felt myself getting angrier and angrier and wondering what I was angry about. Then I realized I was angry about the sarcoid. But with who? Rogo? Me? The vet? God? Didn't make sense. Doesn't have to. No one likes to see their sweet horse cut up and bleeding. Okay, that's my venting. There's good stuff too.
The vet was in the afternoon. In the morning on Tues. I had my best lesson since getting to Sue's. Rogo was forward but calmer. All traces of the 'canter rebellion' were gone as quickly as they had come. We did lots of 10 M trot circles, transitioning to walk on the circles and back to trot, circling three times on each long side. We're getting better at it and it's excellent for the horse and rider to develop feel for balanced gaits and aids. When I asked for canter, instead of the semi-gallop, semi out of control gait I'd been getting for a month and a half I got a calm, focused, steerable and lovely canter. Yeah!
The time before that when I rode he had the first bucking fit he's ever had in his life with a rider aboard. As soon as my feet were in the stirrups he started bucking and crow hopping all over the top end of the arena. I'm amazed I stayed on. Everyone including me thought something was wrong, i.e. a twisted girth or a strap tickling some where. People were yelling "get off him, get off him". Well, if I could stop and get off I wouldn't have a problem would I? :) I eventually got him to a stand still and my friend Alison who was standing there courageously held him while I got off to see what was wrong. I couldn't see anything so I lunged him. There was nothing wrong. Sue showed up just then and confirmed he was fine, just feeling 'high as a kite' from being inside for a day (weather had kept them in). He's been locked in due to weather lots of times, but he's never done more than a half hearted little buck on a rare occasion to object to something new or tell me he was loosing his balance. Bucking wasn't in his vocabulary. They decided to cut his feed and my ride the next day, the one I describe above, was fabulous. I don't think cutting his feed would make a difference that fast. I think it was just that he's feeling much more muscled up now and needs to get out or have exercise. I'll have to remember to lunge if he's been inside due to weather. Does anyone know if cutting the feed could affect him that quickly?
Speaking of feed and energy levels, I've discussed Rogo's nutrition and energy level with the vet on numerous occasions and even had him on a supplement the vet brought in to try to increase his energy. Nothing helped. I think it's just a case of him developing more muscle and energy. I should say though that I've suspected in the past that alfalfa gave him a bit of an energy boost, and Sue mentioned that alfalfa, combined with his new fitness, can give him more energy.
Anyway, I LOVE his new forwardness, so I'll just have to monitor the feed and also lunge as needed.
Yesterday I had my lesson on a lesson horse, Spirit. It's good to ride different horses and Spirit is a nice horse to ride. Forward and responsive. I can do sitting trot better with Spirit than Rogo, so it was good to get the feel for that, and also we did shoulder in, so I was able to get a good feel for that too. Rogo is just starting a bit of shoulder in so maybe we'll work at it at the walk a little when he starts back to work.

14 comments:

Kate said...

On sarcoids, the only answer is "it depends". There's a mare at our barn who had good luck with surgery - the sarcoid was large and on her face - and I think they also used some freezing techniques as well. Dawn had a large and growing sarcoid on her neck just over her jugular groove - so surgery not a safe option - we used the Xterra cream (you need a prescription for it) and the sarcoid has now been completely gone for several years. I know others who've had good results with the cream as well - it affects only the sarcoid tissue, not normal tissue.

Good luck on that. On the bucking, does he need any grain at all, or would a vitamin/mineral balancer pellet be all he needs? None of my horses get any grain at all and I've discovered that many horses just don't need it.

TeresaA said...

the problem with working horses hard is that they get muscled up and in shape :). I suspect he was feeling on the muscle and wanted to vent.

On sarcoids- I had my previous horse treated with Cysplatin. it was expensive but worked well.

Val said...

I am sorry to hear about the sarcoid. Hopefully, the vet was able to remove all of it and it will not return this time.

It is my understanding that feed changes can make fast changes in a horse's behavior, but if his diet has not changed recently than it was probably the other things discussed (less turnout, more fitness, a little skin pinch under the girth, etc.). I started giving Harley alfalfa pellets with his dinner about a month ago and I have not noticed a change in temperament. He also gets a pelleted feed that is beet pulp/fat based so that he gets slow-burning energy rather than surges from high starch or sugar content. I recommend a feed designed to give more calories from fats than sugars. Of course some horses do not need any grain and it is always best if they can get what they need from high-quality forage and supplementation. Every horse is different!

Lori Skoog said...

Years ago my grey anglo'trakehner mare had a sarcoid in her ear. Had it removed and it did not come back. Just keep thinking positively. That Xterra cream Kate spoke of sounds interesting.

My horses get very safe choice (1/2-1 # per feeding) and a couple of cups of soaked beet pulp. Seems to work.

Happy to hear that you had a good lesson on him.

TBDancer said...

Sarcoids: A friend whose daughter's horse had sarcoid issues also swears by Xterra cream. The horse is a bay w/b, and his sarcoid has been gone for several years now, too. Fingers crossed Rogo has the same luck.

Anger: We ALL get angry. We go along, trying to be positive and do the right things, then "stuff" happens and BLAM!! I tend to go clean something and yell at objects when I'm angry (had a yelling good time Wednesday morning replacing the vent hose on my clothes dryer, a once-a-year "event" that is VERY frustrating. There is about 1" of vent sticking out from the dryer and that worthless metal clippy thing won't fit ON the vent or go over the hose to hold it in place). But once my anger is OUT, it's GONE. The air clears, silence settles over the land (;o)

Canter: My OTTB does the "dolphin" canter when he's feeling good. He is more fun to ride when he's like that--but I just "surf the wave" until he settles and then the real work (and, for us both, the FUN) begins.

Energy: I laugh at people who own horses that are fit and feelin' good--and they LUNGE the horse to try to wear them down. Wish it worked that way ;oD

allhorsestuff said...

Oh I'm sorry to hear of the news that the S may have returned. Sending positive prayers /energies your way.

Over the holidays a woman contacted me to come ride her saddle. It was freezing and too slick to trailer out , so she had me ride her big grey horse. I noticed he had an unusual scar. It was " sarcoid treatments". The vet apparently reconfigured the removed sarcoid, and inserted it-back into his neck, just under the skin! Whoa. Never heard of that but will be in contact with this gal to go.d out any positive outcomes.
The saddle woyld not have worked for Wa.

Hang in. Rogo hopefully will settle.
KK

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

Ooh - your post title scared me!

No experience with sarcoids here - lots of good info in the comments. Fingers crossed for a positive and permanent outcome.

Come join me in an anger management class! ;) I lost it when trying to untangle and re-wind a super cold hose the other night. A kinky hose can undo me...

Great job riding out the buckmeister!! I made the mistake of giving a product called Amplify to Val when I first got him, to address weight loss he had from making the move and adjusting to my farm.

Val turned into a different horse - a not good one. He bucked me off hard. Very out of character. And the change happened within a week. Anything with super high protein and lots of sugar I stay away from.

We do Triple Crown Senior with a ration balancer chaser in the morning, and a beet pulp / bran mash with a token splash of feed in the evening.

Keep us posted!

Carol said...

Thanks for all of these great and helpful comments. I seem to have posted about a number of issues :) I love the 'dolphin' canter. First time I heard that expression and it's perfect. It's a fun ride.
I'm especially thankful for the sarcoid feedback. I have several good suggestions and I also got a very kind email from someone offering homeopathic assistance if it is a sarcoid. Blog world is wonderful. I'll keep you posted.

Annette said...

I haven't had any experience with sarcoids but I'm sending positive thoughts your direction. Hang tough -- and throw a rock at a tree if it helps with the anger. That's what I was told to do as a kid... kinda helps.

smazourek said...

Most of my anger fits are at inanimate objects- I figure it's better to get it out on things that aren't alive.

Sorry he's still having issues with the sarcoid. With any luck, the latest surgery will have it taken care of. Or the Xterra cream.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I haven't had any experience with sarcoids. Hope the vet gives you a good report on Rogo. Fingers crossed for both of you.

It's okay to get mad. I'd be mad too and cursing and talking to myself until I got over it. You're entitled to be upset.

Sounds like a great lesson on Rogo and Spirit. Good to ride different horses once in a while to make you a more in tune rider.

Jan said...

Carol, I'm so sorry to hear the sarcoid came back. I would think the quick treatment by the vet was a great idea. The creams and treatments others mentioned sound good also. I don't blame you at all for being really angry! It is very scary when anything potentially bad happens to our precious horses- anger is understandable.

Your rides with Rogo sound wonderful. He is such a good horse. He seems to have such inner drive to do better. His cantering sounds just wonderful. But his bucking - wow! that was a surprise. I'm glad you had others there to help determine nothing really was wrong. Having experienced folks around is a life saver at times. Plus the suggestions from bloggers is really helpful. Hope Rogo feels better soon.

juliette said...

oh, Carol - I am sorry. I do think I read this, but then got buried in my own mud and self-defeating worries here. Stupid really, all this worry. We do the best we can and love them up and stuff still goes wrong. I will continue to think lovely, healing thoughts about your big boy. It will all turn out fine. Try to laugh and spend happy grooming, healing time with Rogo.

achieve1dream said...

Keeping my fingers crossed it's proud flesh.

I'm glad you stayed on during the bucking fit. Sounds intense lol. I hope that was a one time thing.