Have I ever mentioned that I hat roller coasters? Absolutely loath them. I'm sure it has something to do with a near death experience on one when I 4 or 5 years old. Or maybe it's just the whole up-down-jerking sideways-screaming people-flashing lights horror of the things that I hate so much.
This week has felt like that.
In my last update I said that Ramsey was doing well and the antibiotics seemed to be on top of the mystery disease. Then....on Monday, he came up lame.
He was not as severe as Ben, but this is Ramsey we are talking about and Ramsey has enough troubles without this. I have put him on Previcox as well as the antibiotics and he is doing OK. I've wrapped his bad foot because I wrap that foot if he twitches an ear wrong and I am watching him like a hawk.
I don't know what else to do and neither does anyone else. I've talked with Cornell and the Donkey Sanctuary and my vet probably dreads the sound of my name at this point. I have to just hope that this thing responds to the meds or runs its course without causing too much damage.
I rather hesitate to say it, but I think Ben is doing better. He has had three good days in a row and that is a first since this all began on December 30. I had x-rays of his feet taken and he has become laminitic in his right front foot. He had some white line separation in that foot that I have been battling so it was already weakened. I trimmed the hoof-wall back a little bit to lake the pressure off the lamina, brought his heel down by a couple of millimeters and packed the foot with dental impression material to provide cushion and sole support. Today, he is walking almost normally.
I am trying to wean him off some of the pain meds and, so far, it is going OK, which I take as a good sign. He is also getting rather ornery about having drugs shoved into him and he complained very loudly that I was late with breakfast this morning, which is another good sign.
All of the blood work came back normal with the exception that his vitamin E levels are low. He gets supplemental E so I was little surprised. However, vit. E is a very fragile vitamin that is the first to diminish in stored feed. About half of his hay ration right now is actually left over from last year so I should have upped the E levels. I just didn't think of it. Fortunately, that is easy to fix and I have already addressed it.
His ACTH and insulin levels were fine so he does not have Cushings and if he is insulin resistant (which I figure all donkeys inherently are), it is well compensated by his low sugar diet.
So, that is where we are. I would like to think this miserable roller coaster is finally pulling in to the landing platform where we can all get off, but you can't trust the nasty, horrid things. It is going to be a while before I feel like we are off this awful train and even longer before I feel OK about any of this.