Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Jimmy Update

This is a quick update. Jimmy seems to be doing fine, but it has been a long year of trying to figure out what is winning: old age or EPM. I am dealing with a tremendous amount of guilt about Jimmy. I knew as I was being treated for breast cancer that I would not be able to keep Jimmy as fit. I couldn't find enough willing people to ride him for me regularly, and I certainly didn't have the energy to do it. The root of my guilt is that I knew that it would be really hard to build his fitness back if he lost it, and I had to watch him lose it. At first, it was not very quick, but after about 8 months, you could start seeing his muscle turn to fat. After a year, you could tell his topline was not as fleshy. And after about 13 months, you could start seeing the residual EPM pecularities show up in his walk. And he seemed to have more problems with arthritis. Sigh. So I took him to the vet, got him all injected up, and he did well. But the EPM residuals never disappeared, so I had to ask myself whether I thought it was coming back, or if this was just old age. I treated him for a month for EPM (Sulfa/pyreth/VitE/Folic acid). I don't know if it made a difference. Maybe a little? When I took him for his reevaluation, he actually had a foot abcess hidden under his right hind shoe. That could have caused irregularities. So I didn't continue treatment, and he seems to be doing well. So now I will see if I can enroll him in an arthritis study for a new drug that you spray on the joints. It comes with free lameness exam, x-rays and blood work. It will be good to have another vet evaluate him. Now if the weather would cooperate, I might actually be able to take him in to get him started! I did ride him on Thanksgiving and he felt great. I really love that horse. I hope I am making all the right decisions for him. Wish I could be riding him every day again. I miss my horses in that way. I love taking care of them, but I really, really miss riding them right now.

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