Friday, March 31, 2017
Bo is Sick
Bo is off his feed again. I think I know the problem. It's going to be a battle.
So in January, I brought home Lightening who became best friends with Zeke. That left Bo on the outs. Zeke has since come around a little but they still aren't total BFFs because Lightening won't let that happen. But with Bo not feeling all that great, Zeke has been hanging out with Bo more.
In February Bo caught a cold of some sort. At first I thought maybe it was his dislike for the weight booster and he was coughing over it because it's a bit of a powder and that's why he was picking through his food. I also figured he'd get over it if it was a common cold. Nope, it got worse. And even during that time, Bo's coat looked funny. The temps finally warmed up so I pulled his blanket. Don't worry, he had a thick coat, but he was starting to shed but he looked awful. There was just something not right with his coat. But I couldn't put my finger on it. I blamed it on him not feeling well or being stressed over Lightening.
In March the coughing was so bad you could hear his breathing rattle in his head. I put him on uniprim and he improved right away. No coughing, no rattling in his head. But I ran out. So I started him again this past Sunday on uniprim and now he's turning up his nose at grain so can't get the cold taken care of.
I mentioned to Mike all the symptoms and that Bo is turning up his nose at grain even though he has hours to eat it. Then Mike said the six letter word I HATE hearing.....
Bo could very well have ulcers. I was graining him like I did Junior but certain grains can cause ulcers. And I'm afraid with the stress of Lightening and trying to figure out where in the herd dynamics he belonged, catching a cold, and having to eat so much grain to maintain his weight, that Bo developed ulcers.
I don't have anything confirmed but you can tell he's a hurting guy. Even looking at him last night he looked dumpy. I felt so bad for him. So tonight, instead of his nightly grain that he so looks forward to, I'm going to try some soaked alfalfa and see if he gobbles. If not, we may be hauling him in to the vet to see if we can't get a diagnosis on if it truly is ulcers. I may go ahead and buy the ulcer medicine even though it costs a fortune. If it means that it will make Bo feel better, I'll do it.
Bo has been through hell and back. He deserves so much better. I can't wait for spring and summer so I can get him on grass. I think that the only way to cure his ulcers is to take him off the grain. But the only way to maintain his weight is through grain. So what happens this fall/winter when I have to put him back on grain. I think I have a solution but it will require a different grain (one I've been wanting to use but dont' have easy access to).
So stressful. So, don't take for granted that what works for one horse will work for another. In this case ,what worked for Junior to fatten him up, actually caused Bo more harm and now he's losing weight. Oh if only each horse would come with a manual.