Friday, July 4, 2008

Morrie Waud & Happy 4th!

Happy 4th! I admit it's just another day for me, though. We were debating seeing the fireworks in Lisle but a) you need to pay (pay?!) and b) the idea of being sandwiched among hordes of suburbanites doesn't quite appeal to me.

Limerick's visit to Morrie Waud was on Tuesday. The stress and tension of the past couple weeks have come crashing down. It is hard to update the blog when I'm mentally drained, so yes I know it's a bit of a delay.

First though, Limerick's diagnosis isn't great. It's not horrible, but does make a lot of sense. Abdominal radiographs revealed sand in her gut. Sand! If we were located in Nevada or Colorado, the diagnosis would make sense. But here? How and where she got it, I'm not 100% sure about but I have a couple different theories.

At her old barn she was in a sand pen for turnout, on and off for various reasons. She ate hay off the ground in that pen so it's possible she first started to ingest the sand there.

The second theory is a bit of a stretch but it's all I can think of. I have read rumors about bags of Midwest Agri shredded beet pulp containing sand as fillers. Not all bags, mind you, but some. My last bag of beet pulp was quite dusty; much more so than usual. I didn't think much of it at the time but now I wonder.

I opened a new bag on Wednesday and it hardly had any dust. Just in case, I checked it for sand and did not find any. The old bag is gone and I cannot check to see if my theory is correct.

It is very possible that Limerick first picked up the sand at our old barn. Signs of sand include weight loss, lethargy, depression, poor hoof quality, poor hair coat, and fungus infections and wounds that are slow to heal, or won't heal.

I have been wondering if Limerick's spring and fall laminitis relapses are due to the sand. Perhaps it's not the rich grass in itself causing problems, but the grass plus the sand and the havoc it wreaks. It is natural to think that the presence of sand would highly disturb the delicate balance of bacteria within the equine gut, predisposing a horse with past mechanical laminitis issues to have relapses.

I'm hoping to find scientific proof or conclusions on this theory. In the meantime, I need to do what I can to get that sand out. From there, we can work on Limerick's weight and well-being as a whole.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I noticed your comment regarding Midwest Agri shreds and can categorically state that we do not use any filler and specifically no sand in the manufacture of beet pulp.
In the manufacturing process the beets are thoroughly washed before being sliced and then passed through a diffuser where water passes through the sliced beet to extract the sugar.
Darryl Salter- VP North American Operations- Midwest Agri Commodities