Doc came out to take a look at Ellie this morning. He confirmed a few things that we already knew: she’s 400 pounds underweight, she’s three years old instead of five, and she’s a 1 on the Henneke body condition scale for horses.
Here are a few things I didn’t know or hadn’t noticed yet.
1) She has a mild heart murmur. This could be something that she had previously that she will always have, even when healthy, or it could be because of being so underweight, in which case it should go away once she’s healthy again.
2) She has an infection in her vulva.
3) She is practically bald under her belly, with open sores and rub marks on the girth area.'
4) Out of all the skinny horses Doc has seen this Winter, Ellie is the worst.
5) Her teeth are cracked and chipped, likely from eating sticks and/or rocks for lack of anything else to chew on. Remind you of a certain black lab rescued back in December out in Colorado?
We also took off the one remaining shoe this morning before Doc arrived and tried filing down the other very long hoof. She could only stand for a few minutes, so when she tried laying down on us we let her be and we’ll finish the pedicure later when she’s stronger.
I discussed my feeding regimen with Doc and here’s how we’re starting out.
6AM – 2 cups 12% Sweet Feed, Strongid C, 2 cups beet pulp, one cup rice bran, Source and Red Cell
10AM, 2PM, 6PM, 10PM – same amount of sweet feed, beet pulp, and rice bran.
I’ll slowly increase the quantities over the next two weeks. She has free access to all the grass and quality hay that she wants, as well as a trace mineral block and all the water she can drink.
Doc said it best, when he said “there are only two ways this can go --either she’ll get better, or she’ll die, because she can’t get any worse.”