UPDATE: Grace May 2020
Grace has been one of the most challenging and unpredictable horses that I have worked with. There is so much unknown about her (pretty typical with horses that come in my hands) but these unknowns are leading to more questions and search for answers.
A reminder on Grace…Grace spent about a year and a half locked in a stall being fed grass hay and barely anything else. She has a massive dangling sarcoid under her left ear, sarcoids in her ears and a couple of small ones on her belly. The mass under her ear was removed, the rest were dealt with through diet and herbs.
This last winter (2019-202) was very hard on her. She is still not growing a good coat, though better than last year…a sign her body is still out of flux from being locked up for so long on a bad diet and no vitamin D (sunlight). She lost quite a bit of weight even grazing on full pasture with endless hay and lots of goodies in her bucket. She hates blankets but was given a stall to walk in as she wished with hay available which she used at night but I’d see her standing in the pouring rain to avoid being in a stall. I only confined her during really stormy weather, which earned me the “mare look” every time.
Once spring hit, and small bursts of warm weather, Grace was moved to a small pasture with Mara…who is not doing well. Old age is catching up to that little pony, and every day I see her up and moving I consider a blessing! Grace is firmly attached to Mara and it will be a sad day indeed when they are parted.
As soon as the warmer weather arrived, I started detoxing the both of them to help them shed out. Grace because her body is still an unbalanced mess, and Mara because threadworms have moved into her muscles. Both had high worm counts last year. 2000ppm strongyles for Mara. 500ppm strongyles for Grace. After detoxing and deworming, their counts both dropped. 200 for Mara, 150 for Grace. Parasites love unhealthy bodies so as bodies get healthier, parasites will naturally drop. In the case of these two horses, it’s a matter of control. Grace will hopefully fully heal as she is only about 14, but in Mara’s case at her age (hugging 30) and with very advanced Cushings, it’s a matter of keeping her comfortable and happy. I think the only reason at this point that she keeps going, is because Grace keeps her going.
So the interesting thing about Grace (and the reason for today’s blog) is HOW Grace shed out. She still has a bit of spotty unshed hair in her belly area…most likely because the temps have been very up and down this spring, but she completely shed out in two different areas AND I MEAN COMPLETELY!! Not only ALL of the hair, but the skin “exfoliated” as well. She did this last year but I was kind of expecting it since her body is so out of whack, but wasn’t expecting it this year! Last year only her white hair grew in kind of “winterish” but her tan hair did not. Weird huh? This year, the tan hair tried to join in the “winter hair party” but it was very splotchy and all of her coat went back to be very dull, thus the heavy duty detox when warmer weather hit.
After a full month of detoxing and digestive building herbs and a hefty dosing of nutritional yeast, Grace is putting on weight, and her coat is heading back to being shiny, though it is a far cry from what I expect to see out of a healthy horse. And while Mara shed out far better than last year, she has still not regained much muscle, and is very sore and tired. It will be a very sad day when she is gone.
Grace shed out April 2020-these muscles are still not recovering like they should due to long term atrophy. That is part of the reason detoxing is causing this area to shed out and even exfoliate the skin! She didnt just shed out hair, she shed out old damaged skin. This has been the most challenging part of her musculature to recover from being stall bound.
May 10, 2020 grow in..yup the color is actually changing, normal for her. Growing not only hair but her topline is improving. Its been two years and her body is still on the road to recovery.
Grace Face shed out (April 9, 2020). Notice how long the white hairs are but the brown hairs shed out on her forehead. Why her forehead? She doesnt seem to have sinus issues, but the sarcoid was on her head so perhaps the virus that causes them sits in the head area? Could also be emotional. She is a very calm, kind horse but also very reactional. When she reacts, she goes BIG. It could be all emotional, physical, or a combo of the two.
Grace face nearly grown back in May 25, 2020. Hair has almost grown in, the white hairs have shed out, though she is still ribbier than I would like her to be but looking better than she did before detoxing.