Saturday, December 18, 2010

As the Pony Turns....

And on today's episode of "As The Pony Turns" Denali is in love with Dollar, but Dollar loves Cricket, and Cricket...Cricket just wants to eat...what will happen?

That is pretty much what I think of in terms of Denali's life. It is crazy and she needs her own reality TV show. She is currently out in the pasture plotting world domination. Soon, very soon there will be a Bay TB in charge, and I will tell you now that she will NOT be a kind ruler. As soon as she is in charge, I will be locked in some tower (or grain room) somewhere.

In other news, and this news is crazy, the Vet called me with the results of the blood work. There was no sign at all that she was ever exposed to EPM, let alone had the disease. I guess she called our other Vet and talked to her for a long time. Best guess? The first test was a false positive, which is confusing in itself since the titers were just SO high. I guess that's why you do a spinal tape, but I still stand by my decision to not do one.

So what does this mean? It means that she still has a neurological thing going on. The vet said we could do a Myelogram, which I'd LOVE to do, but it would just cost way more money than I have (thanks Denali.) We did neck x-rays, and they looked "normal," but with the head shaking, jaw stretching, and tightness at the poll we are going to focus on the lump behind her ear, cross our fingers and start there.

If it is the lump it does explain the symptoms coming and going, it doesn't explain why she tested with titers SO flipping high, that my vet was positive it was EPM, and a year later no sign of exposure, let alone disease.

So, onward and upward with the mare-beast. We went to see her tonight and dropped off her new Smartpak. I wonder if Smartpak has a contest for the longest, because I'm pretty sure that we'd win, just saying. I have her on Smart Protect, SmartCalm, Smart Vit.E, Smart Repair.....You'd think I'd wise up and stop dumping my money into supplements.

 She was out in the pasture tonight so my husband and I walked in the pitch black up to the field and called for the princess.




Two of the horses came up and started to munch on some carrots that I brought. We were on our way to a Christmas Party and I had on my cute shoes, so I wasn't tramping through the field. After a minute or two we noticed there was a party of three standing in the moon light eating.

We yelled princess name again, and my husband whistled.

We got little interest from princess.

The two buddies she was with came up and she pretty much rolled her eyes at us, and  finally came up to the fence too.

"Oh, OH, you have food, why didn't you say so?"

That is what I've become, a carrot dispenser.

She wasn't being a raging bitch tonight (yay) but she still didn't seem very interested or excited to see us. She was pretty much like, "Oh, oh them? They pay my bills, but that's about it."

One of the herd bosses has a big tear in her blanket. I'm not saying Denali did it, but I'm also not saying Denali didn't do it. This horse has never had a problem before.


I'm glad she's happy. We are leaving for PA for 10 days Sunday night. The vet is going to do the tests while I'm gone, so we'll see what happens and what we find. There are lots of possibilities, none of them are very good. I think I'd prefer the EPM. 

I'm also taking bets as to how many fights my mother and I will get into while I'm home. Anyone want in?


Carol said...

Great post. Love the soap opera analogy.

eventer79 said...

Oooo, we can have a contest on mom fights -- I'm heading up on Thursday, LOL. But happy to hear that Miss Denali sounds sprightly and sassy. Ok, maybe a little too sassy, but....

Jen said...

Oh Denali! When will you learn to stop scraing you Mom?? I hope she gets better soon and all this worrying about her will stop.

Oh, and I'm in on the fights. I'd say about 1 a day. That's what my family's like. Lol.

Dom said...

The false positives are definitely the worst part of trying to diagnose EPM.

starrynights said...

Blood tests for EPM can be very tricky. False positives happen ALL the time because something like 90% of horses in the world have been exposed to it. A positive blood test just means that she has the anti-bodies. It does not mean she has the disease. Only a small percentage of horses actually come down with symptoms thanks to the parasites breaking through the blood-brain barrier and attaching to their spinal cord.

That being said, false negatives happen too. My mare never tested positive for EPM, yet when we treated her with the ponazuril (generic for Marquis) she responded immediately (after NOTHING else was working to relieve her severe neuro symptoms.) Her reaction to the anti-parasitic meds was textbook. (Relapse after 10 days of treatment, etc.) We got our diagnosis by treatment.

Since EPM is caused by a parasite, it makes getting an accurate blood test nearly impossible. Spinal taps are slightly more accurate, but getting a clean sample is really hard to do. If even a minuscule amount of blood gets in the sample it will be contaminated and give you a false positive.

So if your mare continues to have neuro symptoms and your vet cannot find another cause, I wouldn't rule out treating her for EPM.

Just my 2 cents after going through the hell of treating and rehabbing an EPM horse last spring...

Muddy K said...

This is just an unbelievable story at this point, worthy of a mini-series at least. But it seems that Miss D is loving her time of "just being a horse" and getting caught up in that particular social life. I think this vacation -- since that's what it must seem to her -- is a good thing for her, and I truly hope you can see your trip as a kind of vacation for yourself, too. You've earned it. As far as fighting with your Mom, you could always try the fail-safe technique of nodding, smiling and backing away. Merry Christmas to you and Denali!

Stasha said...

Sounds like Ranger with me yesterday! Hay was much more important than I!! Have great holidays and a safe trip!

Leah Fry said...

Where in PA are you going?

WishIHadAHorsey said...

Not EPM? Awesome! That is one thing you can cross off your list :). I am betting on 0 fights because you all deserve a good holiday.

Kate said...

Enjoy your vacation! I think its probably good that Denali's tests are being done while you're away. Yes, its still stressful, but you'll be less tempted to make unrealistic commitments and have unrealistic expectations in regards to what you can and can't do.
Hope all goes well!

Frizzle said...

Man, never a dull moment with you guys, huh? :-) And, geez, those tests results are quite perplexing -- ?? All I can say is, "Thank God it snowed that day!!"
And, let's see, if you're going to be home for 10 days...I am going to bet on a minimum of 15 fights. That sounds just about right.

Denali's Mom said...

North West PA. Middle of nowhere.

Gryph said...

Aw, I was gonna say, if yer gonna be near Philly, come see me! Gryph probably won't be able to, but I'll find time!


achieve1dream said...

Sheesh. I'm surprised about the EPM thing. Wow this has me confused. I hope you can find a new diagnoses and that it isn't a bad one. Just live in the moment and try not to worry too much. That's what I have to tell myself. Good luck with your mother. I know how you feel. :)

Gryph said...

What did the vet say about Trichinosis?


Janie said...

Love the soap opera!

Mom fights - I don't fight that badly anymore with my folks, though sometimes...but hubby's mom? ARGH!

The woman would fight with a fence post.

I really hope that Denali is going to be ok soon.