Wednesday, January 20, 2016

routine adjustments

Over the course of the summer, in conjunction with changing tack (puns lol) on our saddle fit issues, Isabel started seeing a new chiro/acupuncturist/former DVM about every 6-8 weeks. The last visit was... in August. Oops. But ya know, broken leg, holidays, etc etc.

hugs to get reacquainted. or ya kow, a poll adjustment. same thing, right?
Just goes to show that any time we have anything all neatly and tidily planned out with horses, something is bound to go haywire. The intention had been:

  • start Isabel on a more regular chiro schedule to develop baselines
  • work with new saddle fitter to improve situation with the Bates
  • reevaluate at next chiro appointment in mid November (never happened)
  • determine timeline for moving forward with new saddle (also never happened)

We only got halfway through that plan of action before my injury. Le sigh. That's ok, tho. It means starting fresh again, since Isabel lost a ton of weight and muscling during her vacation and is therefore not really in any proper shape for a saddle fitting. Which works out more or less well enough since I'm still paying off my cat's medical emergency, blargh, and don't really feel financially prepared to buy a saddle.

and shaking hands!
Silver linings though: she has come back into work feeling better than ever. So we are back to square one, establishing baselines. And the verdict? Isabel's in a pretty good place right now. It wasn't just my imagination that she's been feeling really good over her back. Phew!

There are still issues, of course, including residual soreness from our previous saddle fit (which frustrates me to no end)... and she's got the same sticking points as always. But the chiro was pleased with her current physical state.

needle in the 'performance point'
Only real differences this time around were an extra acupuncture point for Isabel's bruised hoof (healing well, btw) and a discussion on ulcers. Readers may recall we treated Isabel for ulcers with a course of Gastrogard just over a year ago. Since then, she's been on daily gastric supplements.

After recovering from my leg injury well enough to get back to the barn and plan our grand return to work, I decided to do another full ulcer treatment. Izzy had lost a lot of weight, and let's face it, she travels a LOT and it's unrealistic to think a horse with her lifestyle (not to mention disposition) wouldn't be prone to ulcers.

needles errrywhere!
This time I opted for the generic form of omeprazole offered through Abler. At the time of this chiro appointment, Isabel was almost finished the 28 day treatment period, tho I was considering extending the treatment a bit before tapering and returning her to her normal supplements. And yet, Isabel still reacted positively to the ulcer points during the work up. Ughhhh.

The chiro thinks that, for whatever reason, the generic form of omeprazole doesn't work quite as well as Gastrogard's formulation, and she agreed that I should extend the treatment and add aloe juice to the mix. I expressed skepticism, thinking that aloe juice only soothes for the brief moments it's actually in the stomach, but she disagreed and said it had longer lasting properties and that Isabel needs something to push her over the hump in recovery. 

So idk. I guess it's pretty cheap, and I really don't want to keep the horse on omeprazole any longer than necessary... so perhaps I'll give it a shot. 

Big takeaways from the appointment are to keep doing what I'm doing to rebuild strength and top line, and hopefully at some point soon start looking at saddle shopping again (budget allowing). Then reassess in 3 months. Sounds good to me!

31 comments:

  1. Did you do the paste from abler? Annie is on that now.

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    1. the blue pop rocks, isabel eats them just fine

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    2. Gotcha. I am curious if maybe those are better for maintenance and the paste is somehow more effective. I've heard good things about the pop rocks though.

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    3. we actually discussed exactly, since another horse the chiro looked at is on the paste and didn't have the same issues as isabel. the chiro seemed to think the difference wasn't in the delivery mechanism (ie paste v pop rocks), rather that the proprietary Gastrogard formulation is somehow more effective

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  2. Ugh saddle shopping...

    For what ever it's worth there are quite a few gastric supplements that have aloe in them. Also do you know the amount of omeprazole in the generic vs name brand? That might be the difference.

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    1. she's on the treatment dosage calculated by weight, so it shouldn't be an issue of not getting enough.

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  3. I had the osteo out to the girls on Monday evening, still trying to cobble together a post from the shorthand info osteo gave me.
    Glad to hear all is well with Miss Izzy & that she is ready to go again. Interesting on the different ulcer treatment plans and how diff horses react differently to diff brands etc

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    1. hope your mares came through the appt as well as izzy did! it's always nice getting a good report card haha

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  4. Sounds like all pretty decent news and notes (aside from the ulcers ugh) - glad to hear her back is doing nicely! Hopefully that will help with the saddle sitting endeavors.

    I used to have a couple horses at my barn that used aloe juice and even tried it on Maggie for a bit (for her loose manure around this time last year...didn't help with that) but it did help my friends ulcer prone horse. And yeah, as far as price goes it least it's cheap! (Especially when cvs has buy one get one!)

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    1. it's just funny bc i always pooh-poohed the single horse at our farm who gets aloe juice, joking that his owners are wasting their money. but i guess i gotta eat crow if i'm gonna give it a try myself.... lol

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  5. This is kind of funny, I literally just posted about chiro/massage etc. Sounds like decent news though. I have;t been a reader long so I was unaware your broken leg was recent....injuries suck. Been there!

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    1. yea i really only started riding again about a month ago, that injury was really prettttttty disruptive ugh.

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    2. I had two injuries in one year, I feel you. You're making a great comeback!

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    3. thanks! these injuries are just the f*ing worse (especially given that i broke my leg falling out of my trailer like an idiot... ugh stupid) but life goes on i suppose

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  6. Happy to hear what you feel is what they see! Good luck with the ulcer stuff.

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    1. ha i'm always happy that what i feel is what they see when it's a *good* thing, otherwise i'd rather be very wrong! lol

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  7. Aloe juice really is amazing! Apollo showed ulcer stress points in his chiro/acupuncture exam and after four weeks on half a cup a day they were gone. :)

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  8. Aloe is cheap and definitely helps some horses (but not others). You can also try human-grade ranitidine, you can get that for super cheap at Costco. Magnesium supplements might also help, and/or a flake of alfalfa.

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    1. thanks! magnesium (and calcium) supplements are part of her typical daily maintenance, tho she's pulled from that while receiving omeprazole at the treatment dosage.

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  9. Just dont mix the aloe with the blue pop rocks! They cant get wet :)

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  10. Sounds like a good appointment. I've never heard about aloe juice for ulcers. You're talking the regular aloe juice that you can buy at the store and drink yourself? And for treatment or prevention?

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    1. i've heard of it a lot actually, but have been skeptical. i hear about it a lot for maintenance (and don't think it's enough for treatment on its own) as it has been shown to be soothing and have some healing properties.

      my skepticism was that i didn't think it stayed active in the digestive system long enough to actually make a difference, but my chiro disagreed. so i'm gonna give it a shot.

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  11. You could try adding some canola oil to her supplements. I know Iz doesn't get a ton in the way of supps, but it's cheap and there's a peer-reviewed study to back up the idea that daily dosing of canola oil reduces stomach acidity over the long term. It also helps add weight and calories without CRAZIESZZZZ!

    I would LOVE a thorough Emma review on how acupuncture works and what you think of it. I'm willing to be convinced, but I don't currently drink that koolaid yet. So convince me!

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    1. i'll definitely keep that canola oil in mind. for adding weight, we still have plenty of room with adding plain old grainfoods without having to consider additional supplements there... but the stomach acid thing is worth thinking about.

      and honestly i actually don't have a huge review of acupuncture. we kinda stumbled upon it accidentally when i needed a new chiro and my dressage trainer recommended this particular practitioner, who does acupuncture as part of her typical session. she happens to be a former dvm and did all the vet work for isabel's sire's owner, and it's not unlikely that she might have actually delivered a baby isabel 13yrs ago (crazy, right?). so that alone lends credibility imo. plus my jump trainer P swears by acupuncture both for herself (shoulder) and for one of her horses, who has a neck injury from hyper-extending for the air tube during a surgery.

      so.... long story short, i drink the koolaid based on pretty much hearsay alone lol, but keep doing it bc isabel genuinely enjoys it and goes better afterward.

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  12. Jealous of the acupuncture. Sometimes vacations do good things for horses! Good luck on treating ulcers

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    1. the vacation was definitely good for the horse - so ya know, i guess it's a silver lining to the whole broken leg ordeal lol

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  13. I am a huge fan or regular chiropractic treatments and massage therapy. I have am always so jealous of Sydney when she gets to see the massage therapist. I have never had a massage in my life! But it really does seem to help her.

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    1. i'm so jealous of isabel too!!! and am always kinda joking about paying for her chiro, acupuncture, farrier appts, saddle fitting, speshul supplements etc etc etc while i get nada. and i'm only ever kinda kidding ha

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