"As I did more and more research, I began to find a different way to do things. The Cushings group is moderated by Dr Eleanor Kellon who is generous with her time and knowledge. With her help, I began to learn about diet, diagnosis and trim."
"As I learned which blood tests to ask for, I found that Nasty was both Cushings and Insulin Resistant. This meant that his diet was even more important...we needed to have a low sugar, mineral-balanced diet. It often meant soaking the hay to leach out some of the sugar...not a fun thing in
the dark and pouring rain, but doable. Nasty improved to a point---the
medication helped, the diet helped...for us, the trim would be the most difficult thing to manage."
"It is important that you be able to work with your vet and your farrier/trimmer. It is important that one or both of them have knowledge and experience with laminitis. This was the most difficult part for us."
"My vet trimmed, my farrier put on a set of shoes, I connected with a barefoot trimmer who came out from Arkansas every few weeks to work in California, my vet trimmed again. We would be ok for awhile and then we would lose control of the heels again and my horse would be uncomfortable."
"But I learned and learned...from the internet, from my professionals and from my horse."
"There were times of joy in this struggle too. I have a photo of my horse from May of 2004---he is running (full tilt boogie) up a hill...a really wonderful moment after all of the years...that is the picture I tried to keep in my head when things down-turned again."
"Nasty was part of the Horse Journal's field trial of Lamina Saver published in the June 2002 issue---he was the "centerfold"....again a learning process. He is featured on the Acclaims page of the Vita-key web site http://www.vita-key.com/. I made and kept friendships all over the country."
"Our last year became again, more difficult. Nasty continued to have foot discomfort. We increased his dose of pergolide to try to manage the Cushings better. But I don't remember having any notion of giving up."
"Then in May of 2005, he began having more trouble with his left front which had always been the "good" foot. My vet come out to X-ray it and as we stood him up on the blocks, I realized that he was dripping urine. After the X-rays were done, my vet did a rectal and then an ultrasound... turned out to be a blockage in his bladder...and there was nothing to do."
"If it had been just laminitic stuff, I would probably still be fighting...but this was something that we just couldn't manage. My horse was 31 and had fought a long hard fight. On May 24th, we let him go."
'Below is the posting that I made to the Cushings list:
There's a hole in my world tonight.
Nasty was laid to rest this afternoon. It was a lovely, sunny day. I let him out in the big grassy paddock this morning...the grass as high as his shoulder...big grin on his face and no question that he had every right to be out there. Three very special friends came and shared the vigil. We braided his mane and tail, we fed him carrots and apples and he accepted it all as his due.
Pete arrived at 2 o'clock and in a kind and gentle fashion laid him down. Nasty went with grace and dignity as he has lived his life.
For the moment I am at peace with today. I am surrounded by loving friends both here and online. My tears are for him and for me, but I know in my heart that he is bounding up a hill and enjoying everything around him.
It is over."
"Good bye sweet Nasty boy"