Not a lot of treats lately, just a big trick.
We’re still here, still getting a handle on Frankie’s Lyme. Treatment looks like this:
A dose of doxy every day to address the Lyme
A dose of omeprazole every day, to address the havoc doxy causes on the gut
A gut supplement with every meal, to also address the gut havoc
Another gut supplement with every meal, to also address the gut havoc
Free range alfalfa, TO ALSO ADDRESS THE GUT HAVOC
I may be a bit paranoid and going over the top, but this horse has never been ulcer-prone and I’ll be damned if I solve one problem only to cause another. He’s had healthy-looking poops and no signs of an ouchie tummy, so I’m taking this as a success.
Pro tip: we were able to have our vet compound the omeprazole through the in-house pharmacy, which is saving us some money. Gastrogard and Ulcergard are so FRIGGIN EXPENSIVE.
Our progress is a bit of a mixed bag. Frankie went out and won his speed class for his kid last weekend (she was completely caught off guard at Francis in Full Jumper Mode but was a good sport and clung on for dear life). The vet was thrilled that just a few weeks after being so visibly sore, he felt good enough to go for gold in a big competitive class at 0.95m. I took him in the ring the next day and ended up scratching – he was a good boy but had that same laggy-ness as before. Our vet said she wasn’t surprised or discouraged by this – with Lyme it’s not uncommon for them to get fatigued more than usual.
We opted to run a full titer to see what levels we’re working with, and the results came back kinda borderline. It’s not quite acute, not quite chronic. This tells us that the symptoms I noticed over the summer likely were Lyme, and not heat like we originally thought. I’m kicking myself for not realizing this sooner (Frankie usually handles the heat extremely well so I should’ve known it was out of character), but all we can do is work off the information we have. We’re extending the doxy by another month with hopes that being aggressive will get us where we need to be.
We have some other options for treatment if the doxy isn’t working, but so far our vet is really happy with his progress and thinks we’ll be good to go. We talked about when/why we’ll try other options and we’re not at that point.
Worst case is that his case has already gone chronic, and we’ll always have to manage flares. Best case is that we’re getting at it hard now and we’ll be able to knock it out. Obviously I’m hoping for the latter, but I’m not getting ahead of myself. My plans for Frankie don’t really change either way: enjoying him at the level he wants to work, and making sure he enjoys his job. If we can get back to having the fastest times in the Low Adults, that would be awesome. If he says he only wants to do that sometimes, or we should stick with 1-day shows, or he wants to do a lower height, that’s awesome too. If he does have flares in the future, I now know exactly what that feels like and we can treat it ASAP.
We always have a quiet winter since I’m a big weenie and hate showing in the cold, so we have plenty of time to treat and re-test, treat and re-test as needed.
Biggest shout outs to my vet, who has been in close contact checking in and giving updates, my trainer for being flexible day-to-day as we react to what Frankie’s workload needs to be in the moment, and to our barn staff who have been simply amazing at helping coordinate everything – as soon as I said I needed to extend the treatment, they reached out to the vet staff to make sure we didn’t run out. The support system we have is amazing and gives me so much confidence that no matter what happens, we’ll be in great hands and able to continue having fun together ❤
You’re taking amazing care of that sweet boy!!! I’ve also used compounded omeprazole in the past, so was very sad and disheartened to learn from the Springhill Equine podcast and subsequent research that compounded omeprazole basically does nothing bc the drug isn’t stable in the compounded formula. This is a link to a study with results comparing GastroGard to compounded omeprazole. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14649361/
One of my barnmates had to go through a bout of EPM with her horse. It took them a while to find it, but they’ve treated aggressively for about 6 months, and he’s done a complete 180. When the timing is right, and you’ve got a good team, the outcome is always positive. Best of luck!
I’m so glad you’ve been able to manage it so far! He looks like he’s doing very good, and is the happiest of campers ❤ I love that your little girl is loving horses so much! When I first put Kaylee up on Amber when she was only about a year old she started crying when I went to put her down too! So we put her back up, and oh the tears were gone! LOL She loves having Amber rides whenever she visits!
Happy to hear it’s going well so far and clearly you are very in-tune with Frankie and how he feels. Glad he’s got you in his corner!
I think he’ll be just fine once you get it under control. Jampy was chronic but we kept it managed and it didn’t alter his plans at all once we had it under control. Shiny is also chronic and I think that has a lot to do with her joint issues.
For Jamp, I did have to do a round of IV antibiotics to really fully get it under control in the beginning. That really did the trick for him.
You have a great team in Frankie’s corner though, and I know you’ll get him sorted out and he’ll be happy to get back to his job. You’re a great mom (horse and human)!