Mi Amigo's Vet Visit

15 year old 14hh sorrel Peruvian Paso gelding by Regalo de Dios, foaled June 1991. Amigo was gelded when he was 3 and was always easy to handle up until the last few years, where he has not been handled at all. SAFE is assisting his owners in finding him a new home.

Mi Amigo's Vet Visit

Postby Juliane on Sun Dec 03, 2006 9:49 pm

Mi Amigo was seen by Dr. Hannah Evergreen yesterday to determine if he had the suspensory ligament disease, DSLD. I wasn't sure how Mi Amigo would do as I pulled him out of his paddock early yesterday morning and loaded him up. I've done quite a bit of ground work with him, trying to gentle him and earn his trust, but still - this was new and out of the ordinary. That, and I was rushed, running behind due to everything on the trailer being frozen (including the doors, the jack and the latch).

Amazingly, Mi Amigo was quiet and willing as I haltered him and walked to the trailer. He didn't even hesitate as I asked him to load into the trailer. What a good boy! He stood perfectly in the trailer as we got on the road. Talk about a white-knuckled drive! It was in the 20's yesterday morning and North Bend Way was quite icy. I was driving as cautiously as possible but still found the truck going one way and the trailer going the other a couple times. Eeeks!

I made it to Jaime's about 10 minutes late for my appointment, but we made it in one piece! :) I unloaded Mi Amigo, tied him up and pulled his blanket off. He was calm and quiet and didn't seem excited at all at his new surroundings. I was very pleased with him!

I handed Mi Amigo to Jaime as I went to get my camera and take pictures. He continued his quiet demeanor, even as Jaime held him and Dr. Hannah started her evaluation.




Dr. Hannah started doing flexion tests in order to decide if Mi Amigo had DSLD. Unfortunately, he flexed very, very lame on all 4 legs. It was clear very quickly that Mi Amigo had an advanced case of DSLD. Poor guy :( He is definitely not a candidate for being a riding horse. He can be a pasture pet only, with limited movement. :cry:

Since we were there, Dr. Hannah felt that his teeth needed to be floated. So, we took him into one of Jaime's stalls and proceeded to do his teeth. Dr. Hannah was excellent with Mi Amigo, even though he didn't seem scared, she was still quiet and gentle with him.




Once she was done with his teeth, she started to clean his sheath. This was surprising to me as Mi Amigo was not ok with this. He has always generally been very, very easy going. He's never had a mean bone in his body and definitely never tried to strike out. However, as soon as Dr. Hannah reached under to start cleaning, he immediately became defensive and started striking, kicking and bucking with all his might, trying to keep her from touching him.

Amazingly, Dr. Hannah was able to stand at his shoulder and still reach down and clean his sheath, even as he kicked and stuck out. Thinking back, I wonder if he wasn't in some sort of pain to have that kind of reaction??


Once we were done, Mi Amigo was VERY put out and pouty. He refused to look at us or socialize with us. Goodness! Poor guy!


If you're interested in knowing the 'technicalities' of Mi Amigo's vet report, here it is:

12/2/06 Farm Call


Fostered by:
Juliane Hanley
13427 446th Ave Se
North Bend, WA 98045

Mi Amigo: Peruvian Paso gelding, chestnut, DOB: 15yr.

History/Presenting Concern: Rescued from owners, they had him since he was a yearling, they didn’t have time to handle their horses or money to care for them, one of 4 horses. Has been with Juliane for about 6 weeks. Feed: ulimited orchard/timothy hay, strategy/sr at first, but no change in weight so not on it now, occasional orchard grass pellets, no vitamin-mineral sups at this time. Recently had hair loss around eyes (in the last 3-4 weeks).

Physical Exam:
Temp-99, Pulse-48 and Resp-12 WNL, MM: pink, CRT < 2sec, GI +/+ = WNL. Heart, lung and GI sounds WNL. BCS of 4/9. Bright, alert and responsive. Eyes, ears, nose, lymph nodes, sinuses, musculoskeletal, integument within normal limits other than: multiple small areas of crusting/dermatitis, consistent with allergic reation. Hair loss/dermatitis around eyes/muzzle. Dental exam revealed: moderately sharp buccal and lingual points, rostral hook/ramps at 306/406, due for dental float. Sheath due to be cleaned.

Lameness exam: Dropped fetlocks, all four limbs, worse in hind limbs. sore on flexion of all four distal limbs, sore on tendon/ligament palpation of all four distal limbs. Distal limb flexion positive (3/5 lameness) on all four distal limbs. Degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis.

Dental float: (1.5xyl, 1.5xyl, 1.5xyl) Reduced buccal and lingual points, reduced ramp/hooks at 306/406, balanced mouth, canine reduction, reduced hooks at 103/203.

Cleaned sheath: moderate smegma, difficult to clean (kicking).

Assessment/Plan: Mi Amigo is showing symptoms consistent with DSLD (degenerative suspensory ligament desmitis). This condition unfortunately has no cure/treatment. It will be best for him to be a ‘pasture pet’ and not be ridden or allowed to run in a large area. He can be give bute or an herbal bute alternative (such as Ani-motion from Equilite) as his condition progresses for pain/discomfort. Please call with any questions or concerns.

Mi Amigo will be due for vaccinations in the spring and dental float in 1 year. Monitor his sheath as he may need to be cleaned before his next dental float.

Recommend: Add a vitamin-mineral sup with selenium, vegetable oil, 1/2cup/day, flax seed-ground, 1/3cupday to his diet.

De-worming recommendations: Yearly fecal flotation exams recommended for assessment of your de-worming program and parasite load. Rotate de-wormers used (ivermectin+/- praziquantel-[Equimax], pyrantel-[Strongid], moxidectin-[Quest], fenbendazole-[Panacur]) using pyrantel in the spring and Ivermectin + Praziquantel (for tapeworms) in the fall, de-worm every 2-6 months depending on fecal float results, parasite load, pasture management, number of horses, etc.

Vaccination recommendations: West Nile Virus yearly in the spring, Tetanus yearly (often done in the fall), Flu and Rhino yearly (often done in the spring), EEE/WEE if going East of the Cascades. It is best to minimize how often horses are vaccination as well as to spread out vaccines at least 2 weeks apart so multiple vaccines are not given all at one time to decrease risk of vaccine reactions and/or side effects, however, vaccinations are often given all at one time due to practicality.

Dental float and physical exam recommendations: yearly.

Please call or email with any questions or concerns:
Dr. Hannah Evergreen

WNL: within normal limits
BCS: body condition score
MM: mucous membranes
CRT: capillary refill time
GI: gastrointestinal
+: present
-: absent

Feel the Spirit, Keep on Riding!
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Postby ptownevt on Mon Dec 04, 2006 4:17 am

Well, they are called "privates" for a reason, you know. He probably thought you were all a bunch of sicko's. Poor guy.
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Postby Elaine on Tue Dec 05, 2006 10:39 am

Mi Amigo is coming back home. It will be difficult to find a good forever home for him under these conditions, but I still hope that will happen for him, because I know I won't be able to see to his needs as his disease progresses.
Does anyone know of any trustworthy rescue organizations that take in the elderly or lame horses? I know Safe is doing all they can.
I just want to thank all who've helped with him and given Juliane help.
Thank you all very, very much.
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Postby LorsaDoon on Tue Dec 05, 2006 6:30 pm

I am so sorry things did not work out for Mi Amigo, and I hope there is a generous person out there who would like to take him and take care of him. It is so hard when you find out there is something wrong and there is nothing you can do.
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Postby Elaine on Sat Dec 09, 2006 7:19 pm

Mi Amigo is home. After greeting Shiraca and Shalizar he had to check out the pasture. When I fed him, he acted a little standoffish with me and I'm not sure what that's about. Altho after I scratched his neck for a while he acted like he used to when he wanted attention. He bonded so much with you Juliane that he may be put out to find himself back here. I'm sure he will miss you and the comfort he had while with you.
You are so good with the horses. You are a real blessing to them.
Thank you so much Juliane. Your time and effort with him will make it so much better for him because I'll now be able to get to him to give him as much care as I can. I'll be keeping him separate from Shiraca and Shalizar untill my daughter picks up Shalizar in the spring. I'm sure with Shalizar's behavior he would follow suit too quickly if they were together.
I'm hoping that seeing Mi Amigo getting attention and special treatment will help settle Shalizar down. I know he's not afraid of me, but wants everything his own way and in his own control. As I told you Juliane, he's tried to bully me a couple of times lately when I didn't put the hay down as quickly as he thought I should. In the past when I wanted to at least pet the horses, I would take their hay out and when they wouldn't let me pet them, I would wheel the cart back out of the pasture and just tell them they didn't get any untill they let me scratch their necks. Then I would turn my back to them and just lean on the gate. It always worked, as long as I didn't have anything that looked like a rope. Horses are very smart.
My daughter is going to have a trainer work with him when she gets him home.
Thanks again to all of you.
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