Monday, March 2, 2009

Four weeks… and test results!

Faith has been with us for four weeks now. What a difference a month has made!

Yesterday was one of the most amazing days for me yet. For the first time since she’s been here, Faith cantered! I opened the doors to the arena and Faith and Amy were standing at the far end. Once Faith saw me she actually cantered all the way down and greeted me at the door! Granted, she was breathing pretty heavy from even that short of a distance, but it was great to see her not only feeling good, but strong enough to keep herself balanced. I’m so proud!

I plan to have more pictures of Faith posted shortly. You will all be amazed at how much she has improved – she looks like a different horse! I will try to take some before and after shots as I did with her hooves, so everyone can see the difference!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Test Results

I spoke with Dr. George on the phone today and he informed me that Faith’s blood test results came in today. Her selenium level was normal, which is good. However, her Vitamin E was low. A typical horse should have a range of 200-1,000, and Faith’s was 82.

The EPM test also came back; she tested low positive. Although this isn’t great news, it’s not necessarily bad, either. The problem with blood testing for EPM is that the results only show if the horse has been exposed to the parasite, not whether or not they are suffering from the actual disease. To prove if she has the disease or not, we would need to have a spinal tap performed to test the spinal fluid. To have this test done, I would need to ship her to an equine hospital about an hour and a half from our barn.

The outlook…

Since her Vitamin E levels are so excessively low, we believe that her collapsing incident is due to her weakened immune system. We are hoping by starting her on a Vitamin E supplement, she will improve and we can rule out EPM. Dr. George suggests giving her a month and reevaluating her condition.

The plan…

We will be receiving the Vitamin E supplement shortly. It is recommended that she receive 10,000 IU each day, and we will start her on it once it arrives. Keep your fingers crossed that she improves as she has been!



  1. YAY for Faith. Hopefully a month of supplements will get her levels where they need to be and she will continue to improve. I can't wait to see the new pictures.

  2. I had a sneaky hunch that the EPM test would not come back with high positive numbers. The reason is, EPM is now one of the "conditions of the week" and whenever anything goes wrong, or anything "weird" happens, EPM is the first thing (or one of the first things) out of the vet's mouth. Not a criticism of vets, by the way. Just "the way things are").

    Once Faith's immune system is built up and she has some fat on her bones and is feeling good about her situation, I can imagine that her body will be able to fight off anything Mother Nature decides to toss her way.

    Just betcha!

    Keep up the good work--and I am looking forward to see her "new and improved Faith" pictures ;o)

  3. My first comment disappeared when I tried to post it, but here goes #2: I can imagine that Faith's issues are NOT EPM though that seems to be one of the "conditions du jour" and when a horse has any symptom, EPM is one of the possible diagnoses. I think once her condition improves more and she has more fat on her bones and is just generally feeling better about things, she will be able to fight off anything Mother Nature throws her way.

    Looking forward to the new pictures ;o)

  4. Just a note on Vitamin E supplementation. You need to make sure it's in an oil base. Because Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin, the body doesn't absorb it very well if it's not in an oil base. I personally use human Vitamin E gel capsules at the rate of 1000IU per 500 pounds of horse, but my boy doesn't have a deficiency. You can get liquid Vitamin E from Ukele, or take the powder and dissolve it in something like corn oil... providing Faith is ok with eating corn that is.

    Congrats on the good news from the vet!

  5. i am so happy that she canter!
    and i can't wait to see her on friday!!

    ~Goose! :)

  6. I highly recommend Ukele supplements! good luck and continue doing such a good job for Faith!

  7. Ooh I'm so glad she's on the mend. Cantering!! Wow - someone feels good in themselves!! Such a far cry from when you got her.

  8. Ukele products are the best. I have Vitamin E powder and mix it with a smidge of corn oil for my OTTB--he had a squamous cell carcinoma removed from his inner eyelid and while the borders came back as "inflamed but clear," I started him on Vitamin E and C therapies (Ester C in the joint supplement) and so far we have had no further incidents.


  10. Yay!!!! I <333 this horse!! She has come such a long way!!!

    ~ Margar<33333