Friday, September 10, 2010


If you know the start of my story with Fox, you will know that I experienced this once before. Now I and the new owner of Smurf are getting to experience it again.

The poor wee guy is very ill. He coliced on Monday night and they were close to losing him. He pulled through only to colic again yesterday and is having problems with his breathing. The vets suspect it is parasites causing the problem at this stage so he in on a long course of wormer.

His new owner is obviously worried and distressed, doing everything she can trying to find out what is going on. I was told when he arrived at the end of April that he had just been wormed so I didn't worm him. He was due when the the new owner picked him up so he was wormed a week later. The place where he originally came from have a worming program but it is the standard Ivomectin drench that is bought in bulk, they just fill up a backpack and squirt a bit down the horses throats. They don't rotate drenches, their schedule is highly variable and who knows if the horses are getting the right dosage. Knowing this I should have wormed him. But I didn't.

I also remembered that the old owner had given me some homeopathic stuff because Smurf had been ill last Winter eventually being diagnosed with a hay or pollen allergy. I never had any problems so forgot about the stuff. Having the little guy so ill made me remember it so I passed it on to the new owner. She did a bit of investigative work by calling the homeopath and found that Smurf had nearly died in January. Turns out he was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD by the vets and she had helped treat him. I also found out that he was still being used as a guide horse whilst being on the brink of death. I felt really sick and wanted to cry. The homeopath reckons it was possibly from the moldy hay they were feeding him which she saw with her own two eyes.

Needless to say, we are all highly upset and disgusted that this condition was passed off as an 'allergy' when it is clearly so much more. As the new owner said, at least he is in a place now that he can get the proper care and treatment. But still, it really just makes me so wild.

At this stage the wee fellow is holding up ok but it is really touch and go so any good thoughts you want to send will be much appreciated.


  1. My thoughts go to Smurf and his people.
    Why are people such bastards? And its the animals that suffer.

  2. I know what you and his new owner are feeling. My 18-yo QH has had COPD for the last couple years (not my fault, his previous owners). I've found what really helps is as little hay as possible (preferably with no alfalfa) and steroid shots. I'm not sure where you stand with that, but I've found that it helps a lot. My guy's breathing was extremely bad and the shots are still working 3 months later (they last for 3-4 months) and any kind of powdered steroids that you can find (like Dex) that will really help with the breathing.

    Hope this helps