Friday, April 17, 2015

Next Steps


The vet came out yesterday for Boca. We went over all the issues he has been having.
She pulled bloodwork to test for Lyme Disease, but agreed that the most likely culprit is gastric ulcers.

The tricky part of the equation is that he looks fantastic - 
I received the ultimate compliment when the vet said Boca looks better every time she sees him, so I must be doing something right.

He is not ill, does not have any loss of appetite, no colic-like episodes.
In fact, the only indicator is his under saddle behavior, and his change in personality.

Because the symptoms are mild-ish, we decided the best course of action would be to scope him (i.e. perform an endoscopy).

Not everyone chooses to go this route. Many people decide to treat for ulcers without a confirmed diagnosis, and if their horse improves, assume their educated guess was correct. This is a more cost effective way of addressing the issue, especially if your horse is not insured, which Boca is not.

This brings up an interesting side note. I have never looked into insurance for Boca. I assumed, cheap horse don't need no insurance. But this situation may be changing my mind.

Not only is the process of paying out of pocket for an endoscopy expensive, but the actual treatment itself (Gastroguard/Ulcerguard) is astronomically expensive. All told, I am probably looking at $1,500 - $2,000 bill, should this in fact turn out to be Boca's issue.

I'm not going to lie, this week has been tough. I mentioned in an earlier post about some family issues I have been having. The long and short of it is that my dad, who has struggled with alcoholism, has been drinking again. This is a heartbreaking blow to my family. All I can say is that, if you have ever dealt with alcoholism and addiction with a family member or loved one, it is a special kind of hell.

Also, I have had some spectacularly shitty rides on Boca this week. It is no fun riding a horse that is miserable, and I don't want him to associate being ridden with pain or frustration. My plan is to cut back on all riding (maybe just a walk on the trails) until after the endoscopy results.

Lastly, my husband was not exactly "whatever you need for Boca, hon" about this upcoming vet bill, which really bummed me out. It is hard for a non-horse person to wrap their head around the amount we spend on horses. He is supportive, to a point. After which, it just comes across to him as insanity.

I have dwelt this week in anger, frustration and depression, but I am moving on. Boca will be ok, my marriage will be ok. What happens with my dad is out of my hands. 

Boca's endoscopy is scheduled for Wed, April 22nd.

15 comments:

  1. Horses can break you heart and heal your heart all at the same time. The scope will give you answers. Good luck!

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    1. I also meant to say that I'm sorry about your dad. that really sucks too.

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    2. this is perhaps the most I've ever commented so forgive me- but have you tried a western saddle on him to see how he goes?

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    3. I have. Western saddle, English saddle and bareback, same issues with all three.

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  2. Ugh, tough week. Hopefully you get some concrete answers about Boca. The abprazole packets are a lot cheaper than GastroGard (http://www.abler.com/abprazole) if that's a route you have to go. I've used them on my last horse and Bobby.

    And big hugs for having to deal with your dad. I'm having to deal with an addiction problem with someone close right now too, and it is the absolute shits.

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    1. Second Abprazole. Just because it's not FDA approved in the USA does not mean it's not a quality product -- it's approved in other countries. Guessing some kind of big-pharma blocking of that approval. It's working nicely for a friend's horse.

      Good luck -- I hope you get some answers and Boca is feeling comfortable soon!

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  3. Sounds like an all round shitty week and I can relate on multiple levels. You are right...things will work out!!

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  4. I'm so sorry you have to deal with all of this at once. Addiction in a loved one is a hard, hard thing and something I'm intimately familiar with as well. It's not in the least bit fair for all of this to be piling on to you as well. Will be thinking of you.

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  5. Oh man, when it rains it pours :( I hope things turn around soon. It's smart of you to do the scope, I would have done it if I could have afforded it.

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  6. I'm really sorry about everything you have going on. Any addiction is such a hardship for the family and I wish your dad the best in his battle with it. Keep your head up, everything will be okay. Hugs.

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  7. sounds like a really rough time right now - and wishing you all the best luck that at least Boca's scope will result in a nice clear answer and path forward, if nothing else. hugs!

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  8. I'm sorry. Life is hard. Horses don't always make it easier.

    There are studies showing that Gastroguard is effective at 1/4 the recommended dose. Obviously, talk with your vet and do what they think is best, but that would cut your costs way down.

    Hugs.

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  9. I know how hard a big change in attitude can be. Hoping you can get the answers you are searching for!

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  10. I am so, so sorry you're having to deal with all of this at once. Just know that you have a support system here for you, whenever you need it.

    Also, as far as insurance goes, for some types of coverage your horse has to be worth a certain amount. So you might do some research/make some phone calls before you make a final decision. I *believe* that Great American (a large equine insurance underwriter) requires horses to be valued at a minimum of $10k before providing Major Medical Insurance (which is what you'd need to cover the scope & ulcer treatment). But don't quote me on that, lol

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    1. Tracy is right about the insurance part with Great American. In my experience, it's not worth it for a horse to have major medical but I am not always right!

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