Thursday, February 26, 2009

MBJ Western Empress

Here is the mare I went to go get today:

I think it's pretty obvious even though she's in rough shape, she is a nice, nice mare. That's because she is. She's a daughter of Western Impress out of a daughter of Mr Impressive. "MBJ" has produced some very nice foals, one of which did very well in futurities.

The reason I felt I needed to go get this mare and see what I can do with her is because I've known her for quite a while. She was rescued along side RT Social Sunny (God rest her soul) and while I never owned MBJ, I always admired her. I had hoped one day to be able to breed her to Eddie. She is so sweet and had been through so much even before I knew her that she has always had a permanent spot in my heart.

Last year (2/20/08) I got an email from her owner that she had taken MBJ's cribbing collar off and even though she put it back on, MBJ continued to crib, ignored her food and was losing weight fast. I responded I was certain she was cribbing excessively due to pain, most likely from ulcers. I got the impression she disagreed, which is fine, but I never heard back how she was doing. When I inquired on 6/20 I was told she was sold. I always wondered what happened to MBJ and thought of her often and hoped that whatever ailed her was resolved and she was living a happy life.

Well, the other day for some reason I clicked on a craigslist ad and there was mention of a cribbing mare that needed weight. My gut said to ask if it was MBJ, and to my amazement it was! Her current owner told me how she stuggled to keep weight on her, and they were doing all they could but just couldn't figure out why, even though they kept the cribbing collar on her, she was dropping weight so quickly. Since she was boarding it was difficult for her to give MBJ the individual attention she needs, so she was thankfully willing to let me give it a try. I told her I knew MBJ's history (or at least the last few years) and I thought I might be able to help, so I ran over today and got her. I was pleasantly surprised to see that although she is indeed in bad physical shape, her eyes are clear and bright! She is not depressed at all, so I am cautiously hopeful she can be saved. Before we loaded her up I have her 10 cc's of Bantamine to make the ride more comfortable and she did really well and was still perky when we got home.

Luckily my vet was out this morning and I discussed MBJ's case with him and when I asked him if he thought it could be ulcers his response was "oh YEAH, definitely!!" So that made me feel better that I was on the right track in planning out my approach to restoring her back to health. He had her meds ready and waiting when I came by the clinic on my way home.

Here are some more pictures I snapped once I got her home today:

Her feet will be done Tuesday when my farrier comes out, unless I catch her laying down. If I do, I'll attempt to get some of the length off of her to make her more comfortable. I am curious as to why her hoof walls are so excessively thick--does it have to do with her inability to metabolize nutrition? More research is definitely needed.... I'm really curious as to how her soles look.
She has a few sore spots from laying down so much, most likely due to the pain:

So here is my plan of attack: Right now she is on grass pasture and she will start off with half a flake of high quality alfalfa twice a day. She is also on Equine Senior, Calf Manna and steamed, crimped oats (for easy digestion) mixed with her herbal ulcer treatment the vet prescribed, plus MSM for her the stiffness in her right front knee. To add fat as well as make sure the supplements are eaten, I coat everything in a couple of tablespoons of corn oil. She is also getting as much soaked beet pulp as she wants, due to it's digestability, high fiber (to keep her from colicing during this critical period) and high fat content.

In two weeks she will be wormed with safeguard. I will also evaluate how she is eating and looking and if we need to add traditional ulcer meds we will. Right now the cheapest and safest course was the herbal remedy (at $60 per container not really cheap, but cheaper than the alternatives) so we'll give that a try. Plus it smells great, like cloves! LOL At this point if she her coat and appetite are not steadily improving I will probably also start her on B12 shots and prehaps some acupuncture treatments to help with bloodflow.

In a month if she is gaining I'll get her teeth floated and begin her on a normal worming regiment. I'll also treat her for any sand in her gut.

I am hoping this course of treatment will allow her to heal, gain weight and flush anything counterproductive to her recovery in a safe manner. It's going to be tricky but I am cautiously optimistic.

Tonight when I put her blanket on she acted like she has been here for 10 years and we did this everyday. She settled in so incredibly well--absolutely no stress at all. She didn't call for the other horses and she wasn't concerned about anything but eating, so it's definitely a great sign. Here's a final picture of her getting settled in once the cold winds picked up.

She's so sweet--now everytime she seems me she nickers at me. It just melts my heart!!

Thanks so much to everyone for your support! Also thank you to MBJ's previous owner for working with me to have the chance to try to rehabilitate this wonderful mare. I hope this treatment works, but if it doesn't, I've been incredibly lucky to have a terrific vet who is always willing to bounce ideas around. We'll certainly try our best with her!! Stay tuned for many more updates to come....


Anonymous said...

I live in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. I just wanted to say I enjoyed your blog, as I purchased a foal of MBJ's in 2004. I named him Doubley Empressive. I had seen photos of the mare in which she wasn't in the best of condition, and always thought about her throughout the years. It's amazing I found this! I'm glad she is in better hands! Kudos!

Jessie said...

Thank you so much for your message! Sadly I had to euthanize MBJ (Empress) in June. She had foundered just too badly before I got her and there was no chance of a full, pain-free recovery. She got to be very healthy except for her feet and I did everything I could to make sure she enjoyed the last months of her life. It was difficult to say goodbye to such an amazing mare, but she didn't deserve to live her life in pain. I've always loved Empress and I'm so glad others had thought about her from afar as well.

Thanks again so much for your kind words. She was such an amazing mare that deserved a lot better life than what she had.