Monday, May 8, 2017

NQR, Responsibility, and Budgets: An Honest Look

You may have noticed that actual Courage-related content on the blog is sort of disjointed and infrequent.
bridle game strong

That is intentional.

Homeboy is developing well and his muscling looks great and he's getting pretty solid on the ground and blah blah blah. Lunging makes me want to gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon.

But something isn't right.

He'd get bodywork and then a week or two later, be just as bad as he was before. Under saddle, he'd walk for about 10-15 minutes and then it was just tension, Tension, TENSION AND SIDEWAYS INTO THE WALL. Didn't matter if I rode or my trainer rode. Didn't matter if we adjusted a number of variables. He wasn't "naughty" per se, but he'd get more and more and more upset.

Which is weird.
A+ there captain obvious

But hey. I get anxiety and pain and wanting to murder everyone in the room or running out the door and never coming back. I really do.

And all those things scream I'M NOT OK. Language transcends species.

And thus we begin down the NQR rabbit hole.

Step One:

Routine teeth + sheath with our regular vet and talk over options.
Cost: $150 (but also it's just routine maintenance so whatevs)

I know all the manuals say you should have a relationship with your vet, which is a scary idea if you're broke ass and avoid seeing them. But. Our vet is fantastic and was more than willing to answer questions and educate.

Step Two: 

Chiropractic appointment with acupuncture vet
Cost: $80

This step isn't required, but I wanted another set of eyes on Courage. I'm still so so on acupuncture, but the most valuable thing that came out of this for me was thoughts on where to look for issues. She said front feet and hocks lit up with pain markers.

Step Three:

X-rays and Hock Injections with regular vet
Cost: $290

Initially, I was all "must change one variable at a time like good scientist". But like. If there's pain in one part of the body, the other parts are compensating for it. I decided to do the 1-2 punch and go for it. My vet is consulting with our farrier. Vet also recommended adding in a vitamin E supplement for muscle recovery and Cosequin for joint support. (We can have a separate post for me kvetching about how much I hate feed throughs, but vet said try it, so damnit we will use it.)

Step Four:

Regularly Scheduled Farrier Appointment, now with X-rays
Cost: $80 (standard maintenance)

Once we knew what was going on inside Courage's feet and front legs, we were able to make some informed choices to change his shoeing. This is the great thing about having a solid team in place--the farrier listened to the vet recommendations, looked at the X-rays, and made the changes. He also brings a wealth of experience and presented me with some more options. Basically, we can try this, but if it doesn't work/is not enough, there are other things on the table without getting too expensive or crazy.

Step Five


See what happens.
Cost: free

The nice thing with this process so far is it's not like "OMG LEG HANGING OFF AT FUNNY ANGLE MUST FIX NAOW". We do something, see if it made a difference, and then try something else. Everyone I've worked with has been very upfront about costs and willing to work with me. I'm building my own knowledge base and learning to make educated guesses about my horse.

At the end of the day, I know my horse. I even like him. I know that the way he's acting isn't right for him and I want to know what's up. I get money problems (omg trust me on that), but with the ability to space things out and know prices in advance, I can plan for costs and mitigate them.

I don't know where that leaves us--round one of injections, X-rays, and shoeing is done. Let's see what happens.

39 comments:

  1. Ugh this is such a shitty rabbit hole to go down, but good on you for listening to what Courage is telling you and putting in the effort to help him feel better! Hopefully something you've already done will make a big positive difference.

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    1. Yes hopefully it's this straightforward. Fingers crossed.

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  2. Here's hoping round I works well!!

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  3. Hopefully this helps him. I agree with your approach, FWIW.

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    1. No body part exists in a vacuum lol. I'm excited to see how this round goes.

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  4. I'll keep my fingers crossed that C starts to feel better with the round 1 rabbit hole. I hate looking for solution to NQR :(

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  5. NQR is so damn frustrating, but hopefully you've addressed all the major possibilities. Fingers crossed C is feeling better after all his vet/farrier visits!

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    1. He seems to know we're trying to help. :-)

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  6. Hope something from this list solves things for him! I follow the same approach with mine. Always grateful for non-life/career-threatening things that I can dose with TIME instead of $,$$$

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    1. The universe works in mysterious ways--he also got a full month off in the recent past and that definitely was not the solution, but hey, we (unintentionally) tried it. We're definitely starting at the cheap(er) end of the spectrum and working up.

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  7. My fingers are crossed that these things work. I know what it's like to jump down that expensive rabbit hole, which ultimately led to the right thing for Ryon (for now)

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    1. That's the hope--gotta try stuff until we find a management plan that works for him.

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  8. Sorry, I'm still here sputtering over your X-Ray and hock injection costs. I can't do hock injections or X-Rays alone for that. My cost would be closer to $750...

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    1. Me too! Hoping these measures make him more comfortable. Good for you for stopping to assess why he's exhibiting tension vs pushing him through it.

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    2. 1) my vet is awesome 2) I don't pay in Monopoly money

      ;-)

      But yes. These costs came in lower than I expected. It would be more if I hauled in to the vet hospital, but I'm also quite lucky in terms of access to affordable care here. Finally Idaho gets a point!

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  9. from my limited perspective, it seems like your exploration so far has netted a lot of useful and potentially valuable insights. good luck with taking that forward into more informed decision making. and fwiw, i'm kinda so so on feed-throughs too but have heard again and again from sources across the spectrum that if you *are* gonna go for the feed through, cosequin is the way to go. good luck and let us know how it goes!

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    1. Yes. If I must do a feed through, I will suck it up and use that one, which is specifically what the vet recommended. I mean, obviously what we were doing was not working so it's time to do different things until something helps.

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  10. I'm in the same boat going down similar roads. I am jealous of your X-rays and hock injections only being $290. Pretty sure over here just hock injections without X-rays cost me over $400 😳 One supplement you might try is Purina Super Sport. It deals with muscle recovery etc. My vet suggested it and I put my boys in it. It has really helped with muscle development also! Just another suggestion.

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    1. I feel your pain. I'll definitely look into the supplement! Vet wants to do joint support and muscle recovery because C is persistently body sore. Thanks for the heads up. :-)

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  11. Oh man. I hate the rabbit hole of NQR. Hope you guys figure it out!!

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    1. He's on post injection stall rest and I'm trying not to freak out about how he'll come out of it. :-/

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  12. HOW did you get away with x-rays and injections for only $290???? That wouldn't have even covered Bobby's x-rays for ONE FOOT.

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  13. Meh, there's a time to be all scientific-like and change only one thing at a time slowly, and there's a time to just try everything that could possibly make your horse feel better ASAP before they start compensating even more, and then figure out which did the trick later. Fingers crossed you are on the right track.

    Also in the club of people moving to the land of $290 injections.

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    1. Yeah. I definitely need to get him feeling better all around because he's not in a good place physically. We'll worry about eliminating variables later.

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  14. Seems like a split approach. Also going to admit that I am jealous of what your hock injections + rads ran. Hope courage is good as new soon!

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    1. I mean, I definitely could have spent more, but it's a good place to start.

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  15. I hope Courage starts feeling better!

    I'm currently in the avoiding my vet camp. Being poor has got me wanting to crawl into a hole.

    When I was looking at a lameness exam, hock x rays and possible injections, it was going to cost me $600 to $800, depending on if injections needed to be done.

    My vet suggested pentosan injections since my horse was ever so slightly NQR and he doesn't work much. It helped, but 6 months later, I think he is needing them again.

    If I had the ability to just do what I wanted with my horse and think about the money later, it would be easier. But alas, that's not my life situation right now.

    Crossing my fingers that Courage is feeling more Courage like soon.

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  16. I hate the NQR rabbit hole. I hope that what you have done works out for him and you.

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  17. I hope you get him all fixed up soon. Good mommy for listening to him!

    Also, I'm ridiculously jealous of how much less expensive everything is where you live. $80 for shoes?! I pay $260 for four shoes for Jamp. (Rio and Romey just have fronts.) and Badger's farrier charges $300!

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    1. The $80 is just front shoes. I'd be clear up to $100 with all four. ;-) Cost of living here is not so bad, hence lower cost of farriers etc. The same guys who charge in the $100-$120 range here go work in CA and charge double just because their expenses are so much higher there.

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