Sometimes It's Tough To Be A Pony

In addition to all the fun and silliness, serious sad stuff happens to us once in a while, too.

Over a period of time, I had been noticing that Dino was displaying some unusual symptoms. His winter coat was (and is still) VERY slow to shed out, he was experiencing unusal weight loss, and he had continued problems producing a normal amount of sweat (known as anhidrosis). The lovely Dr. Liz came and did some bloodwork, and confirmed this morning that my hunch was correct and Dino was diagnosed with the early stages of Cushing's Disease. Cushing's is a pituitary disorder that commonly effects older ponies. While at 13 Dino is still in the prime of his life, it's not unusual to see this condition at his age. Thankfully, Cushing's is managable with a low-sugar diet and daily medication, and many horses bounce back with treatment, so hopefully we will see a turnaround in his condition soon. The bloodwork also found some slightly unusual levels of muscle enzymes, which don't really point to anything in particular at this point.

But, as if that wasn't enough, Dino also became very, very lame yesterday. We had been dealing with some weakness and occaisonal locking in his right stifle for a while, which seemed to improve with a regimen of strengthening exercises and hill work. But yesterday he didn't warm up out of his usual beginning-of-ride stiffness, and took several very, very bad steps. When I watched him trot in the round pen, it was obvious that his right hind leg and left front leg were hurting, although there was no heat or swelling to give us a clue as to exactly where or why. Dr. Liz will be out again on Thursday to diagnose the problem, and re-check his muscle enzyme levels to see if we can find anything conclusive.

Thankfully, I think Dino has enough pony'tude to get through all this. As long as he is obnoxious, perky, and trying to eat everything in sight, I know he'll be ok. Thank you everyone for all your concern and support, especially those who have been follwing our plight through facebook.

Prayers and donations to Alli's Ridiculously Huge Vet Bill Fund are also appreciated.


  1. =( I'm sorry chica. For both of you! But I'm glad you have one answer at least.

    I'm praying for you guys!


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