"I'm sorry, Sue...we have no idea why your pony is suddenly sick and might die."
Idiopathic. Pony. Syndrome.
Of course the Mother of all IPS Episodes is sweet Chloe's kidney failure-we have no idea why her kidneys are failing. Kidney failure is very rare in horses and even more rare in young horses.
Chloe the Wiiiiild Mustang
But the past week has seen an unusually large number of IPS incidents even for DVR...First we had Snappie's colic (she is fine thank goodness).
Then Star Twinkle Flower started battling a flare up of laminitis (we will be drawing blood this coming Monday to see if we can find an underlying condition to try to fix).
Star Twinkle Flower
Next came King Tangleberry Pie who had a choke episode (talk about scary!). It only lasted about 10 minutes thank goodness and he was fine after that. From now on his Senior Equine and hay pellets will always be soaked well.
King Tangleberry Pie
And this evening Miss Lily Bear Guppie Lips is colicking. She is responding to banamine but I won't relax until she has made it through the night safely.
Lily Bear Guppie Lips
The colics and laminitis do not make sense to me...nothing has changed in my management and my horses are all healthy, are fed good quality grass hay 4 times/day, get very little or no grain, and have lots of room to move around. Those who are big boned do not have access to grain or pasture and the seniors have roomy paddocks and access to their fluffy stalls all day.
But, as with All Things Horse, on any given day or hour they may simply breathe wrong and suddenly they are at risk of DYING. It's something that non-horse people don't quite understand. When we get tummy aches we feel icky and that's about it. When a horse gets a tummy ache there is a significant risk that the day will end in death or surgery. Okay-perhaps I am overstating the real risk-but not by much unfortunately.
To add to the excitement we have also had a nice dose of IGS: Idiopathic Guppie Syndrome. Two nights ago we woke up at midnight to a seizing Bear Guppie. And a BIG seizure at that. In his case we think it was a result of a change in the ingredients in the special treats we give him. The bag had a tiny notice saying it was a new recipe. Unfortunately that new recipe includes rosemary extract - a neurotoxin that should be avoided by people or animals with epilepsy. Lesson learned: always read the label-even when it is the same food you have given for years!
The thing that I always keep in mind is that things can ALWAYS be worse. So...we count our blessings, take deep breaths, know that we are lucky things are not worse, and I go to bed each night grateful that nobody died. Seems a bit overdramatic I suppose. But not really.
On the bright side: we are all enjoying the beautiful summer weather and I am grateful that I get to spend so much time spoiling our little band of monsters every day because you just never know when IPS/IGS is going to hit again.