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Gd's first pony is a 13.3hh Arab/welsh 20 year old gelding. He's slowing down a bit but is otherwise fit and well. However, he's weeing a lot more frequently than he used to (smell and colour fine, and full flow). Do you think he's just an old man and this is part of ageing, or should we get the vet out (or take a sample in to the vets)? Any ideas what might be causing it? I'm wondering about a bladder infection? Anybody ever come across this and got any suggestions?
Sorry that was a bit curt - the cat was driving me mad yelling for food!
Was going to say if you do get the vet he will want to know if he's drinking a lot as well so try and find out if you can.
If it is cushings chances are he will go on for a long time yet without any significant problems, especially if you watch his diet carefully (think low sugar) and if he does need medication it is a lot more affordable than it used to be.
Of course it could be something else entirely but that would be my first thought.
Thanks Pixel, He is drinking about the same as usual. I did wonder about cushings, but he's not got any other signs (yet). He struggles to keep his weight up (always has) but had a mild bout of laminitis about 4 years ago, so he's on a low sugar/starch high fibre and oil diet and we're very careful about grass.
The main time he pees a lot is during lessons (he's on loan at our yard) Apparently yesterday he had to wee three times in a 45 minute lesson, and then again when he got home (40 mins hack each way), which is a lot more than usual. The yard owner who changes rugs and turns out in the mornings also says that he's taking a long time to stand back up after he wees in his stable (doesn't like to go in the field as he's fussy about splashing).
I think I'll have a chat with the vet tomorrow and see what he thinks. There's always something with them, isn't there!
Well his urine is clear. We're going to have a blood test as well, to check for Cushings and also liver and kidney function. They'll also check his heart and vision and generally give him a bit of an MOT, but he doesn't seem to be peeing anywhere near as much now, so I wonder if he had a slight infection that his immune system has cleared. Given his age though, and that his loaner will probably outgrow him this year it would be good to get a picture of his general health, so worth the vet visit, if for nothing more than peace of mind
Well, the vet rang this morning with the results of the blood test and it's showing liver damage (current, not historic) They are going to do 3 weeks treatment with drugs then a further blood test prior to considering a liver biopsy, but the vet said ragwort is a possible culprit (although could only be from hay, there's none in the fields and so far no other gorses on the yard seem affected). Keep your fingers crossed for him if you would, I don't think this sounds too good
Feeling more optimistic today, it can't be ragwort, there's none on the farm and all the hay is homegrown, and it can't be old ingestion of ragwort because we've had him more than 4 years. He hasn't got the usual liver symptoms and seems fine in himself, the vet was surprised by the blood result and is trying treatment for infection in the first case. As long as we can stop whatever's causing it, and the damage isn't too bad the liver will regenerate, and I think we've caught whatever it is really early. Must try to stop worrying so much. Loaner's mum is as bad, we're like a pair of anxious mothers.
We lost our first pony to liver failure (we didn't investigate treatment, he was 35 so we decided to let him go) and the vet still instantly said "ragwort" even though we knew he hadn't been near any in the 20 years we'd had him!
Glad you are feeling a little more positive today, I'm sure there's lots that can be done especially since he is still well in himself. There was an interesting thread on the H&H forum if you google, all about the best ways to feed to help the liver recover (apparently milk thistle is good and you can buy it dried-who knew?).
Update, he seems much brighter, much ore his ld self, so I'm assuming the treatment must be working. He's on milk thistle as well as the vet drugs and we've removed the high oil feed we use to keep his weight up as oil is processed in the liver.
If we have to keep him off oil permanently it's going to be an interesting feed conundrum: he's already a challenge to feed as he drops condition easily, but had mild laminitis about 4 years ago so oil and high fibre have been the ideal solution. May have to ring some feed companies and see what they advise. Anyone here got any ideas?