Bear

Late 20s early 30s ish Chestnut Appendix QH Gelding

 

This is Bear his first day here - he's a little sweated up after an hour or so of stylin' for the herd...

 

Bear joined the Golden Carrot herd on December 9, 2016. Bear's owner, Kelly, was desperate to provide for him, and her much younger mustang mare, Juliet, due to financial changes which would leave her unable to care for them. Juliet has been placed with another rescue, but Bear has some serious special needs and a complicated medical history. There's also some controversy amongst the vets who have seen him as to his actual age - we're working with a 28 year old figure to compromise....

He looks thin, but there could be reasons for that which we can amend. Here's hoping our herd can work it's healing magic!

His former owner writes: 

I have my 32ish year old man that I am very concerned about because, if I cannot find a place for him to go, I will just simply have to put him down and quite frankly, I don't think he is ready to go yet. His name is Bear he is a 16hh Appendix. He does have a bit of arthritis in his front pasterns but probably the worst health issue is, he is a hard keeper, for which I am currently struggling in keeping him with his normal alfalfa morning and night and getting a bucket with senior feed, timothy pellets and beet pulp twice daily. But for the weight issue he has no major health concerns. He is a sweet boy, though he can be aloof when you first get to know him. He was a joy to ride, but his arthritis flares when he is ridden. It took almost 2 years for him after I decided to retire him to not limp anymore. I thought possibly he could be ridden again but even light riding caused a flare in his condition....

Blood work was done on him about 1-1/2 to 2 years ago, just to be sure nothing bad was going on and at that time, everything was in normal range. Every year I have had the vet check his teeth to be sure he is good. Last check was about a year ago and at that time, she had said she felt that, although there was nothing significantly bad with his teeth, he would probably need to be floated within 6 months to a year and so, I know he is probably due. That said, he is not having problems eating, as far as, he does not drop food and does not take overly long to eat.

Bear had an illness back in 2014 which was not characterized as anything but an infection but it was bad and Dr. Ellsworth had not thought he would pull through it, but he did. Unfortunately, as you will see by the medical record I am sending, he had complications that resulted after the illness, probably due to the IV antibiotics, however, they have been resolved now, for the most part for more than a year. What did not resolve was the blockage in the vein on the left side of his neck. If he is to be given anything IV, it has to be in the vein on the right side because the vein on the left just does not work. The swelling in his face resolved and the distended veins in his face around the eye resolved, just not the vein in his neck. I am attaching the record Chino Valley Equine Hospital gave me after they did an ultra-sound, something I felt better doing so that I would not continue to worry, even though Dr Brown assured me it was not impacting his health negatively. Dr. Klohnen did feel that the swelling in the face and the distension of the veins would resolve on their own and they did.  Since Dr. Brown took over in 2014 caring for Bear, she felt that Bear did not need to stay on the thyroid meds and over the last 8 months, he has slowly been weaned off of them. He had been on 2 scoops a day and I have him at 1/2 scoop now and it has been about 2 months at 1/2 scoop. Dr. Ellsworth had put Bear on Thyroid because of issues with abscesses in his feet. At one time, he was regularly getting abscesses and putting him on the thyroid, seemed to help that condition. Now as I have been weaning him off the thyroid, he has not returned to the same problem, so hopefully we are over that.  Dr. Ellsworth tested him for cushings just to make sure and he said he was not cushings at that time. I don't believe he is cushings now. He does not have any of the classical signs like the big cresty neck, but I know he could still have it without the classical signs but I really doubt it.

Bo has a crush on Bear, awww, the daddy he never had?

You can NOT say this owner hasn't done everything she can to help her old man! This is PRECISELY the kind of owner we want to be a resource for!  While my focus is always on the horse, it's a real pleasure to be able to give an owner like this another choice other than one kind of death or another for their old horse.

Bear meets our herd! 

So far, Bear is a DOLL. He's getting accustomed to the different types of feed, water, routine. He's inbetween Polly and Princesa, and honestly I was surprised to see that Polly blows hot and cold with him, but he has a strong interest in Princesa (who continues to be focused on her friend Jules).  I have great hope that the herd will work it's healing magic and Bear will flourish here, as he has an excellent caretaking manner and strong spirit.  I could not agree with Kelly more - Bear is NOT done at this point.  

Bo chases Bear - Bo is a full hand taller, and half Bear's age, but who's leading here?  Bear is NOT done...

Anyone willing to join Kelly in providing sponsorship for Bear's many needs?