June 20, 2009

Downturn for Norman?

After what seemed like a breakthrough for Norman yesterday, we are no longer feeling as hopeful tonight. He continues to be in tremendous pain, and our farrier has suggested that the absesses could very well be a symptom of the founder. He will hopefully come to the farm tomorrow to asses Norman's feet. The unfortunate thing is that in order for him to do any work, the horse needs to be tranquilized, which means the cost of a vet. At best tomorrow the farrier will give us his opinion as to whether or not Norman can be saved. In spite of us giving him penicilin twice a day, his temperature remains at 102.2. We will just have to see what is said tomorrow. At the same time, the farrier will hopefully work on the pony we rescued a few weeks ago (have not yet blogged about him - he was rescued from neglect with a severe case of "slipper feet"). All this on a day when we have a six hour driving workshop we are giving! Well, it will work out, and hopefully the rain will stay away as well! Incidentally, we would like to thank our friend and the town's animal control officer, Linda Praisner, for donating some medicinal salves for Norman's "bed sores". We appreciate everything our friends and supporters are doing for Norman!


  1. I have gone through the same thing with a draft cross. The abcesses are actually in some cases more painful than the founder. We had a horse in this condition that was 'laid up' for several days like this. Once the abcesses drained he stood again and we were able to shoe him to relieve the coffin bone pressure. This horse actually had several more years of productivity before he was retired.
    The icthammol and the wrapping helps tremendously. I know you are trying to get him to eat to keep his strength up however we took our horse off the alfalfa so that he wouldn't founder from a rich diet. We used a timothy hay and senior chow which is easily digested.
    We also gave the horse banamine to control his pain and did xrays to see the extent of the coffin bone rotation and location of the abcesses.

    Good Luck I know it is painful to watch an animal suffer. We will be rooting for Norman.

    76 Carriage Company

  2. Thank you, Linda! It is real terrible to watch. Our vet had no problem with the alfalfa, but did suggest rice meal and/or hay stretcher (not our favorite) to help build his weight. Our farrier, on the other hand, thinks the loss of weight is actually a good thing for him. In the end, it all seems like "black magic", doesn't it?!