Good morning sweet Hedi,
thank you for asking about Racer but from all that I am learning, this is a long-haul illness/condition/disease. There will be (I am told by both the vet and the farrier) months where Race will be really good, and months where he will be very bad. I was told yesterday by the team of professionals that have been assembled to help me and this wonderful creature, that true recovery lies on several factors. The horse, and how much spirit and fight he has, how much he wants to live, how strong he is to fight the pain. The owner and how much time she is willing to invest in his care, how close the two of them are, and how much money she has to spend is another factor. I was told that ten years ago, at the first sign of founder, the vets would come out and put the horse down, or the owner would shoot the horse to take it out of misery. Another factor is the team that is treating the horse. I have the best farrier in the county already who absolutely loves this horse. I now have four top-shot vets who treat founder a lot- and another farrier has been pulled in as well. I am told that in all cases of founder that the horses never follow a predictable path. In other words, the treatment, the outcome is never the same for each horse. The vet can't sit down with me and say on day three we do this, and day twelve he is cured. They take their cues from the horse and some things tried will not work and others he may respond to right away. When I asked for a ball park point of complete recovery, I was told at least a year.
So if everytime one of you wonderful people wants to know how Racer is doing, or how I am doing and I respond- in a years time, this thread would probably be record in length for this board.
From what I am understanding too is that IF there is a medical reason for Racer to founder, or IF he has something called cushingsoid disease, then regardless of what we do for him while he is foundering he will die. The vet does not think there is a kidney or liver malfunction but because the blood levels are *odd* he is also not ruling that out as the cause.
I broke down last night on the phone with both of these fine gentleman (conference call) and I told them that if we come to the place where Racer has to leave this world they are to let me know immediately. Clint told me that they won't have to tell me. He said because of the bond that Race and I have, Race will tell me when he is done.
I'll be on the boards only sporadically guys. I hope you understand. I don't want your pity or sympathy, I need your strength and your prayers- Racer needs them most. I have to start taking care of myself too- because with me sick Race won't fight. I stand in an icy cold creek with him 3 times a day in freezing rain (sometimes) I go out to the pasture late at night with a flashlight looking for him to be sure he is okay. IF you pray, pray for him, if you don't pray, that's fine with me, everyone of us believes differently. But right now, I need all the help I can get to bring this horse to a level of comfort he can tolerate and apparently, it is going to be a long road.
I have started a journal, to save you fine folks from my rambling. I am going to ask Anne when she can, to put it online. It won't be spectacular- but if you would like I'll provide the link and you can just read the thing. I call it Finding Our Way out of Founder-