Oh, how GOOD hope feels! And when it comes to Lance's physical condition, I think I am hearing a faint, sweet tune.
It started Friday, when I noticed while grooming that there IS some new hair coming in, albeit short and sparse. It grew a little Saturday evening, when we went for a road ride and I sensed more perkiness in him than I've felt for awhile (bonus: sky show!).
It got louder on Sunday evening when he and Oliver were turned out, and he actually ran and bucked and PLAYED. (Then he slipped and crashed to his side; ouch.) He's also had a slightly swollen right hind fetlock/pastern; that went down completely for the first time during Sunday's turn-out.
Nothing has changed recently except reducing his daily predinisolone dose by half. If the improvements are the result of that, I'd love to wean him off completely. It might be that the antihistamine (he's getting 20 cetirizine – think Zyrtec – tablets twice a day) is taking care of his allergy symptoms and the steroid is no longer necessary; it's certainly not benign.
We did get some test results back; Lance does not have Cushings. His insulin level is a bit high, but that could be a result of the steroid. We're still waiting to hear from UC/Davis, but Rick got results back from the local lab on the cells from the lung wash. Lance's lung cells are 30% neutrophils, which points towards Equine Inflammatory Airway Disease. (Differentiation of heaves and IAD involves the types and numbers of white blood cells observed.) There can be a genetic component, which fits because Lance's dam has seasonal heaves/IAD.
|All the play photos turned out blurry – and not ALL the grass is this tall!|
In other news, I learned last Thursday evening that Julie is moving to South Carolina next fall. This makes me sad, as she is the only trainer I've taken lessons with for years now, and I've really appreciated her perspective and help. And in spite of Lance's current troubles, that thing with feathers perched in my soul looked forward to more lessons with her in the future. If Lance continues to improve, maybe we can squeeze some in later this summer before she leaves.