Yesterday when I got home, I found Vinni laying down in the pasture. Now normally this would not concern me because occasionally I will see them laying down but my gut told me there was something different about this time. I sat and watched him for a while to see if he had any signs of Colic. He didn’t want to roll, his stomach still had gurgles, he wasn’t sweating but he was giving his tummy an occasional glance. Now I know most of the time if a horse is colicing you want to get them up right away and start walking them but for some reason I just knew it wasn’t colic, so I didn’t try moving him. What did worry me was that he didn’t want to get up when I was moving around him but it didn’t make me panic because I will get out and mess with my horses when they are laying down, so I figured he was so use to it he didn’t feel a need to get up.
I wanted to make certain it wasn’t colic though. Since all the horses were out together, I put everyone away in their stalls and then came back to get Vinni. To my suprise, Vinni stood right up and was ready to go to his stall to eat. Once in his stall, he purked right up at the sound of feed. I gave him some food to see if he would eat it and of course he did. So now my thoughts of colic are completely gone but just to give myself a little more assurance, I completely soaked his feed with water. Lucky for me, he loves it that way and ate all of it. I also added a little bute to his feed in hopes that it would help him feel better.
After a few hours of monitoring him, I noticed he started to feel better and was eating hay again. I also didn’t see him lay down at all the rest of the night (at least while I was awake). Now you might be wondering why that worried me so much. Well, Vinni has
quite a few TONS of tumors growing around and on his sheath and butt. I rescued Vinni 3 years ago and at the time the tumors were small and the vet didn’t think they would cause any problems but I was told to monitor them. Well this past year they have started to grow and I’ve noticed a change in Vinni’s personality. He’s only 9 and normally acts like a complete goofball. He’s the one to start fights and run and buck in the field. That all stopped this year. Now he acts very laid back, he never wants to run, and I haven’t seen him pick a fight in so long. He also has dropped weight drastically this past year and nothing I’ve tried has helped him gain it back. I’ve changed his feed, feed more, added beet pulp, and added alfalfa cubes. I don’t want to think negative but I can’t help but wonder if the tumors have spread internally and if he’s starting to have complications from it.
Last night I decided to google horse cancer to see what the signs/symptoms are. After reading many articles on Lmphosarcoma, the main symptom repeated in every article is weight loss and depression. Two major signs Vinni has. From what I’ve read there is treatment but it can be expensive and getting a true diagnosis is costly as well. With me being a single parent and only having one income I know I can’t afford to get him treatment should he have cancer and that kills me. I can’t stand the thought of him having it or hurting and me not being able to help. I’m praying that this isn’t the case and he is just having a rough year due to other reasons. I plan to have the vet out to run some blood tests to rule out any other diseases or problems and get his opinion on the change in the tumors.
Have you ever had a horse with Cancer or know someone that has? How did you go about getting it diagnosed and treated? Any advice would be much appreciated because I’m am a worried mommy right now. 🙁