Sunday, January 13, 2008

A Baby Boomer Dreams of Arabian Horses - Rhythm's Story - The Problem

Part One of the Baby Boomer Series

Rhythm's Story starts here

It was really difficult to haul my Arabian horse, Rhythm, over to the vet that day. As much as I needed to know what was happening, I was afraid to know more. On the drive over it kept running through my head, what more can happen to me and this horse? First he had fractured his skull and now what were we facing.

At first when the vet looked at the horse, he just did it visually. Immediately on seeing the size of the one testicle, he turned to me and said, "This horse is a cryptorchid."

I insisted the horse had two testicles ever since he was born. The only time I'd ever even seen him with only one showing was just recently. But the vet kept insisting, using the size of the one testicle to prove his point. Normally when a stallion has only one descended testis, it will grow much larger to compensate for the one trapped up inside the body cavity.

As insistent as the vet was, I was more insistent. Not only that I was beginning to get pissed. This vet had been my vet for a while. I expected with all of our dealings he should know by now that I KNOW my horses! I expected a little trust on his part. I expected him to hear what I was telling him instead of being closed minded.

Finally, he decided to lay the horse down to manually examine him. I think he only did it because it was the only way he was going to shut me up. So he gave the horse a sedative and laid him out on the ground.

Once the horse was drugged enough to secure him. The vet tied up one leg up out of the way like he would to geld him. That way he could safely palpate the horse's scrotum and also the inguinal ring without getting his head kicked off.

Looking back at it, it really was kind of a funny sight in an odd sort of way. The horse had one leg in the air and was laid out on his back as the vet was poking and prodding and oohhing and awwing. The comments were "There it's not.......oh, yes, here it is. What is this? Oh, I think it's another, it's not........yes, but it's on the other side of the inguinal ring...........oh's the ring" changing at about every probe. It just went on and on. But finally the verdict was in. The horse had two descended testicles just like I said. But one had atrophied to the size of a walnut.

It took some phone calling to vet schools around the country for my vet to even have an idea about this problem. The consensus was that either by injury or some kind of virus, the one testicle had suffered some kind of trauma causing it to atrophy.

There was no way of knowing which had occurred. There was a slight possibility that the testicle would heal and return to its original size and function. The recommendation was to give it six months. If it hadn't shown signs of recovery by then, it wasn't going to happen.

So there I was with my answer to why the horse didn't want to lope. It was obvious . The walnut sized testicle was right up there being pinched between the horse's two back legs every time I asked him to lope. No wonder the horse was resistant.

This horse was more valuable as a stallion than as a gelding. I had to give him the time to see if he would heal. There was no point in asking Rhythm to do something when he was in pain. Riding him during this time would only cause problems down the road. Training was going on hold.

Everything was on hold. My dreams, my business plan, all in one fell swoop had come to a screeching halt. It's amazing to me how fast life can change sometimes. One minute I'm breathing just fine and the next the wind has been sucked right out of me. I didn't even know what to think.

At the end of six months, if the testicle hadn't recovered, I was going to have to make a decision. The horse would still be a viable breeding horse but performance would definitely be out of the question.

To be continued...................

This would be Rhythm, doing what Rhythm does best! Showing how cool he thinks he is!

Rhythm's Story - The Problem Part 2

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  1. Twists and turns, ups and downs. You certainly have seen your share. And you also have bred beautiful horses.

  2. Oh boy that is just like my life and luck!!! He is such a beautiful boy.

    Hope you had a great weekend. It is snowing here and I see that your corner of the state is getting rain AGAIN!!! Yuk. Hope we can "chat" later.


  3. WOW! I absolutely LOVE that photo of Rhythm! GORGEOUS! Glad you kept on insisting on what you knew. Vets can be so stubborn sometimes...LOL! Looking forward to your next entry!

  4. Would it be possible to "half geld" a horse? I almost went to your site to find out what happened eventually, but I guess I'll wait for the story. He's so beautfiful...

  5. Poor Rhythm...That sounds like a painful process and how long does it take to atrophy. Why would it atrophy unless something had blocked blood flow. Poor baby.....