Saturday, May 26, 2012

Badger & His Equine COPD [update]


Let's say I am not fond of this subject.  It rather is a sore spot for me.
Each time Badger breathes in dust or pollens, he has a reaction that lasts for days.  This can be while he is on grass pasture too. 
Think of having asthma in a human, or COPD, or Emphysema.

It is a progressive disease which worsens over time. Early in the disease, shortness of breath may occur with exercise and activity but symptoms gradually worsen and may occur at rest.
Badger not only is at the stage where breathing at rest is difficult for him, but he won't eat much either because he is spending most of his time trying to breath.
His overall appearance and general body condition has dramatically worsened.  I look at photos of him from two years ago when he was first diagnosed ...

to the photo I have of him this past fall.
Note the change in overall condition.

This spring he had a few good days where I was able to hand walk him to the ridge and then ride him on the flat.  He however would stop and catch his breath.

With the onset of summer heat and humidity Badger is again suffering daily.  Even on grass pasture he spends most of his day just standing.  Meds no longer help him much.  
It seems each spring I go through this at the beginning of hot and humid weather.  
But today as I drove home, I called my hubby and mentioned something about hay and feeding.
He confirmed what my fears had been.
He too has noticed the poor condition of this once fine and strong mule.  He questioned our reasoning to keep him in such a way.

I struggled with putting Cheyanne down last April.  It was time though and she was in misery.  It is hard to think about this right now.  I keep hoping for a miracle but know there is no 'miracle faerie' handing out cures.


The Three Muleteers said...

Oh Val, I am sending best wishes to dear Badger, It is such a terrible thing to watch one you love suffer. Hope the weather improves so that Badger can be comfortable and you can both rest easy for a while.

Val said...

Thanks so much. Unfortunately Badger has lost so much weight and condition I'm afraid that it looks like quite the battle to keep him alive.