Rio was adopted by our treasurer, Lori, and has been living at Hanaeleh for about ten years- he is now 25 years old. A few years ago he was diagnosed with a hematoma in his nasal cavity that was impeding air intake, and he was put on prednilosone to help reduce the swelling, and promote regular breathing. One of the side effects of the prednilosone is the suppression of the immune system, and Rio started to come down with topical fungal infections. In addition, he was also diagnosed with Cushings, and was put on Prascend. Unfortunately, a side effect of the Prascend is a lack of appetite, and Rio lost his appetite.
We were doing our best to manage Rio’s symptoms, but then last year his hind end started to go out, and he seemed to be spiraling downhill. To make matters worse, he refused to take his medication. We tried to hide the pills in carrots and other treats, but then he started to refuse any handouts from any of the volunteers, even those without pills in them.
It’s been frustrating, but, for the most part, we’ve finally found a way to get Rio to eat his grain and medication. Some days he eats everything, and some days we have to surreptitiously hide his pills in hay or treats. His overall appetite, however, has increased, and he has his weight back. He is still somewhat weak in his hind end, but he can comfortably walk and trot in the arena for a short period of time. He no longer has to worry about being ridden, but just has to focus on hanging out and looking cute- which he does with aplomb!