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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

May 13, 2009

Phebe's lab reports were in the mail this afternoon

There were some abnormal high values that bothered me. Her BASO was within normal range, but a high normal. Her CA was slightly elevated. ALB was slightly high, and her AST was twice the number it should have been. Given all this her CK was normal....but I wasn't feeling good about the AST. A little online research on AST levels and tye-up says the two are related. When there has been muscle damage and there is inflammation in the body the AST will go up. So I started asking myself is Phebes really ready to go back to work? My horse vet here said yes, but I am her first, one, and only endurance client. That does not make me feel secure. So I wrote Maureen Fehr's DVM with a plea for advice concerning to ride or not to ride. Maureeen wrote me back (thank you!!!). The advice being that she needs some more time off to get that AST value down. Gentle riding, and short non-intense sessions like we are doing every other day or so is okay. But nothing strenous, no hills, no sand, no mud. So I'm going to continue holding off until at least June 1st. All of me wants out there again, but not if it will hurt Phebes. I hold such a responsibility for what went wrong, that I definitely want to get this part right, even if I am inconvenienced in the meantime with very little saddle time. The blood work was a good follow up indicator of what is going on with her, and I'm so grateful they sent me a copy of the test result or I'd have proceeded as advised, which likely would have set things up for another failure.


  1. Good for you for doing research on your own. I struggle with that with my own vets - I think my vets are great - very knowledgable, honest, and at the top of their game. The problem - they aren't endurance vets.....When I do an ultrasound and they say everything will be fine, it's really minor - it's hard not to acknowledge that nagging in my stomach that says "but do they really know what a 100 mile endurance horse has to go through?" You are SO RIGHT. The responsiblity for my horse is ME! If something goes wrong, I do blame myself and not my vet. *sigh* which means I'm constantly double checking and double checking stuff.

    This is (only slightly...) you feel comfortable defining some of the blood work values, as you know it? The only one I'm familiar with is CK.

    I guess I'm in a grateful mode.:) Thank you for your blog! I love reading your everyday updates. I'm thinking that if I DO do the tevis, I'd look great in one of your zazzle t-shirts...

  2. I don't really know anything. But I'm wondering if Phebe may genetically have a propotency to tying up? I know that Palomino QH that I took care of tested HYPP +. And that ment that he typed up a lot. The times I seen him do it he was not stressed. I did ride him a little, but nothing beyond what he was capable of handling. Just down a couple easy, flat miles. It was a genetic thing passed on thru the AQHA Stallion Impressive. I thought it was only in QH's but maybe not. I don't really know. Just throwing it out there. Tell me I'm wrong.

    Good for you for doing more research into it.

    Michelle Detmer

  3. BASO= Basophils which are the little defense "eaters" in the blood. Basophils come out when there is infection, debris, parasites, something to combat or clean up. Allergies will also elevate the Basophils.

    CA=Calcium which according to Dr. Fehrs can fluctuate from all manner of things. Calcium levels may be related to kidney function, diet, stress.

    ALB= Albumin is measured as an indicator of kidney or liver problems.

    AST="An aspartate aminotransferase (AST) test measures the amount of this enzyme in the blood. AST is normally found in red blood cells, liver, heart, muscle tissue, pancreas, and kidneys. AST formerly was called serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT).

    Low levels of AST are normally found in the blood. When body tissue or an organ such as the heart, muscle, liver is diseased or damaged, additional AST is released into the bloodstream. The amount of AST in the blood is directly related to the extent of the tissue damage. After severe damage, AST levels rise in 6 to 10 hours and remain high for about 4 days."