Lastly, but not leastly, Dr. Kaiser examined Tinni. The exam wasn’t scheduled – it came about because I had a lot of questions, one of which was, what are the correspondences between equine and human exams? What I learned is that both follow the veterinarian/physician’s established order, and that the doctor in charge does a routine check of all the systems, some including the respiratory, cardiac, gastro-intestinal, and muscular-skeletal systems.
The focus was primarily on Tinni’s respiratory and muscular-skeletal systems. He took vitals – his respiratory rate was 20, a bit high, his temperature 99.4, normal, and his heart rate 60. Dr. Kaiser also auscultated Tinni’s heart, lungs, G.I. tract, and as well, checked his capillary refill time, which was about two seconds. The good doctor said that it could be up to eight seconds in very dehydrated horses.
The lung auscultation included his lower and upper airways. Dr. Kaiser determined in listening to Tinni’s trachea that he is wheezy, which could mean that he has an upper respiratory infection. His diagnosis was bronchitis, which is a form of COPD.
Dr. Kaiser also did a flexion test on all four legs and said that he isn’t lame. Based on my description of how he moves – slowly at first, later warming up, that he is arthritic. In addition, he did what he called a carrot test, meaning he gave Tinni a carrot, in order to see if he’d bite down in it with his incisors. He did not. Dr. Kaiser then surmised that Tinni’s upper incisors might be bothering him.
We will have his teeth floated in the spring and then we’ll decide whether or not to have the teeth radiographed. If they are problematic, an option might be to have the front teeth pulled. To this I said whoa – I’m very dental phobic, so I see this as an absolute last resort.
And Dr. Kaiser did a blood draw – we agreed to have him tested for Cushings Disease. I think he’s okay, but we just want to be sure.
I was, at the conclusion of the exam, quite proud of Mr. T. He just stood there patiently for a half-hour and let Dr. Kaiser do what needed to be done. It was like he knew we were acting in his best interest.
Next: 306. 11/5/19: Problem Solving 101