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When he went to urinate, he didn’t do his normal stance to stretch out, plus he would produce about one-third the volume of urine,” Belinda says.

By now it was the spring of 2008. Iron Spring Farm and Sir Sinclair had returned to Pennsylvania and they decid- ed to use the veterinarians from the world famous New Bolton Center, the University of Pennsylvania’s large animal vet hospital. (Many of us will remember Barbaro, the famous injured Thoroughbred stallion, who was treated and cared for at New Bolton Center.) “We were disappointed that we still didn’t have a diagnosis, but we hoped that New Bolton would be able to get to the bottom of it,” Mary Alice says. Naturally their focus shifted to finding an internal prob- lem due to his recently

was too loose. In order to get a reaction, the vet had to clamp his tail very tightly (much more than normal), and he finally reacted with a kick. This coupled with the dripping urine caused the vet to suspect a rare disease called “Cauda Equina Syndrome.” If Sir had C.E.S., then the prognosis was devastating: his career was over and he would get progressively worse, eventually facing paraly- sis. Yet, he didn’t display all the symptoms for C.E.S., and the only way to know for sure was to perform a spinal tap at New Bolton Center. The procedure was scheduled for three weeks out since many of the vets were to be away on vacation. This delay proved to be a stroke of luck for Sir.

Sir Sinclair wins the USEF/Markel 6 Year-Old Championship in 2005. Photo by Bill Wertman.

developed symptom. Poor Sir had to endure a raft of tests including a scope into his urethra, an ultrasound of his bladder and finally an internal ultrasound of his spine. Belinda reports that the latter was performed rec- tally and “it was a terrible procedure for him.” All tests were negative or inconclusive and the spinal ultrasound showed very minor changes in his spine.

New Hope

In the meantime, “We wanted Sir to feel as comfortable as possible,” explains Mary Alice. He routinely received body mas- sages by the massage therapist

Belinda was constantly starting and stopping his dressage work, trying to see if there was any change to his attitude. “It always stayed worse to the left and there were days when Sir didn’t want to go at all,” she comments. Belinda was starting to suspect Lyme disease was the culprit. Since she had a Grand Prix horse in the past that suffered from Lyme, she was personally familiar with the symptoms. However, none of the vets they worked with had ever experienced “dribbling urine” as a symptom of Lyme, so she received no support for this theory from the veterinarians.

At this point, there was a whole team at New Bolton Center working on Sir’s case. Together they decided to send an equine neurological specialist out to examine him. This vet did a full exam, and concluded Sir’s tail

“Meanwhile, a new symptom had developed that baffled everyone.”

Martha Grace, as well as acupuncture by a New Bolton anesthesiologist, Dr. Sandi Perkowski, who performed acupuncture on her own. Both Martha and Sandi felt strongly that Sir might have Lyme disease. They encour- aged Iron Spring Farm to contact a family practice physician named Ann Corson located in Cochranville, Pennsylvania. They learned that Dr. Corson is an expert at Lyme disease in humans, yet is also knowledgeable about Lyme dis- ease in horses and dogs, being a horse owner herself.

Speaking to Dr. Ann Corson was the best phone call Belinda could have ever made. “This woman was fan- tastic!” she exclaims. “Dr. Corson explained the whole disease to me, and also when I described Sir’s symptom of dribbling urine, the doctor said that dripping urine is a classic symptom of Lyme in humans.” This was sound- ing very promising!

Even though Dr. Corson is not a veterinarian, she gave Belinda strict instructions on how to treat it. She explained that there are two types of antibiotics that will kick this disease. “For the first 30 days, Sir Sinclair will need Oxytetracycline four times a day using an I.V. After this initial treatment, you then switch Sir to

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