Mabel, Mabel, You Are Expensive

First of all, yesterday was a pretty glorious day, as days go. I had a great day at work, enjoyed family stuff, and was thrilled to see all our horses and Fiona running up to us for dinner. It was so beautiful.

Did you say food?

Then, when we fed the horses, Mabel had problems. Oh my gosh, the poor dear choked on her food, just like Drew did a while back. Now, I HAD moistened the food, but apparently I didn’t moisten it enough. Crap crap crap. So, we sat there helplessly watching her, hoping she’d pass the blockage. The poor dear looked so miserable.

I feel like poop.

Kathleen stood with her while I petted Drew for a long, long time. He helped me feel better. Eventually, Kathleen found a lump in her neck and massaged it. As she was doing it, dear Dusty came up behind Kathleen and gently placed his nose on her back, as if to send his healing energy. Who knows what he was actually doing, but it sure looked supportive. It made my heart swell.

I’m helping.

After that, Mabel stopped choking and dripping and acted better, so we let her go out with the other horses. Kathleen checked her again last night and reported everything looked good. I was relieved.

I’ll take care of my friend, says Dusty.

Unfortunately, when I went out to check on the horses in the morning, I didn’t see Mabel. That was because she was lying down. Stuff was dripping out of her nose again. Poor friend! So, I told Kathleen and set about cleaning out the trailer so we could haul Mabel to the vet.

The nephew and I took her to the same place Drew went. It was all great, though we had to wait a long time due to an emergency before us (poor little horse needed help more than Mabel!). Oddly enough, there were three other horses the same color as Mabel, all with white on their heads. It was fun to see.

I feel marginally better.

I noticed that Mabel began to act much perkier as we stood around. She started wanting to walk, and even ate a piece of hay she found on the concrete. No more coughing happened, and just a little dripping from her nose. It may be that the bumpy ride to the vet (we went the back way down dirt roads) dislodged the last of the blockage in her esophagus.

Can I go home now?

Once we got to talk to the vet, things went pretty well. Mabel was a very good girl and was good for the tube going down her throat. It made it all the way, and when they flushed her, just a little food came out. Hooray!

Next, the vet checked her teeth and discovered THAT may have been the problem. They had gotten very sharp and Mabel was chewing up her cheeks. That could have made her eat oddly. She got her teeth floated, which involves a giant drill that grinds horse teeth down. Looked uncomfortable, but seems to have helped a lot.

Finally, the vet checked Mabel’s innards by putting an endoscope down her. That was really fun to watch. I got to see food in her stomach! What we did not see were any ulcers or other signs of damage in there. WHEW!

So, Mabel got to go home with some antibiotics, but she doesn’t need to be quite so carefully managed as Drew was. She just must stay in a pen while she recovers and eat a small meal tonight. Antibiotics need to go in her because she may have aspirated food into her lungs. But otherwise, we dodged a bullet.

I am so glad she is okay. So is Kathleen. I felt so bad for hurting her horse! We have a new feeding plan that doesn’t involve alfalfa pellets.

Horse Home but Not Happy

Drew’s stay in the equine ICU was not his idea of a good time. He was in a weird smelling place, though at least he had a buddy there. And oh, the indignity, they made him wear a muzzle that prevented him from eating the shavings on the floor. What’s a hungry boy to do?

I didn’t take pictures of his sad state, so here’s the lobby of the place.

The caregivers did great. His lungs look a bit worse, so he has to cone back next week. Glad it’s only 40 minutes away.

Here’s where he stayed. It’s a separate ICU and treatment building.

Drew was happy to get out of there. I was not surprised at the bill, but yow. We went home with stomach coating stuff in pill form that he is supposed to take 8 of, three times a day. He also has medication to keep him calm and antibiotics. I have to feed him probiotics, too. That I already had. Argh. This will be a learning curve!

At least we had a nice sunset, though it might have been caused by all the awful fires.

We got him home late, but I gave him some goopy food that he loved. He has to be in his pen for a week. He will not like that. Poor Droodles.

Pour me.

This morning was challenging. I tried to crush his pills in the food processor but I apparently don’t know how to work it. The blender worked, though, so I made it up and took it to his muddy pen.

Ta da.

My main learning is that I need to put a halter on him to hold his head, and that a helper would sure be useful. Too bad there isn’t one! I ended up sorta getting him to lick it off my hand. He’s so sweet. Sigh. I have to give that stuff, then feed an hour later. Moral: glad I work from home.

I’d prefer food. Even soupy food.

I’m sure I’ll get better at all this. And the sun is out after another stormy night. Rain is good!

Animals are hard.

Horses are expensive.

I love Drew.

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