Apache Goes to the Big City

I was browsing through my horse material when I saw something that concerned me: Apache’s Coggins certification had recently expired. Oops. Horses that travel need those to ensure they don’t bring a bad disease to other horses. For non-horse folks:

A “Coggins” is a blood test that detects antibodies to the disease Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA). This is a virus that can cause affected horses (or donkeys) to have fevers, anemia (low red blood cell count), edema (stocking up), or weight loss/muscle wasting.

https://foundationequine.com/blog/2014/3/4/why-does-my-horse-need-a-coggins-test-if-we-dont-travel#:~:text=A%20Coggins%20Test%20Form,or%20weight%20loss%2Fmuscle%20wasting.

Of course, Apache is scheduled for a clinic on Saturday. Shit. Since all his other vaccines were done at the same time, I figured I’d better get him looked at sooner rather than later. I hadn’t been worried, because Lee had been saying he would schedule the vet to come do all the animals soon. Soon hadn’t happened and Apache’s time was up.

Wait, am I a goner? No!

Lee was nice enough to agree to take me and Patchy into Cameron, where Dr. Amy and her mobile vet office are on Thursdays. I was really proud of my old boy (he was born in 2005). We got out of the trailer and just hung out together.

A car with a puppy in it, our rig, and the mobile veterinarian office.

He didn’t act bothered at all by all the traffic, the thump-thump radios, or the smell of barbecue (that made me hungry).

I have grass. Grass is good.

There was a young Siamese cat on the lot where the trailer parks. It had obviously never seen a horse. Apache was very interested in the kitty, and the kitty crept closer and closer until it got to the edge of its comfort zone, at which point it studiously cleaned itself. Cutie.

We waited an hour (there is always an emergency going on, and today’s was an old lab). I don’t begrudge the time, since I remember how long she spent sewing up Harvey when he was hurt.

Apache was deemed in good shape and declared beautiful. He had a few fly bites, but Amy see asid she could tell I used fly spray. And he needs to get his teeth floated, so that will get done when Amy comes in two weeks to give all the ranch animals their shots, spay Goldie, and take care of other issues.

He posed for his Coggins drawing like a model, too. Like a man, he took all his shots without flinching. What a guy.

I’m beautiful.

All in all, I think he actually had a good time hanging out with me, meeting new people who told him how pretty he was, and eating new grass. And he will be all certified healthy in just a little while. A little late for Saturday, though, so I’m prepared to take Drew and do the whole clinic on my feet.

Back together again.

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.

Drew Goes to the Doctor

I think Drew, my new colt, is annoyed with me. He had to go to the vet today, and I don’t think it was his favorite experience so far. He is really glad to be home.

Home at last.

It took us forever to get to the vet, who was in Waco, because we were behind a wind turbine propeller. Wow, it was slow. Thankfully, it stopped for a minute and we got past it.

Moving roadblock.

The vet place was nice, an all-equine practice. I was too busy paying attention and hoping Drew wouldn’t be too traumatized to take pictures, but I took a lot of notes! Here’s what I learned:

  • Drew is 14.1 hands high. That’s short, but he should end up about 15 hands, which is just fine. (A hand is 4 inches, and height is measured from the top of their shoulder, not their head.)
  • He is right at 3 years old, so I decided his birthday will be July 1.
  • Drew is not a red roan. He will be gray at adulthood. It will be so fun to watch him change!
  • He needs high-protein feed.
  • His facial features are a star on his forehead and a snip on his nose.
  • He is healthy as a…you know what.
  • He has a great face.

The people at the vet place were all so nice. A friendly old vet and a really helpful technician who gave me lots of helpful information. I sure appreciated it! Drew did not appreciate three shots, one nasal spray, and oral wormer. That’s why he’s pissed off.

Nice place

I enjoyed talking to some folks when I checked out, then we headed back, making better time. We had a fun stop at the Rosebud Feed and Seed. It’s a cute place and has its own brand of feed! We also found the brand of high-protein feed the vet tech recommended there, too.

It’s also fairly local!

By the time we got home, we were all wiped out. Poor Drew didn’t want to leave the trailer until Chris cowboyed him out. Now he is very happy with both grass and space to run.

What about my other precious beloved equines? Well, now that Andrew is vaccinated and wormed, I can bring Apache and Fiona here! That excitement should commence tomorrow. Sara sure is glad, so the paddock can rest until Aragorn arrives.

Fiona Saw the Doctor

Hey there. It’s a three-blog day for me. Here’s a quick update on our donkey friend, Fiona. The vet finally arrived around 4:30, right when Mandi had just left to do something for her own family. Sigh. But, it worked out okay.

Also, Mandi hit a traffic jam

According to Dr. Richter, whose father apparently treated Mandi’s late horse, what happened was our first theory: her hoof had been trimmed WAY too short by the farrier. It’s made her swell to where the inner part of the hoof sticks out too far.

He gave her some pain medication to give for the next five days, to see if that helps. The cure, however, is for her hooves to grow some. Mandi plans to wrap her hoof again, and we are leaving her in the more dry paddock for the next few days, since more rain is on its way.

Fiona did NOT like the sound of the rain falling on the shed, so it got hard to medicate her. Whew, it all was a success, and we are now just waiting to see if she needs more treatment or not.

I was waiting and waiting!

I’m so grateful that she got looked at and it wasn’t the fungal infection. We now want to avoid getting one until things dry up!

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