Sunday, July 26, 2009

They say these things happen in threes...

When last I left you, dear readers (all three of you), Saga had done something to his right front during our ride. Wednesday, my friend over at Donkey Sense was kind enough to go out to the barn mid-day to check on Saga. She reported no swelling or anything that looked funny, and that he seemed fine at the walk, so that was good news. However, Wednesday night when I rode him, he was fine at first but then started taking off steps in the trot on circles to the left. So I hopped off, and contented myself with taking some pictures of my handsome boy.

"Oooh! Hay! Must... vacuummmmmm"

"Not sure who left this chair it the way,
but I think it would look better if I moved it over here..."

"Here, let me check your other pocket for treats..."

"OMG! EEEW!! GROSS!!! People germs on my NOSE!!! ICK!"

"The things I put up with for one of those sweet snacky thingies. Sigh."

Due to life, Saga got off again until Saturday, and he seemed fine again when I got on him. We walked and trotted both directions and he felt great, but as soon as I asked for the left lead canter, it was obvious he was still off. So I pulled him up and went for a walk around the pastures, but he kept taking funny steps, even just walking. As I went to get off him, I noticed a vet wandering around the barn, and not one of the regular vets (at least one of whom I refuse to use). I asked FuzzyPony to flag him down, and he came over and took a look at Saga for me. After listening carefully to what I told him about how it happened, he pressed right where the deep digital flexor tendon is, right above the bulb of the hoof, and he got a slight reaction. His assessment was that Saga essentially sprained his ankle, and with a good week of stall rest and some Bute, should be fine.

Because Cash is so colic prone, I'm always very hesitant to use Bute. However, Saga's not Cash, and the vet suggested three days of two grams, followed by five days of one gram. He said you shouldn't give it to them for more than 10 days, but that it could be very helpful for inflammation and not to be too cautious if it was needed. Anyway, I quite liked the new vet and appreciated his time, and he didn't even charge me for looking at Saga. His name is Dr. Carl Reicher, and apparently he works out of his truck. It's hard to find a vet that makes farm calls, and while I only had a few minutes to chat with Dr. Reicher, I liked his demeanor with both me and my horse, and he seemed very professional. I've added his number to my phone, just in case.

So, Saga's got a week off. Oh-kaaay... not the best, but at least the prognosis is good (if he's not 100% in a week, I'm going to haul him to Elgin for a full work-up). And speaking of Elgin... last night (Saturday) I got a call from Paint Creek Ranch, where Cash lives, saying that he was choking and was on his way to Elgin vet. So at 9 p.m., I hopped in the car with my husband, picked up FuzzyPony, and drove like a lunatic to Elgin, about 45 minutes away. Apparently the choke was very bad - over 12 inches of feed material in his esophogus - and he had aspirated some food as well. He had bile coming out of his nose as well as blood. However, by the time I got to Elgin, they had cleared the choke and his prognosis was very good. He was drugged to the tips of his fuzzy little ears (they have to to clear the obstruction), so we all left him in peace to recuperate.

Today I went out for a visit and to clean him up. I very gently curried him (he's sunburned) and brushed the worst of the dirt off. I spent a long time cleaning his face and nose with a sponge, since he had caked-on bile and blood everywhere. He was NOT PLEASED to have me wash his face, but then, he's never liked having his face brushed or washed. I also cleaned around his eyes, which tend to get gooey in the summer sun. He's lost a lot of hair on his face from the flymasks, but his face didn't seem too badly sunburned so that's good. He's always had issues with sunburn, and until this summer, has been up in a stall during the day so that he wouldn't get so burned.

Cash's lunch was delivered as a soupy mash, and he slurped down the watery part. However, he didn't seem to know what to do with the rest, so I added some more water. He drank that too, but it took him a while. Even after he's had his feed for an hour, he hadn't finished it, so I'm a bit concerned about his eating.

I did give him a bit of a bath while I was there - he was just so sweaty from the sedatives they gave him, he was sort of covered in salt. I also brushed out his mane and tail, picked his feet, and put on hoof oil. He didn't seem quite his old self, but he was a far cry from last night. I took a few pictures of him while I was there, post clean-up.

"What IS this mushy swill? BLECH! I want a CARROT!" (You can really see where the hair has worn off his face in this picture.)

All that sunburned pink skin. Poor guy.

As for trauma #3, that would be my malamute mix Elias, who managed to escape from his crate while I was off visiting Cash. He went counter-surfing, something he's never done, and managed to dump a 9x13 Pyrex pan of banana bread on the floor, shattering the Pyrex into about a million little pieces. He apparently ate the banana bread, and I would imagine ate some Pyrex along with it. I called the emergency vet, who told me to feed him bread, which he didn't mind one bit. He's currently quiet and snoozing on the floor, but he usually does that mid-afternoon. I'm just hoping that any Pyrex he did manage to ingest doesn't turn into a medical emergency.

Because really, I've about had it with the medical emergencies for four-footed critters this week. Sigh.

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