Friday, June 11, 2010

Close Calls

My horses tend to be so melodramatic.

Just when you take a deep breath and enjoy them for a bit, something happens and everything goes into a tailspin. Of course, I'm being a little dramatic myself here, but I can safely say that these horses keep me on my toes!

Take for example, our lovely Topaz. She's 23 this year and while she's up there in years, she's still got a lot of spitfire and personality. Not to mention, my younger students and some adults just love her - she gives them the confidence to ride, and that's a gift not many horses can give.

But if you know Topaz, you know she lives for food. Grass, carrots, leaves, grain, hay, you name it, she loves it.

Earlier this year, Topaz had a tooth issue - she'd chipped off a piece of her tooth and it was causing her pain - she was reluctant to eat and when she did, her eyes would roll around in her head.

Enter the vet. Who said, "We need a dentist!"

Enter the dentist.

Cha ching!

Then, in March, Topaz started showing signs of colic (a potentially fatal problem in horses) - pawing the ground with her hoof, listlessness, and refusing to eat or drink. I practically slept in her stall that night, to see if she'd improve. She was very droopy the next morning.

Enter the vet. Who said, "It's Ehrlicia, give her 100 pills of Doxycycline 2 times per day, Banamine 2 times per day, and take her temperature for the next few days."

Cha ching!

Now, here we are in June. It's a beautiful day, as was yesterday, but Topaz was a little droopy again yesterday. I'm an incredibly vigilant horse owner, so I immediately start Sick Horse Watch, with regular temperature taking (can you guess how I do that?), close monitoring and basically following her around the field to see what she does.

Later in the day, she showed me. The poor thing had diarrhea!

I hope you're not eating a meal right now. If you are, sorry.

Topaz gets this affliction occasionally at this time of year, but she was also lethargic and refused to eat her dinner, hay, or drink any water. Since Topaz would eat your arm if you refused to feed her, I knew something was seriously up. Like before, I was in her stall a good portion of the night, keeping watch.

She still hadn't eaten or had any water this morning, so I called the vet, who gave me some suggestions to add what I was already doing (administering ProBios and another medication), and she was planning to make her way to TMF after another emergency call she had.

Luckily, when she called to tell me she was en route, Topaz made a beeline for the water bucket outside, and had a good long drink. Then she marched into her stall, polished off her breakfast and another half bucket (about 2.5 gallons) of water.

She's in her stall resting now after what I would imagine was an uncomfortable night. But I think we're through the worst of it. And quickly enough that it saved me at least a few hundred dollars on an emergency vet visit!

This time, it looks like I saved some Cha Ching!

And Topaz, could we have a boring month or two, please?


Catherine said...

Sounds like me after Mexican food. Glad she's feeling better. :-)

Aislinn said...

Yikes! You had me worried there for a bit, KC. I'm so glad the story had a happy ending. If I'd been up in Wingdale yesterday, "I" would have spent the night in the stall!