Posts Tagged With: Vet

Knight in Shining Scrubs

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Tears streamed down Melody’s face. Dipping her head, she rubbed swollen eyes against her legs. Melody blinked, the lower lid flapping as it hit the upper.

My damsel in distress.

I cursed the universe, cursed her itchy eyes, and then simply cursed.

Then I called three different Vets.

My Vet couldn’t come within a reasonable amount of time. I called another Vet, one who came recommended, but our kingdom is too far-far away. Then I called Kern Road.

Thank goodness for Dr. Esterline.

The Prince drove in on his steed (a red pickup), brandishing eye meds and comforting words that all would (eventually) be well with the Princess.

He came, he stained, he medicated.

Princess Melody is currently ensconced in a tower (stall) wearing a veil of protection (flymask). She’ll remain a prisoner until the Evil Queen (me) releases her.

Or perhaps the Queen will encase her in bubble wrap. Maybe she’ll escape, Rapunzel-style, when her tail grows–

Right.

(She could be there a while.)

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Vicarious

March 25, 2012 061

I knew it stirred. Deep inside.

Restless, hormonal, and irritated, my mare’s pleasant attitude plummeted. My heart soared.

Then, nothing.

The baby.

My baby.

(Actually, her baby.)

There was a tiny foal in there last year, but she lost it.

My heart belonged to that baby. My expectations, my fears, the challenges ahead–I plunged forward, until–

Nothing.

Today, the veterinarians examined Melody, and concluded that her breeding didn’t take. Again.

Nothing.

All my life, I’ve dreamed of breeding my own foal. My own. From the moment it’s conceived to its last aged breath.

Mine.

I want it. I ache for it.

This weekend, the head of Repro at MSU will take a uterine biopsy from Melody to see if she can become pregnant.

And if she can keep the baby to term.

Maybe it’s asking too much for a sweet little foal to run around our farm, bucking and playing and snorting and falling asleep on a soft bed of spring grass.

The foal would nicker at me and gently nudge me to say, “More sugar! Now!” and lick her lips and lick the salt from my hand.

I hope.

Until then, the stallion owner has kindly worked to “talk me off the ledge”–that moment of hysteria where I imagine I’m falling into a deep abyss of never-getting-my-dream-baby. Of feeling the despair of a thousand near-misses.

We need one hit.

To return my pleasant mare into the restless, hormonal, irritated, pregnant beast.

My heart will soar again.

Categories: Horses, Vet | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Doctor, Doctor, Give Me The News

I dug my fingers through mane, shoving her head forward. My forearms burned with the strain. The Vet shoved her drill deep into Susie Q’s mouth. The pony’s tongue shoved at the metal, to no avail.

Dr. Tavernier visited the horses today for a variety of reasons:

Zeus and Susie Q needed their teeth filed. Horse teeth grow during the animal’s entire life span and need to be sanded down at least once a year. Today, I held these two horses as the Vet acted as Equine Dentist. Both needed extra helpings of “happy drugs” (otherwise known as sleepy meds.) Zeus took three servings, Suzie took two.

In between, Dr. T. drew blood from Phoenix, Melody, Honey, Twist, and Sidney for Coggins Tests. This is an annual test which proves the horse doesn’t carry a certain incurable horse disease. A negative Coggins test allows for horses to be transported other places off farm property to shows.

Twist and Melody were supposed to have additional work done, but it didn’t happen today. Twist has a slight head bob, and always has since he arrived here. I hope that it’s something small and fixable with supplements or another easy solution. The Vet didn’t have her diagnostic equipment today because of a computer crash, so it’ll wait until next time. During the next Vet visit, Dr. Tavernier will also test to see if Melody’s “in season,” or ready to be bred. The plan is to breed her to Awemost Dun again this year. Sadly, she miscarried last year. I’ll keep my fingers crossed for a 2014 foal.

With the Vet gone, exhaustion crept in. I crashed soon after the visit ended. I hope next time the Vet comes it doesn’t involve power tools.

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A Veterinary Emergency

November 11 2012 051

Blood streamed from Misty’s nose as the Vet threaded the hose through Misty’s windpipe into her stomach.

“Whoa,” I soothed as the horse stepped forward.

The Vet pumped water and oil into Misty’s stomach. Several times she unhooked the pump and allowed some of the water to return from Misty’s stomach back into the bucket. Some of the grain from Misty’s breakfast slopped back with the water.

“This will help move her bowels,” the Vet promised. “She has impaction colic. I’ve removed the blockage, but now she needs fluids to move everything along.”

“She’s one constipated horse,” I said. “I used to deal with that a lot at another barn.”

For six years, I worked at Camp Anna Behrens. Red and white pines line the driveway into the camp; birds flit through the branches and chipmunks scurry through the undergrowth. One constant, wherever you walk, remains the same: sand.

Sand everywhere. It abrades through your socks and grinds between your toes. It sneaks into your sleeping bag and wakes you at 3am with creepy-crawly sensations. It sticks to horse lips as they lift hay from the ground. Ponies lick their lips, and the granules scrape their tongues.

Horses can’t digest sand. It clogs their pipes. Camp horses frequently experienced upset tummies during the summer, sometimes bad enough to call the Vet.

My first experience with colic of any variety happened at Camp. Midnight, one of the tried-and-true favorite horses, became ill. In order to push fluids in her system, a Vet inserted a tube up Midnight’s nose and into her stomach. Midnight wouldn’t drink on her own, so he made her drink.

He shoved the tube, and her nose cascaded a torrent of red. Some girls cried, some screamed, some turned green and sped from the scene. Midnight stood still. Though stiff-legged and hollow backed, she remained stoic.

Today, the Vet’s gentle hands lifted the tube, and the clear plastic pipe inched toward Misty’s stomach. Scarlet drizzled along the tube and dripped to the ground.

“It’s dry outside,” the Vet apologized. “I put lubricant on the tube before I put it in, but sometimes if you hit the inside of the nose just right, it bleeds anyway.”

I nodded.

Midnight recovered after her traumatic nosebleed. She continued on for years afterward, delighting children with her pleasant antics and kind attitude. She recovered from her bout of sand colic.

We’ve given Misty every chance to recover. She’s full of fluids, she has both electrolyte and plain water in her stall, and her nosebleed stopped an hour ago. We caught the problem early.

The rest is up to her.

Categories: Horses, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

The Aftermath

I love April Fools Day.

Here are Firefly Farm’s jokes from April 1:

Prank #1–Successful–TWICE!: Dr. Tavernier came over today to give Melody an injection. As she was leaving, the husband came to the barn and was understandably concerned as to why the vet was here. I informed him that one of our old (male) boarders had impregnated a mare at Sandhill, and that when the Doctor checked Honey, she was pregnant as well. I played this joke on my best friend later in the day.

Prank #2–Successful:I convinced the kids the best way to make horse markings white was to use a crayon. I have lovely photos of all the kids “coloring” horse markings on each horse.

It was a lovely day.

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