Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grace Leaves and all Hell breaks loose

This is delayed but I wanted to get that Ride post out first... This week has been a horse health headache week with Maggie.

Sunday was a good day, Grace went off to her new home,  I ran the 5K on Sunday afternoon and then came home and rested for a bit. I stumbled across the box of wormer that I had ordered a few weeks prior and realize "oops, we needed to worm everyone". So , we did. A tube of yummy pasty Ivermectin for everyone. Rebel, Maggie, Brego, JB, and Cassidy were all rather unpleased but tolerated it well enough, especially when I brought out some apology carrots to pass out. Ofcourse,  they all thought initially I was trying to poison them only now with the carrots , but eventually the urge was too much and they caved.

We decided to that now that Grace was gone, we could move horses around so I could have Maggie separated in order to manage her food amounts better. I also will begin supplementing her Selenium and Vit E shortly so her being separate will make it that much easier. We moved Rebel and JB into the large corral where Cassidy , Maggie and Grace used to be and put Maggie in where Rebel and JB were. That made the big corral a gelding corral with Cassidy, JB and Rebel. They are all the "older " geldings and all three are a bunch of low man in any herd. That left Maggie to her own corral and barn and Brego to his own corral and barn. Brego has to be separated unless they are turned out in pasture becuase he is awful to other horses in confined areas, especially around food.  So this time of year, he goes into isolation. Good place for the miserable beast....

Anyways, I took Maggie out to a friends Monday night. She was in a rip-tearing heat,  and was a bit on the cranky pissy generally bitchy side...thank you Brego... Well, that attitude was fine because the plan was to take the horses out and work them in the plowed field. If you have ever done this you know it's hard work on a horse. It's really great for a horse who wants to be speedy in a canter, like Maggie.

*Okay, before you all hyperventilate because you are thinking " OMG,  cantering in deep plowed earth?? Have I lost my mind?? That 's just asking for a tendon injury... right??"

I warmed her up for a long time on regular footing and then walked her in the deep footing before we ever did any hard work. That usually mitigates the risk of a tendon blow out.

(Okay, now that that is clarified) Maggie was huffing and puffing pretty good after about a half hour of walking/trotting and a few canters in that field so we called it a day, rode back down the dirt road for a while to cool the horses off and headed back to the trailer. I blanketed her as she was quite sweaty and I didn't want her catching a chill on the trailer ride home. Maggie dove into her hay bag for about 10 minutes while I visited with my friends for a bit. It began to rain so I loaded her and we went home. I gave her her evening hay and a little bit of extra beet pulp that Rebel didn't finish.

I woke up the next morning to a colicky mare.

She wanted to lay down but she didn't roll. I watched her pass manure and yet she had the listless ouchy belly look. She didn't want her breakfast... something was definitely wrong.

I had meetings all morning so I decided I would give her bantamine and work from home until 9:00 so I could keep an eye on her. If she improved I would go into work, if not, we would be going to the vet.. By 8:30 she seemed to be improving and wanting to eat again. If a horse improves on a dose of banamine, that is usually a good sign. If it doesn't have any impact, you generally have bigger issues.. however, I am not a vet and every horse  is different..(my disclaimer) That is just my experience.

 I thought maybe this was  just a gas bubble.  I decided to head to work and would come home at lunch again to check on things.

I got home about 1:30 . Maggie was laying down. Quiet but still laying down. I decided to call the vet. The problem now was logistics. The vet secretary said I could wait until after 3:00 to get her in because the vet was slammed, or I could bring her in now and drop her off and they would keep an eye on her until the vet could look at her. Well, I had to be at the office for a 3:30 meeting that I could not get out of and Tom would not get home until 4:00. That also meant that poor Maggie would have to possibly suffer and potentially get worse between that time frame if I waited. I decided I had better just get her in ... I didn't even have time to change out of my office clothes and I happened to be in heels that day. I ran out  in heels, got her halter on (while she was laying down) and somehow managed to get her up . She loaded like a dream , I said a quick prayer  and off we went.. me in my heels and dress pants and my horse in tow..
I showed up and the vet techs ran out to greet me, knowing that I was under a time crunch.. (I love my vets!) I gave them the quick run down and they took her to one of the corrals. I told them to call me when they knew something and  jumped back in my truck,  flew down the highway and got back to the house, washed my hands , got in my car, and headed back to the office... It was going to be a long day...

 Amazingly..I still had the heels in tact...with only a little bit of horse poop on one of them, which I managed to remember to wipe off before the meeting.

I got a call about 3:30. They found nothing and my vet said I must have waited just long enough to have it resolve itself...They gave her electrolytes and fluids as a preventive measure and did a rectal exam. ALl looked good...Tom picked her up from the vet for me because I never got out of the office until 6:00 p.m... like I said, long day.

She was fine that night, but by yesterday morning she was acting sulky again. She didn't finish her meal and I watched her paw and lay down a couple times, again never rolling but definitely not acting right.. By yesterday evening, she seemed fine. She is still in heat and was standing there next to Brego with her tail in the air doing her girl thing...

This morning, she seemed a little more normal but again, didn't finish her meal. Ofcourse, I fed her extra hay last night at midnight and it could be she just wasn't hungry this morning.

I am not sure what would be causing this but my theory is that it was a combination of stress, coming into heat , getting wormed and getting worked pretty hard the day after.. I feel like the worst horse owner in the world right now because I feel like my actions caused this.. Can a heat cycle cause colic symptoms? I have never heard of that but I do wonder..

I am still watching her carefully but I have never had a colic act quite like this.. anyone else??

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