Saturday, October 31, 2009

What A Day

Today was fall vet day. I'd planned to get Steen's teeth done, as it's been a year. I hadn't been out to the barn since Wednesday, and Brian and I decided to go early so we could get a little ride in before the chaos started.

Well, we'll just say sometimes things don't go as planned. I don't know what got into the herd today, but the whole lot of them were freaked out by something. We pulled Steen and Cal out of the pasture, took them inside and they were both behaving very badly - yanking us off our feet in their attempts to graze, fidgeting when tied, and behaving in distracted, uncouth ways in general. Then Steen pooped, and it looked like a cow-pie. Last week, I observed the same thing, and since that meant the loose stools had been going on for more than a few days, I got worried. Also, Steen appeared to have lost roughly a million pounds since I was last out there. Ok, probably not that much, but enough that it was noticeable and alarming.

Also, the builder was inside using a saw and a nail gun, which wasn't helping anything.

So after some grooming, and lots of poor behavior, Brian and I gave up and took the two horses outside to graze. They seemed to approve of our decision and ate a lot of grass quickly. Then the vet arrived, Brian returned Cal to the pasture and I asked Jim to take a look at Steen. Over an hour later, Steen had endured two shots of sedatives, a shot for Potomac Horse Fever, some serious filing down of his teeth, a sheath-cleaning, and a tube shoved into his stomach through his nose to deliver a bucket-full of some sort of cleansing agent to soak up bad bacteria and toxins. Steen behaved fairly poorly through all of these procedures in spite of the sedatives. My only consolation is that every horse that came into the barn behaved very badly - even steeds that are normally nothing but mellow and solid.

After the vet turned his attention to other animals, Brian and I hung out for many hours waiting for Steen to pass his tummy full of liquids and pastes. He never did though, and finally the day was well advanced. He was sick of waiting for us to put him back in the pasture, and we were sick of waiting for him to poop. So, we put him back anyway (with the vet's blessing).

Tomorrow I will return in the morning, give him some tummy-cleaning paste and leave him in a stall. The vet will appear later to give him another shot. I'll come back in the evening, give him some more paste and then put him in a new part of the facility. Due to his sudden weight loss, we're moving him to the "feed lot," where he will hang out with Doc and Stella, and get some grain once a day so hopefully we can correct his weight-loss problem before he gets skinny again.


  1. I just want to clarify that skinny is sometimes OK. And to be fair, he did have a pebble in his sheath. That is enough to make anyone irritable.

  2. Wow, hope everything works out ok. Did the vets have any ideas why he might be having tummy issues and weight loss? (Assuming the two are related, which does seem probable.)

  3. Thanks to Brian for stopping by my blog & the nice comments. I'm always happy to find a new one, too - especially fun when they are from my state or close by. I've bookmarked your blog and will start browsing through it.

    If you have been getting the nasty, wet weather than we have been getting, I think it can take a toll on some horses. My mare gets loose more often than the others. Occasionally I'll give her a tube of probotics just to try to balance her out a bit.

    Good catch and hope all is well. Sorry you didn't get to ride. We finally got some decent weather and some much needed saddle time!

  4. @Brian: Well, I do have a soft spot for my skinny guys. :)

    @Erica: Yeah, the vet didn't seem to have a lot of guesses and he thought the two might be related, but not necessarily. Fortunately, Steen seems much better today, so hopefully the problem is solved...

    @Tammy: We've been having so much fun reading your blog! And yes it has been very wet here, too. My vet recommended Probiotics and well, and so that is something I will keep in my mind for the future.

  5. Probiotics are good stuff, I've been taking them for years. Never given them to a horse...but my guys are usually pretty easy keepers and it's never really been necessary.


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