Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Cold and Blackjack's Eye

The low last night was 3F. The temperature's now up to 8F, but the sun is bright and there's almost no wind, so the horses are out enjoying the winter weather - actually, I expect they're enjoying the round bales more than the weather! It was about 12F inside the barn while I was working, and I wasn't quite warmly enough dressed, so I was starting to get cold by the end of my chores. I do have to take my gloves off when doing some of the supplements, and when dealing with Blackjack's beet pulp bins (my least favorite job, especially in the winter when the residue freezes and bedding freezes to the bottom of the bins). My hands got a little cold - I'm good with bare hands for a while at temperatures down to about 20F but below that my hands get cold. I also managed to fill the outdoor water tanks this morning without taking my gloves off and without getting my gloves wet, which was pretty good.

Blackjack's managed to irritate one of his eyes - it was very swollen and teary this morning and clearly was hurting him. I had to leave him in since his fly mask was rubbing on the swollen eyelid and it was clear that he would have rubbed his eye on something if I had turned him out. I've called and e-mailed his owner and I hope she can have the vet come see him today. He's scratched his corneas many times - he doesn't see well and runs his eyes into things like hay stalks - and I always like the vet to look at his eye before we treat it - sometimes you should use eye antibiotics with steroids and sometimes not, and if you use steroids when you shouldn't (if the eyeball is scratched or damaged), you can cause serious injury to the eye. Poor guy - I hate seeing him all squinty and tearing like that - I can imagine how it must hurt.


  1. Atta girl for doing water without wet hands! Care to share how you accomplished that?I am forever changing into dry gloves! Good call on the eye thing , It can make a terrible mess if there is a scratch

  2. Poor Blackjack, that does sound like it hurts. I'm very impressed that you kept your hands dry during watering, I can never quite manage that. You probably already know about these, but just in case you don't, you might want to look for heavy duty rubber gloves. When I worked at a farm in CT, one of the barn moms got me a pair for watering and they were awesome. They actually kept my hands fairly warm even in really cold weather because the rubber is so thick, and best of all kept them dry. Hope you and the horses get through the cold well!

  3. I am still searching for a good pair of water proof gloves. Good meaning I don't have to take them off to do anything since that kind of negates the point of having them!

    I hate dealing with eye things. A few times a year someone has a puffy and/or runny eye because they've gotten something in it or banged it or something. It can be a challenge getting the meds in the eye, especially if the horse in question is really tall! I hope Blackjack feels better soon, he is a really cute old guy.

  4. And I though it was cold here! I have the same experience, taking off my gloves to do supplements etc. Staying dry around the water trough can also be a challenge. How is Blackjacks eye doing? Some times a hot compress can be soothing while you are waiting for the vet.

  5. Cold weather is so bleh and bleak. I'm really impressed that you still manage to post something every single day, and that you almost always find the positives. You're an inspiration :)

  6. Eye issues are always a vet call unless you absolutely know what's going on...most of the time you don't. Hope Blackjack feels better soon.

    Wet glove are a nuisance. I am amazed you managed the water without soaking yours. Pretty talented, there. *G*


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