Thursday, April 15, 2010

They're Back (Ominous Music)!

The tick count (0n me) for today is 2 - I took one . . . off . . . my . . . face (!!! yuck!!!!). One of the barn cats had 3. None that I saw on my horses, but that's coming too. Last year, one day, I got 22 ticks off Maisie alone. I'm hoping this year won't be so bad.

This morning the vet came to do another round of shots for 8 horses in our barn (3 others use different vets) - rabies and intranasal strangles/strep, which is by far the horses' least favorite. So, in addition to moving horses around for grazing (we're up to 4 hours today), there was the bring-in and out for the vet. Our new vet isn't quite as adept with the up-the-nose vaccine - she took two tries on some of the horses and after one they're not very cooperative - Dawn, Sugar and Noble were particularly difficult. At one point Dawn was against one stall wall, and turned her hear against the wall so we couldn't reach it, and Noble and Sugar thought the head-in-the-sky approach was the best, but we got the job done and no one seems to be holding a grudge.

The vet also took a look at Blackjack's eyes - his cataracts seem to be getting worse and he's got some scarring on his retinas, particularly in his right eye - but she says it's hard to know how much he sees. She does recommend that he go back in a fly mask to protect his eyes; and his owner is trying to find one that is a little less opaque so he can see better with it on.

I thought I might do some baths this p.m. - no riding in this heat (we got up to almost 80F today) due to the rabies vaccination - but all the horses are still a bit hairy, so I decided to wait until they've shed out a bit more - just groomed instead.

Our wonderful barn lady called me after feeding time to report that both Noble and Joe weren't eating much and seemed a bit warm - particularly Joe, who is still sporting a heavy coat. I went to the barn at about 8:30 p.m. to check on them. I could tell Noble was OK - I could hear munching from his stall. Joe seemed very quiet, so I took his temperature - 101.4, which isn't a high temperature, but he seemed listless and was sweaty, so I called his owner. She said to put him and Scout outside in a paddock with a bit of hay so Joe could cool down, so that's what I did. She'll check on them in about an hour. It's great to have such a clued-in p.m. feeding lady, and owners who really care about their horses and pay attention to what they need.

Tomorrow is our first day out in farther-away pastures, so the horses will be very excited!


  1. Eeek! I freak out if there are a few on my dog! I even send them for testing because we don't have Lyme here yet but it's only a matter of time. I figure my data can help with tracking. I've never had one attach to ME!

    It seems like you have an ideal set-up with the horses. Nice to know that someone you trust will check on them later. Do you think Joe's reaction was just due to the vaccine?

  2. I HATE ticks! Especially after Will's bout with Lyme last year...

    I usually have him on a garlic supplement:

    Last spring I tried something different, a little bit cheaper, and shortly after he was bitten by the tick that gave him Lyme. Other than that he's been on it for the last 3-4 summers and does great on it -- I always find less ticks crawling on him than our trail buddies, and never found one attached while he was getting this supplement.

    Hope Joe's all right... I don't know if I'm just hearing more about it or what, but it seems like more horses than usual are getting that post-vaccine funk.

  3. Yep, I started finding ticks on me a couple of weeks ago. I've only found a couple on the horses so far. My horse Lexi is a tick magnet for some reason.

  4. Ewwww!!! Ticks! Love the new header picture though

  5. Ticks are not a good...I don't think you have to worry about Lyme out where you live. We had it rampant in New England.

  6. i haven't seen a tick yet, but i'm watching cuz any day now....

    especially as i spend so much time lately hand grazing, i just watch baasha's legs and my pants for ticks crawling up. this time of year they're so small it's hard to see them even when they are attached to your skin. disgusting creatures.

    another thing to love about seattle - no ticks.

    i use equi-spot on baasha every two weeks and that does the job. but they get on me still!


  7. Fortunately, we do not see many ticks here. It was very warm here this morning, but not 80. Yep, that pasture will make the horses very happy!

    Hope the two who were off are doing better.

    I clipped my 31 yo (Masterpiece)to get the last of his thick hair off...would that help?

  8. I hate ticks!!! Does anyone use the spot on treatments??

  9. I am basically have a tick phobia! I barely made it past the first paragraph! EEEWEWWWWWW!!!

    Okay. . . past that. We are still shedding out too.

  10. Even in tick country here in Arkansas I have reduced the ticks on the farm to almost none with a flock of free range chickens. Guinas are also good but noisy.
    JeniQ I have used the spot on treatment on my paint and she had a reaction to it.

  11. Love, love, love the new picture!!!

  12. Ick! I hate ticks. They frequented my scalp when I was a kid. I'm jealous that your temps are near 80 degrees. It's still chilly here. Whhhaaaaa!

  13. Nasty ticks. I've not found on on the horses, but if we do more trail riding this year, I'm bound to.

    Ugh. I hate those things.

  14. I keep hoping my wild turkeys will come back in force to eat the ticks here. So far, just one showed up. Nasty little critters.

    The strangles vaccine is really not a hit here either. My vet goes in the stall, hiding it behind her back, waits until the unsuspecting horse drops his head and then!!!! She's good at it. *lol*

  15. Well Kate the ticks are long gone here in NZ and the horses have really shaggy winter coats. Its hay feeding time and yes the dreaded strangles injections hurt all round the world. The new pony has a real chip on his shoulder from his injection. Doesn't like men (male vet of course)now.
    I had a good read of your most recent posts. My heart goes out to you .....and it doesn't have to be age issue either. Sometimes we all step back and try and assess where we are heading with our horses. When the pressure comes on sometimes its lovely to make that coffee and sit back and just watch and smell and remember that their beauty is often enough. Dont put too much pressure on yourself. Getting away is a great idea too. Happy days

  16. The ticks are bad around here, too--but they're not out yet. I didn't have a problem with ticks when I lived two hours down the road, but then I moved to Spokane and the first spring here--YIKES. I just started using a spray on their underbellies and that kept them off of mine.

    That's interesting about the fly mask. My old guy, Red, has cataracts as well. I'm going to do the same to give him some protection. This has been his worst year so far. :(


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