It took him a long time to get well, and recently he's had a bit of a relapse - a bit listless and sleeping a lot. He also had an abscess on his leg - probably from fighting - which looked like it was getting worse. So I took advantage of his being a bit sleepy and stuffed him in the carrier and off to the vet we went.
It turns out he had a fever - over 103 degrees - apparently normal in cats is 100-101. Even though there was some risk in anesthetizing a cat who wasn't completely well, we decided to get everything done at once - he got his rabies, distemper and an antibiotic shot that would last two week, was "tutored" and had his abscess drained. I was able to pick him up in the afternoon and bring him back to the barn - he wasn't very happy with me, and slunk off. But by later that evening, he was his friendly self again. I have to bring him back to the vet in 2 to 4 weeks for a distemper booster, and we'll see how easy he is to put in the carrier then!
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Scout's owner was feeding yesterday afternoon, and called me when Fred had a problem. (That's Fred in the header today.) She was feeding and heard choking and coughing - it was Fred, and lots of chewed food and mucus were coming out of his nose - it was choke, which both Scout's owner and I had seen before. We took his food and hay away and called his owner who called her vet. I spent some time while we were waiting massaging the left side of his neck along the jugular groove - the esophagus is close to the surface there. The vet came within the hour, and my younger daughter and I assisted. He had some Banamine and a quick-acting sedative, and then the vet tubed him and gently flushed out the obstruction with water. The obstruction was very low - just where his neck joins his chest. As the tube moved up and down, it was possible to see it moving through the ridges of the esophagus, which was both amazing and somewhat scary.
A little later that evening, when the sedative wore off, we gave him a couple of flakes of soaked hay to eat. This morning, he had eaten all the hay with no ill effects, although he wasn't as perky as normal. We need to watch him closely for signs of aspiration pneumonia which can be a complication of serious choke - he probably inhaled some of what came back up. No temperature - it was 98.6F - which was good. I gave him a handful of his breakfast, which he ate. When I turned him out, he was grazing normally. Tonight if he's still OK, he can go back to his regular hay and feed. We'll keep taking his temperature a.m. and p.m. for several days.
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My older daughter and I both rode Maisie yesterday. My daughter rode her in the indoor, and they were able to use the whole ring while doing trot work without rushing. I rode outdoors - it was a beautiful day, and we worked some more on our softening work at the walk - we were able to start where we left off with 7 steps, and worked our way up to 9, 11 and 13 steps in both directions. She's still struggling a bit to the right and also wants to fall in - her right hind may be a bit weak or sore and she might also have some knots in the muscles of her neck - I'll do more carrot stretches and some massage today before I ride. Today I'm going to try to get her to refine her head position - she has a tendency to go very low with her head and get somewhat behind the vertical - this is what she thinks she's supposed to do - and I'd like it to be a bit higher and not behind the vertical. I'll have to adjust my hand position and ask until I get what I want precisely. It's supposed to be another beautiful day, so we'll be outdoors again.